Hardware RAID controller questions - 3Ware vs RocketRaid

Andre Albsmeier Andre.Albsmeier at siemens.com
Mon Mar 29 16:46:11 UTC 2010

On Thu, 18-Mar-2010 at 09:37:32 +0100, 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.

I can only speak for a 9690SA-8I, but this thing is amazing.
It handles FSs over 2TB pretty well:

twa0: <3ware 9000 series Storage Controller> port 0xc800-0xc8ff mem 0xfa000000-0xfbffffff,0xfeaff000-0xfeafffff irq 16 at device 0.0 on pci4
twa0: [ITHREAD]
twa0: INFO: (0x15: 0x1300): Controller details:: Model 9690SA-8I, 128 ports, Firmware FH9X, BIOS BE9X

And with 8 1TB in a RAID5 drives it gives me:
da0 at twa0 bus 0 target 0 lun 0
box:~>diskinfo /dev/da0
/dev/da0        512     6999924277248   13671727104     851025  255     63


> 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!
> Best regards,
> Andreas
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