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Best Motherboard for File Server (Max # of SATA-II connectors)

Posted on 2006-06-14
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Trying to build a rack mount file server.  Currently, which motherboard offers the most sata connections?  I am an ASUS fan but 4 seems very low.  I am hoping to use 300G SATA-II drives, anyone seen any motherboards out there with 8 or 10 connectors?

Ultimately this will be a Linux software raid-6 setup.

Other minor considerations, onboard lan (=gigabit), and onboard video would be nice.
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Question by:cboyda
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14 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:cboyda
ID: 16906508
This is the best I can currently find...
Gigabyte: GA-K8NXP-SLI
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Products_Spec.aspx?ClassValue=Motherboard&ProductID=1859&ProductName=GA-K8NXP-SLI

8 x Serial ATA connector (4 X Serial ATA-II 3.0Gb/s, 4 x Serial ATA-I 1.5Gb/s)
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:PUNKY
ID: 16906644
That mobo is good.

And you are looking "...Trying to build a rack mount file server.."?
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 16906671
Why don't you just get your asus and add extra sata controllers, ot even a sata hardware raid controller with enough connectors? hardware raid should allways beat software raid...
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Author Comment

by:cboyda
ID: 16906822
rindi -> cost

I would rather have the SATA onboard rather then through a PCI bus.
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Author Comment

by:cboyda
ID: 16906945
Punky - The rack mount is just the type of case it is going into, I just wanted to ensure that a large format motherboard would be ok.
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Expert Comment

by:PUNKY
ID: 16907278
Then the mobo you found would be good. But consider the Rindi's recommend, that would be good suggestion as well. I read you worry about the cost, but the board you pick is also expensive, though.
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Expert Comment

by:knoxzoo
ID: 16907766
The on-board SATA is almost certain to be on the PCI bus.  Look at an Asus board with PCI-X and go for an SAS card.  Max performance all the way around.  With the SAS you'll have the ability to run SATA or Serial Attached SCSI drives.  So, you can put your OS on a couple of SAS drives and RAID 'em, and put some whoppin' big SATA drives in for storage and RAID them too.  The best of all worlds in one package.
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Author Comment

by:cboyda
ID: 16908509
knoxzoo, some good ideas there.
Couple Questions, what is a sample product (please provide a link) and is this linux compatible?

Honestly I would love a hardware Raid 6 controller - just wondering about the compatibility/practicality - thus far I haven't found any products that fit the bill.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:jdietrich
ID: 16912456
SAS is nice, as long as you can spend that much money:

Here's a "starting" point
http://www.mwave.com/mwave/viewspec.hmx?scriteria=3876346


I'd get a good ASUS mobo and a PCI-X card, this is less than 1/2 the cost, supports 8X500G and you can use a 2nd controllers to get to 8 TB:
http://www.mwave.com/mwave/viewspec.hmx?scriteria=3753460

I know it supports Redhat and Suse
http://www.promise.com/product/product_detail_eng.asp?segment=RAID%205%20HBAs&product_id=148

For the MOBO, any choice for the type of CPU (AMD/Intel) you want to use?



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LVL 11

Accepted Solution

by:
knoxzoo earned 252 total points
ID: 16912843
Adaptec SAS
http://www.allstarshop.com/shop/product.asp?pid=13112&ad=pwatch

That's the same price as a decent 8 port SATA-II RAID card, and it's SAS.

And, yes, they're Linux compatible.  It would be a fool of a manufacturer that didn't make a server product Linux ready.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 16913029
There happen to be many fool manufacturers around!
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:knoxzoo
ID: 16914083
True, but I don't believe Adaptec is one of them.
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LVL 25

Assisted Solution

by:kode99
kode99 earned 248 total points
ID: 16915537
Check this card out,
http://www.areca.com.tw/products/html/pcix-sata.htm

PCI-X card with Raid 6 built on and linux support.  Tom's did a review/comparison with 3ware cards, http://www.tomshardware.com/2004/12/27/the_raid_6_areca_arc/

Might want to check out the resources here when looking at SATA and linux,
http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Hardware/sata.html
and
http://linux-ata.org/sata-status.html

Basically lots of information about what level of support in linux for the various SATA cards out there.  You do need
to watch out a bit as some features for some cards are not supported in linux even though the card may have it.



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