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Best Hardware RAID Card for server

Posted on 2011-10-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi,

we want to get a real hardware raid card for our server. We want 2 mirrors in action. One mirror for 2 solid state drives 120GB each boot drive. The other mirror is for 2TB drives were our data is stored.

Want real raid cards nothign that is oging to rely on windows! Also idealley hot swapable.

Thanks
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Question by:andybrooke
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by:karllangston
ID: 36941960
what brand are the servers? HP do the Smart Array controller range
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by:andybrooke
ID: 36941962
its an unbraded server custom built.....
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by:karllangston
ID: 36942560
better to stick to something like Adaptec, HP ,Dell etc

A couple of mirrors is no issue for even the most basic of cards. Things like the HP Smart Array controllers have the benefit of being able to migrate to RAID 10,5,50,6,60 in the future with battery backup cache etc.
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by:sifuedition
ID: 36943149
I am unaware of any raid controller that could be hot-swappable. While the card may be able to be removed without powering down the system, access to the data would not be possible during an action like that. For that, a technology would need to exist to cluster raid cards and I am unaware of any production raid cards that do anything similar.

If you are referring to hot-swappable hard drives, the key to that is usually a raid card that makes use of a backplane. These are most common in manufacturer assemblies. After-market raid cards usually connect directly to the harddrives since there is no controllable element for the form factor of the server to ensure a backplane will fit in custom built servers.

My personal preference has been for LSI raid cards over Adaptec, just for more granular control. This comes with some additional risk, however, as it is then up to you to know the proper configuration and maintenance. Adaptec in my experience is well built to handle most of this automatically, but in doing so, you lose a little bit of control.

Even raid cards that do not use a backplane can be hot-swappable but these may require you to open the chassis and disconnect a harddrive from a cable and connect the new one rather than pulling the harddrive directly from the face of the server like most factory models do for this function.
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by:karllangston
ID: 36948099
I agree the LSI cards are a good alternative. Hot swap really is dependent on the chassis implementation.
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by:andybrooke
ID: 36949167
which LSI card?
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Callandor earned 2000 total points
ID: 36949655
If you mean hot-swappable drives, those are available with a number of controllers.  What kind of drives are you using currently?  SAS? SATA? SCSI?  How many are you going to use?  If you're starting new, SAS drives are a good choice for reliability and performance.  LSI makes the MegaRAID 9260-4i, which can handle 4 drives: http://www.amazon.com/SAS9260-4I-Raid-4PORT-sata-512MB/dp/B002IT4YH6
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by:andybrooke
ID: 36949706
soc an this do 2 lots of mirros at the same time?

1 mirror of 120gb SATA Solid State drives
1 mirros of 2TB SATA drives

Thanks
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by:Callandor
ID: 36949892
That controller can manage 2 mirror arrays (4 drives total), but if you think you will need expansion in the future, the 8-port version would be a better choice (more expensive, though).
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