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IDE RAID Examined

chrisd posted more than 11 years ago | from the nicely-done-articles dept.

Hardware 597

Bender writes "The Tech Report has an interesting article comparing IDE RAID controllers from four of the top manufacturers. The article serves as more than just a straight product comparison, because the author has included tests for different RAID levels and different numbers of drives, plus a comprehensive series of benchmarks intended to isolate the performance quirks of each RAID controller card at each RAID level. The results raise questions about whether IDE RAID can really take the place of a more expensive SCSI storage subsystem in workstation or small-scale server environments. Worthwhile reading for the curious sysadmin." I personally would love to hear any ide-raid stories that slashdotters might have.

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Zoinks phirst post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815372)



Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815374)

In Soviet Russia, IDE RAID examines you!


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815415)

Which interface is it going to examine?

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815444)

Your ideas intrigue me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Redundant)

James Skarzinskas (518966) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815448)

In Soviet Russia, up shuts the fuck the Soviet Russia trolls!


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815521)

I give it one more week until these posts make the change from +1 funny to -1 TROLL (just like the beowulf cluster and Natalie Portman jokes). /. loves to ride a joke until it is completely dead.

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (0, Offtopic)

Kyeo (577916) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815566)

In Soviet Russia, joke rides you!

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815594)

Well played.

IDE AID? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815377)

Don't tell me the hard drive manufacturers are in that much trouble. I hope Willie Nelson will be there.

Hey... (-1, Troll)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815380)

If Apple no longer puts SCSI disks (or even controllers!!!) in it's high-end machines, this must mean that IDE is now better than SCSI.

And given that mac users are often doing high-data volume stuff such as video editing, IDE has to be better than SCSI...

Re:Hey... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815420)

offtopic? Who gives a shit about apple?

Re:Hey... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815451)

Well...apparently I do...uh, you do.

MACs are the bestist computer evar!! (-1, Troll)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815424)

Yes, because Apple machines are better then any other kind of computer, so if they don't use scsi then scsi must be crap!

Or maybe apple's aren't actually the best computers out there these days? And maybe those doing high volume data stuff like video editing on them are actually suffering through longer lags then they would be on a high-end PC, but suffer through it anyway because they are blinded by some bizarre content free ideology that causes them to believe one brand of consumer products is better then another without reason?

Re:Hey... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815443)

Unfortunately, I don't think they tested the built-in RAID capabilities of the Xserver. Or, Apple add-on cards in general. So it very well may be that IDE on Macintoshes is better than SCSI anywhere. This article has no comment on that.

Re:Hey... (1)

principio (558251) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815458)

Or, maybe they are just buying SCSI cards...

First post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815381)

First Post. Oh yeah. I know im a troll.

YEEESSSS!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815384)

1st post.

Damn. I'm third.

Re:YEEESSSS!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815411)

try fifth asshole >:|

IDE Raid, inexpensive but major hassle (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815386)

IDE can only handle one or two hard drives per channel, which makes the cabling a real nasty hassle as opposed to SCSI-based RAID.

Even those so-called rounded cables can clutter the hell out of a tower case if you have a 4-channel RAID controller.

In my case it's the Adaptec 2400A four-channel, with four 120GB Western Digital hard drives, RAID 1+0.

Re:IDE Raid, inexpensive but major hassle (5, Informative)

mccormick (40772) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815468)

For performance reasons, I haven't seen a single vendor that actually expects you to put two drives on a single interface, and infact, I've found that the 3ware Escalade controllers just won't let you. When they advertise that it can two drives, it usually means it has two dedicated interfaces, therefore have the potential for completely saturated a single port all by itself (which is hard to do with ATA/100 and ATA/133 drives that cannot even burst that high -- get good drives! big caches too!)

Re:IDE Raid, inexpensive but major hassle (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815585)

Thats because one of the major limitations of current generation IDE is that only one device on a channel can "talk" at a time. So even if you're using a RAID card with two devices on a channel, it will be no faster than a standard IDE connection, since only one drive read/write can be done at a time. With SCSI, all of the drives on a channel can talk at the same time until the 160 MB/s that SCSI can handle is saturated.

Re:IDE Raid, inexpensive but major hassle (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815481)

see serial ata raid (coming soon to a world near you)

teeny tiny leetle cables...

