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Atomicslave

Raid Controller/Drive Recommendation

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Right now i am about to invest some money into a hardware raid controller for home, i am stuck on either the adaptec 6805 or the areca 1880i both are quite similar.

I was going to use either

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136792

or

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145472

for disks and run the array in Raid 6.

Both drives dont seem to be on the supported list for either card but i believe they should work, can anyone comment on either controller being good or bad or is there a better one? Also can anyone recommend a better drive choice while still being the same price range?

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I have no experience with either controller, but I have worked with older Adaptec cards and they've always been solid. When I was having problems with my 3ware 9650se I was looking hard at the Adaptec 31605 and everything I read was positive. The only thing that stopped me from following through on that was a firmware update that's so far resolved my reset issue.

The drives you're looking at are desktop grade, which have power management and error recovery features not intended for hardware raid. Most raid controllers will kick a drive out of the array after being unable to communicate with it for 15-30 seconds. I've seen desktop drives disappear for minutes at a time when they encounter bad sector(s), whereas my WD1002FBYS drives will kick back after 7 seconds at most and allow the controller to scrub the bad sector. I know some older WD drives could enable TLER using smartctl/wdtler.exe, but they disabled that after a while. Half of my 8 disk raid6 is made up of WD1001FALS+TLER. Every once in a while a bad sector shows up on those and everything works as expected, but that's an exception. I didn't plan to go hardware raid when I started buying those, I just happened to get lucky. Regardless, I'm still planning to phase them out. Other manufacturers have their own names for this time limited error recovery functionality. Some of their desktop drives appear to allow you to enable the feature, but I've heard it doesn't always work. Could just be advertised by the firmware but not actually implemented.

Frankly, if you're not willing to buy the right drives for these controllers I wouldn't bother. You'll almost certainly end up without support from the manufacturer and will likely experience drive dropouts and/or have issues initializing or rebuilding your array at some point. Maybe you'll get lucky and everything will work fine for years, but if you value your data I wouldn't leave it to chance.

If you can't afford the right drives, then I suggest an HBA and software raid. I've seen blog posts detailing 16+ drive configurations with Linux md getting 350+MB/sec sequential writes and I've got access to a 12 disk ZFS RAIDZ2 at work that manages the same.

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Frankly, if you're not willing to buy the right drives for these controllers I wouldn't bother.
++;

FWIW, if you insist on gambling with desktop disks, the Hitachi's seem to work best. Backblaze and some other vendors have had good luck with Hitachi 5K3000's and whatnot, the 7K3000's should be ok too.

But honestly, I wouldn't run a parity RAID with desktop disks, be it hardware or software.

(that is just my $0.019.)

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Both drives dont seem to be on the supported list for either card but i believe they should work . . .

The Hitachi 7K3000 that is on Newegg is actually model HDS723030ALA640, which is on the Adaptec compatibility list. I don't know why Newegg has a different code, but Windows 7 says that the drives are all ALA640's. I have 8 on an Adaptec 6805 without issues.

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No idea; Highpoint's line is mostly crap, but they DO have one or two models that are actually quite good.

Google for reviews and see if you can find any trustworthy ones to reference.

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FWIW, if you insist on gambling with desktop disks, the Hitachi's seem to work best. Backblaze and some other vendors have had good luck with Hitachi 5K3000's and whatnot, the 7K3000's should be ok too.

The relevant article

Petabytes on a Budget v2.0: Revealing More Secrets

We are constantly looking at new hard drives, evaluating them for reliability and power consumption. The Hitachi 3TB drive (Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 HDS5C3030ALA630) is our current favorite for both its low power demand and astounding reliability. The Western Digital and Seagate equivalents we tested saw much higher rates of popping out of RAID arrays and drive failure. Even the Western Digital Enterprise Hard Drives had the same high failure rates. The Hitachi drives, on the other hand, perform wonderfully.

So according to Backblaze, that consumer Hitachi drive is more reliable in a RAID than an Enterprise Western Digital. Considering their business, that's a pretty good endorsement.

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So according to Backblaze, that consumer Hitachi drive is more reliable in a RAID than an Enterprise Western Digital. Considering their business, that's a pretty good endorsement.
Not really. It's been a good eight or so years since I had my first run-in with Western Digital drives in enterprise RAID use, and I still have the scars from those experiences. I built my last long-term testbed specifically to test WD RE4-GP drives and guess what? Those still drop out of their arrays with alarming frequency, even in simple RAID1's. Evidently WD's firmware designers, eight years later, STILL can't design enterprise-capable firmware to save their lives. :(

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