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Everything posted by tjoff

  1. Count me in as well. My thought exactly, and I'm getting tired of TrueImage so I've been open to alternatives as of late.
  2. Anyone that have read a review of a 3TB drive will be aware that there are quite a few compatibility issues. I have looked but haven't really found any real information about what controllers that support >~2TB drives or if regular controllers are as affected as motherboards seems to be. The WD Green drives come with the HighPoint RocketRAID 620 so I'd guess that it's a safe bet when working with >2TB drives. And I did find this post: But other than that I haven't found much information about it so I thought it would be nice to have a thread dedicated to hardware that does (or doesn't work) with >2TB drives.
  3. I also contacted Western Digital if they had any success stories they could share but whatever they know they wouldn't share any of it. Though that is understandable, not that easy for a company to comment on other companies products - the intel rep. suggested that I'd give it a try though. Bummer... Still haven't found any reasonable priced (for my purposes) hardware that anyone seems to be able to comment on regarding the >2 TB issues.
  4. So, I mailed LSI and called intel. They guy at intel that I talked too didn't think there would be any problems. Although since they don't have any >2TB drives in their compatibility list he wouldn't comment on any drives and couldn't say more than that he thought it would work (but that any drive not on the list could have compatibility issues). He said that there was a limit on 2 TB logical drives on old controllers, but if that includes whole arrays I guess it's quite an old issue. He said that there, if anything, could be a problem with the onboard raid5 but that logical drives should work. I never really convinced myself that he knew what he talked about, it seemed like he assumed that breaking the 2 TB barrier was the same as any other increase in drive capacity so I'm not convinced that he actually knew anything about the specific issue. LSI (fast mail-support ) wasn't so optimistic: Although that answer seems straightforward enough I kind of believe thats the best and only answer I'm going to get from a manufacturer that doesn't have any >2TB drives on their compatibility list (and those doesn't seem to be updated that very often) irregardless of whether it actually can handle >2TB drives.
  5. Thanks. If the LSI SAS1068E and/or cards based on it's chipset (since intel SASUC81 is about the only 1068 card available here) suppots >2TB drives that would save me some headache But I've had no luck finding that out with google.
  6. Thats my understandning as well. But I have no idea how that have come to be called garbage collection (especially since there are drives that actually do garbage collecting by checking the content of the file system). And, unfortunately, the algorithm won't affect the long term effects of not having TRIM since it can't do anything about it. Of course a good algorithm will handle the smaller pool of unused blocks better, but there is no way for it to avoid the available blocks to get used up.
  7. Without TRIM it doesn't matter whether the "garbage collection" is aggressive. The drive knows nothing about the data it stores and if the drive gets filled the best thing the garbage collection can do is just rearrange the data but it can't free data it don't know anything about. I'm not sure why the term garbage collection is used. It is quite rare that the drive actually snoops the traffic and sees what the filesystem is doing and makes decisions based on that.
  8. Hi I'm in the need of a new raid array. And although ZFS is extremely tempting the lack of raid-z expansion is just too much for me (adding new raid-zs to a pool isn't economical if you only have a need for expanding with one or perhaps two drives at a time). So I'm probably going to go with mdadm raid 6 and in time switch to BTRFS (yeah, it's going to be a long wait...). Though it would be nice with opensolaris compatibility in case I change my mind (again) Anyway, aside from being tempted by XFS and 3TB drives the real question that I have is regarding the controllers. As of now I'm mixing the onboard motherboard SATA ports with Sil3114 based PCI cards. Which doesn't feel ideal. The performance isn't really a big issue but rather reliability (not that I've had any problems, but I've heard of cheap PCI cards (including Sil3114) that have died under preassure and basically ruining the entire array). Also I'm all out of PCI slots so either way I need at least one PCI-E 8 port controller. I'm redoing the file-server chassi for the new array and in total it should be able to house about 14-15 drives. So going with one or perhaps two PCI-E 8 port SATA controllers seemed like one of the better solutions. Problem is that those are quite rare. Seems like two-channel SAS cards is the way to go if you want to have any money left for drives... Now since I'm set on using software raid the only thing I'm interesting in is being able to use each drive separately and preferrably be able to use SMART (possible?) Going with a SAS controller frightens me a bit since I have the prejudice that SAS controllers are more picky and thus have more compatibility issues. Is my concern valid (or are compatibility issues really something rare that perhaps almost always gets fixed by a firmware upgrade)? The Intel SASUC81 seems to fit the bill. Cheap two-channel SAS that seems to support JBOD (which, coming from consumer products, seems to be a strange way to state that it can handle each drive separately without RAID). But how about compatibility? Intel states: I guess you can't ask for more, I am on my own... Going down to hard drive compatibilities and there are only one 2TB drive (Hitachi). And I was more aiming for some low-power/noise solutions such as the 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green or perhaps the new 3-platter Samsung EcoGreen F4. I'm not going to be guaranteed anything but is compatibility issues common? Also, will 3TB drives present special compatibility issues with the controllers of today? (4k sectors + LBA) Just as a comparison, the cheapest all-SATA 8port card I've found is the HighPoint RocketRAID 2320 which is from 2006 and cost twice as much as the intel-card above and the compatibility list is about as relevant as intels. Any thoughts/suggestions?
