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Old 06-26-2003, 08:49 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: PA, USA
Distribution: Fedora 12
Posts: 69

Rep: Reputation: 15
Question Disk Storage Advice Needed

I have a Redhat 8.0 server running Postfix and Apache. I'd like to beef up the disk system.

I know a true SCSI RAID 0,1 or 5 would be the best bet, but it's cost prohibitive right now.

I was wondering, if anyone out there can tell me, how much stress a SCSI controller with SCSI drives, controlled by the Linux software would put on the processor? Would the advantages and disadvantages cancel each other out?

What about ATA 133 or SATA RAID? Should these be a last resort? I read that SATA (serial ATA) is built as a cost effective replacement for SCSI, though it's not much fast that ATA 133.

I'd like to use RAID 5, if possible.

Any thoughts or opinions are greatly valued!



512 DDR Mem
Athlon XP 1.53 Ghz CPU
300 watt max power supply
2 (in and out) 80mm fans
Current Drive Maxtor 40gig ATA 133 7200rpm (running day and night!!)
Old 06-26-2003, 07:42 PM   #2
Registered: May 2003
Location: Texas
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 80

Rep: Reputation: 15
Most good SCSI controllers are designed specifically to handle all the calculations of a RAID array and to keep processor utilization to a minimum. A SCSI array will always be the best way to go for quite some time to come.

Don't be fooled by the label "ATA 133" This is a technology brought to stage by maxtor and not used by any other ATA drive manufacturers, and offers no distinct performance advantage over ATA 100 drives. Also, ATA RAID controllers have been shown to use more processor time than SCSI controllers.

Serial ATA is still a new technology, as well as RAID controllers for SATA drives.
I would not suggest using this in a corporate application until the technology matures more, and has had more time for developement, testing, and benchmarking. It seems to be a great technology, and I am going to use it in my next personal system I build.

I would be VERY careful using bleeding edge technology in a mission critical application. Also, ATA drives fail more frequently than SCSI drives, especially when being accessed frequently. SCSI drives are designed for constant usage, and to run 24x7. You will notice some ATA drive manufacturers have warnings saying the drives are only meant for so many hours per day usage. If you take a SCSI and ATA drive apart and compare the internal parts, you will notice a difference in the quality of the internal components. SCSI will cost you more, but will perform faster, and provide safer storage than ATA systems.



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