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Topic # 232183 3-Apr-2018 14:14
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I'm thinking about putting in a whole bunch of extra storage into my home server. I think I'd be more comfortable with a decent hardware based RAID controller than using the software RAID built into my ASUS Z120-AR motherboard. I'm looking at WD Gold drives.

 

What is a decent (but affordable) RAID controller?


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  Reply # 1987652 3-Apr-2018 14:21
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A secondhand HP P410 may do the trick.  Plenty on TradeMe.  P222 is the previous generation which would still outpace your spinning drives easily.

 

If you want to push performance, you'll want a controller with write cache on it that is protected from power failures.  Battery backup cache modules have a limited life, so flash backed write cache controllers would be ideal if your budget allows, where the cache memory is flash storage and there is an attached capacitor that holds enough charge for the cache RAM to be saved to the onboard flash storage.  FBWC is a common abbreviation you can search for.

 

 





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  Reply # 1987664 3-Apr-2018 14:37
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Dynamic:

 

A secondhand HP P410 may do the trick.  Plenty on TradeMe.  P222 is the previous generation which would still outpace your spinning drives easily.

 

If you want to push performance, you'll want a controller with write cache on it that is protected from power failures.  Battery backup cache modules have a limited life, so flash backed write cache controllers would be ideal if your budget allows, where the cache memory is flash storage and there is an attached capacitor that holds enough charge for the cache RAM to be saved to the onboard flash storage.  FBWC is a common abbreviation you can search for.

 

 

@Dynamic probably a silly question, but how do I attached drives to this in my standard ATX case? The controller has 2 ports to server up to 8 drives, so what cables do i need to connect the drives?


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1987720 3-Apr-2018 15:40
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Paul1977:

 

@Dynamic probably a silly question, but how do I attached drives to this in my standard ATX case? The controller has 2 ports to server up to 8 drives, so what cables do i need to connect the drives?

 

 

You want SAS - SATA fan out. SAS end maybe different depending on what RAID card you use.

 

Also bear in mind RAID cards were generally designed to run in servers with high flow fans, I used to run a DELL PERC 6/I and had to add additional cooling as it ran very hot.


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  Reply # 1987741 3-Apr-2018 16:05
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Sorry - smart question.  The connector on the cards is a 4 lane mini-SAS connector, and the cable typically connects to the same connector on the back of a hotswap backplane in a server.  You can get a mini-SAS to 4x SATA cable, rather like the one sitting on the shelf about 4 meters away from me awaiting a rainy-day project that never got off the ground.  You can have it for a tenner incl freight if you need one.





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  Reply # 1987747 3-Apr-2018 16:11
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What about Windows RAID support (I am assuming Windows here, since you don't actually say what O/S you are using).

It offers RAID0, RAID1 and RAID 10 in software.  And your not tied to a proprietary card if something dies.  And it costs $0


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  Reply # 1987757 3-Apr-2018 16:33
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Hmm been thinking about sticking a raid card in my home server too.

 

I was going to just go with a HBA card, but then thought hardware RAID might be nice. But then I'm not going to spend anything on something flash, and I'm just not super keen to go the Aliexpress/Newegg route with super cheap cards - with compatibility being the thing I had in mind.

 

Any stress getting those HP cards working on consumer motherboards? 


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  Reply # 1987763 3-Apr-2018 16:46
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I use Windows Storage Spaces and ReFS file system. It works fine, no performance issues, but with ReFS there's a memory leak. I've never had any error on my drives so I don't know for sure it works.





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  Reply # 1987766 3-Apr-2018 16:50
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timmmay:

 

I use Windows Storage Spaces and ReFS file system. It works fine, no performance issues, but with ReFS there's a memory leak. I've never had any error on my drives so I don't know for sure it works.

 



Yeah, Windows Storage Spaces (the 'new' Windows RAID!), thanks @timmmay for posting the correct name!




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  Reply # 1987773 3-Apr-2018 17:11
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Thanks guys,

 

It's a toss up for me between Windows 10 Storage Spaces and proper RAID card.

 

If I went for a proper card I think I would go a refurbished HP card, as I am reasonably familiar with them (although only in actual HP server hardware).

 

It's mainly for Blu-Ray rips (I'm looking to rip my personal library), so it'll come down to whether I think I really need redundancy. I don't know that I'd want the CPU overhead of RAID 5 using Storage Spaces, so I think if I want redundancy I'll go hardware RAID, if not then Storage Spaces.

 

Question: is a Simple Space in Windows 10 RAID 0 or JBoD (pooled to appear as one large disk)? If I have 4 disks, and one fails, I don't want to lose everything (but could stomach losing a quarter).


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  Reply # 1987777 3-Apr-2018 17:28
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Storage space gives you virtual disks, which can be mirrors, making multiple disks look like a single storage, or I think some variation of RAID. I didn't read into the RAID5 type setup, I assume it has one though.





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  Reply # 1987785 3-Apr-2018 17:53
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Never tried storage spaces myself, though I hear positive things from a mate who works on big systems offshore.

 

I have bad memories of Windows 'raid' Mirroring.  Any poor shutdown would result in a consistency check that would take flamin ages and slow the system to a crawl.  Offloading this to a card improves efficiency if you don't mind paying for it.





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  Reply # 1987787 3-Apr-2018 17:57
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ok so if your looking at a hp 410 you will need to update the firmware to at least v6 so that it can handle drives larger than 2tb, and when updating the quickest and easiest way is to update it in a hp server otherwise its a little bit of a dick to to it in another machine but it can be done with altering a line of code,

 

the cheapest place to get a p410 is aliexpress, i think the last one i got was 25 nzd with a BBWC, ebay has some cheap ones also like this one

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-572532-B21-P410-512MB-578882-001-FBWC-571436-002-Battery-controller-raid/122536524376?hash=item1c87befa58:g:I3cAAOSwn-tZN4wo

 

the cable that you are after is a 8087 to sata cable like this one

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-572532-B21-P410-512MB-578882-001-FBWC-571436-002-Battery-controller-raid/122536524376?hash=item1c87befa58:g:I3cAAOSwn-tZN4wo

 

i have 3 of these running at the moment in my server and it works a treat




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  Reply # 1987898 3-Apr-2018 21:31
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Hmmm... even the P420 with 1GB FBWC is pretty cheap on Ebay. No warranty, but heaps cheaper than a refurbished one purchased here.


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  Reply # 1987929 4-Apr-2018 00:56
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Be Aware when you use h/w for RAID control, you need have to replace it by the (more or less) same h/w in case the board dies. If you use RAID in s/w, you are not locked and can easily rebuild the system for data recovery.





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  Reply # 1988037 4-Apr-2018 10:05
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eluSiveNZ:

 

Also bear in mind RAID cards were generally designed to run in servers with high flow fans, I used to run a DELL PERC 6/I and had to add additional cooling as it ran very hot.

 

 

That's a good point about heat. I need a new case anyway and the one I'm looking at will accommodate up to nine 140mm fans. Would installing all nine give optimal cooling, or are you not meant to install all of them?


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