sockpuppet

Large Drives Compatible with 9500S-12

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Hi Guys,

Looking at upgrading my storage array - currently its 1Tb RAID 5, + 1Tb Raid 1 (boot) and its getting full. It's used for an office file server - speed not critical as most users are on Wifi so can easily handle the 2 people we throw at it. Also gets used by lots of mates to store data they want backing up, but as this is all done remotely the demands on I/O are not massive. OS is FreeBSD 8.0.

The card I'm running is a 3ware 9500S-12, yes it's old but its a good card and I don't really need the speed of the new cards yet.

I've 5 drive bay left in a caddy so I was going to RAID5 5 2Tb disks for a 8Tb storage array which should last a few years, but I'm not sure what the constants of the card are in terms of disk size. I spoke to the lsi/3ware support and they responded with the following.

The maximum drive capacity supported by the 9500S is 2 TB. The maximum volume capacity is dependent on the number of ports your model utilizes. From a practical sense, the maximum capacity is (2TB-R)*P, where R equals the usable capacity removed by the drive manufacturer/LSI and P equals the number of ports on the controller.

Which had be all set to order some WD 2Tb drives but while reading a review on here I noticed the TLER/4k block issue. Does anyone know of some large (2Tb) drives that are compatible with this card and if it has any issues with 4k block drives?

Many thanks in advance.

Richard

Edited by sockpuppet

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You'd have to check their compatibility list, they should publish it in their support area. As to the 4K drives, unless someone else says otherwise, I'd not go that route. Look for some older enterprise drives perhaps that are both on the list and don't have 4K sectors?

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Thanks for that, I'll have a look at some older drives the 4k sectors is a concern. Alternatively I'll just have to look at a newer 3ware card. 3ware have stopped publishing compat lists for the 9500S series in 2007!

Edited by sockpuppet

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Doh...that's a shame. I'd think something like the WD RE3 or Seagate Constellations would be fine, but without knowing for sure, it's hard to recommend an investment in drives. Maybe it's time for a new card after all for the sake of modernization.

Perhaps someone else with that card can weigh in on drives that are working for them...

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Well I've ordered some Seagate 4k drives. Someone has got to be the first to try it. Just two drives to make an array then I'll order the rest if I get no problems. I'll report back with what I find out. FreeBSD can handle the 4k sectors without a problem and it seems as though most of the problems are with the OS not raid cards.

Edited by sockpuppet

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For what I know, the 9500S is a 1.5Gbps SATA Raid controller that does not know anything about 4kB sectors.

At the time it last got a FW release, 512 bytes sectors were the only ones available.

As for capacity, the 32 bit LBA (2TB of 1024 bytes per K) is the MAX supported.

Hope this helps!

Regards,

MEJV

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Are you sure about the 32bit LBA...the 3ware sales docs from back in the day go on about 64bit LBA.

"Single array capacities scale to

over 4.8 TB per controller (64-bit

LBA support"

http://www.3ware.com/products/pdf/9000_DS_012605.pdf

Edit: The 4k drives should be here today, I've also got some Seagate Constellations on loan from a IT supplier on the condition if they work I buy them should looks like I should be in business.

Edited by sockpuppet

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Are you sure about the 32bit LBA...the 3ware sales docs from back in the day go on about 64bit LBA.

"Single array capacities scale to

over 4.8 TB per controller (64-bit

LBA support"

http://www.3ware.com/products/pdf/9000_DS_012605.pdf

Edit: The 4k drives should be here today, I've also got some Seagate Constellations on loan from a IT supplier on the condition if they work I buy them should looks like I should be in business.

Sorry I did not precise: The 32bit LBA is for the drive (HDD) not for the array. The array would support 64 bit LBA. It has from day 1...

Regards,

MEJV

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2TB drives are fine on the 9500S, I'm using 4x1.5 and 6x1 right now. I upgraded from a 9500S-12ML to a 9550SX-16, and I'm planning on moving to a 9750-4 and a SAS expander as soon as the piggy bank refills. I thought I had an WD EARS in the system, but apparently all of mine are EADS. My brother is running a mix of EARS and EADS on a 9650-24M8.

You might want to look at a 9650/9750 anyways (your drives will just drop in without having to adjust anything) as that would give you raid6 support.. Far safer.

Edited by compwizrd

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2TB drives are fine on the 9500S, I'm using 4x1.5 and 6x1 right now. I upgraded from a 9500S-12ML to a 9550SX-16, and I'm planning on moving to a 9750-4 and a SAS expander as soon as the piggy bank refills. I thought I had an WD EARS in the system, but apparently all of mine are EADS. My brother is running a mix of EARS and EADS on a 9650-24M8.

You might want to look at a 9650/9750 anyways (your drives will just drop in without having to adjust anything) as that would give you raid6 support.. Far safer.

Beware that the 9500S, 9550SX, 9590SE are end of life and will not get a firmware update to support > 2TB HDDs ...

9650SE/9690SA/9750 support > 2TB HDDs

NOTE: > 2TB means > 32 bit LBAs of 512 bytes...

Regards,

MEJV

Edited by mejv

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