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Dell PowerEdge R710 - SAS 6/IR RAID Controller

Posted on 2011-05-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi,

  I am considering a purchase of Dell PowerEdge R710 with following Specs:
1. Processor: Sing Xeon E5620 2.4 GHz CPU
2. Memory: 24GB of RAM, 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM Registered, dual rank
3. Hard Drive: 2 x 146 GB SAS 15K 6gbps, 4 x 600GB SAS 15K 6gbps Hot-Swappable
    for the purpose of Three RAID 1 Raids
3. Storage Controller: Built-in RAID Controller - Dell SAS 6/IR
4.

My questions are:

1. Is Dell SAS 6/IR  as good as True Raid Controller like LSI / 3 Ware SAS9260-8I SGL 6GB 512MB SAS/SATA PCIE 2.0?
2. This particular model comes with Two 147GB SAS HDs. Can I buy SATA HDs and plug them into additional HotSwappable slots?  
3. Is SAS 6/IR a separate Controller Card or Embedded/Intergrated on to the Motherboard?
4. How is overall quality of the Server?
5. How was your experience with Tech Support during 3 Year Warranty peroid?
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Question by:sglee
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Expert Comment

by:charlestasse
ID: 35721797
Although the SAS 6/iR is a good card, Get the Perc 6i or H700, they are FAR FAR better. They are both PCI cards that are NOT embedded on the system board.

You can buy 3rd party hard drives, SATA is slow, SAS is fast, consider this when you make your purchase.

I would highly recommend that you get ProSupport warranty as it provide software support, but if you are stellar with the OS and Applications, basic will do, but when you get into a pinch that software support is worth every penny.

As well, ProSupport also gets you the ProActive Systems Management, for free
http://content.dell.com/us/en/corp/d/services/support-services-proactive-systems-management.aspx
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PowerEdgeTech earned 500 total points
ID: 35722348
1.  The SAS 6/iR is not a great controller, you would be MUCH better served by getting the PERC 6/i or PERC H700.  The PERC 6/i supports more RAID levels and more recovery options and has a battery-backed cache for improved performance, and the H700 has what the PERC 6/i has but adds additional cache and support for 6Gbps.  Even the H200 would provide better performance than the SAS 6/iR, as it supports 6Gbps.
2.  You can mix SAS and SATA drives with any of the controllers, but they cannot be mixed in the same virtual disk.
3.  The maximum number of virtual disks for the SAS 6/iR (and H200) is 2, so if you want 3 RAID 1's, you will need the PERC 6/i or PERC H700.
4.  The overall quality of the R710 is great ... it is the feature of Dell's current lineup.
5.  Dell's tech support is, arguably, the best in the business.  Server support is always free regardless of warranty status, they have a wider and deeper assortment of parts and service locations of anyone, and server support is handled in the States, not overseas.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 35722547
PowerEdgeTech:,

  Thanks for the information. If I am getting 600GB SAS 15K 6Gbps, then I want to go with PERC H700 to take advantage of 6 Gbps rather than PERC 6/I (3Gbps)?
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 35723093
Absolutely ... that and the amount of onboard cache are the primary differences between the two cards.
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Expert Comment

by:charlestasse
ID: 35725236
Yes, 6GB is the best way to go for fasssssssssssssssst
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