Kevin OBrien

LSI MegaRAID CacheCade Pro 2.0 Review Discussion

11 posts in this topic

LSI's line of MegaRAID RAID cards have tremendous market share for good reason, they're looked at by many as the de facto standard thanks to solid hardware and a fantastic software stack. Of course LSI's MegaRAID cards are capable of more than just tying together drives, their CacheCade Pro 2.0 add-on leverages the speed benefit of SSDs as cache pools for a larger capacity hard disk array.

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TheSSDReview.com also did a very good review of this software. Very very impressive. Soon it will be available for the 9265 line of cards. When the 9265-4i comes out, I'm going to sell my 9260-4i, buy the 9265-4i, and add this software for my two large RAID6 arrays. The speed will be completely overkill for a single home user but now it won't matter how many VMs I run off of the array or what they are doing. I'll know they can't do anything that will slow the array down.

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You bring up a good point and that's why we did some testing for this around the enthusiast use case too. It's just a great piece of software and if you're going to buy a good RAID card, chances are you're buying LSI already. The CC add-on is a no brainer.

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The TCO and performance is very impressive. It is also nice that they include their FastPath software and even a free upgrade from the previous version(1.0). I can definitely see enthusiast getting the software.

Also,did LSI provide you guys with a list of tested SSDs? Their FAQ says to go to www.lsi.com/channel, but I can't seem to find it(though I didn't look too hard).

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Where are the reference numbers for the all SSD option?

Perhaps 48 or 32 is too many, but what about 8 SSDs to compare

the Enterprize $2170 1.8TB version with 8 240GB $480 OCZ Vertex

3 Series 240GB drives for about 2 times the cost?

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No, looks like their compatibility list is MIA, though I can't imagine there would be an SSD not on the list.

The enterprise isn't running Vertex 3's in a data center, it just doesn't make sense for endurance reasons. You really want a drive tweaked for that use profile.

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I'd like to use one of these with CacheCade Pro 2.0 along with a RAID 5 array (The Server had 4 Drive Bays - Dell R310).

Do you think that it is appropriate to pair a 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS with 3 x 1Tb SATA in RAID 5? The enterprise class drives are so expensive and the server will not be heavily loaded or dealing with a huge amount of data.

The SSDs that Dell can provide are hugely expensive and have poor performance. If I could get two years out of the SSD, I would be happy with that.

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From what we have been hearing, it is not too uncommon throwing a cheaper consumer SSD into the caching space with these systems, since if it fails it falls back to HDD-only operation without a loss of data. Some users are finding reasonable performance/reliability ratios from drives in the caching space, since it is not as mission critical as if you were only storing the data on consumer-grade SSDs from the start. Have you done any sort of logging to find out if the workload is read or write intensive? If it is heavily write based you might run into longevity issues, but for the price difference it might be still worth giving it a shot as long as the SSD is easily accessible in a hot-swap bay to replace if/when it fails.

In our tests as you might be aware, we used a V3 MAX IOPS, since it was on the older 3x nm process, giving it a head start in write cycles versus the 25nm async/sync-equipped SSDs. Beyond that though we don't have any endurance figures we can help you out with. If price is not as big of a concern, you could always have two installed with the second SSD as a hot-spare.

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Thanks for your advice. In the end I opted for an Intel 520 Series as I liked the 5 year warranty and the Intel branding gives me some confidence.

I am going to do some performance testing soon, but have posted some pictures of the SSD installation into the Dell PowerEdge Server:

http://www.tachytelic.net/2012/02/adding-an-intel-520-series-ssd-as-a-cachecade-drive-to-a-dell-poweredge-r510/

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Awesome shots! The only thing I might recommend in addition is slightly over-provisioning the drive to enhance its lifespan.

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Hello,

For cachecade, how to enabel 25 GB hot date zone. And how about your test sizing to fill in your hdds?

When we tested that function, we cannot get similar result. We used FIO (libaio engine, direct=1), result is very similar with pure HDDs (8* 10k hdds).

Any advise?

Thanks,

Eugene

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