Hardware RAID support? Which controller best to use?

ray at redshift.com ray at redshift.com
Fri Nov 18 14:07:23 GMT 2005

At 02:39 PM 11/18/2005 +0100, Olaf Greve wrote:
| Hi all,
| In addition to the questions posed in the message I sent earlier today, 
| I would like to know which SATA hardware controllers incl. RAID 10 
| support are working well with FreeBSD 5.4 or 6 amd64...
| Note: the motherboard of the machine that will be used will most likely 
| not have 64-bit PCI slots, but rather only normal 32-bit PCI and 
| PCI-express slots.
| Can anyone recommend me some good solutions?
| Also: the motherboard featured a built in Silicon RAID controller. I've 
| previously tried to get FreeBSD to recognise such a controller, but it 
| didn't recognise the RAID array properly and simply identified the 
| drives individually instead of as 1 RAID-1 array.
| On: 
| it looks like this might work better under v6 but I'm not certain...
| Does anyone have any suggestions? I know what to do SCSI wise (which is 
| what I have myself), but these guys really want to use SATA....
| Cheers!
| Olafo

Hi Olafo,

  3Ware is very well supported under FreeBSD.  I've used several of their RAID
cards with very good luck.  The one I like the best so far is the 9500S-12 (or
the 9500S-8 is good also).  It works really well with 4 or 8 WD 36 or 74GB
Raptor drives and the performance is outstanding.  FreeBSD supports this RAID
card in the kernel, so you don't have to do anything crazy.  Basically, you just
install the card, boot into the RAID bios using Alt+3 and then you follow a
simple menu to build whatever type of raid you want.  Once that's done, FreeBSD
installs on the RAID volume like it was a normal old single SATA drive.  Of
course, for maintenance, FreeBSD can still access the individual drives in the
raid - but for the most part the day to day OS sees the RAID volume just like a
single drive.

  I've had far better luck using SATA over SCSI in the recent couple of years.
We have several machines setup using FreeBSD and 3Ware RAID 0+1 that routinely
run with no problems and uptimes of 200 to 300 days at a time.

  Hope that helps.  Feel free to e-mail me directly with any questions if you wish.



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