[CentOS] Recommendations for a “real RAID" 1 card on Centos box

Mon Mar 10 00:26:48 UTC 2008
Karanbir Singh <mail-lists at karan.org>

Most of the things in this email, from me are a personal opinoin, but I
do spend a fair bit of time with these sort of things, these days.

Therese Trudeau wrote:
>> 3Ware 8000-series cards are probably the most compatible going back
>> at least 3 years. 9000-series cards are faster/better and CentOS 5.1
>> should have full support for them.

I would'nt bother with a 3ware 8000 or a 3ware 9000 card these days, if
you really do want to get 3ware, get atleast a 9650. And anything less
than a 9550 should be considered only if you get a really good deal off
ebay. And remember that battery backup unit.

>> For me, in SATA RAID cards it's 3ware or nothing. Been using them for
>> more than 8 years now.

I used to think the same for a long time, till I started using Areca
raid cards. Now, I rate 3ware well behind Areca on performance,
reliability and ease of use. If you are doing raid-5 or raid-6 the
performance difference is quite noticeable ( I've just recently switched
my desktop from a 3ware 9650 to Areca 1220, and got a near 8%
improvement in write performance, and 12% on read - raid5 5 spindles ).

> So these cards are just plug n play?  Just plug them in, no software or drivers required, 
> all mirroring is managed by firmware built into the card RAID card itself?

Drivers for both 3ware and Areca are included in the CentOS-5.1 kernels.

Btw, you might want to keep an eye on some of the not-that-expensive
highpoint rocketraid, hey have some fairly decent stuff coming out these
days. The issues with them however, the drivers have only recently gone
into the mainline upstream kernel - and their userland tools are not
quite there yet. But if you need something for 2 to 5 drivers, they are
an option worth considering ( they do have drivers for centos-4 and
centos-5 on their website ).

Karanbir Singh : http://www.karan.org/ : 2522219 at icq