Which disk controllers work best with Linux?

Stephen Wong stephen at wongstephen.com
Mon Sep 13 20:51:39 CDT 2010


In my working place, I've some PERC 5/i, 6/i, SAS 6/i, MD3000i (a low
end iSAN).  My 2 cents of opinion:

1. dump those fake RAID like shit!
2. the iSCSI SAN is a slow performer, although I have quite a lot of
spindles (full house on MD3000i), but Ethernet is still Ethernet, it
never comes close to the 'potential' 100MB/s.  Configuration and using
the Broadcom iSCSI offload driver are big hassles!
3. Both PERC 5/i and 6/i are still rock solid controllers, although
Dell keeps on to sell me the 6Gbps H700, I just can't find a
performance difference.  The disks (spindles) in the RAID matter a
lot, if you have a 8 10krpm disks in a RAID 5, it's very fast.

Stephen WONG

On Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 9:32 AM, Adam Nielsen <adam.nielsen at uq.edu.au> wrote:
> Hi all,
> After a recent fire in one of our data centres, it's time to go
> shopping.  As I've had many problems in the past trying to get
> half-decent performance out of the drive controllers in Dell servers,
> I'd like to know what others' experiences are.
> I don't need anything spectacular, but I'd like to have a dozen or so
> people able to load their Word docs at the same time without it grinding
> to a halt.  Annoyingly I can get great performance out of Dell desktop
> PCs with the same kernel version, just not out of the servers I've had
> in the past.
> Mostly this seems to be caused by the disks being connected to an awful
> hardware RAID controller, but I don't think Dell offer any servers using
> the same onboard Intel SATA controllers that work really well on desktop
> PCs.  Haven't yet had a server with SAS disks, but as they all go
> through a hardware RAID controller I'm a little dubious...
> So any suggestions/experience would be much appreciated!
> Many thanks,
> Adam.
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