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Dell T310 RAID Configuration

Posted on 2012-04-03
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I am looking at buying a new Dell T310 for our company to use for a new company-wide service program.  I am only looking to have 2 HD with RAID1 since I am on a tight budget.  Can someone explain their options shown below under both the Internal Controller section and the Hard Drive Configuration section?  I guess I'm really just asking the main advantages of hardware versus software RAID.  The tech I chatted with said he wouldn't recommend the software RAID controller but to get the H200 hardware controller.  This would make my selections PERC H200 in the controller section and RAID 1 Add-in, etc. under the Hard Drive section.  Is this really necessary?  I know it's only $199 more, but still.

Internal Controller
      PERC S100 & PERC S300 supported on Microsoft OS only. No Virtualization OS Support.
      

No Controller
      
Learn More      Help Me Choose
      
            
No Controller [Included in Price]
      
            
PERC S300 3Gb/s SAS/SATA Internal Software RAID adaptor [add $199.00]
      
            
SAS 6/iR SAS internal RAID adapter, PCI-Express [add $199.00]
      
            
PERC 6/i SAS internal RAID adapter, PCI-Express [add $299.00]
      
            
PERC H200 Adapter Internal RAID Controller [add $199.00]
      
            
PERC H700 Adapter, Internal RAID Controller 512MB Cache [add $499.00]
      
            
PERC H700 Adapter, Internal RAID Controller NVDIMM 512MB Cache [add $699.00]
      
            
PERC H700 Adapter, Internal RAID Controller NVDIMM 1GB Cache [add $799.00]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------      
       
Hard Drive Configuration
      

PERC S100 (Embedded SATA Software RAID) supporting 2 Hard Drives – RAID 1
      
Learn More      Help Me Choose
      
            
Onboard SATA, 1-4 Hard Drives connected to onboard SATA Controller -No RAID add $0.00
      
            
PERC S100 (Embedded SATA Software RAID) supporting 2 Hard Drives – RAID 0 add $0.00
      
            
PERC S100 (Embedded SATA Software RAID) supporting 3-4 Hard Drives – RAID 0 add $0.00
      
            
PERC S100 (Embedded SATA Software RAID) supporting 2 Hard Drives – RAID 1 [Included in Price]
      
            
PERC S100 (Embedded SATA Software RAID) supporting 3-4 Hard Drives – RAID 5 add $0.00
      
            
PERC S100 (Embedded SATA Software RAID) supporting 4 Hard Drives – RAID 10 add $0.00
      
            
Add-in PERC S300 (SAS/SATA Controller) supporting 3-4 Hard Drives – RAID 5 add $0.00
      
            
Add-in PERC S300 (SAS/SATA Controller) supporting 4 Hard Drives – RAID 10 add $0.00
      
            
No RAID - Add-in SAS6iR or H200 (SAS/SATA Controller), 1-4 Hard Drives add $0.00
      
            
RAID 0 - Add-in SAS6iR/H200/PERC6i/H700 (SAS/SATA Cntrlr), 2-4 Hard Drives add $0.00
      
            
RAID 1 - Add-in SAS6iR/H200/PERC6i/H700 (SAS/SATA Cntrlr), 2 Hard Drives add $0.00
      
            
RAID 5 - Add-in PERC6i/H700 (SAS/SATA Cntrlr), 3-4 Hard Drives add $0.00
      
            
RAID 6 - Add-in PERC6i/H700 (SAS/SATA Cntrlr), 4 Hard Drives add $0.00
      
            
RAID 10 - Add-in PERC6i/H200/H700 (SAS/SATA Cntrlr), 4 Hard Drives add $0.00
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Question by:fabiouness
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by:
PowerEdgeTech earned 250 total points
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Onboard SATA indicates NO RAID support.
S100 and S300 are SOFTWARE RAID controllers, capable of RAID 1.
H200 (6Gbps) and SAS 6/iR (3Gbps) are low-end HARDWARE RAID controllers, capable of RAID 1, but with no battery-backed write cache.
H700 (6Gbps) and PERC 6/i (3Gbps) are high-end HARDWARE RAID controllers, capable of RAID 1, but with battery-backed write cache for performance.

The H700 comes in three versions:
1. 512MB of battery-backed cache
2. 512MB of non-volatile memory for cache
3. 1024MB of non-volatile memory for cache

I wouldn't recommend the S-series controllers either.  If you are going to do software RAID, implement it in Windows.  The cache amount/type and bandwidth of the controller depends on what your server will be doing.
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by:wasiftoor
wasiftoor earned 250 total points
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Let me try and help you make the decision between software and hardware RAID:

- Hot Disk Swapping: This is usually a very important requirement. This is the ability to replace a disk without shutting down the server.  This is probably not possible with a software RAID. A RAID Controller will be required.

- CPU & RAM Overheads: Depending on your use, i am sure you can realize that the software RAID will have some overhead on your CPU and RAM as well. With a hardware RAID this is not a problem.

- Faster Rebuilds: if one of the Disk fails and you need to rebuild the array, Hardware RAIDs will be noticeably faster than software RAIDs.


You can consider the above important factors for making the decision. If this were something personal, for your own use a Software RAID might have worked. Since you have mentioned that this server will be used for a company wide server, my recommendation is to go for the Hardware RAID controller.

Good Luck!
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by:PowerEdgeTech
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"- Hot Disk Swapping: This is usually a very important requirement. This is the ability to replace a disk without shutting down the server.  This is probably not possible with a software RAID. A RAID Controller will be required."

Drives will be hot-swappable if you select the hot-plug option at the very top of the configuration for the T310.  With hot-plug selected, the S100 controller and onboard SATA are the only controller options that do not support hot swap/plug.
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Author Closing Comment

by:fabiouness
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Thanks for the help.  Since I eventually hope to swing our Exchange server over to this box, I best choose the hardware option.
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