SATA Port Multipliers in FreeBSD (6.3)

Graeme Dargie arab at
Thu Mar 5 15:45:56 PST 2009

-----Original Message-----
From: Elliot Finley [mailto:efinleywork at] 
Sent: 05 March 2009 17:57
To: Christopher Key
Cc: questions at
Subject: Re: SATA Port Multipliers in FreeBSD (6.3)

Christopher Key wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm looking to substantially expand the storage on my FreeBSD 6.3 home

> media server.  With regards hardware, the simplest way to attach large

> numbers of drives seem to be to use SATA port multipliers, but I've
> unable to find any consensus on their level of support in FreeBSD.
> currently looking at a RocketRAID 2314 and SiI3726 based port 
> multipliers.  Has any had any experience with this combination?

Why not just upgrade to 7-Stable and then use these:

they cost less than port multipliers.  They don't do RAID, but then if 
you're on 7-Stable, you can use ZFS zraid.

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I had utter hell with a belkin pci sata card which used a silicon image
chipset. The main problem would show up when writing a large amount of
data to the drives which were in a zfs array. I even tried this card on
3 different motherboards with various combinations of sata hard disks
and the result was the same when writing a large amount of data, a drive
would randomly disconnect from the system. I understand from reading
sata controllers based on a promise chipset are much better under
freebsd 7.

In then end I trumped for a new motherboard with 6 sata ports on it and
it is running 6 x 500gb drives in a ZFS array just perfectly.



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