ServeRaid m5110e vs generic HBA (6 or 12Gb/s?)

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Hi all,

I recently bought a used IBM X3650 M4 for testing and development. This server ships with a built-in RAID card, the ServeRaid m5110e.

I'm using it in JBOD mode on all disks (2 x HDDs and 6 x SSDs) and configured software RAID on Ubuntu using mdadm.

I would like to know from experts like you if that controller could be a bottleneck and if I should buy a dedicated HBA card. In other words, how can that controller affect performance against a dedicated HBA SAS/SATA 6Gb/s?


Another question: a 12Gb/s HBA controller will improve performance even with 6Gb/s SAS/SATAIII disks?


Thank you very much


Edited by pietrop

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What SSDs specifically are you working with? That RAID card looks like an older 9200-series LSI model, which if you are using just hard drives or slower SSDs you may not see a difference.

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They are 6 x Crucial MX300 525GB.

I should get 80k to 90k IOPS from each of them, as your (and other sites) benchmark show. This means a total maximum of about 480k-540k IOPS in a RAID0 configuration and 240k-270k in RAID10. Actually they reach 120k IOPS in RAID10 (half of 240k) for 4k workloads at 16 and 32 IO Depths.

On IBM web site I found these HBAs are officially supported by my server:

The N2215 should support high IOPS and this is a good thing to consider because I have room for other 8 SSDs. These boards have 2 x 4 SATA channels, so 2 x HBA in order to manage 16 disks. At the moment I will not saturate the N2215 but probably will saturate the N2115 model.

I was wondering if you can suggest other boards that give good results, so that the bottleneck will become the SSDs and not the controller itself.

Also, 12Gb/s requires different cables, so I would like to know if N2115 shuold be ok (and use the cables I have) or go for the more powerful N2215.


Thank you a lot for your time


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