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stlouis1 May 13, 2013 10:23 PM

raid controller
I'm looking for suggestions on a raid controller, looking for something not too expensive as the card itself will not be managing the raid

I'm running a solaris file server, in a virtual machine on a VMware ESXi 5.1 host.

currently the server is on a supermicro x8dt3-f with a pair of Xeon 5570's

I've been passing through the onboard LSI 1068E controller to the solaris VM, but it doesn't support 3TB drives and I need to grow my raid array.

I have an IBM M1015 card, but the issue with it is I can't close the cover on the 2u chassis with that card so it will be going in my other sun server as planned.

Currently I'm considering two options, first is the Adaptec 6805E, second is the LSI 9211

I'm leaning toward the LSI card because I know I'll have no issues putting it in IT mode to let zfs handle the raid functions more so than because it's a pci-e 8x card. Considering a 4x pci-e 2.0 slot should push 2gb/s, i don't think the bus bandwidth would make a difference in performance with only 6 hard drives and data being passed over gigabit lan

just wondering if anyone has any additional thoughts before I pull the trigger

KaptCrunch May 14, 2013 06:13 AM

save your cash just update the firmware on LSI 1068E support 3TB drives

or try LSI site firmware I see no info on updates look around you mite find what you need

stlouis1 May 14, 2013 07:09 PM

i went through that thread the other night. as far as I can tell there's no 3tb drive support for the 1068E. I plan on using the 1068 to raid a couple drives for vmware storage so I need to add a raid controller anyway.

I've already updated the LSI firmware as well

grinder May 15, 2013 09:55 AM

the 6805 will wipe the floor with the LSI9211, no question.

lowfat May 15, 2013 10:51 AM

Why can't you put the panel w/ on the M1015 installed? If it is because of the side facing connectors do you think more flexible cables would help? If not then look at grabbing a Dell H310 from eBay. I've seen them from $125 shipped. It is a 9240-8i rebadge w/ rear facing connectors.

If you are going to use ZFS I don't see a reason to buy an expensive controller as it won't help much if at all.

grinder May 15, 2013 11:09 AM

i dunno the scope of what this server will be hosting... but I would never use a cache-less raid controller card in any of my production servers. But that's just me. I think the Adaptec is the only card in thread with cache memory (128MB).

lowfat May 15, 2013 11:18 AM


Originally Posted by grinder (Post 708964)
i dunno the scope of what this server will be hosting... but I would never use a cache-less raid controller card in any of my production servers. But that's just me. I think the Adaptec is the only card in thread with cache memory (128MB).

If he is using ZFS it will cache to system memory. He can also easily add an SSD to cache as well if he doesn't have a lot of ram.

stlouis1 May 15, 2013 08:19 PM

Lowfat, is right, ZFS caching makes cache on the card pretty redundant since i'm not relying on the controllers own raid function. and with SSD log/cache drives plus ARC, no amount of memory on a controller is going to make a difference

Also, Thanks lowfat for the suggestion on the Dell card, it will do the trick and save me a few bucks. I'll likely end up flashing it with teh 9211 firmware, but it's a good bit cheaper than what I was looking at

The reason I can't fit the ibm m1015 is most definitely because the side facing connectors, i'm using a chenbro rm21706 chassy with low profile cards and not a riser so the cables come straight up they go too high to put the cover on. there really isn't much room for more flexible cables either. but if i get a card like the dell h310 with the way the ports are aligned, cables will still run through the case nicely, and I can use slightly shorter cables too

grinder May 15, 2013 11:50 PM

o? neet. I learned something new! :thumb: Never used ZFS

stlouis1 May 16, 2013 01:38 AM

ZFS is fantastic, there is a reason I run my fileserver on Solaris, the only notable thing sacrificed in a windows environment is file indexing on smb shares. Windows servers can allow clients to use a file index on the server for searching network shares. Obviously, Solaris can't, however you could probably work around this by configuring it as an iSCSI device and then managing the folders from a Windows server. I can't say I've tested this theory

In hindsight, if I were to build another fileserver, I would probably go with FreeNAS for the sake of simplifying the setup process. ZFS is well worth researching though, worthwhile for data storage, among other things. There are many advantages that led me to go that route

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