Re:IDE Raid, inexpensive but major hassle (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815508)

Oh yeah, I used to have this configured in RAID-5 mode, and had a drive fail. It took just about 24 hours for 120GB to reconstruct onto a spare disk.

I was fortunate enough to have also purchased a Fry's Electronics Instant Exchange guarantee for all the hard drives. So I popped in to Fry's to exchange it, and got a replacement after waiting for two fricking hours. I swear the poor guy had to run around for 20 different manager signatures.

Fry's Instant Exchange is not so instant.

Adaptec 2400A - $350
Two 3ware Hotswap drive bays - $340
Four 120GB western digitals (7200rpm) - $920

With Linux 2.4.9-SGI-XFS, filesystem writes were pretty damn slow -- maybe 12MB/sec on RAID-5.

Re:IDE Raid, inexpensive but major hassle (1)

betis70 (525817) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815611)

So you are one of those people I pass when I walk into Fry's? And are still there when I walk out?

Re:IDE Raid, inexpensive but major hassle (2, Insightful)

PlanetX 00 (623339) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815531)

The next generation of IDE will be serial ATA (SATA). These drives will have a small cable going from the controller to the drive getting rid of all the cable clutter. Also, these controllers will allow you to use more than four drives, the more ports the more drives. Finally, these controllers will have improved electronics allowing the card to do more work, and making them less of a CPU resource hog. Continuing to use SCSI will get you higher speeds and greater drive MTFBs, but with IDE RAID you might not have to worry about the drive MTBFs (I can buy several larger IDE drives at the same cost of a smaller SCSI drive).

Re:IDE Raid, inexpensive but major hassle (1)

silicon_synapse (145470) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815621)

I'm using one of the SATA interfaces on my motherboard along with one PATA interface for IDE RAID. The cable is definately much thinner which is nice (makes for good airflow), but I find it rather stiff. I hope some more flexible cables are produced. If it has to bend at an awkward place it could put a good bit of pressure on the now-much-smaller connector.

SCSI for workstations? (3, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815389)

Whats the point in having SCSI-Raid in most workstations these days? I mean, ram is so cheap now you can throw in a couple gigs for much less then the price diffrence between SCSI RAID and IDE raid.

I mean, I know the hest drives are SCSI flavor, but it seems like there's so many other things you could spend money on first that would get you way better performance, like getting a Dual Athlon CPU or something.

Re:SCSI for workstations? (1)

WiPEOUT (20036) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815465)

and what better way to ensure your dual AthlonMPs with 2GB of RAM are kept fully utilised that by attaching a Seagate Cheetah 15.3K drive or three?

Re:SCSI for workstations? (5, Informative)

redfiche (621966) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815482)

Performance isn't the only issue. We build custom PC-like devices from parts for use in health care, and we are constantly struggling to get a steady supply of parts that will be the same for more than a few months. Hard drives are about the worst, and IDE hard drives have a market lifespan of a few months. It can be a paperwork and testing nightmare to change the hard drive you use frequently. SCSI has a much longer lifespan in the market.

There is also the reliability factor. SCSI drives tend to be more robust.

Re:SCSI for workstations? (2)

Kenja (541830) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815495)

I like my data. I like it to be there when I get home from work. Thats why I've got a three drive RAID-5 on my main workstation. That way if a drive dies my data is still there.

Re:SCSI for workstations? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815553)

f()ck a mac! I really don't care how pretty my user friendly desktop is. I'm a hacker who only cares about terminal Xwindows. Blackbox is freaking faster than aqua anyways. So my hardware will kick your Mac's ass anytime.

Dual 2400+ MPs, 3Gigs of Ram, RAID 5, Gforce4 TI, Soundblaster Platinum. Running on Debian.
All I need is my gator boots and a gucci suite!


Re:SCSI for workstations? (5, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815610)

Ummm, no.

Try getting sustained data transfer rates out of an IDE RAID under load. It won't happen. You'll stutter. *boom* goes your realtime process.

SCSI RAID, on the other hand, streams happily along with very little CPU load.

