Hardware RAID support? Which controller best to use?

Olaf Greve o.greve at axis.nl
Fri Nov 18 14:42:35 GMT 2005

Hi Ray, Nathan (and others via cc per list),

First off: thanks a lot for your answers, they're definitly very helpful!

I have forwarded the messages to the person who'll have to make the 
final call for ordering the hardware.

I'm trying to get him towards ordering a 3Ware-Escalade 9500S-4 RAID 
controller (or possibly the -8 or -12 one).

One thing which is of importance is that their budget may not allow for 
a really high end server, so they may have to decide to buy a semi 
high-end server. This then may result in them taking Athlons instead of 
Opterons, and it may result in a MoBo with 32-bits PCI slots instead of 
64-bits PCI slots. Judging from the pictures of the 9500S it has a 
64-bits PCI slot, but it looks like it might be compatible with the 
32-bits slots as well (at a performance penalty, of course).
Would you happen to know if that's indeed possible, or whether they'd 
better choose a different RAID controller?

Regarding the MySQL versions and their settings: tnx for giving me 
enough comfort to indeed give heavy preference for the FreeBSD amd64 
version. Will (source) installing the version from the ports do, or do 
you mean something else when you say that you compiled MySQL yourself?

Regarding the benchmark results: I'd love to receive them. Can you 
perhaps send them off-list to me?

Regarding W*nd*ws vs. FreeBSD: I love your remark; I wonder if the 
person I forwarded it to can laugh as loudly about it as I did. :D

Finally regarding SCSI vs. SATA:

>   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.

Very interesting to know. At present, I myself have a 754 socket AMD 
Athlon 64 3.2 GHz (IIRC), running FreeBSD 5.4 release AMD-64, with an 
Adaptec 2200S U320 SCSI RAID controller with 4 Maxtor Atlas 10KIV 36GB 
drives attached to it in RAID-10 mode. So far it works a charm (though I 
too had to effectively downgrade it to U160 due to the lack of 64-bits 
PCI slots, grrr). I hope it'll keep performing well (so far uptimes in 
the order magnitude you mention have been working fine for me as well on 
SCSI - Adaptec 2100S RAID set-ups in my (now) fall-back server, and ever 
after installing the AMD-64 one 34 days ago I haven't had to restart it 
so far)...

Yet, it'll be interesting to keep an eye on the SATA RAID performance 
and costs. With such uptimes SATA will surely become (if it hasn't 
already become so, that is) a very good alternative for SCSI.


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