Raid Recommendation

sniggle

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 15, 2006
Messages
252
After using a myriad of single drives and manual (read: not automatically redundant) backup schemes for about a year in my home server, I'm looking to upgrade to a real deal raid. I'm thinking a raid 5 for a combination of efficiency and good read speed.

My plan is to go with a 4 port card with either 4x 750GB or 1TB drives, depending on the prices at the time of purchase. I'm just wondering what cards you guys might recommend in terms of speed as well as possibly future expandability. Price is not a huge concern, but I'd rather not spend more than the $400 range.

This is the card I have my eye on: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816116042

I know it will not allow me to upgrade in the future but the brand is great and I know it will be plenty fast. I'm just wondering if I possibly should go with an 8 port card with less/no ram since my write/read speeds will be limited by my 1gbps network anyway and will allow me to add on later (although I realize that I will need to rebuild the entire raid if I want to add drives). I don't really do any direct work on the server itself, so I am almost always reading and writing from my gaming desktop.

Anyone have any other suggestions based on my situation? Thanks for reading!
 

maliclipse

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
101
Take a peak on ebay and look at the Dell Perc 5i cards. Just make sure you buy one with a PCI bracket. There's a guy who sells the whole kit for 170$ that will come with the card, cables, 256m memory, and a battery backup. The SAS raid controller is backward compatible with SATA just do a little research and get the right 1 to 4 sata cable

The 3ware stuff is nice but super expensive.

M
 

sniggle

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 15, 2006
Messages
252
Thanks for the recommendation. Looks like there are quite a few available. How would the performance of this be versus the 3ware card? Does the battery automatically charge when connected to the card?

Another thing I forgot to mention is that I plan on running a raid 1 for my OS and another raid 1 for two 300GB drives I have. Would the performance of a dedicated raid card help for something as simple as raid 1 or would onboard, software based raid be just as good?
 

GeorgeHR

Gawd
Joined
Oct 14, 2006
Messages
840
sniggle ---

I don't know what you do with your home computer but ...

We run a business in our home. We back up 20GB of data files each night using a simple batch file using XCopy and the XP task scheduler. (Actually less than 1GB of data changes each day and we only copy the changed files.) Each month the batch file changes to a different directory on the backup drive so we get 12 monthly backups on a 250G B drive.

I would recommend against a RAID because when you delete a file it vanishes from both drives.

---

We have a $100 RAID controller for our HTPC simply because we needed to install 4 more drives. But we don't use the RAID.
 

sniggle

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 15, 2006
Messages
252
George,

I appreciate your concern, and will be doing "offsite" backups with my most important data so I'm not too worried about that.

After reading a bit more about the Perc card it's looking like there are compatibility issues with certain motherboards as well as the chances of receiving a card with a dead battery module or bad ram (although the latter is quite unlikely). I'd almost rather spend the $350 for the 3ware card just for the peace of mind, warranty, and support it will offer.
 

Dew

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
3,854
I use Highpoint 2320 controllers for both of my R5 arrays (8x320GB), I have not had a single issue with them with over a year in 24/7 service to include NUMEROUS power outages and brownouts(over 6 power outages and just as many if not more brownouts in the past 6 months, I really should get a bigger UPS).

As far as speed, the 2320 is very good and can saturate a 1GBit connection with ease, it won't be the card holding you back there. It also has OCE, meaning you can add drives and expand the array along the way as long as the FS you are using supports expansion(one reason why I went with XFS).
 

sniggle

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 15, 2006
Messages
252
Thanks for the suggestion Dew. I saw in another post that you host a lot of LANs so I can see why you face so many power issues. If I'm not running a UPS on my server and I lose power during a write am I just risking the file(s) it was writing or the entire array?

The 2320 does look like a bargain but it also physically looks like you get what you pay for, as well as slightly janky software and bad support.

I'm also wondering whether my trusty ol' PCP&P SLI-510 is up to the task of powering 12 or so hard drives. I assume it should be fine.
 
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