Best hardware to mirror IDE drives under FreeBSD?

Brett Glass brett at
Sun Jun 26 21:29:12 GMT 2005

At 02:53 PM 6/26/2005, Björn König wrote:

>You don't need an additional controller necessarily, because you can set up a RAID 1 with two single ATA hard disks. You'll find a small how-to at [1]. Even most cheap ATA chipsets have hot-swap capabilities.
>I have good experiences with SATA PCI controllers from Highpoint.

Interesting. We are not using FreeBSD 5.<anything> in production, because
it seems as if 5-STABLE is only now reaching the level of stability we
have come to expect from FreeBSD. (It looks as if we might be able to stop
using 4-STABLE when 6.0-RELEASE or 6.1-RELEASE comes out, so long as the
TCP/IP stack is re-optimized and disk performance improves by then.) So,
we don't have the ability to use anything that's based on the GEOM subsystem.

Nonetheless, the Web page is intriguing. Will the GEOM RAID subsystem really 
allow the machine to run and/or boot from either drive? It looks as if the 
machine is instructed to do different stages of the boot from different 
drives, so I'm concerned that if either drive fails a reboot might fail.

The ata(4) man page mentions support for RAID 1 on Promise and Highpoint 
(Adaptec?) RAID controllers. These tend to be less expensive than brands 
like 3Ware (which I'd use for RAID5 but seems like overkill for RAID 1).
Have folks had good experience with these? Will they work on 4-STABLE?


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