  9. I don't get your point. They say that it's a fine tuned balance. Not that the spindle speed is varying. And they have, to my knowledge, never mentioned that it is. Back in the day when the green drives where new and this was a common belief I really doubted it and searched for any claim where WD had said this and didn't find any. What they did was not to specify exactly which spindle speed it used. This was obviously since they would have gotten a bad reputation for being about the only modern 3.5" drive (at the time) with less than 7200 RPM. This has already been stated in the thread... Yes thats a shame. I wouldn't say intentionally mislead though. I'd guess that they do this so that they can phase out the old drives and replace them with new more easily. But anyway, I agree. That kind of information should be easy to obtain. Probably? In your first post you claim it as a fact. Uncool. Got anything to back it up with? Is there even a standard ATA command that does what WDTLER.EXE does? As does all other manufacturers of 4KB drives... You seem to have something against WD. Instead of focusing on one brand you could extend your rant to include basicly all other manufacturers as well, but that wouldn't be as fun or what?
  10. tjoff


    Oh, don't know why but I assumed that the timout-settings only was relevant for drives used within a hardware-raid array.
  11. tjoff


    Assuming you don't use ZFS or any other form of software raid, right? I haven't seen any information about whether software raid can cope with this.
  12. Stores here in Sweden list it as being available from the 13th of November. The sad part seems to be that you can't get it without the HBA? I'm a bit tempted in putting a couple of theese in raid, but then I will end up buying a bunch of HBAs that I don't have any need for... I haven't seen any information about whether the HBA bundled retail version is the only one that will be sold for now? I'm assuming thats the case since the price of the 3TB WD is over 20% more than the external Seagate drive. And with Seagate you get an external chassi and external power and a USB->sata converter which should cost about the same or more as the bundled HBA so the price is a bit disappointing even considering it's the first internal 3 TB drive and that it includes an HBA. Or I should perhaps say that Seagates drive is cheap rather than WD being expensive in this case. Still, the HBA part is annoying.
  13. LOFI doesn't seem like a sensible solution for a large full raid encryption. I could be wrong but it doesn't seem to have the greatest reputation for other things than small solutions. Performance being one issue. But I could be wrong, also doesn't seem like a widely used solution for my purpose so I'm a bit skeptical.
  14. I didn't find the LSI SAS1068E anywhere close to where I live. I found a supermicro PCI-E 8x card based on the LSI 1060E chipset, but it's an UIO version and it cost about the same as the intel-card. The intel card is also based on the LSI 1060E chipset so I guess it's pretty much the same thing anyway(?). As for ZFS expansion vs. BTRFS you are probably right. I've been kind of turned off by the whole solaris thing since Oracle took over, and I've searched a bit but haven't really found out if raid-z expansion really is something that Sun/Oracle are even interested in. The best I've read is that people are talking about a coming feature that will make expansion quite trivial to implement but could just be hearsay. Hmm, and I thought zfs-crypto was considered stable and included in OpenSolaris already :| That probably kills it for me in the short term. When the whole solaris+oracle(+illumos?) thing have calmed down and when raid-z expansion and ZFS-crypto are available I'll consider moving. Until then I guess that mdadm raid6 + dmcrypt + EXT4 will have to suffice. superlgn: Thanks for looking it up. Finding miniSAS => 4 angled SATA cables have proven to be quite difficult and a surprising show-stopper. Don't really know how to proceed with out them. Found a few more: But they are too short... I could use angeled SATA adapters ( ) but it would be quite expensive and I'm afraid about glitchy connectors as it is and it probably won't do wonders with the signal quality either (but perhaps thats not an issue).
