Jump to content



Photo

Building server, need advice on Raid Controllers


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 OmegaHack

OmegaHack

    OmegaHack

  • Joined: 09-December 01

Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:04

I am going to be building a new server and have been doing some research on raid controllers. I have found this one: http://www.amazon.co...d=ATVPDKIKX0DER

However I went to their website and saw their compatibility list and it shows very select motherboard/processor combinations that it is actually compatible with, does that mean to say that those are the ONLY ones that they would work on? I am trying to keep costs down and this controller is seeming like a pretty good deal if it will work with other systems.

I am planning on doing a Raid 5 / 6 depending with five 3tb drives. This will also be serving up applications.

Does anyone have some nice builds with inexpensive raid controllers that they would be willing to share for ideas?


#2 Kalint

Kalint

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 16-January 07

Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:10

I take it this for personal use?

What OS? There are several software raids that are easy to setup and use. ZFS, Windows Home Server, and Windows Dynamic are such examples.

#3 OP OmegaHack

OmegaHack

    OmegaHack

  • Joined: 09-December 01

Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:14

This is for personal use, I was trying to avoid a software raid as from what I have read it is more difficult to resize, migrate, etc.

I haven't really decided on a OS yet, however I am leaning towards Linux.

#4 +Karl L.

Karl L.

    xorangekiller

  • Tech Issues Solved: 15
  • Joined: 24-January 09
  • Location: Virginia, USA
  • OS: Debian Testing

Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:20

It depends on what you are planning on using the server for as to whether you actually need a hardware raid controller. If this is a personal server, I would suggest using the raid mdadm raid functionality built into the Linux kernel. I have heard that it many cases it is actually more reliable than cheap raid controllers. In fact, I have used it for a couple years on Debian Squeeze with no problems at all. I have also had no issues since upgrading the machine in question to Debian Wheezy once it went into release freeze. There is a good tutorial here for setting up raid 1.

Edit: Upgrading from a pair of 320 GB disks to a pair of 750 GB disks was no problem at all. I have found mdadm very well documented and fairly easy to use. However, if you are interested in going the BSD route, ZFS is also very well documented in the FreeBSD manual and can do even more cool things than just mdadm+EXT4 since it combines the file system and volume manager.

Edit 2: As a heavy Debian user, I feel compelled to mention that Debian has a FreeBSD port. According to the official project page, "Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is a port that consists of GNU userland using the GNU C library on top of FreeBSD's kernel, coupled with the regular Debian package set." If you go with Debian, whether it be kFreeBSD-AMD64 or simply the Linux-based AMD64 release, I recommend that you download the latest Wheezy beta installer since Squeeze will be replaced soon and Wheezy is already quite stable.

#5 Mindovermaster

Mindovermaster

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 13
  • Joined: 25-January 07
  • Location: /USA/Wisconsin/
  • OS: Debian Jessie
  • Phone: Samsung Galaxy SIII

Posted 24 October 2012 - 03:12

I used to run 2x 320GB and 2 x 640GB on a cheap AMD board. Had FreeNAS on it. Used a $20 Syba controller. I only ever used RAID 1, though.

#6 OP OmegaHack

OmegaHack

    OmegaHack

  • Joined: 09-December 01

Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:09

So if you're using mdadm or a zpool how can you rebuild the raid if your primary hdd or motherboard fails?

#7 +Karl L.

Karl L.

    xorangekiller

  • Tech Issues Solved: 15
  • Joined: 24-January 09
  • Location: Virginia, USA
  • OS: Debian Testing

Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:38

You can rebuild using either one. Check this page from the RHEL 4 manual for rebuilding a mdadm raid with a new disk. Check this page for a practical guide to managing your ZFS pool, including adding a new disk after one has failed.

Edit: I just re-read your question. I would boot from a Debian Rescue or GParted Live disc to rebuild a mdadm raid if your primary disk fails. I would use a PC-BSD live disc to rebuild a ZFS pool in the same scenario. (There may be a better/smaller FreeBSD based live disc available, but I am less experienced with FreeBSD and could not find another one readily available.)