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darrylbleau
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 7:34 pm    Post subject: Adaptec Serial ATA RAID - Hardware RAID/Alternatives? Reply with quote

Hi All,

Doing some reasearch for the disk array on a new server. Would like to go SATA RAID for various reasons.

Looking at the Adaptec 1210 cards, it seems there is support for them, but from what I've been able to piece together it's really just software RAID anyway. Is this a function of the controller itself (there is no hardware raid chip on the controller) or is it just that there is no linux driver?

What about the 2410 cards? Just looking at the pictures, it seems the 2410 has some sort of a chip on it that the 1210 doesn't. I would assume is a hardware raid controller?

Adaptec 1210
[img:02fe5ec67d]http://graphics.adaptec.com/1210SA_board.jpg[/img:02fe5ec67d]

Adaptec 2410
[img:02fe5ec67d]http://graphics.adaptec.com/SATA2410SA_productshot.jpg[/img:02fe5ec67d]

Could this be actually hardware RAID? If it is, is it supported in linux somehow? Or would buying the 2410 really just be the same as the 1210 and only allow us to run in software raid mode anyway? (And thusly, a big waste of money). On that same line, if we can only do software RAID, is there really any point to buying a SATA RAID card at all? Why not just get a SATA controller and do software raid that way?

If the adaptec cards won't cut it, are there any alternatives? What we'd really like is to be able to run a RAID which is controlled by hardware, in gentoo linux, somehow. Any ideas? :)
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darrylbleau
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there really no one out there who knows or is it just that no one cares? :)

What I really want to know is if there is a serial ATA raid controller that I can use in Gentoo that does RAID processing through hardware... any bites?
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taskara
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey dude..

they look like software raid controllers.. or "fake hardware" raid controllers

althought the second one may be hardware.. don't know for sure.. but it still uses silicon image chipset.

seriously don't get one of those, they use silicon image chipset and u will be SORRY

search for "silicon raid" and "dma" or something.. HEAPS of posts... people can't get dma working.. or they can but it crashes.. and even if they can it's only udma 2

anyway if u seriously want a hardware raid controller there is only one choice.

3Ware

pricey.. but it's the goods.

comes up as scsi device.

kernel support since pre 2.0

thing of beauty
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darrylbleau
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2003 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found some more info on this, thought I'd post here for anyone else who might have the same questions I did.

The 3ware cards seem to work great from what I found. Seems like all of them are true hardware RAID cards.

The adaptec 1200/1210 RAID cards are really just controllers (IDE and SATA, respectively). The 'RAID' part is software only, as I suspected.

The adaptec 2400/2410 RAID cards are true hardware RAID, and are supported right in the kernel as a SCSI device (much like the 3ware cards). There's a good site here about the whole thing: http://www.pab-opto.de/hwtests/raid/2400a/. Seems the 2400 appears as standard SCSI disk and nothing should be disturbed by the RAID (transparent to programs).

Hopefully this post might help someone else in the future. Post here if it did!
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taskara
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2003 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey.. do u know where the option is in the kernel ?

this is 3ware
Code:
<*> 3ware Hardware ATA-RAID support


guess for adaptec you need:
Code:
< > Adaptec I2O RAID support

and maybe
Code:
< > Adaptec AACRAID support (EXPERIMENTAL)


??

if it were me I'd pay the extra and go the 3ware! :D
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darrylbleau
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2003 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All you need (apparently, I'll be ordering my system Monday/Tuesday) is:

Code:

<*> Adaptec I20 RAID support


Have you checked out the site I listed? It's a bit dated but has some good info on setting it up in linux.
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taskara
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2003 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah I did check it out.. it's old hardware and seems slow for it's day, but still it will be interesting to see how this new one runs :)

please post some test results, cause I am building a new linux server in about a month and it will have a 3Ware controller :D

cheers!
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darrylbleau
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2003 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

check out this mailing list archive too:

http://lists.insecure.org/lists/linux-kernel/2001/Oct/index.html#1383

Look for the 'Dilimma: Replace Escalade with Adaptec 2400A or Promise Supertrak66?' thread.

Sure I can post some test results. The system I'm building is a new server for my company, in a nutshell, it's a dual opteron, 2 gigs RAM, adaptec 2400a with 4 WD 7200rpm 8MB cache drives in RAID 1/0. Should be an ok system. Was going to go the xeon path but really, it just came down to that we want to play with the 64 bit stuff. We're hardware junkies at heart. As such... I'm pretty interested in the threads on these forums about people running gentoo on the opterons. :)

We decided against the 10k RPM SATA Raptors we were going to use because sustained data transfer was more important to us than latency. We could have went SCSI too I suppose but the costs are huge, and we already have a SCSI RAID system and we are not impressed with the performance for dollar ratio.
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taskara
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2003 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh oh oh oh oh oh ... that really interests me..


can u tell me all the hardware you're using and stuff?

that is a similar box to the one I want to build! :D

I'm sure the raptors still have a higher sustained data transfer rate than the standard 7200rpm drives... although the cost ratio goes up a bit.. and unfortunately hd space goes DOWN.. :(

so u running raid 5 ? or raid 10 ?
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darrylbleau
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure...