  15. tjoff

    Intel SSD RAID Review

    Not a single word about TRIM? (didn't read through everything, apologies if I missed something) If it hasn't changed since last time I checked there is no card that can do TRIM on RAID array. Having no TRIM at all can, in time, easily outweigh any benefits of RAID and thus perform much slower than even a single drive. You could probably do some hacks to improve non-TRIM performance such as ensuring that some (TRIMmed) space will never be used - i.e. before making the array, make sure that everything is TRIMmed and leave x % of the array unused at all times (by making sure that you don't even partition x % of the array for instance). That will save some space for the controller to juggle data around and should improve write speeds significantly when the array gets full. But a better solution in many cases is simply to use the two drives as is. For instance one for the OS and one for applications. Especially with the newer and faster SSDs coming, pure bandwidth isn't the whole picture and with Intel G3 around the corner the use of SSD-raid should, for most people, not be that appealing. But really, I'd recommend a single large SSD for most of the cases. A 160 GB drive is often more or less two 80 GB drives in the same package anyway so you could say that you already are running them in RAID 0 in some sense (other bottlenecks take place (the controller for one) but write speed for the G2 160 GB is much better than the write speed for the G2 80 GB). And thats probably the main reason for why the budget-drives are smaller and why the smallest G3-M drive will be 160 GB and not 80 GB and why there is no X25-M 40 GB. They can't make smaller drives in the same performance-league as the larger ones. Please correct me if I'm wrong, I might be a bit outdated on the subject but I use full disk encryption on my G2 80 GB so I sure now how devastating the lack of TRIM can be for performance when the drive gets full.
  16. Thanks. I've heard success stories with the intel card and opensolaris at least. Makes sense that HBAs would be better off in terms of compatibility (thanks for putting some ease to my mind ) I've had some trouble finding miniSAS to 4xSATA cables with angeled SATA connectors (must have angeled connectors or it won't fit ), the only one I've found is this one that has some weird SATA cable that is split in two (doesn't look that reliable but I suppose that looks doesn't say much). Thanks for the URL. jpiszcz: Thanks, but I don't live in the US (I live in Sweden). Found it on ebay for a decent price but the shipping isn't negligible and it's of course much simpler and faster to buy locally than shipping it from the US.
  17. Thanks Looking at the specs the only real difference I can see is that it has a PCI-E x4 port compared to Intels 8x. That probably shouldn't matter for my needs but I didn't find any information about compatibility. Though the biggest problem is that I couldn't find it at a reputable store :|
  18. I can't find any SATA 2 cables at my local store at the moment and I'm in need of a SATA 2 cable. However they are perhaps the same? In the early days of SATA people said the the shielding was poor in the contacts and that SATA 2 would fix that. Although I don't know whether that was on the device itself on or on the cable. The options I have is 0.5m and 1m and between those I need 1 m. Since I'll use 1 meter cables running alonside each other for long distances (1m) and with the interference of an eheim 1048 pump I might need extra shieled cables?
  19. Hmm, can't be a diffrent connector, because I believe you can still use ordinary cables if you choose not to use port-multiplier. Dunno why that would require extra shielding though but just thought it would make more sense than anything else But of course, since I haven't seen any drive having two SATA connectors I guess that there must be a multilane cable I'm thinking about and that would disprove my theory about SATA 2 cables required for that. You are probably right about the making money part. That was originally what I first thought when I read about SATA 2 cables. But then I had to ruining it by trying to find out I'm now sure that I'll live happily ever after as far as SATA cables goes anyway Thanks
  20. Thats good to know. Always wondered what the diffrence would be. Although my biggest concerns are heat and noise. As it is now it's very quiet and the fans seldom kick in. But changing to a faster drive will require better cooling and the drive itself will probably make more noise (I only have an 4200 rpm harddrive). And as for now it's doing it's job, but in the future maybe
  21. But there must be a purpose with hose SATA 2 cables. Sure, todays drive never gets close to SATA 150 speeds so there shouldn't really be a need for them (if you look at it from my perspective). Just hit me though, SATA 2 does support port-multiplier or whatever they call it, allowing you to use more than one drive per cable. That might need better shielding. I've read that port-multiplier capable controllercards require special cables, might that just simply be *regular* SATA 2 cables?
