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reliable inexpensive 24 port raid card with kernel driver support?

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  #16  
Old 05-04-2012, 07:45 PM
CurtWRoyer CurtWRoyer is offline
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Yeah, I agree they aren't made for it. We try not to use the onboard SAS for a reason And we use that card because most of our customers end up wanting the BBU for write cache and wish they had purchased a card that works with a BBU

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  #17  
Old 05-04-2012, 07:47 PM
pjkenned pjkenned is offline
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Onboard SAS (LSI) is basically just dedicated PCIe 2.0/ 3.0 lanes to a standard controller. More or less, same as the card version just the motherboard manufacturer places the components on the motherboard and does not need to have a PCIe connector for it.

One big thing to look out for is that RAID 5/6 performance with no onboard cache (backed by capacitor + NAND or battery) really suffers because you are basically writing directly to the drives rather than having a buffer.

Been working on compiling a resource for LSI controllers:
LSI SAS 2008 Controllers
LSI SAS 2108 Controllers
LSI SAS 2208 Controllers

Will have the newer LSI SAS 2308 controller listing up next week (finishing up a 2U roundup then a few ASUS reviews this weekend.) Oftentimes purchasing non-LSI branded cards is less expensive which is the driver behind putting all of the like devices on one page.

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  #18  
Old 05-04-2012, 08:02 PM
funkywizard funkywizard is offline
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I'm really just looking at software raid in general as I consider it more reliable, and definitely more flexible. We'll be storing large files so a large stripe size (2MB or more) is a must for good performance, which I've never seen a h/w raid card support that. The LSI onboard has been reliable at not dropping the drives / disappearing the drives, unlike the highpoint 2320, where it's pretty common to have one or two drives randomly disappear requiring a reboot to fix, or, in the case of a kernel upgrade, all the drives disappear pending a driver reinstall / reboot.

So really just looking for a bunch of reliable ports, moreso than a "raid card" per-se. Thanks for all the feedback so far, very very helpful.

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  #19  
Old 05-04-2012, 08:08 PM
WebNX WebNX is offline
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In that case keep your current onboard 8 port and add one of the LSI 16 port JBOD cards, I think they are in the 3-400 range and work very well (drivers for everything out of box). We have a number of clients using them for ZFS setups.

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  #20  
Old 05-05-2012, 01:23 PM
cwl@apaqdigital cwl@apaqdigital is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkywizard View Post
Thanks for your feedback!

If we've already got a case (without sas expander) and a motherboard (with sas onboard), is there a good option for getting a SAS expander?

I really like the idea of the simplified cable management, and the ability to use our existing LSI on-motherboard SAS (which has been reliable for us so far), as well as the 24 bay supermicro chassis (which has also been reliable for us), so overall think this sounds like a great solution, especially considering the SAS backplane model is only about $200 more than a similar case without that feature. In fact, this could turn out to be $100 cheaper *and* better than how we had done things before with the 14 port supermicro board + 8 port raid card, as the raid card costs about $300 and the sas expander version of the chassis is only about $200 extra if memory serves on the cost of the non-expander version of the chassis.
well, you can always to replace the backplane w/o SAS expander in SC846A/SC846TQ with the backplane w/SAS expander (BPN-SAS2-846EL1 6G/s), but backplane alone will cost you over $500. with the new backplane, then you can just connect it to the on-board LSI 2008 controller you already have via one single SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 cable.

since 2x 8-port LSI 2008 non-RAID host adapters or single 16-port host adapter would still cost you $350-$400, it might be worth to look into upgrading the backplane in your SC846 chassis to BPN-SAS2-846EL1. true, it may cost you $100-$150 more, but you only need to deal with one single cable than 24 single-port SATA connectors. if you could manage to resell the old backplane on eBay or Amazon, chance is very good that you end up spending much less money than buying more host adapter(s).

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  #21  
Old 05-05-2012, 03:02 PM
funkywizard funkywizard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwl@apaqdigital View Post
well, you can always to replace the backplane w/o SAS expander in SC846A/SC846TQ with the backplane w/SAS expander (BPN-SAS2-846EL1 6G/s), but backplane alone will cost you over $500. with the new backplane, then you can just connect it to the on-board LSI 2008 controller you already have via one single SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 cable.

since 2x 8-port LSI 2008 non-RAID host adapters or single 16-port host adapter would still cost you $350-$400, it might be worth to look into upgrading the backplane in your SC846 chassis to BPN-SAS2-846EL1. true, it may cost you $100-$150 more, but you only need to deal with one single cable than 24 single-port SATA connectors. if you could manage to resell the old backplane on eBay or Amazon, chance is very good that you end up spending much less money than buying more host adapter(s).
Thanks for the suggestion. It certainly seems like the cleanest solution, while still being cheaper than buying a 24 port raid card.

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  #22  
Old 05-05-2012, 04:30 PM
Steven Steven is offline
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Originally Posted by funkywizard View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. It certainly seems like the cleanest solution, while still being cheaper than buying a 24 port raid card.
funkywizard,

A customer actually uses this exact setup in a dozen or so servers. It works out great.

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  #23  
Old 05-05-2012, 04:32 PM
funkywizard funkywizard is offline
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Originally Posted by Steven View Post
funkywizard,

A customer actually uses this exact setup in a dozen or so servers. It works out great.
Thanks for letting me know the real world results there, that's always the biggest thing lacking from just looking at a spec sheet.

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  #24  
Old 05-05-2012, 04:35 PM
Steven Steven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkywizard View Post
Thanks for letting me know the real world results there, that's always the biggest thing lacking from just looking at a spec sheet.
He uses it for his file servers, in mdadm raid. We push a gigabit out of each box pretty much 24/7.

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  #25  
Old 05-05-2012, 04:35 PM
mitgib mitgib is offline
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ard-_-16401184

This HP SAS Expander supports the LSI 2008 chip and also supports bonding so you can get 12G to the motherboard and keep your current case. The card is very plentiful on ebay, just avoid the yellow printed PCB's. I know there used to be a HP VAR the hung around on HardForum that resold the expander updated with the latest firmware so an HP server/raid card was not needed.

Personally I've used Chenbro in the past with excellent results spanning multi chassis, and I know their new 6G Expanders also support the LSI 2008

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Last edited by mitgib; 05-05-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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