RAID can mean different things... (1)

dagg (153577) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815397)

Depending on who you ask, RAID stands for either Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks or Redundant Array of Independent Disks. I suppose which expanded acronym you choose to use will depend on how much you paid for your hard drives, since you can build RAID arrays with cheap 5,400 RPM IDE drives or uber-expensive 15,000 RPM SCSI beasts.

That's so true. There's a big difference :-).

yersex [] )

Re:RAID can mean different things... (2, Informative)

Magila (138485) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815466)

I don't quite understand where this Inexpensive crap came from. RAID was around long before IDE RAID controllers started showing up and of course SCSI RAID arrays almost always use very expesive disks. It's Redunant Array of Independent Disks, always has always will be.

Re:RAID can mean different things... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815580)

You are wrong.
The orignal meaning was inexpensive.

When RAID was invented disk size was scaling up more slowly than demand and there was a huge price premium for the largest drives available. Economies of scale meant that smaller drives meant for the PC market were rather cheap, while larger drives remained very expensive. The epiphany of the RAID inventors was that since the price/storage unit was so much lower with smaller drives, it made sense to eschew large drives and stack multiple smaller drives together to achieve the same space with higher performance and lower price.

Re:RAID can mean different things... (1)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815598)

I would n't say that, the Inexpensive part comes not from the IDE/SCSI perspective but from the fact that at the time smaller hard drives where much much cheaper then large ones.

Unlike now where you can get 200gigs for less then 3x the cost of a 20gig drive in the early 80's 10x the size meant alot more then 10x the cost.

Re:RAID can mean different things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815601)

Nope. Back before IDE, people could choose between expensive and reliable SCSI drives and cheap SCSI drives with reliability provided by RAID.

Re:RAID can mean different things... (4, Interesting)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815577)

True, but both cheep IDE drives and expensive SCSI drives are cheep compared to something like a 7133 Serial Disk System [] today. And especially cheep compared to "enterprize" storage solutions of yesteryear when RAID was coined.

at the company I work for (5, Funny)

npietraniec (519210) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815400)

At the company I work for, IDE RAID has become somewhat standard because we're basically cheap... At least it's standard on the servers that are fast enough to support it. The rest use dd to copy partitions between backup drives. My boss calls it "RAID point five" We lovingly refer to it as the ghetto network.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815401)

GuK is GaY !!

experience (5, Informative)

Jahf (21968) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815404)

I ran an IDE RAID, one of the first, a few years ago. It was a 3ware RAID-1 controller. I thought it would be useful because I had gotten sick of losing data on a drive failure. I didn't have the money (or patience :) for a good backup solution and Linux RAID hadn't matured.

Everything was fine for awhile. After a few months I lost a drive, replaced a drive and it remirrored fine. Same thing happened a year or so later.

Then one day my controller fried. Nothing else in the system went down, but some kind of surge hit the 2 drives from the RAID controller. The controller still worked but neither drive was accessible, either as RAID drives or as single drives. Tried numerous tricks, eventually gave up.

I've run SCSI RAID in boxes I admin at work ... never have I seen 2 drives go down simultaneously. Nor have I seen a controller malfunction in a way that damaged the drives (though I've heard of it from other people).

All in all, I decided it wasn't worth it. I am currently doing Linux mirroring in combination with journaling filesystems on one box, and Windows mirroring on another.

Re:experience (1)

Apathy costs bills (629778) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815450)

Combined with another 500 anecdotes and trended, this could be useful data!

Its all about the Benjamins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815408)

Considering the cost of high-performance high storage IDE drives, it's a wonder that SCSI drives are still as popular as they are.

I have happily used IDE RAID in several production servers for years now. The differance in performance is NOT worth the differance in price IMHO.

Re:Its all about the Benjamins (1)

principio (558251) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815511)

I have been using evernal RAID devices for a while now, and could not be happier. They are these cute little beige boxes with a SCSI plug on the outside and room for 16 IDE HDDs inside. Fast, cheap to fill up, and TOO easy to install, with no messy cables.

Large drives, raid = must (1)

jclendenan (530313) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815418)

With drives getting the size they are, it's almost a requirement even at home to get a good big backup solution. And tapes are just way too expensive for many people (me...)

Loosing thing sucks more tho, so i guess i have to take my pick

Raid is a great option, if it works properly that is.

