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Old January 25, 2014, 04:13 PM
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So I am looking into making a small home server/media server. This will have a pretty low load of maybe 2-3 users at a time, no more. For the most part I will be using it as a media server and also as a network backup location.

I plan to run this in a RAID 5, but I really don't know what raid card to get and I hoping someone here is more knowledgeable about raid cards on the market than I am.

I am looking for a card that has decent performance in raid 5 in the $200-300 range.

Anything you guys recommend?
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Old January 25, 2014, 04:34 PM
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The Dell PERC cards... there are some for sale here on this site from a trusted user.
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Old January 25, 2014, 04:39 PM
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I'd honestly suggest skipping on a hardware RAID card and use FreeNAS w/ a RAIDZ array. It is a superior solution if you aren't going for outright speed. A gigabit network will still be the bottleneck.
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Old January 25, 2014, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfat View Post
I'd honestly suggest skipping on a hardware RAID card and use FreeNAS w/ a RAIDZ array. It is a superior solution if you aren't going for outright speed. A gigabit network will still be the bottleneck.
I should have mentioned, I plan on using Windows Server 2012 Datacenter on this box (got 2 copies for free for being a comp sci major). I also plan on setting up a domain in the house and this box will also be the domain controller. It will also most likely be running a small teamspeak server too, so FreeNAS doesn't quite have all the capabilities I want.
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Old January 25, 2014, 07:03 PM
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Iv used and loved the lsi raid controllers that have 1 gb of ddr3 ram. Iv setup raid 5 with them for servers and domain controllers and Ias servers.
Nice cards but lil pricey depending how much ram you need onboard.

Last edited by Shadowarez; January 25, 2014 at 07:21 PM.
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Old January 25, 2014, 07:10 PM
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Since your running Server 2012, you could just use the "storage pools" functionality. It won't offer the greatest performance, but for what your needs are, I don't think that's a huge issue.

Otherwise, just use the onboard RAID assuming you buy a half-decent motherboard.
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Old January 27, 2014, 06:43 PM
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Since everyone seems to be recommending on board, do you guys think something like THIS would be able to handle raid 5 with decent speeds?

I didn't realize on board raid controllers had come this far. I mean 1 and 0 have always been simple but the last time I saw an onboard raid 5 you were lucky to get 20-30MB/s out of it. For those that have done an onboard raid 5 recently, what kind of speeds are you seeing?
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Old January 27, 2014, 07:39 PM
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I suggest not using Server 2012's parity Storage pools unless you're clearly only reading from that pool. This link (Why Windows Server 2012 Parity Storage Spaces Might Perform Slowly - Premier Field Engineering - Site Home - TechNet Blogs) documents performance issues when using a parity storage space and having personally tested this using four 7200 RPM drives and getting about 20-25 MB/s, I can only say to NOT use that (Servers home lab).

For low end/light usage, onboard RAID can be fine. Else, a dedicated RAID card is the best bet. As mentioned before, Dell's PERC cards are a good option or you can look for an IBM Serveraid M5015 (used ones can be found for 250-300$ range) which is basically an LSI 9260-8i.
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Old January 28, 2014, 05:49 AM
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I thought Storage Pools were just slow because I was running it on an Atom... guess not

And Intel RAID5 should be good for 50-75MB/s write, at least that's been my experience. Though if you enable write caching, and risk data loss, you should be able to do over 100MB/s which would exceed a single Gigabit link.
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Old January 28, 2014, 07:11 AM
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Nah, My file server's running an Opteron 6128, 16 GB RAM and H310 RAID cards and I get 20-25 MB/s when using a parity storage space. For OP, enable write cache and use a decent sized UPS connected to your file server and have it shut down automatically if power goes out. That way, you don't loose data but get the performance boost.
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