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Which RAID Card To Purchase


Hi,

I'd like some advice on which Raid adapter to purchase. It's for a windows XP machine
which is acting as a server. It is an Intel Quad Core machine based on a Asus P5K-Pro
motherboard which had 2X Seagate Barracuda 500GB drives set up as Raid 1 using
the Intel onboard Raid. It has worked fine for a year or so but recently has started
degrading the drive quite frequently. You can rebuild it but after a few weeks will
do the same again and now will not let you do it. I have lost faith with and it is now working
off 1 drive. The plan is to fit a Raid controller card propably from Adaptec as I have
used them before - was thinking along the lines of a http://www.adaptec.com/en-us/products/controllers/hardware/sata/entry/aar-1220sa/ or a http://www.adaptec.com/en-us/products/controllers/hardware/sata/entry/aar-1430sa/. Are these both reliable and up to the job and
if not what else should I be looking at. Ideally the budget I am looking at for such a card
is around £100.00. I am also thinking of replacing the drives with X2 Seagate Constellation 500GB or 1TB and cloning the working drive onto one of these and the mirror this on the
second drive. I am not thinking of rebuilding and starting from scratch just want to
install the card and then create a raid 1 array using I assume the adapted storage manager.

Is this the right way to go about things and would appreciate peoples comments/advice

Thanks

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floyd197
Asked:
floyd197
2 Solutions
 
karllangstonCommented:
you can try LSI cards instead of adaptec esecially with your budget. as it is just a mirror then the lower end cards should be fine
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rindiCommented:
For a RAID configuration you should really get RAID certified drives, and not consumer grade drives. Consumer drives aren't built for this configuration, have the wrong timings set for error correction, and that's what causes failures and rebuilds.

Also, it may be worth testing your HD's using the seagate drive testing utility (do the test with the disks connected to a non RAID controller). The tool you'll find on the UBCD:

http://ultimatebootcd.com

As controller I'd suggest something like this:

http://www.adaptec.com/en-us/products/controllers/hardware/sas/entry/sas-6405e/
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sifueditionCommented:
A raid that will not rebuild reeks of a double fault, which is where the same block of data is somehow unusable on both disks in the raid 1. I would make sure to back up fregquently until you have a stable solution. I would also recommend that you do any and all data integrity checks available to you.

Based on the hardware you have listed and the budget you mentioned, it sounds like you are on an understandably modest budget. I have to ask, however, how important is the data? What would it cost to lose it? That should be the underlying question in how much you can spend on raid/harddrives.
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floyd197Author Commented:

Thanks

So If I go for 2 new Seagate Constellation drives, these are classed as enterprise 24X7
drives aren't they? and an Adaptec 6405e controller would this be a good reliable
setup. Just to clarify this is on top of a backing up not instead of



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rindiCommented:
Yes, that should be a good combination.
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floyd197Author Commented:

Now leaning towards a LSI 9240-4i. Is this a suitable choice
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rindiCommented:
It should be OK, but the Adaptec in my point of view is better. Also, many mainboards don't have extra 8 lane PCI-Express slots, but many have enough 1 lane slots, so chances are you wouldn't be able to use the LSI card in all systems. The adaptec further has a cache, while I can't see anything on that in the LSI specs.
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floyd197Author Commented:

It's a good point, the card needs to go into an Asus P5K-Pro motherboard and I may be wrong but I don't
think this has an x8 PCI-Express slot so would that rule out the LSI totally.
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rindiCommented:
Of course it would also fit into an x16 slot, but those are usually already used by the video card.
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floyd197Author Commented:
Very helpful many thanks
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