Motherboard: MSI K8D Master-F
CPU: AMD Opteron 240 (x 2)
RAM: 512M PC2700 ECC Registered (x 4, 2 for each CPU)
Power Supply: Sparkle 460W 24-Pin
RAID: Adaptec 2400A
Hard Drive: Western Digital 40GB Caviar SE (x 4)

RAID will be running 1/0 (or 'RAID 10').

As for the hard drives... here are some links to reviews of each (well it's the 80g SE but it should be close)

10K Raptor:
http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200303/20030320WD360GD_1.html

7200 Caviar SE:
http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200205/20020529WD800JB_1.html

In a nutshell, raptor sustained was start 63m/s end 45m/s latency 8.6, Caviar SE start 49m/s end 29m/s latency 14.

So yes, you are right, the raptor has higher sustained transfer rate. What I didn't mention was we had the option of 2 Raptors or 4 Caviar SE's (it's a price thing). So, 4 Caviars in RAID 1/0 should best out 2 Raptors in RAID 1, I would think. Though you do have me thinking it over, again. That 8.6ms latency is nice too for web apps. (Small DB hits).

There are a few other factors specific to us as well, we don't want to run silicon image chipsets from the posts I've read, and the only SATA RAID controller we can get from our supplier (read: at vendor pricing) is the adaptec 1210 [EDIT: Err... 2410, duh].

I think I'll read over the SI chipset posts again and see if maybe the adaptec 1210 [EDIT: Doh, Again, 2410 I meant] might not be a bad choice. Maybe I can squeeze out a bit more cash too and go for 4 10k raptors... we'll see. It really depends on controller compatibility.

But, you've got me thinking it over again!


Last edited by darrylbleau on Sun Aug 10, 2003 2:07 am; edited 2 times in total
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taskara
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hehe.. sorry :?

anyway trust me.. don't go a silicon image chipset.. it sux arse..

what u want is hardware raid, as you know ;) and that 2400 adaptec seems a good choice - although it ALSO is silicon image chipset, it's all handled internally, and u dont' use a silicon driver - so u shoudl be right with that card.

but hey.. the 1200 is only like $100 so why not try it? (if u don't believe me ;))

Quote:
So yes, you are right, the raptor has higher sustained transfer rate. What I didn't mention was we had the option of 2 Raptors or 4 Caviar SE's (it's a price thing). So, 4 Caviars in RAID 1/0 should best out 2 Raptors in RAID 1, I would think. Though you do have me thinking it over, again. That 8.6ms latency is nice too for web apps. (Small DB hits).


ahh now it makes sense - 2 raptors or 4 caviars... hmmm well I guess it depends how much hdd space u need. if u need a shit load, then forget the raptors.

also.. is u wanna raid 0 them, then you'll need to raid 10 them, which takes the number of raptors up to 4

so if what you are thinking of doing is either raid 10 4 caviars, or raid 1 two raptors, then I'd prob go raid 10 4 caviars :D

confused yet? ;) hehe

keep me posted!!

I'll look into that hardware soon too...
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darrylbleau
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I got confused with the 1210/2410 up there.

From what I can find out, the chipsets on all the adaptec cards are as follows:

Adaptec 1200A IDE RAID (Software) : Highpoint 370A
Adaptec 2400A IDE RAID (Hardware) : ? Can't find any reliable info
Adaptec 1210 SATA RAID (Software) : Silicon Image
Adaptec 2410 SATA RAID (Hardware) : Silicon Image

If the 2400 is also a Silicon Image chipset, but seems to work fine because it's all hardware raid (handled internally as you say), then I should probably be fine with the 2410 as well? I found some stuff on the 2410 that said it was basically an upgraded 2400A which would lead me to believe that it should work as well as the 2400A?
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darrylbleau
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... Well, if we go to 1 gig ram (4 x 256, 512 for each CPU) I can probably put in that 2410 and 4 SATA Raptor 10ks. What would you do, given the option? Go for the extra gig of RAM or faster HD performance?

The server this thing will be replacing currently has a gig of ram, and the output of free looks like this:

Code:

             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:       1029816    1007860      21956          0      10960     809244
-/+ buffers/cache:     187656     842160
Swap:       530104     110232     419872


The server handles a lot of things... it's the primary mail server for about 400 users, runs a few websites (Orion for JSP and Apache for PHP), both of which make frequent small DB calls (forum posts, ect). One of the sites is also an ecommerce site, which will be running Ofbiz. Because of the nature of the services, I'm thinking that disk access time would be more important than amount of ram. (Right now the current server uses 80% of the RAM to cache with).
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taskara
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't go any less than a gig of ram

is it cheaper to buy 2x512 modules, instead of 4x256?

how much hdd space do u need?

