Need SAS HBA/Raid Controller Recommendation

dahorde

New Member
Apr 27, 2022
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I need to connect 4 SED Ultrastar HC550 hard drives somehow, but I don't know what to look for other than low price and number of ports. The drives are less than 285 MB/s each, so I doubt there would be bandwidth limitations. Does the HBA affect use of TCG Enterprise encryption? I was looking at adapters on ebay. There are thousands of listings there, and I'm clueless, so I thought I'd ask for any recommendations or advice.
 

i386

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2016
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my preferences for raidcontrollers/hbas

vendors:
microchip (adaptec), broadcom (lsi)

"generation":
sas3/12 gbit or newer

ports:
8x port for sas3, 16x ports for sas4/24gbit

host interface:
8x pcie 3.0 for sas3, 16x pcie 4.0 for sas4/24


vendors:
I never had highpoint controllers, the experiences on different sites were "mixed" about their rocketraid stuff which is enough to avoid them.
Broadcom is the standard in the industry (and replaced adaptec :D). I like adaptec because they have encryption, ssd caching integrated while broadcom might need additional licenses/hardware keys.

generation:
sas2 might provide enough bandwidth for hdds, sas3 has improvements in the protocoll stack. Stuff like "sas aggregation" (broadcom calls their implementation "databolt") make it better for usage with expanders/daisy chaining.

ports:
8 port controllers were the "standard" for sas3, 16 or 24 port controllers were rare (and replacements harder to find) and the shipping times for such controllers was extreme
with sas4 and pcie 4.0/5.0 this might change as it provides a lot more bandwidth and there are newer multilane connectors (up to 8 sas lanes per one multilane sas port) that take advantage of that and can have more ports

host interface:
mainboards with pcie 3.0 and single socket usually had one x16 slot (or two with one being electrically only a x8 slot)/40pcie lanes*.
With pcie 4.0 and newer many server/workstation mainboards have two or more x16 slots/64+ pcie lanes. Also many sas4 controllers will be "tri mode" controllers supporting sata, sas and u.2/u.3 devices

*not counting first generation epyc systems :D
 

dahorde

New Member
Apr 27, 2022
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I found cheap HP P440 controllers with 8 ports, but the connector is a double-wide mini-SAS (x4 each for 8 lanes total), and my HC550s connect via 29-pin SFF-8680. I'm not sure if I could plug two mini-SAS connectors in, or if I would instead have to use a cable with the proprietary double-wide connector and connect a more standard 4-drive breakout cable to that.

I'm looking at alternatives per @BackupProphet's and @i386's recommendations, but availability and prices on eBay are all over the place.