Which better - PERC 3/DC or 3/Di?

Ed Martin ed.martin at iop.org
Mon Nov 26 06:04:00 CST 2001


I was wondering which of the PERC 3/DC and the PERC 3/Di was considered "better" for Linux?

The 3/Di (and 3/Si) are, I believe, Adaptec controllers built into boxes like the PE2450/2550 and enabled for a low cost.  The PERC 3/DC (and 3/QC, 3/DCL) is an AMI add-on card which can be added to most PE servers.  (I know this is repeating the obvious, but I want to make sure I get it right!)

My criteria for determining "better" is roughly, in order:
1.  Reliability
2.  Performance   (we like RAID 10, or failing that RAID 5)
3.  Managability
4.  Cost

I have previously formed a preference for the AMI/MEGARAID controllers, but am wondering if this was the right choice.  I rated it better on performance and managability, and although more expensive this is less of an issue for me.  I also wasn't very impressed with the afacli utility;  megamgr seemed easier to use to me.  But the 3/Di now includes batter cache I think (and so cached writes are safer) and it seems from reading http://domsch.com/linux/ that the adaptec driver is now included in the standard kernel.

A little background, in case it is relevent:
I should add that we always run the Dell version of Red Hat Linux.  And that I prefer not to build kernels ourselves, or anything particularly advanced.  (Anything to reduce the hassle factor!).  Currently we have a mix of PE1550s, 2450s, 2550s and a 6450.  We run Dell Red Hat Linux v6.2 (SBE2?) on our live servers, and have v7.0 and v7.1 on dev/internal boxes.  RHL v7.2 looks very attractive and pending testing I am hoping to migrate to this on most servers soon.  It will also be our first choice for new servers.

Apologies if this has been asked before.  I did a quick search on the archives first, and found discussions about RAID controllers, but not quite an answer to the above.

All comments / advice is very much appreciated.



PS.  Matt - if you happen to read this - I wished to add that http://domsch.com/linux/ is a really useful site.  I only just found it and wish I'd come across it months ago!  It spells out stuff I'd had to spend time figuring out for myself, and adds lots of info which was new to me.  Thanks.  :-)

Ed Martin
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