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About geech

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  1. 1. yes. you can use it in a x4, x8, or x16 slot.. 2. yes. the expansion can take a looong time though (recalculating parity for the entire volume)
  2. Excuse me. Were you able to run card on TYAN board? You write that you will try, had some problems with drivers, but then nothing else. Could you tell more about your problems? 214143[/snapback] My apologies, the Tyan K8E is a new board so I had to flash the BIOS and install Linux. I have an intermittent CMOS checksum error, so it looks like Tyan is going to RMA the board and replace it. Otherwise, the card works with this board under Linux. I installed Debian and kernel 2.6.12, compiled the Promise kernel module (it's called 'shasta', perhaps a code name for the EX3850?), and plugged the card into the x16 PCI-Express slot. And voila, it just works. I wish Promise had made some attempt to get the module in the kernel tree, but there's nothing on the kernel mailing list indicating that they have. I'm familiar with Linux but don't really learn all about initrd just so I can boot from the Promise card. If they had provided their module in the form of a patch to the stable 2.6 tree, then we could compile support directly into the kernel and would not need to use initrd at all. What sort of benchmarks would be worthwhile? I was thinking of running bonnie++ and postmark. I plan to run RAID 10, but can try RAID0 and RAID5 as well. One note: I was very disappointed to see that this card only supports RAID10 with four disks. It can't stripe across more than two mirrored pairs! I expected to stripe across three.
  3. Unfortunately there is no RAID6 support out of the box, and though the packaging promises an "update in late 2005," there is no mention of RAID6 anywhere in the manual, BIOS, or WebPAM software. I was disappointed by this omission considering that this feature is widely advertised as a selling point for this card.
  4. I worry that the Promise will turn out to be too immature and destablize my system. The Linux drivers are unpolished and certainly not confidence-inspiring. There is no FreeBSD support. I have no qualms about replacing it with an Areca 1220 if necessary. Advantages of the Areca line include upgradeable cache, optional battery backup unit, and out-of-band management via its own Ethernet port. The Promise EX8350 has an optional BBU but it's unavailable for purchase. Nonetheless, the Promise may turn out to be the little card that could: easy on the pocketbook and very fast
  5. I didn't imply it was an option: I run this board on my workstation and have used it for additional testing. It is not appropriate for your needs. Perhaps you should be considering a less bleeding-edge technology, such as a solid server board with PCI-X, due to the much wider availability of peripherals.
  6. I will do some RAID5 benches shortly (waiting on other parts for the new machine) though I'm afraid they may not be terribly useful since I don't have another card (e.g. an Areca) to compare with. I suppose I can bench one of the bare drives as well. Ah, and perhaps against software RAID.. Any bets? I have six 80GB Hitachi Deskstar 7K80; planning on five in RAID5 with one hot spare.
  7. The Asus A8N SLI has one x4 and one x1 slot between its two x8 slots, so you can run SLI graphics cards *and* RAID if you like.
  8. The EX8350 Linux source provided on the Promise download page doesn't compile out of the box on 64-bit platforms because it tries to #include <asm/ioctl32.h> which has moved around between versions of the 2.6 kernel. On 2.6.13 you need to change line 61 of cfg_linux.h to #include <linux/ioctl32.h> . Then I was able to compile fine. Now I # insmod shasta.ko # cat /sys/block/sdb/model 1X2 Mirror/RAID1 # fdisk /dev/sdb ...partition drive... # mkfs.xfs /dev/sdb1 # mkdir /mnt/raid1 # mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/raid1 # cd /mnt/raid1 # time dd if=/dev/zero of=testfile bs=64k count=16384 ... # time dd if=testfile of=/dev/null bs=64k ... So, it passes the DOA test! Now to try in the x16 slot on the Tomcat under Debian...
  9. Despite being listed as backordered to the 26th, I magically received my card on the 25th-- woohoo! Linux setup looks pretty involved since I'm running Debian, not Red Hat or SUSE, so I gave it a go under Windows XP on another machine first (Asus A8N Premium, Athlon64 X2 4200). The package includes a low-profile faceplate, perfect for 2U servers, 8 SATA cables, and a bunch of 4-pin-to-SATA-power cables. There's what looks like a manual but it's really a 90-page quickstart guide, only 8-10 pages of which are in English. Ha. The real manual is a PDF on the included driver CD. The card fits in a 4x PCI-E slot. I plan to try it in the 16x slot also since that's what the Tomcat K8E has. Getting this running on Windows was a cinch: I set up a test RAID1 volume and ran some stress tests. I installed the WebPAM software which is a Java webapp for local & remote management of the RAID. I'm annoyed that everything WebPAM does is not also provided via simple command line tools, since I have no intention of running WebPAM on my live server. This means I have to reboot and use the BIOS tool-- suck! Perhaps I will break down an access WebPAM through an SSH tunnel or such. Now I'm going to give the Linux side of things a try on the same box (Asus A8N, not the Tomcat yet) under Gentoo amd64 running 2.6.13 rc6. Crossing my fingers..
  10. I just ordered one from (backordered to 2005-08-26, though). I plan to run it on an NForce4 board (Tyan Tomcat K8E) under Linux 2.6 (Debian stable, amd64); we'll see how it goes.. at $380 it's half the price of the equivalent Areca, definitely worth a shot though I hate being the guinea pig.
  11. Yes, this is the same processor on the Areca cards. I see the EX8350 is available for sale now, but, strangely, Google shows no reviews or benchmarks. Has anyone seen or tested this card in the wild? The 8-port version is less than 2/3 of the price of the equivalent Areca 1220.. tempting.
  12. geech

    Linux software RAID5 over 2 controllers

    Works great for me, even doing RAID across IDE and SATA drives. Software RAID is the bomb.
  13. I'm building a very large drive array (~100TB) from commodity parts and looking to maximize power efficiency and minimize heat dissipation and cost. 250GB drives are the sweet spot now and SATA is a no-brainer for ease of maintenance, but going with higher $/GB drives makes sense if it means lower power consumption and hence lower total cost. The big question is how to power all hundreds of drives using consumer PSUs? Most require being plugged into a motherboard to satisfy the minimum power requirements.. I'm leaning toward the PC Power&Cooling 510 modded to have a bunch of SATA power connectors. Suggestions?