troubleshooting Question

Can I add an external SATA bootable RAID to a Dell 9150?

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chrisroman asked on
Storage
4 Comments2 Solutions434 ViewsLast Modified:
I have a Dell 9150 with the following slots available

 1 PCIe x 1 slot
 1 PCIe x 4 slot
 1 PCIe x 16 (graphics) slot

A 7800GTX video card is taking up the 16x PCIe slot and the last available power supply connection.

I want to setup a RAID5 array with the new Western Digital - 10K Raptor - Serial ATA - 150GB Hard Disk Drive (WD1500ADFD). My Dell 9150 cannot support this internally so the solution must be an external enclosure. Also, I only have a single 4x PCIe slot availble for the controller card, and most of the cards I have been looking at seem to require at least an 8x PCIe slot.

1. External array must be bootable. I want to completely bypass the internal hard drive and only use the external array.
2. The RAID controller card must be compatible with a 4x PCIe slot.
3. RAID enclosure and RAID card must support hot swap.

Q: What RAID controller cards would meet my need?
Q: What external RAID enclosure would meet my need?
Q: In a RAID5 setup, what is the advantage of using a 5-drive or 4-drive external enclosure vs 3-drives?
Q: If I setup the array with 3 drives now, can I "expand" it later to 4 or 5 drives without losing any data?
Q: How much performance do I lose by forcing this solution to use a PCIe 4x slot? I was very impressed with the performance and features of the Areca ARC-1220 SARA Raid controller, but it simply won't work with the 4x PCIe slot that I have available.

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