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Old 08-09-2009, 08:13 AM   #1
thomas.hedden
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Registered: May 2006
Location: Carlisle, MA
Distribution: Ubuntu, Fedora
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Which SATA controller card for HW RAID in Linux?


I have a hardware RAID 1 setup on a Linux system
using IDE disks, but am thinking about migrating
to serial ATA. My MoBo does not have SATA
connectors, but my power supply does, so I thought
about getting a PCI controller card that would
allow me to connect SATA drives. However, from
searching on the Internet I discovered that many
such PCI controllers do not support hardware RAID,
but merely supply drivers that implement software
RAID. And of course, such drivers tend to be
supplied only for a certain well-known OS, not
for Linux.
Can anyone recommend a PCI SATA controller card
that supports HW RAID and/or tell me whether it
is worth pursuing SW RAID in Linux, and if so,
with what distribution, etc.?
I am currently using an old SuSE distribution,
but would probably start from scratch with a newer
distribution, either openSuSE or Novell or Fedora.
I would consider another distribution if necessary.
Any suggestions or warnings would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Tom
 
Old 08-09-2009, 11:40 AM   #2
TB0ne
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Distribution: SuSE, RedHat, Slack,CentOS
Posts: 14,470

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas.hedden View Post
I have a hardware RAID 1 setup on a Linux system
using IDE disks, but am thinking about migrating
to serial ATA. My MoBo does not have SATA
connectors, but my power supply does, so I thought
about getting a PCI controller card that would
allow me to connect SATA drives. However, from
searching on the Internet I discovered that many
such PCI controllers do not support hardware RAID,
but merely supply drivers that implement software
RAID. And of course, such drivers tend to be
supplied only for a certain well-known OS, not
for Linux.
Can anyone recommend a PCI SATA controller card
that supports HW RAID and/or tell me whether it
is worth pursuing SW RAID in Linux, and if so,
with what distribution, etc.?
I am currently using an old SuSE distribution,
but would probably start from scratch with a newer
distribution, either openSuSE or Novell or Fedora.
I would consider another distribution if necessary.
Any suggestions or warnings would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Tom
Well, I've had good luck with both the Promise and 3ware controllers. They both do hardware RAID, and play nicely with Linux. Lots of other options, too, but it depends on what kind of $$$ you have to play with, and what environment.

If it's for you at work, both Sun and IBM both have good RAID solutions/cabinets, that are fully supported under several flavors of Linux. At home, I'd stick with the 3ware or Promise (you can grab them from newegg, fairly cheap). You can do software RAID with most flavors of Linux these days, but I'd stay away from it. In my opinion, the performance just isn't worth the hassle...doing it at the controller level, makes it simpler to deal with, and easier to recover if there's a problem, but again, that's just my $0.02....
 
Old 08-09-2009, 12:41 PM   #3
lazlow
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Registered: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,362

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Be careful with the Promise controllers. Most of their stuff is fake raid (as you described above). While their driver support has gotten much better, most of their products are not true hardware raid.
 
  


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