Which disk controllers work best with Linux?

Tim Small tim at seoss.co.uk
Tue Sep 14 04:46:51 CDT 2010

On 14/09/10 02:32, Adam Nielsen wrote:
> 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.

As far as I know, the R210, R310 and R410 can be bought with an option 
to use the onboard ICH10R SATA controller (which this generation of 
servers finally enable in AHCI mode), and this is what we normally do - 
but, I don't think there's an option to have them ship with hot-swap 
caddies in this configuration.  You can still hot swap the drives of 
course, as AHCI supports this, but it's a lot more awkward to do-so.

The Intel Server Chassis do offer AHCI with hot-swap options if you want 
to go to a different server vendor, but then they have other 
disadvantages (last time I looked BIOS upgrades under Linux were more 
awkward than with Dell boxes).

The only time we use hardware RAID is if the workload really needs the 
low-latency writes offered by battery-backed write caching.


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