I think that as u are not transferring huge files, u can prob get away with the slower hdds.

however most people would say "forget ide, and go scsi"

and if that's the thought process you're better off with the raptors.

hmm I'm not really helping much ;)

so:

how much EXTRA is it to go 4x raptors over 4x caviar?

do u only need 60gb of space? or do u need more cause that's all you'll get with 4x raptors in raid 10.

PLUS one thing to consider is that the raptors have 5yr warranty, the caviar only 1yr.

definately don't go any less ram 8O

and I think the adaptec 2410 will be just fine :)
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darrylbleau
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't look into 2x512, aren't the opterons dual channel per CPU? (As in, I would need two sticks of ram for each CPU).

HD space is a moot point. We run on an 18 gig SCSI RAID 1 right now and it's plenty.

The raptors are about $100 more per HD than the caviars, in Canadian dollars. That would be about $75 US. So it's about $400 more Canadian or $300 more US to go raptors over caviars. Both controllers are basically the same price so that isn't an issue.

However, from what I can find, I really should go PC2700 RAM. From what I've read, seems the Opteron doesn't really have a front side bus, but the dual channel ram will run 333. The only ram I can get in PC2700 is 512m sticks. So it might be 2 gigs of RAM anyway.

Also, looks like our supplier is fresh out of 2410s... so if I have to order from somewhere else anyway I might just get the escalade. :)

Maybe we should really start a new thread... call it 'Making a Gentoo Opteron Box' or something?
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darrylbleau
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok I made a new thread... maybe we'll get some more 'me-toos' :)

It's here
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would reccomend not touching anything that contains a silicon image chip in it


just avoid them

it works fine here, just the performance is a bit bad
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taskara
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moled wrote:
I would reccomend not touching anything that contains a silicon image chip in it


just avoid them

it works fine here, just the performance is a bit bad


yeah that's what I've been saying, but we are looking at a hardware controller, so it won't actually use the silicon image driver :)
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are going to get a 1210 (software raid) then you are better off getting a motherboard with one pre loaded or even get the promise 378 SATA chip. Plenty of boards have them now.
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taskara
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

he's not gonna go the 1200 series cause they are software and need that crappy silicon image driver :?
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try the silicon image S-ATA controller. It uses gdth scsi module and appears as scsi disks so it uses hardware raid instead of ide soft raid.


*EDIT* Intel has a 4port S-ATA controller that utilizes this chipset (si w/ gdth)
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 11:16 am    Post subject: Adaptec IDE 1200 RAID Controller Reply with quote

I have an Adaptec RAID controller with the highpoint chipset hp37x.

It's been in constant use for 2 months with 2 60G samsung Spinpoint ATA100 drives. I currently use a 2.4.22_pre2-gss kernel and the opensource drivers V131 from highpoint. Follow the readme.txt, it works a treat.

make KERNELDIR=/usr/src/linux-2.4.22_pre2-gss
cp hpt37x2.o /lib/modules/2.4.22_pre2-gss/kernel/drivers/scsi/

modprobe sg
modprobe sd_mod
modprobe hpt37x2

You'll find the RAID0 / RAID1 / RAID10 as scsi devices:

/dev/sda
/dev/sdb

I use the disks for home and for streaming video from digicam (High throughput)

It may be (semi-?) software raid but it works well, I have even simulated power loss, removed a disk during use etc. Works and recovers just find.

:)
Matt
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gaz
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wish i read this thread before I bought my adaptec 1210SA :(

having all sorts of problems with it :(
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2003 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've kernel 2.6.0 but... I don't find this options. Only:
<M> I2O support
<M> I2O PCI support
< > I2O Block OSM
<M> I2O /proc support


Thanks


taskara wrote:
hey.. do u know where the option is in the kernel ?

this is 3ware
Code:
<*> 3ware Hardware ATA-RAID support


guess for adaptec you need:
Code:
< > Adaptec I2O RAID support

and maybe
Code:
< > Adaptec AACRAID support (EXPERIMENTAL)


??

if it were me I'd pay the extra and go the 3ware! :D
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taskara
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pilotet wrote:
I've kernel 2.6.0 but... I don't find this options. Only:
<M> I2O support
<M> I2O PCI support
< > I2O Block OSM
<M> I2O /proc support


Thanks


hmm. I know 2.6 supports 3ware, but not sure about the adaptec.

u can try not compling them as modules, but rather directly into the kernel?
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