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Self-contained internal RAID to use as an ESXi datastore and boot device

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by idea, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. idea

    idea Gawd

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    I'm building an "all in one" and I notice ESXi is picky about RAID controllers. It only likes hardware-based ones. Most onboard controllers, aka software RAID controllers, will not work. If you're not willing to install a hardware RAID controller, you can always run a single drive and hope for the best.

    So I'm looking at a new solution to the problem. New to me, anyway. I'm not exactly what to call these so I went with "Self-contained internal RAID" in the title. They are software based RAID controllers that perform RAID functions upstream from the SATA port they are plugged in to. Rather than configure it via the BIOS or OS levels, it is configured via a DIP switch usually on the rear of the unit. It is completely invisible to the OS so ESXi will never know that there is a RAID array behind the "SATA device" that it is booting off.

    I'm looking for something that supports mirroring (RAID1) two 2.5" SFF drives. SAS is preferred but SATA will do as well. Here are some items I found that can be installed inside my all-in-one box:


    These are really hard to google which is why I had to make a post about it. Does anyone have any other ideas?
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  2. TheLastBoyscout

    TheLastBoyscout Limp Gawd

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  3. _Gea

    _Gea 2[H]4U

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    a hardware raid-1 for esxi should be fine
    i use a driverless http://www.raidsonic.de/en/products/soho-raid.php?we_objectID=5732

    it may help for a better availability
     
  4. idea

    idea Gawd

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    I can't confirm this is a RAID1 capable device, but it's in stock for me: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817995068
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  5. idea

    idea Gawd

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    I found out the Sans Digital IR12TB I mentioned in the first post has an audible alarm for failure notifications. Too bad it's out of stock
     
  6. dashpuppy

    dashpuppy [H]ardness Supreme

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  7. TheLastBoyscout

    TheLastBoyscout Limp Gawd

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  8. idea

    idea Gawd

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  9. apnar

    apnar [H]Lite

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  10. hotzen

    hotzen Limp Gawd

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    Man, that SYBA SY-PEX40045 looks indeed perfect.
    Too bad it is nowhere available in the EU ...
     
  11. bexamous

    bexamous [H]ard|Gawd

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    :/ Anyone actually using this stuff? Seems like there has to be a better solution than relying on any of these.

    How do you even know if a drive fails?
     
  12. Beta4Me

    Beta4Me [H]Lite

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    This is what I've been wondering too. Does it show you this somehow and/or pass on the information correctly so that the OS or something can detect it?
     
  13. hotzen

    hotzen Limp Gawd

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    That is the big question plus: how to get this syba-stuff to europe :)
     
  14. idea

    idea Gawd

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    LED turns red? Also, I know for a fact that the IR12TB model has an internal speaker that buzzes when a disks fails.
     
  15. idea

    idea Gawd

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  16. idea

    idea Gawd

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    Here are two more interesting products from the IOI Technology Corporation

    IMIRROR525A
    [​IMG]

    SPM394
    [​IMG]
     
  17. athlon1.2

    athlon1.2 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I assume this only works for "RAID 1" If you start using it from when the drive is first formatted?

    How exactly does this work, does it just send the signals to both drives? What if one drive returns read errors?
     
  18. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Just fyi, it's called FakeRAID or motherboard RAID, software RAID is totally different.
     
  19. idea

    idea Gawd

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    I bought the Orico 229rsh I mentioned in an earlier post. It was around $65 shipped from their eBay store. About half the price of anything else. I put in a matching pair of 2.5" 5400RPM drives and set it to RAID1. I'm only getting 5MB/s read/write. Something is wrong.

    I might just return it, I don't like it's cheap construction anyway. It feels flimsy. You need the key to remove the drive. If I ever lost the keys I'd be in big trouble.

    Then again, I might not. I'm too lazy to order another and I don't care if I get 5MB/s. It's just for ESXi + Solaris boot drives.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  20. hotzen

    hotzen Limp Gawd

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    I plan to purchase the ORICO CAS3922-S2R and wonder
    - whether I must use the shipped RAID-software (which I expect to be super-crappy)
    - how I am noticed of hdd/raid errors
    - if this thing is decently working in RAID 1 as a ESXi vm-datastore

    anyone experience with this cheapo stuff?
     
  21. patrickdk

    patrickdk Gawd

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    finding a raid solution for esx is pretty easy.

    If it requires software, it won't work. Lucky that card doesn't require software though.
     
  22. hotzen

    hotzen Limp Gawd

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    Btw, the ORICO CAS3922-S2R seems [1] to use the JMicron JMB390 [2].

    After a bit of googling the old vertex apex did use the very same JMB390 for internal Raid0 [3].
    So these crappy 5MB/sec look like there is really something wrong, doesn't it?

    [1] http://storageanddrivesblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/sata-x-2-orico-cas3922-s2r-sata2-raid.html
    [2] http://www.jmicron.com/Product_JMB390.htm
    [3] http://bench mark reviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=290&Itemid=60 (the forum is killing this url??)
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  23. chune

    chune n00bie

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    Any updates how this is working for esxi? Thinking about picking up one of these so I dont have to waste a pci slot on my boot array for esxi+oi: http:///16YlLlc
    I'm hoping it has some sort of audible alarm but it doesn't look like it. Same jmb390 chip though...