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Current RAID Controllers

   What RAID controllers and drives are people using today for an entry level server? 15-users. Server 2019. Don't want to overkill with either size or price. 2TB total should be fine.


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8/22/2022 - Mon
Richard Faulkner

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As has been the case for a million years :) onboard raid controllers really sucks. Looking for 3rd party. To give you an idea I usually use Adaptec (8405) with Samsung Enterprise SSDs. I am curious to know if that is current or if things have gone to NVMe with a newer controller.
Richard Faulkner

Truthfully, the needs for RAID controllers with cache etc. is not as important now with SSD especially with NVMe. The NVMe drives are waiting on the bus speed, not the other way around. And number of disks does not change the speed either. So, I'd say you are good with whichever you choose.

But maybe this will help. https://www.microsemi.com/product-directory/upcoming-technology/5454-nvme-raid

Really depends if you're looking for M.2 in RAID 1/10 or a larger array for RAID 5/6. Guessing the former them Highpoint 4xM.2 NVMe RAID cards.
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I would use Dell H730 or H740 controller and multiple enterprise SSD in RAID 5.

I am using Micron SSD with great success in my Dell servers.

I only use 7.2K drives for video storage. Even my backups use faster drives (10K or SSD...granted I want to be able to run my VMs from backups, which is why I have the faster storage).

NVMe RAID is not mainstream yet, IMHO. 

Real servers usually don't have "onboard" RAID controllers, but rather with add-on boards for RAID, & those, contrary to onboard RAID, are "Real" RAID controllers rather than the "Fake-" RAID onboard ones. Real RAID controllers should all be good. Just make sure that you verify it is Real RAID before you buy the server. But generally as mentioned above & get a Dell Server, it will likely have a Real RAID controller, the same as HP.
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Entry level Dells have FakeRAID, same as entry level HPE ones. Intel chipset running custom firmware so they look like PETCs / Smart Arrays. You have to differentiate between chipset RAID and proper RAID chips that happen to be soldered onboard though, for example Supermicros with LSI/Broadcom RAID chips can't be called rubbish onboard controllers.

Decent NVMe RAID controllers are over $500 which is why I suggested the far cheaper Highpoint ones. Since they are only RAID 1/10 they support TRIM as well so cheaper SSDs can be used. Can't use TRIM with RAID 5/6.

Dell real RAID controllers start with H, like H330 and H740. The Dell fake controllers start with S, like S130.
The Dell H300 series don't have cache, and they have terrible parity RAID performance. For parity RAID, get H730 or H740 controller. You will get much better performance, and you can then use several smaller SSD instead of larger SSD in RAID 1/10. You will save money on drives by going to RAID 5. You don't need RAID 6.

As long as we are discussing it.... I never much cared for Dell RAID controllers primarily because of their software. Same for LSI. I have always favored Adaptec. Their management software can't be beat. No one even comes close. I agree RAID 5 is still, even today, applicable and that NVMe RAID is still too new. Looks like Highpoint had problems making it bootable. 
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William Peck

NVMe RAID isn't that new, it's just that you have to cough up over $500 for a LSI/Broadcom tri-mode card.