Cheap RAID card with Battery Suggestions

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by rival1, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. rival1

    rival1 n00b

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    At a certain point in my life, I found out that time > money. So, I'm building a new computer for my brother who isn't as computer savvy as myself, and in order to save him heartache, pain, and downtime, I want to put two drives for the OS in RAID 1.
    Sounds simple, right? Only that I have actually had to recover from a failed HD that was in RAID 1 through "fake RAID" (onboard Intel controller), not a catastrophic failure mind you, but file corruption, and it restored the bad HD to the good! Because it didn't ask me which HD do you want to copy from or anything else for that matter.
    My brother lives in northern New England and they get power outages, it's not a question of if, but when. He will have a UPS but a UPS doesn't save you against the PSU blowing out, or if you're simply not home to shut off your computer when the power goes out.
    I don't want to do anything fancy, I just want a battery backup for the RAID card. Two hard drives in RAID 1. This post would have never been made if the PERC 6/i supported SATA 3.0 but it only supports 2.0. I looked at PERC H200 and the IBM M1015 but they don't seem to have an ability to accommodate a battery. In doing regular research, I came across the LSI 9271-4i which would satisfy my needs except it costs $400, which is beyond my budget. Can anyone please recommend a cheap RAID card that has a battery backup, thank you.
     
  2. Blue Fox

    Blue Fox [H]ardForum Junkie

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    A BBU on a RAID card isn't going to do anything for you. It only protects from data loss of cached writes. This is not something you would be normally doing in RAID 1 nor would it be possible on a RAID card (be it integrated or separate) that doesn't have RAM (some do still allow it, but I wouldn't recommend it). Spend the money on an external hard drive for backups instead.
     
  3. rival1

    rival1 n00b

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    Thanks for the reply, but as you probably know, the Intel Matrix RAID drivers allow you to enable write-back even without a battery. This is something that your RAID card will do (one or the other, write-through or write-back) no matter what RAID level you have enabled. So, yes, it should go without saying that the RAID card would need some amount of RAM as well. I would also be open to a motherboard with a battery backup for its RAID too but in my reading, I have yet to come across such a thing.
     
  4. Blue Fox

    Blue Fox [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Why not just disable that (the write back cache that is) then and not worry about it? Shouldn't make much of an impact performance wise. Simple solution to a simple problem.
     
  5. rival1

    rival1 n00b

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    It is a simple solution but if you have a RAID array I would suggest you try it for yourself and then you'll see why that isn't an option. There is a significant impact performance wise. It turns a sports car into a diesel farm tractor.
     
  6. Aesma

    Aesma [H]ard|Gawd

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    IIRC the Perc doesn't mind SATA3 (like most controllers, since any kind of SATA should be compatible with any other kind), its problem is with the 2.2TB limit, so if you use 2TB or smaller drives, it's not a problem.
     
  7. rival1

    rival1 n00b

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    Thanks for your reply, but I am trying to actually get sata 3 speeds from the sata 3 devices. Also, yes like you said the 3TB incompability is also another nail in the coffin, so I would appreciate some actual model #s of things to look at.
     
  8. Aesma

    Aesma [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well you talked about hard drives. If you meant SSD then yes you need another card (but it will be very expensive).
     
  9. uOpt

    uOpt Gawd

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    The BBU will significantly speed up total throughput if you have lots of applications calling fsync or sync, that means they will only go on after data is committed. Not only do those applications speed up, they also reduce load on the disks, speeding up everything.

    What I really want is a BBU controller that does simple individual-disks-visible AHCI.
     
  10. rival1

    rival1 n00b

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    Well, it appears that I managed to find an answer to my own question. For those that are similarly interested in a cheap RAID card that has a battery backup, I would direct you towards the HP P410, here are its full specs:
    http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/productbulletin.html#spectype=north_america&type=html&docid=13201

    In summary, it supports 6Gb/s SAS (which is fine for me because I learned a while ago already to buy enterprise quality hard drives for the OS) and SATA II, has 512mb of cache with a battery backup and you can buy them all over eBay for $130-140, which is a lot less than $400. Also supports RAID 6 with an extra license that can also be had on eBay for less than $100.
     
  11. MrGuvernment

    MrGuvernment [H]ard as it Gets

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    Cheap + Raid do not go together, if you want stability and reliability.
     
  12. Aesma

    Aesma [H]ard|Gawd

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    Again, don't put SSDs on that, it will be slower than the chipset controller.
     
  13. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Many decent UPS units can monitor failing power and can be timed to shut down the computer.

    Many of us have used the same quality PSs thru various builds with no problem.

    The LSI 9260-4i can be had with a battery backup for @ 400.00 but if he's in the NE area of the states with frequent power outages a quality UPS would be your best option.

    There's two quality sites that sell refurbed UPS units.

    One is RefurbUPS and the other is UPSForLess.

    There are other sites but I have used these two for many years and both have delivered quality service.

    The smart thing to do is buy a quality UPS, don't fool with an inexpensive RAID card and use an image or clone on a separate HD.
     
  14. DPI

    DPI Nitpick Police

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    HP p410, lmfao. Go get em tiger. You are in for a world of headache.

    Forum is full of nightmares about that card. Its cheap for a reason. Ive got popcorn on standby.