Best SAS controller

Robert Boyer rwboyer at
Fri Dec 24 03:46:46 UTC 2010

I have been running FreeBSD for about a year and tracking the ZFS implementation for almost as long. I am reasonably happy with the current stable 8.1 ZFS configs that I have been running with a few TB of storage all managed with an integrated SATA controller  on my test machine. I am about to invest a little bit of money in a production machine targeted for a bunch of cheapo storage attachment and plan to implement on FreeBSD / ZFS. I have searched around on this topic and most info seems to be a bit out of date or contradictory, so here is the question at the risk of being redundant.

I need a SAS controller that has preferably 8 ports (two four channel) connections per card. I don't mind decent buying a RAID card but really really desire it to be configurable in HBA mode vs. RAID or JBOD with RAID signatures. There are plenty of HBA only cards that would be suitable but I can find none that seem to fit the bill in terms of FreeBSD. I have seen a couple of cheap RAID cards recommended but cannot seem to get a definitive answer of whether they are actually configurable as plain old disks (HBA mode) vs JBOD w/ RAID signature.

Anybody using a reasonably priced card that fits the bill?


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