What is a good choice of sata-ii raid controller for freebsd?

Jeremy Chadwick koitsu at FreeBSD.org
Thu Feb 8 19:54:12 UTC 2007

On Thu, Feb 08, 2007 at 02:04:09PM -0500, Mike Tancsa wrote:
> There is the pass0 interface, but not sure what you can 
> set.  Smartmon doesnt seem to work, or at least I havent used it. 
> Here is what you get via the cli tool for disk info
> # ./cli32 "disk smart drv=1"
> {snip}

Excellent -- this is the exact kind of information which is needed.
It appears the utility can indeed obtain all SMART statistics from
the drive, rather than just an overview: awesome.

> Yes.  Its not as nice as the 3ware (I have done LOTS of those and my 
> heart remains at normal levels when I change out dead drives...) I am 
> still a little nervous with the Areca, but it has worked so far on 
> the couple that I have done.

Based on past readings about 3Ware controllers, I have a tendancy
to avoid them.  Here's some history I base my opinions on (and a
small bit based on feedback I've gotten from people at Rackable):

  (see rwatson's comment in this one)

Now, those reported issues could be a number of things, but firmware
issues seem to stand out like a sore thumb.  Also, a lot of my
information is in regards to the 7xxx series, which is "quite old".
I'm assuming everyone now is using the 9xxx series, and I have no
idea what those are like.

> Not Areca branded, but the generic ones I have picked up seem to work 
> just fine.

I've never used Areca, so they're new to me.  Good to know -- thanks!

> I use it under RELENG_6.  The cli is a 42 binary, but it works just 
> fine on RELENG_6. You dont need any klds loaded to use it, nor the 
> monitoring daemon.

There's no need for compat4x because the binary is statically linked.
Not to be sore about it, but I'm questioning a vendor who only builds
tools on 4.x machines (surely they *test* their controllers on 5/6.x
and -CURRENT, so why is the management utility for 4.x?)

If the utility works perfectly, great.  But surely you can see where I'm
coming from...

> But Areca and 3ware provided developer time to make the drivers for 
> FreeBSD. Should this not be encouraged / applauded as well 
> ?  Especially 3ware, support has been awesome over the years and 
> Areca I think has a lot of the specs open and published... Enough so 
> that the People's Popular Front of BSD (aka OpenBSD) wrote their own 
> native driver for the Areca.

I'm used to the big boys: Intel, EMC, Adaptec, Sun, Network Appliance
(if they fall into this category) and Promise, so you'll have to
excuse my ignorance.  From the look of feedback provided here, Areca
looks to be an excellent contender.  I have zero interest in Intel
and Adaptec (especially the latter), and EMC, Sun, and Netapp are all
too expensive for consumer use.

And yes, AMCC deserves a shout-out for being FreeBSD-friendly.  Even
though I don't have one of their controllers, it doesn't matter -- I
am always appreciative of vendors who believe in testing their
hardware on more than just one single open-source OS (Linux ;) ).


| Jeremy Chadwick                                 jdc at parodius.com |
| Parodius Networking                        http://www.parodius.com/ |
| UNIX Systems Administrator                   Mountain View, CA, USA |
| Making life hard for others since 1977.               PGP: 4BD6C0CB |

More information about the freebsd-stable mailing list