[K12OSN] Woe is me: Onboard SCSI/RAID Controller

"Terrell Prudé, Jr." microman at cmosnetworks.com
Wed Oct 13 03:36:32 UTC 2004

Burke Almquist wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> On Oct 12, 2004, at 5:20 PM, Jeff Kinz wrote:
>> On Tue, Oct 12, 2004 at 04:15:37PM -0600, Mario Guerra wrote:
>>> I understand why software modems exist. But software RAID?. It's 
>>> exceedingly
>>> ridiculous. If you need RAID you need speed and reliability.
>> No.  The desire for RAID can come strictly for reliability. Speed
>> is not always an issue. (Although I certainly want it ! :) )
>> It could also be desired strictly for the speed increase.
> If you were doing it for the speed increase, then why would you be 
> using IDE drives and software RAID? SCSI drives and Hardware 
> controllers are going to provide much better performance.
> If you are doing it for reliability only, then why bother with 
> pseudo-hardware RAID controllers, just use linux's built-in software 
> RAID. It's probably more reliable than the pseudo-hardware stuff.

In the last two weeks, I have set up three such RAID systems using the 
Linux kernel's built-in RAID.  This was done once with K12LTSP 3.1.2 and 
twice with SuSE Linux 9.1.  It really wasn't very hard at all; took me 
about 10 minutes to get the hang of what I was doing.  Performance seems 
to be OK so far for major disk reads/writes.  Today, I had the need to 
copy over 20GB of data from one ATA-133 disk over to a RAID 1 made of 
twin 120GB SATA drives, and though I didn't time it, it certainly "felt" 
fast enough.

I can definitely say that setting up these three Linux-based software 
mirrors was easier than trying to find a "hardware SATA RAID" controller 
that works with the Linux kernel.  For straight SATA, i. e. non-HW-RAID, 
I find Highpoint's RocketRAID 1520 controller up to the task and not 
very expensive ($69 at the local Micro Center).  However, to avoid 
problems trying to use the second disk on this two-port controller, 
you'll need the 2.6 kernel.  I know from experience that 2.6.5 and later 
works (SuSE Linux 9.1), so presumably it would also be fine with FC2 and 
K12LTSP 4.1.x.  With the Linux software RAID on top of this, things 
turned out pretty sweet.

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