Which disk controllers work best with Linux?

Robin Bowes robin-lists at robinbowes.com
Tue Sep 14 05:12:49 CDT 2010

On 14/09/10 10:46, Tim Small wrote:
> 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.

If you don't want to use HW raid, but want battery-backed write caching,
you can use a HW controller with a battery-backed cache (PERC 6/i, H700,
etc) and configure each drive as a separate RAID0 volume.

"Feed that ego and you starve the soul" - Colonel J.D. Wilkes

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