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Choosing appropriate RAID 1 SATA hardware controller

Posted on 2009-05-13
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I am setting up a Windows 2008 64bit server for our small company and need to choose a suitable RAID Controller.  We have purchased a Dell T300 PowerEdge server tower and would like to run RAID 1 with two 1 TB SATA hard drives.  The drives will not be hot-swappable.

As we are settling on RAID 1 with two SATA drives I do not want to pay more for features we will not use.  I want it to be compatible, reliable, and have reasonably high rates of transfer speeds.  Any help greatly appreciated!
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Question by:canuckconsulting
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by:PCBONEZ
PCBONEZ earned 200 total points
ID: 24373933
My preference is 3Ware cards.
For them, the 8xxx and 9xxx series cards will work.

Here is some related info in a question I myself asked earlier.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Storage_Technology/Q_24313898.html
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theShao earned 300 total points
ID: 24374390
Couple of things to check - there's a couple of reports here http://www.css-networks.com/2008/07/dells-newish-poweredge-t300-server.html of people saying the T300 won't support 3rd party RAID controllers. I can't find any information on what actual chipset the motherboard is, so can't confirm or deny that - definitely check with dell before ordering - if you can't use 3rd party controllers, you'll need the Dell SAS 6i card.
If you can, you can either get a basic generic SATA card, like this one: http://www.dabs.com/products/startech-com-4-port-pci-sata-raid-0-1-card-3ZRJ.html?refs=4294956122-47480000-4294963789
It's not a server-level card, but for RAID1 with SATA it will not hold the system back or cause any reliability issues, or go with a more serious server-level card like the 3ware cards PCBONEZ is suggesting (like this one: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMCC-3Ware-9650SE-2LP-Serial-ATA-II-Hardware-RAID-Controller-Kit-2-port) - there is the cheaper 8006 card from 3ware but it's PCI-only (afaict) and your poweredge doesn't have any standard PCI ports.
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by:theShao
ID: 24374405
Appologies, i've linked the wrong Startech card on dabs on the page above - the correct card (PCI-E not PCI) is http://www.dabs.com/products/startech-com-2-port-sata-controller-card-5D30.html?refs=4294956122-47480000-4294963789-49540000
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by:PCBONEZ
PCBONEZ earned 200 total points
ID: 24381215
Board also has a PCI-X slot. [ Not 'E' -> 'X' ]
A PCI-X raid controller should be less expensive and easier to find.
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