Hardware RAID controller questions - 3Ware vs RocketRaid

Matthew Law matt at webcontracts.co.uk
Thu Mar 18 09:30:24 UTC 2010

On Thu, March 18, 2010 8:37 am, Andy Wodfer wrote:
> Hi,
> We're setting up two backup servers where each server will have about 4TB
> of
> harddrives (for now) connected (4x1TB and 8x500GB drives). Last night we
> ran
> into trouble with the 3ware controllers we have (9650SE-8LPML) because we
> couldn't create a larger RAID5 than 1.99TB.
> We are going to use FreeBSD 8.0 and Bacula, but first we obviously need to
> create a working RAID.
> My questions are:
> - Are HighPoint RocketRaid controllers a good alternative to 3ware
> controllers? Are RocketRaid controllers true hardware RAID?
> - What should we look for in a RAID controller spec to see that it has
> support for larger than 2TB RAIDs?
> I've been looking at these:
> http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA_new/series_rr2300.htm
> http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA_new/series_rr3500.htm
> Any FreeBSD recommendations? Or perhaps for another 3ware controller?
> We're using SATAII drives.
> Thanks for your help!

Is ZFS not an option? - you could save yourself a lot of money and hassle
with hardware RAID by moving to ZFS.  Either using onboard SATA ports on
the motherboard (and accept that you might have to shutdown the box to
swap failed disks out) or get a simple 8-port HBA in JBOD mode, e.g:


You'll need plenty of RAM too, but IMHO it is worth the trade.



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