SATA II controller for RHEL4

We are looking for a well supported SATA II (3 Gbps) controller, the
one that is supported under stock kernel distributed under RHEL4.
Building/Installing driver modules is not an option. We do not need
RAID support, just 4-8 SATA channels.

Any recommendations?

Vinod
vinodAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
xDamoxCommented:
Hi,

I did a little bit of research and I got recommended: 3ware 8xxx
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ravenplCommented:
intel's ich7 supports sata2 AFAIK.
Does 3ware supports sata2 disks (speed?). Surely behaves like the disk had NCQ (whether it has or not).
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xDamoxCommented:
There website http://3ware.com/ states:

"AMCC’s new 3ware 9550SX SATA II RAID controller will thrill you with over 800MB/sec RAID 5 reads and 380MB/sec RAID 5 writes, making it 200% faster than the industry-leading 3ware 9500S controller."
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ravenplCommented:
Yes, but You were reffering 8xxx previously - that's why I asked...
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cjl7freelance for hireCommented:
Hi,

./scsi/sata_via.ko
./scsi/sata_vsc.ko
./scsi/sata_sil.ko
./scsi/sata_promise.ko
./scsi/sata_sis.ko
./scsi/sata_sx4.ko
./scsi/sata_svw.ko
./scsi/sata_nv.ko

That't your options... ;-)

or http://www.clintoneast.com/articles/linux-sata-raid.php

Which is a little more readable...

Cheers

Jonas
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ravenplCommented:
cjl7: have You confirmed those support sataII (with 3gbps)?? I don't suppose every controller those drivers can handle do.
And You forgot about two mentioned above:
3w-9xxx.ko
3w-xxxx.ko
ahci.ko
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cjl7freelance for hireCommented:
No,

But the link I provided has more information and stats.. ;-)
The 3w... cards are included in the link as well...

//j
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vinodAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your suggestions. All the 3gbps controllers are monster RAID controllers costing $500 for 8 chan SATA II. We are looking for simple controllers, why pay for RAID functionality?

Vinod
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ravenplCommented:
ich7 is usually onboard controller...
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cjl7freelance for hireCommented:
HW Raid has at least one pro over sw dito...

It has a battery backup and can finish a write even when power goes...

Speed has been an argument although I don't think it is an issue anymore... (beeing that we have fast cpu's in our boxes...)


I'd go for a SW Raid and a cheap controller...


//jonas
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vinodAuthor Commented:
I agree with Jonas, why not spend a few extra dollars for a powerful CPU than highly overpriced RAID controllers? Software RAID0 has very little overheads, it gives tremendous speed boost. Agree, it reduces reliability but SATA drives are dirt cheap these days. I would have a 100% redundant soft RAID10 or, in my case when I have large data that is read-mostly, I can have two independent soft RAID0 nightly sync'd. Given the volume of my data, I would need two strorage servers. Both could have 2xRAID0, cross-backedup...and now I could also do load balancing too!! A 4 chan Sil 3114 chip based SATA I controllers are available for $25, work out of the box on RHEL4 system. Looking at price difference of SATA I and II drives, I don't think a similar SATA II controller should cost more than $35.

Comments/criticism?

Vinod
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ravenplCommented:
1. use raid10. You will get doubled read dispercing. linux's software raid1 balances reads across disks.
2.  A 4 chan Sil 3114: don't connect more that 2 disks per cheap controller. Test proves that no matter if You connect 2 or 3 or 4 disks to such controller, You will not get higher read speed than 100MB/s.
3. sataII is better under heavy IO load. Since it uses NCQ reads/writes may be sorted, so it's execution is faster (less head movements).
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vinodAuthor Commented:
Excellent suggestions. I agree more than 2 drives on Sil 3114 don't really translate into better thruput. Back to my question - where are the SATA II controllers without an overload of RAID functionality?

Vinod
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ravenplCommented:
I would gowith ich7 on ahci driver.
Please visit http://linux-ata.org/sata-status.html#hw_support and choose one with NCQ support.
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vinodAuthor Commented:
ich7 is a part of chipset that supports i/o hub on the motherboards. I am looking for a product, a SATA II controller that could be inserted in a PCI slot, just like 3ware 95xx but without an overload of RAID.
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ravenplCommented:
what's wrong with build in? Oh, You probably want AMD CPU...
Please go to another page, which seems to up2date. Choose any sata-II. I would go with ich7, cause I'm sure NCQ works. Not sure for others.
http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Hardware/sata.html
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vinodAuthor Commented:
> what's wrong with build in?