A little story (4, Funny)

bravehamster (44836) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815419)

I work for a small custom computer shop. We built a system a few months back for a video editing company here in town. Obviously they needed a lot of storage, so we suggested a RAID-5 system using 6 100GB drives, giving them roughly half a terabyte of storage. The liked the idea, but insisted we used RAID-0 (the Purchasing Officer had read his PC Gamer and thought it sounded cool). We advised against it, but they insisted. 2 months down the line, a hard drive on one of their other computers breaks down. Their newly hired technician (the office managers son) saw that their big old file server had 5 hard drives in it, but was only using 1 in windows! Being the smart boy that he is, he dutifully shuts down the machine, removes one of the drives, puts it on the broken machine, formats and loads windows on it. He seemed awfully surprised when the file server wouldn't boot, and tried to blame it on us for losing a month of work. Despite our other recommendations, they had no backups. They went out of business last month.

Re:A little story (1)

Apathy costs bills (629778) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815467)

Hahahah! That's so dumb!

What would you have recommended as a backup solution?

Re:A little story (1)

bravehamster (44836) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815527)

Well, the Raid-5 would have worked as it's own backup (sortof), and we also recommended they get a tape drive to backup vital projects, or at least keep copies of the data on the local machines, using the file server as sort of an archive for older projects. Since it was the fastest machine on the premises, they did none of these things and used it as their primary editing station.

Re:A little story (5, Insightful)

tmark (230091) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815470)

their big old file server had 5 hard drives in it, but was only using 1 in windows! Being the smart boy that he is, he dutifully shuts down the machine, removes one of the drives, puts it on the broken machine, formats and loads windows on it.

So how did he decide which of the 5 drives he was going to pull ?

Re:A little story (2, Funny)

bravehamster (44836) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815496)

Apparently he picked one at random. I never really asked.

Re:A little story (4, Insightful)

alexburke (119254) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815573)

Oh. My. God.

I let out a yelp when I got to
puts it on the broken machine, formats and loads windows on it *

One of the things that really chaps my ass, more than anything else, is people asking my advice (and they do so specifically because of my experience in whichever field they're inquiring about), patiently listening to what I have to say, asking intelligent questions... then doing something completely or mostly against my recommendations.

More often than not, something ends up going wrong that would/could not have occurred had they followed my advice in the first place, and then I hear about it.

It sucks the last drop of willpower from my soul to hold myself back from saying "I told you so!" and charging them a stupidity fee. It's tempting to do so even to friends, if/when I get sucked into the resulting mess. [Hear that, Jared? :P]

* Linux zealots: For a more warm-and-cozy feeling, disregard the first eight words of this quote.

Re:A little story (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815622)

You had me at "office managers son" :)

Linux Software Raid (2)

miracle69 (34841) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815423)

I've got a RAID-5 machine made with 5200 RPM WD 120 GB drives. Works great. It's a light server, and I built the thing for under 700 bucks, dual procs and all.

I didn't use a RAID card, just a couple of IDE cards. And it was amazingly simple to set up.

Re:Linux Software Raid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815563)

What transfer speeds do you get from it relative to the maximum speed of the independent drives ?

You asked for it... (4, Funny)

tmark (230091) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815426)

I personally would love to hear any ide-raid stories that slashdotters might have.

Once upon a time, in an array far, far away, there lived a young princess who was worried about the integrity of her data...

Re:You asked for it... (1)

charon_on_acheron (519983) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815564)

But is backing up to an R2 unit really RAID?

Most Unsecure OS? Yep, It's Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815427)

November 26, 2002 | Paul Thurrott []

According to a new Aberdeen Group report, open-source solution Linux has surpassed Windows as the most vulnerable OS, contrary to the high-profile press Microsoft's security woes receive. Furthermore, the Aberdeen Group reports that more than 50 percent of all security advisories that CERT issued in the first 10 months of 2002 were for Linux and other open-source software solutions. The report muddles the argument that proprietary software such as Windows is inherently less secure than open solutions. And here's another blow to the status quo: Proprietary UNIX solutions were responsible for just as many security advisories as Linux in the same time period. Could Windows be the most secure mainstream OS available today?