  22. Thanks. Yeah, I also did see a shielded cable at the store. Costs about twice as much and was only available in 50 cm (wasn't considering it anyway). The only thing that puzzles me is that they are advertising all cables as SATA 150 cables. Why not just SATA so that guys like me doesn't have to get all confused (ok I would be anyway). There was two versions, one with and one without the metal hatches. Both SATA 150 cables (the guy I spoke to confirmed that SATA and SATA 2 cables were the same (usually I don't trust salesmen but hey, I could always return it if it wasn't true)). Don't know if the metal hatch makes any difference on my older drives though. It only made a 'click' on my new samsung drive that I bought today. But I guess they work just as well as the old cables at worst. Ah, didn't know there was a difference between eSATA and SATA (always wondered though). Since my case is open and half of my cables are running outside the case (going to fix it, I promise ) it seems to work fine without shielding too But man cables can be expensive. You always ignore the cost when you're out to get new hardware, and if you're only getting one cable it's OK - but if you are going to buy many cables it adds up quite fast Ok, now I'm whining but since harddrives are sooo cheap it really makes a difference.
  23. Sony just makes it worse Actually, I'm sorta glad that all of this happened. Hopefully this will give DRM a bad name and make consumers more aware of the problems with DRM. It's actually kinda funny to watch sony's response towards the public, but I fear that one day it won't be that funny anymore...
  24. Hello I've long dreamt of a raid 5 array. Well, time came and went and I finally *decided* to check it out. Only problem is that my current system only has PCI. I refuse to get a good controller for something as slow and out of date as PCI so I just have to get a new motherboard, a CPU and probably some new ram, but hey it was about time anyway. The new motherboard will feature PCI-E connectors and after reading articles about PCI-E and raid 5 controllers coming to the market about a year ago I thought there would be atleast a couple of cards to choose from. Well.. I have found 2 cards.. HighPoint RocketRAID 2320 8P SATA II/300 RAID5, NCQ, PCI Express x4 and Promise SuperTrak EX8350 8P SATA 300 RAID5, NCQ/TCQ, PCIe x4 The first one doesn't even feature cache and the second one costs around 500 USD (here in sweden). And after reading the forums the Promise card is inferior to Areca which everyone seem to recommend. Well, the 4 port Areca costs about as much as the EX8350 (found it germany so shipping costs will add to the price tag), but really. Is the pricetag worth that? I was planning to get a raid 5 controller to have something to grow in, a 4 port card doesn't allow me to grow and when I eventually do it will be a real pain to move all the data between the old and the new array if I were to use the same controller (which I originally thought I would and was one of the major arguments to spend so much money on a controller card). And think about it, for 500 USB I can get about one terabyte of storage. I wasn't even planning on getting that much for the raid 5 originally. So much for raid 5 being the cheaper alternative to raid 1 I might be able to stretch my plans to get a EX8350 but I have a hard time accepting paying that much and just get a half-decent and half-performing product :\ Or perhaps perhaps perhaps a 4 port Areca, but then I will have a hard time accepting that I won't be able to grow in it Maybe raid 5 isn't something for me but I can't see any good alternatives to get some insurance to harddrive failures. Also what buggs me is that there are many more PCI-X cards and I guess that some of them are more affordable, but I haven't really looked into them. Sure I could get a motherboard with PCI-X, but will my next motherboard after that have PCI-X? I have my doubts. Chances are that I will live happily ever after with a EX8350, I havent seen a review of it. Though the performance must be atleast similar to other hardware based raid 5 cards if I'm going to pay 500 USD for it. Maybe I have set the bar to high, anyone willing in sharing some thoughts? I'd like to like the EX8350 but I would really hate myself if I'll go for it and it lets me down. I'd still like to go with raid 5 but some parts of me screams when the by far most expensive component of my new computer will be a controller card.