The builtin ones on the motherboards have only 2 or max 4 chans. With addons, I have the flexibility of 2, 4, 8, 16... Also, my existing m/b may not have ich7 i/o hub. Why don't we see any 4-8 chan SATA II simple controllers (w/o RAID) in the market? We have so many SATA I's. I know, the Sil 3114 based 4 chan SATA I  performance is almost same as 2 chan Sil 3112, but at $25/card I can buy 4x3112 cards and have high performance 8 chan SATA I system. I would like to do the same for SATA II.
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vinodAuthor Commented:
Any taker?
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ravenplCommented:
Don't agree - don't refund.
If the asker want cheap controller with expesive features - the answer is - no such card - sorry.
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VenabiliCommented:
Then probably better to split?
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ravenplCommented:
Yes, split.
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vinodAuthor Commented:
> If the asker want cheap controller with expesive features - the answer is - no such card - sorry.

No, I was not looking for expensive features, on the contrary the very basis of my question was that when I do NOT need expensive features (RAID functionality) why should I be forced to buy RAID-only hardware. For SATA I, I do not have to do that and I get cheap and fast 4 channel SATA I controller cards without an overload of RAID. I was asking if any one knows if similar SATA II cards are available. I got quite a useful related information from ravenpl and cj17 but unfortunately no one has been answer to MY question. I will be more than happy to award these points to any one who can tell (with reasonable confidence) that such a card exists or does NOT exist.

In the mean time, I have found a work around. I bought a new SUPERMICRO SuperServer SYS-5015M-mTB which has onboard 4-channel SATA II ICH7R controller. The whole system costed less than a thousand dollars (only a little more than 3WARE RAID card) at NewEgg and works great.

Vinod
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ravenplCommented:
Isn't that I suggested ich7 (ich7r is same with raid)?
http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Hardware/sata.html contains rather up2date linux supported SATA cards - if there's nothing for You then the answer is NO!

Venabili: since the author can't spot the thing I suggested ich7 many times, please delete this Q but don't refund.
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vinodAuthor Commented:
Venabili,

I think this gentleman has some problem understanding my English. I was trying to compliment two people for their contribution but this gentleman chose to challenge my common sense. Let me remind you that I am in the field of computing for the last quarter of a century and as a premier member of this network I am supporting this network with a hard cash. I expect your experts to be a little more respectful, at the minimum. I am not asking for the refund of points, instead, I am doubling them and invite some one who really knows the answer to grab them.

ich7 is a chipset, not a card. Since my motherboard did not have 4 SATA II channels, I had asked for an add on card, like so many SATA I cards available. The reason I had to spend a thousand dollars on a new server was not because I hate money but because I could not find a reasonably priced SATA II non-RAID card. Rather than spending $500 on a 3WARE RAID card and grossly under-utilize it, I decided to spend a few more dollars and have a new server in my cluster.

Thanks,
Vinod
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ravenplCommented:
> I think this gentleman has some problem understanding my English.
Possibly.
> Let me remind you that I am in the field of computing for the last quarter of a century
Good - it doubles mine. Hence personally I know guy who is here only 5y and I consider Him better than me. Its pitty He's not here on EE.
> I am supporting this network with a hard cash
Right - I'm doing this for free (oops - I received tshirt once).
> I expect your experts to be a little more respectful
Venabili: You would have to ban me from here. And then I promise I will not come back under another account.
> I am doubling them and invite some one who really knows the answer to grab them.
Almost all was already said here. I know some other (apart from 3ware) expensive cards - You want links?
> ich7 is a chipset, not a card
I never said other way.
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vinodAuthor Commented:
> > Let me remind you that I am in the field of computing for the last quarter of a century
> Good - it doubles mine. Hence personally I know guy who is here only 5y and I consider Him better than me. Its pitty He's not here on EE.
I don't want to make it an issue of who is better than whom. All of us know something but not every thing. This forum is to share the experiences.

> > I am supporting this network with a hard cash
> Right - I'm doing this for free (oops - I received tshirt once).
Wrong - Do you think tshirts is all that you get from this forum? What about experience, recognition and satisfaction? This forum is a nice concept, has worked for a decade. Some people support it with time and others with cash, none is less important.

> > I expect your experts to be a little more respectful
> Venabili: You would have to ban me from here. And then I promise I will not come back under another account.
This forum is for volunteers, no one is forcing any one to do anything.

> > I am doubling them and invite some one who really knows the answer to grab them.
> Almost all was already said here.
May be yes, may be not. May be some one of the thousands out there has some other brilliant ideas.

>  I know some other (apart from 3ware) expensive cards - You want links?
Sure, that will be great. But let me remind you. I am looking for "SATA II, non-RAID, ADD-ON cards"

> > ich7 is a chipset, not a card
> I never said other way.
Which does not help me either because, I am looking for "SATA II, non-RAID, ADD-ON cards". Changing the motherboard is not an option, not when you have a few hundred machines to upgrade.

I am sorry, I never meant to offend you or any one for that matter. Your contribution to this forum is indeed valuable, and appreciated, no doubt about that.

Vinod

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ravenplCommented:
Also I took a look at http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Hardware/sata.html - plenty of sataII cards. have You looked at that page? It's third time I'm trying to convince You...
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ravenplCommented:
I think it's Q was really exhaustively answered. Why B? Whatever...
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