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

Jaime Bozza jbozza at qlinksmedia.com
Thu Feb 8 21:50:30 UTC 2007

> They kick ass is what they are like. :)
> I had a 3U box with a 12 port controller sitting next to my desk for a
> few weeks and my only goal was to confuse/break the 3Ware controller.

> No amount of power plug pulling, pulling multiple drives, quickly
> re-arranging drives could confuse the controller.  Made the SCSI stuff
> we use look like absolute neurotic junk.

Forgot that note - Areca handles drive "location" changes the same way.
I assume this is handled by metadata on the drive.

> -They added a moving part (2-wire fan, no tach) to a
> part.  That seems real stupid.  After the bearings die in 2-3 years,
> what happens to your card?  Does it melt or just start acting weird?
> If the engineers didn't consider that, what other failure modes did 
> their limited creativity miss? :)

Strange.  Our 1160 has a fan, but also had just a heatsink (no fan) that
was in the box.  My 1261ML was heatsink only.  I believe someone asked
for the feature.  Both controllers monitor the fan and would notify you
if the fan "died".  You can turn the option on or off (off by default)
if you need to.

> -Availability.  None of our normal dealers could get them.

Availability seems to be a bit better now, but I can't answer for your

> -Not many people seemed to be using them, so less feedback available
> and the whole package (hardware/firmware/driver) has less exposure
> 3Ware.

While the 9xxx series seem to be great (use a different driver), the
"twe" cards caused me so much grief that I was afraid to try them out.
We had a bunch of corruption issues (in RAID 5) with our 75xx
controllers that I was never able to fix.  RAID 0 or 1 seems to work
just fine for them.

> -3Ware answered pre-sales questions, Areca didn't.

Perhaps they've changed?   I spent a good hour on the phone with a tech
before we purchased our first controller.  This was last year sometime.

> Performance and feature-wise the Areca and 3Ware seemed pretty close,
> so we went with 3Ware.

Everyone has their reasons - I liked the RAID 6 feature, plus the OOB
management of Areca, plus my history with 3ware wasn't good. :(

Jaime Bozza
Qlinks Media Group

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