SAS vs SATA on PERC 5/i Dell Server

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I am currently debating on a storage array for a Dell PowerEdge 2950. The server is going to be running Windows Server Enterprise 64-bit, which will server two basic functions: File storage and terminal services (about 60 clinets), maybe a SQL Database in the distant future. I have two options with the PERC 5/i controller (which I can't seem to find any stats on... anyone know where to find more info?):

1.) 6x 146GB 10K SAS Drives in Raid5 (730GB)

2.) 6x 500GB SATA Drives in Raid5 (2.5TB)

Both of these options are right around the same price... so its a tough decision. I guess it really comes down to reliability... but the raid5 should provide some redundancy in any case. Any opinions, suggestions, or rude remarks? :)
 

cyr0n_k0r

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yes, run raid 10 or 50 with SATA drives.

Also, don't buy the storage server's, just get an MD1000 with a Perc 5/e and connect it to your 2950.

EDIT: re-reading it looks as though you don't have the server yet. Do you have a 2950 already?

Also, if you buy the hard drives from dell, they will all have the same warranty.
Then it boils down to speed or storage. Which do you need more?
 
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Well the server doesn't need a crazy amount of storage, I am only supporting 60-75 users. I was mainly interested in internal storage options. You also mentioned RAID 10 or 50: RAID 10 is RAID 1 then RAID 0 and RAID 50 is RAID 5 then RAID 0, what is the performance difference? If I am playing with 6 drives, I see the output of RAID 10 being at best the write performance of 3 drive RAID 0, and at the read equivalent of 6 drives RAID. The output of RAID 50 would be similar, 2 3 drive RAID 5 arrays stripped between... so I see the performance being much greater becuase you are getting the write/read performance from all 6 drives. Maybe my knowledge is flawed... I am assuming that there is no overhead for parity data, which is not accurate of course.

I am about to request a quote for the 2950, I don't have it yet. To answer the question of speed or storage.... What are the specs on the PERC 5/i as far as throughput?
 

cyr0n_k0r

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I don't know much about the internal perc 5/i

I use the 5/e and have 5TB attached to it and get great performance.
I assume the 5/i is close or the same in throughput.

We run RAID50 for a balance of redundancy, performance, and storage space and have been very pleased.
 

UICompE02

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The PERC 5/i and PERC 5/e are basically the same card. The only difference is the configuration of the SAS/SATA ports on them. They both run LSI MegaRAID on an IOP333 with an LSI SAS1068 controller. So performance should be identical between the 'i' and 'e' variants assuming the same configuration with regard to the cache memory. It's a Dell-built version of this LSI controller.
 
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The controller is backwards compatible with SATA, correct? Does it run the SCSI command set with the SATA interface?
 

UICompE02

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The controller is backwards compatible with SATA, correct? Does it run the SCSI command set with the SATA interface?

Yes, you can use any SAS or SATA drive on the controller. It won't use the SCSI command set with a SATA drive, however. It will communicate using native SATA to a drive directly attached to it or using SATA Tunneling to a SATA drive attached to it through an expander. To the OS, the drives will appear as SCSI devices. The firmware on the controller will handle any translation that needs to occur from SCSI to SATA.
 
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Thanks for the information. What do you think about the 2.5 SAS drives vs. the 3.5 drives? I am assuming there are some heat issues with the smaller drivers.

On another know what the maximum through-out for the PERC/i controller is? I have been unable to find any specifications on this.
 

Rocco123

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call dell. their advanced technical sales has all that info.

They would probably not be able to answer that.

PERC 5/i/E currently runs on the 3.0Gbit controllers. Don't think they've moved to 6.0Gbit yet. I run RAID 10 setups (10x73GB 15k 2.5inch) with SQL and I've benchmarked with HDTach. I was getting in the mid 200s (MB/s) for burst speeds.

May I ask why you are applying W2003 Enterprise x64? Keep in mind, x64 W2003 standard supports 32GB of RAM and 4 sockets.
 

cyr0n_k0r

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They would probably not be able to answer that.
Won't know unless you call.

Whenever I've called dell with very technical questions the regular sales guy usually have a "technical sales rep" call me back. They are specialized people dedicated to a particular hardware set and usually know most of what there is to know about it.
 
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I thought there was a 4-core limitation on Standard Windows Server 2003. Thanks for the heads up I will look into this, could save a lot of money.
 

Rocco123

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Correct. You would only need Enterprise for 4 or more sockets. I run W2003 std x64 on 2 socket, 8 cores boxes. Saves you quite a bit of money.
 
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