Quick and dirty RAID 5 (7.45tb formatted)

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by Myne_h, May 31, 2010.

  1. Myne_h

    Myne_h Member

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    Tonight I finally built the raid 5 array I meant to do 10 years ago.
    The technology has come a long way, and the drives sure are bigger.

    I chose to go the port multiplier route.
    I am not really concerned about speed, and my Mini ITX board has only 1 PCI express slot.
    So I got these: ($162ea from MSY)

    [​IMG]

    And this: ($135 from techbuy +$10 shipping)
    [​IMG]


    Installed. Yes, it's dodgy. I need a new case. Recommendations?
    I'm looking at getting this if it can fit 5 or so drives
    http://www.aerocool.com.tw/images/case/M40/m40-photos/pages/3-2_jpg.htm

    [​IMG]

    Post is fine
    [​IMG]


    Device manager likes it
    [​IMG]

    Disk manager likes it too
    [​IMG]

    Format... Could take a while... I always do a full format the first time a drive is used. I chose 8k clusters which should be reasonable.
    [​IMG]

    Formatting speed
    [​IMG]


    So far I've been extremely impressed with how easy this was.
    Set jumpers, screw in drives, plug in cables, boot, format.
    That's it.
    Yes it's going to be slower than a true raid card, but it's for mass storage. 300mbit / ( 5 - the parity drive) = 75mbit each. Which is about the median speed of one of these drives anyhow.
    It does seem to be a bit slower than that, but it's still by any standards quite quick.

    Benchmarks to come later.
     
  2. Quan-Time

    Quan-Time Member

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    heh nice..

    You will find that unless you are CONSTANTLY transferring bulk data, continuously, you wont even notice the speed hit.

    Id be interested in what its sustained write speeds are.
    http://www.roadkil.net/program.php/P13/Disk Speed

    Post some screen shots of all your speeds..
     
  3. rowan194

    rowan194 Member

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    Is it really a port multiplier? Did you have to install proprietary drivers before it worked? Looks like it might be a true hardware RAID, since you have to set configuration jumpers on the card, and it shows up as an "ATA device" just like your SATA SSD...
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Myne_h

    Myne_h Member

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    Everything posted in the pictures is all I had to do.
    Yes it is hardware raid.
    No drivers.
    No fuss.
    Just plug it all in and turn it on.
     
  5. terrastrife

    terrastrife Member

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    lian li q08 itx case takes 6 hdds.
     
  6. sreg0r

    sreg0r Member

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    Fractal Design R2 for $150 is a great looking 8 drive bay case. I'm using it for my 6-drive server and it has great cable management features.
     
  7. swan14

    swan14 Member

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    how does that card connect to the mobo :confused:
     
  8. rowan194

    rowan194 Member

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    Connects via a single SATA port. It's like an external RAID.
     
  9. swan14

    swan14 Member

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    Ah ok cool.

    Was just wondering as I'm trying to find a cheap card just for the extra sata ports. Don't need any of the raid stuff as it will be soft raid. Pretty hard to find in-expensive one's.
     
  10. oli

    oli Member

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    So it's a port multiplier, but it's for mass storage and not as fast as a "true raid" card, and it's hardware raid? I'm confused. Other hardware RAID controllers cost a lot more than this...
     
  11. aza2001

    aza2001 Member

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    keen to actually see the speed of the disks in the array even after you setup

    also can you do a test with removing a drive and then putting it back in and rebuild speeds as well?

    Also what OS are you running


    Cheers,
    Aza
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Myne_h

    Myne_h Member

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    lol the way you write that is hilarious Oli :)

    Put simply:
    It has one SATA cable between it and the motherboard
    It has 5 SATA cables between it and 5 hard drives.

    The board has a jumper configurable controller.
    It can be set to:

    * JBOD
    * Clone (5x mirror)
    * RAID 0
    * RAID 1
    * RAID 3
    * RAID 5
    * RAID 10
    * Individual drives (ONLY if it is connected to an SI raid controller [theoretically any PM compatible Sata controller *should* work] this mode is technically the only real port multiplier mode)

    So, technically it is both a port multiplier and a RAID card.

    It's cheaper because RAID is usually used for speed and reliability.
    A typical RAID card has enough bandwith to support the maximum speed of all of the drives (~500MB/s) and a substantial cache.

    I traded speed for price.
    It only has the potential to reach 300MB/s. A single SATA port's maximum.

    Fast, reliable, cheap
    Pick any two.

    Aza: Win 7. But it claims complete OS independence. ANY OS should recognise it as one single drive.
    Benchies to come, rebuild is an interesting thought.
    Not a bad idea to test it before I can lose anything :)
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  13. oli

    oli Member

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    Yes I understand what it is, it was meant tongue in cheek.

    In the past these Addonics controllers were really just Silicon Image expander things, which is why they worked best with SI controllers "feeding" them. The SI controllers have never had (and probably won't considering their target market) hardware RAID. There's no chip on there for calculating parity data either. I suspect the real RAID work is still handed off to the OS.
     
  14. fref99

    fref99 Member

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    Hi,

    That port multiplier/RAID card looks really interesting.

    When I run out of space on my current array (4 x 2Tb wd drives as RAID5/data) I'll hopefully remember this thread. I'd imagine I'd keep the 4drives + extra ones on the motherboard SATA ports (using linux mdadm) and just move my backup array over to the jmicro? controller/this port multiplier.

    Regards
    FREF99
     
  15. DavidRa

    DavidRa Member

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    I also have one of these cards - it's done in hardware, not in a driver (no driver support is required - it's just a honking great big hard disk, in RAID mode).

    The only real "issue" with it is that you don't have cache, and thus smaller writes are still slowish. I did a big review of it on OzHardware.

    Recently I grabbed me a pair of SiI cards - I'm planning to dig out the Addonics controller and test port multiplier mode. Could be a very very cheap way to get 20 disks on a single server (2 x PCI-Ex1 controllers - $120, 2 x SATA PMs - $120).

    Edit: Yeah those numbers are just wrong. For a start you need 4 port multipliers and then they're $90 each. 20 disks will need $480 in "controllers".
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  16. oli

    oli Member

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    Interesting, and yes that is cheap.

    I wonder if the overall performance is better than getting a second hand older SATA card though. I understand that's not a viable option in this case but for example I have an older 3Ware 8506 12LP which is a SATAI PCI-X controller. When I built the server it's in I didn't know about these port multipliers.
     
  17. STUdog

    STUdog Member

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    I wanna see a hdtune test and see the 40mb/sec youll get
     
  18. noobmastery

    noobmastery Member

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    Not likely, considering it doesn't need a driver means all RAID work would have to be done by the card.
    Of course it probably doesn't have a huge amount of processing power or much read/write cache.
     
  19. Kodaz

    Kodaz Member

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    Second this case, I love mine and it's nice and quiet unlike my last one.
     
  20. rowan194

    rowan194 Member

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    One question about that review. You mention disappointment that RAID1 and RAID10 don't seem to read from multiple disks. Do the benchmark programs use multiple threads for testing? That seems to be the only way you'll see read performance go beyond a single drive. I made the same assumption that a 2 drive RAID1 would act as a pseudo-RAID0, with each drive leapfrogging each other for near double sequential read speed, but in the real world that doesn't happen. :)
     

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