RECOMMENDATION PLEASE: RAID Controller - 6Gb/s or 12Gb/s SAS

bmill

New Member
Nov 22, 2021
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Appreciate you taking the time to help me out.

Will be for a home file server hosting movies/music & multiple computer hdd images.

Will be running in RAID 5 or 6. Thinking max hdds would be at most 8, more than likely 3-4 but prefer all 8 to be able to be run internally.

Machine will either be setup using a z77 w/ a Xeon CPU or a X99/Xeon combo.

Looking for good quality but trying to keep the price around $50-$100 if possible for the card only.

Will more than likely be acquiring through eBay along with sone 12Gb/s HDDs

Appreciate your responses!
 

Sogndal94

Senior IT Operations Engineer
Nov 7, 2016
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Hi, bmill.
Is you plan to run hardware raid? And what OS will you be running?
-Sogndal94 :)
 

Sean Ho

seanho.com
Nov 19, 2019
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seanho.com
SAS3008-based should be within your budget; Adaptec 8805 maybe a bit over. But with only 8x spinners and no SSDs, a cheap 6Gbps controller like 9211 or any other SAS2008/2308 would do just fine. Just because your spinners sync at 12Gbps does not mean they're going to be able to deliver anywhere close to that.
 

bmill

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Nov 22, 2021
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Thanks for the replies.

I was wanting HW RAID.

Will be running Win10/11 for some time.

And will more than likely be running 4-5x Hdds.
 

marv

Active Member
Apr 2, 2015
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there is a thread on this forum listing all sorts of OEM and Retail LSI chip based cards.
I sugest SAS3 with SAS3108 chip, like 9361-8i or OEM version if you can find for a good price. Older SAS2 might be just..too old. Newer cards with NVME support like 9460 or even 9560 seem to still cost a lot.
Dont forget to get BBU with it.
 

bmill

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Nov 22, 2021
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After more reading, I am thinking I need to know the performance numbers for the array.

Could somebody tell me real world #s for a RAID5/6 using 7.2k Sas3 HDDs? If I only need a 6Gb/s card then so be it as I do not to pay $300+ for a card. (I need to read the post about chipsets & manf ids)

Thanks
 

marv

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Apr 2, 2015
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18TB disks reach to 280MB/s sequentially, random might be around 200IOPS I think. Raid 5/6 impacts write performance. With 4disk raid5 you can get random write performance lower than wih single drive. Also for safety reason, raid card has tendency to disable HDD internal cache, unless it has power loss protection, which hurts performance further. You can enable it back but you risk inconsistency after power failure. Which is why large cache is important and software solutions like ZFS RaidZ use extra L2arc and ZIL drives.
LSI cards with SAS3108 supported cachecade, it required special key to activate I think, but they dropped this support for some reason.

On windows you could simply use storage spaces, they even support tiered version (with ssd caching) but my suggestion is stay away from parity storage spaces, its tragically slow after you fill it with some more data (basedo n experience from Win 2012R2).

another frankensolution comes to mind if you want raid5, configure raid5 on card and then create simple storage space with ssd tier. But I never tried that :D
 

bmill

New Member
Nov 22, 2021
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18TB disks reach to 280MB/s sequentially, random might be around 200IOPS I think. Raid 5/6 impacts write performance. With 4disk raid5 you can get random write performance lower than wih single drive. Also for safety reason, raid card has tendency to disable HDD internal cache, unless it has power loss protection, which hurts performance further. You can enable it back but you risk inconsistency after power failure. Which is why large cache is important and software solutions like ZFS RaidZ use extra L2arc and ZIL drives.
LSI cards with SAS3108 supported cachecade, it required special key to activate I think, but they dropped this support for some reason.

On windows you could simply use storage spaces, they even support tiered version (with ssd caching) but my suggestion is stay away from parity storage spaces, its tragically slow after you fill it with some more data (basedo n experience from Win 2012R2).

another frankensolution comes to mind if you want raid5, configure raid5 on card and then create simple storage space with ssd tier. But I never tried that :D
Then does mirror storage spaces = RAID1?
 

cesmith9999

Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2013
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Then does mirror storage spaces = RAID1?
kind of. there is no direct pairing of disks in storage spaces like there is in ZFS or HW Raid. The data is going on 2 or 3 disks (depending on your redundancy level). no one really knows which 2/3...

if your pool has 4 disks and assuming that you have a redundancy level of 1. Data will then live on 2 of the 4 disks. and the next set of data may be on the same 2 disks, or different 2, or 1 and 1.

Chris
 

bmill

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Nov 22, 2021
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kind of. there is no direct pairing of disks in storage spaces like there is in ZFS or HW Raid. The data is going on 2 or 3 disks (depending on your redundancy level). no one really knows which 2/3...

if your pool has 4 disks and assuming that you have a redundancy level of 1. Data will then live on 2 of the 4 disks. and the next set of data may be on the same 2 disks, or different 2, or 1 and 1.

Chris
This may be a stupid question but I will ask it anyway - In a RAID 1 array, if I have 2x4TB hdds, I have 1 volume, 4TB in size. If I have 2x 4TB hdds in storage spaces in a mirroring pool, I will still have 4TB of hdd space. How is the storage space setup superior to RAID 1, or is it not suppose to be?
 

cesmith9999

Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2013
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I never said that Storage Spaces was superior to anything.

The Storage Spaces Pool is not mirroring. the pool is just a collection of disks/SSDs and the role that they play in the pool.

VirtualDisks are where you setup the raid type and redundancy level. in your case, you can setup a mirrored virtual disk with a redundancy of 1 and only use 1 fixed volume, you will get 1 4tb disk. It will act like a mirrored pair.

Or you can setup multiple volumes with different redundancy levels to make a 2 disk pool set have the space between half of your pool size to all of your pool size.

You can add disks into the pool and expand your virtual disks and that is where all of the fun really begins as to where your data lives.

Chris
 

labo

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Jan 21, 2015
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Thanks for the replies.

I was wanting HW RAID.

Will be running Win10/11 for some time.

And will more than likely be running 4-5x Hdds.
The cheap and best option is to go with the IBM serveRaid card with M5210 or M5110 (much cheaper). For Raid5/6 you would need to the crd with cache and the supercap battery.
I have been using this with 8 HDDs without any issues.
example link:
 

gregsachs

Active Member
Aug 14, 2018
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This may be a stupid question but I will ask it anyway - In a RAID 1 array, if I have 2x4TB hdds, I have 1 volume, 4TB in size. If I have 2x 4TB hdds in storage spaces in a mirroring pool, I will still have 4TB of hdd space. How is the storage space setup superior to RAID 1, or is it not suppose to be?
If you only have 2 drives in a space pool, you are limited to raid 0 or raid 1 equivalent. As mentioned, it is when you start adding drives that you gain flexibility.
 
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bmill

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Nov 22, 2021
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Updated the main post and changed the it to 6Gb/s or 12Gb/s. Either would be more than sufficient as don't think I would have enough hdds to saturate a 6Gb/s let alone a 12Gb/s pipe.

Is there any particular controller in 6Gb/s that for some reason is a great controller and stands above the others?

Now that I am looking for 6Gb/s controllers I am hoping for a price decrease over a 12Gb/s.

Thanks in advance!