Recommendations for choice of SATA RAID card to replace MegaRAID LSI 9260-4i for future setups

jkirman
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Greetings,

This question is for product recommendations for LSI MegaRaid cards.  I have been using the Megaraid LSI 9260-4i SATA RAID card with BBU for c. 5 years with great success and, knock on wood, 0 card failures or issues.  Unfortunately, the card has been out of production and EOL for c. 5 or 6 years now, so I figure for future setups I need to move on to another card that is in production, being supported by Broadcom, and getting ongoing firmware updates.  I called into Broadcom storage support and was advised to look into using the 9361-4i RAID card with CacheVault daughtercard for future setups.

Street pricing for the 9260-4i was typically $260 for the card and $160 for the BBU.
I'm seeing pricing for the 9361-4i at c. $350 and c. $120 for the CacheVault daughtercard.

Note that I use the MegaRAID cards for mostly in-house operations, or for secondary and peripheral client servers.  For primary client operations - SQL, Exchange etc. - I always use Dell servers.

My typical server setup when using MegaRAID is a simple one - SATA drives, either RAID-1 or RAID-5, though RAID-6 is possible where justified.  Add an additional drive as a hot spare and ensure email notifications for status updates and it's a reliable setup.

I'd appreciate any feedback and recommendations from pros who have experience with these cards as to whether the 9361-4i / 8i is the way to go, or if you recommend I standardize on a different adapter, and which one you've had good experiences with.

Thanks

jkirman
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AlexSenior Infrastructure Analyst

Commented:
From my understanding MegaRAID SAS 9341-4i doesn't do RAID6. Which gives you an extra level of redundancy.

But basically and this is the short version, they are both extry level cards, they will plod along quite comfortably. Unless you're looking at spending £5 or £600, there isn't much between the two.

MegaRAID SAS 9341-8i has 8 internal ports

MegaRAID SAS 9341-4i has 4

They run on the same firmware pretty much, same throughputs, same connectors. How many internal ports do you need, that's the only question here to be honest.

Regards

Alex
jkirmanPrincipal

Author

Commented:
Thanks Alex.  I assume you've personally had good experience with the 9341-4i and perhaps 9341-8i cards, which is why you're recommending them above.  When I compare the 9341 and the 9361 boards on the Broadcom web site, I see they're both 12 GBPS, both 8643 interfaces.  Cost is similar, with the 9341 being a little lower in price.  Main difference I'm seeing is that there is no CacheVault option for the 9341, plus the fact that the 9341 doesn't handle RAID-6, correct?

Based on what I'm seeing online, since having a BBU on the 9260 boards - now CacheVault with the currently manufactured cards - is important for me, I'd most probably be going with the 9361 series.  

Thanks.
jkirmanPrincipal

Author

Commented:
Alex - sorry forgot to answer your q - in terms of # of drives, a typical setup would have up to 4 drives.  I don't anticipate ever surpassing 8.
Senior Infrastructure Analyst
Commented:
9361 4i would be my go to, because of the RAID6 and the cache available.

Both cards are essentially the same controller, but one has 8 ports instead of 4 and there is a cache on one. They are both OK, I wouldn't use the 9341 if I were putting a huge file server with hundreds of people connecting. Say 20 or 30 people would be ok. This is entry level, nothing else.

The 9341 is cheaper because it doesn't have a cache and it doesn't do half the RAID sets you'll consider. I'd use it at home to be honest or a very small office.
jkirmanPrincipal

Author

Commented:
Alex thanks for the timely and informative response.  Question closed and point awarded.  Have ordered the 9361 card and related cachevault and will set up with an inhouse system for testing in windows and vmware.

Regards,

jkirman

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