"Open-source software, commonly used in many versions of Linux, UNIX, and network routing equipment, is now the major source of elevated security vulnerabilities for IT buyers," the report reads. "Security advisories for open-source and Linux software accounted for 16 out of the 29 security advisories--about one of every two advisories--published for the first 10 months of 2002. During this same time, vulnerabilities affecting Microsoft products numbered seven, or about one in four of all advisories."

The stunning report makes several claims that seem to fly in the face of widely accepted beliefs. First, the Aberdeen Group says that Windows-based Trojan horse attacks peaked in 2001, when CERT released six such advisories, then bottomed out this year, when CERT didn't issue any alerts. However, Trojan horse-based attacks on Linux, UNIX, and open-source projects jumped from one in 2001 to two in 2002. The Aberdeen Group says this information proves that Linux and UNIX are just as prone to Trojan horse attacks as any other OS, despite press reports to the contrary, and that Mac OS X, which is based on UNIX, is also vulnerable to such attacks. Even more troubling, perhaps, is the use of open-source software in routers, Web servers, firewalls, and other Internet-connected solutions. The Aberdeen Group says that this situation sets up these devices and software products to be "infectious carriers" that intruders can easily usurp.

According to the Aberdeen Group, the open-source community's claim that it can fix security vulnerabilities more quickly than proprietary developers can means little. The group says that the open-source software and hardware solutions need more rigorous security testing before they're released to customers. This statement is particularly problematic because many Linux distributions lack the sophisticated automatic-update technologies modern Windows versions contain.

We can rail against Microsoft and its security policies, but far more people and systems use Microsoft's software than the competition's software. I believe that we'll never know how secure Linux is, compared with Windows, until a comparable number of people and systems use Linux. But despite the fact that Linux isn't as prevalent as Windows, we're still seeing a dramatic increase in Linux security advisories today. I think the conclusion is obvious.

speed vs reliability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815429)

Today, speed is not a real concern for the average user. Even 5400 rpm is plenty fast.

For us small-time sysadmins, RELIABILITY is the concern. Can I yank a drive, pop in a new, unformatted one out of the box, and expect to be able to replace the other drive in a similar fashion the next day, without losing a single file?

Don't give a shit about Q3 times. Do care about a RAID Suse Linux server. Remember, I'm not some millionaire Slashdot commer with greasy palms and a red cock, I have chilluns to feed.

It's spelled r-e-l-i-a-b-i-l-i-t-y, advertisers.

Re:speed vs reliability (1)

Stoptional (469673) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815514)

Sheer profundity! It is about reliability. See? If you cannot GET to the data at ALL then no one cares about how FAST it comes in - I want it to WORK, always. Our clients WILL want to know WHY it failed - they are only curious about it being faster. JMHO

Great article (3, Funny)

lakeland (218447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815434)

This article is much more an introduction to RAID than a point by point comparison of the various drives. Certainly, I wouldn't want to use it for choosing between them when I couldn't afford a mistake. But if you're used to using one or two disks and want increased performance or reliability (and lets face it, who doesn't?) then this article is well worth a read.

My favourite quote from the article : As an added bonus, the lights sometimes flash in a side-to-side in a pattern reminiscent of Knight Rider's KITT.

I've used them (1)

redfiche (621966) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815439)

I'm working on a project where we use an IDE Raid card for data backup on a computer/device we ship to customers. We use a simple mirror, basically just insurance against a hard drive crash. It's allowed us to keep our costs much lower than they would have been with SCSI. We have only had to recover one time, but it was very easy.

Downside of raid (1)

erax0r (626272) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815440)

The only downside I can see with raid is one main thing for me. After I went raid I couldn't go back to standard ide. =) I know I "could" but it would be a pain in the a$$. Lets say I start to build a backup computer and decide I want to take out one of my 80 gigs and pop it in the new one. Sine my two 80's are currently in a raid I think this would have some seriously messy side effects. Thats my only bitch about raid. Other wise its pretty damn cool. Also my floppy drive is broke so I cannot boot windows xp to install on one of my raid drives. Sucks. Stupid xp -).

My experience with IDE RAID.... (-1, Troll)

Radiantal (302895) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815442)

Has been great for the past 2 almost 3 years now. I purchased the Promise FastTrak 100 back in January of 2001. I currently have 2 40GB 7200 ATA 100 drives connected and configured as RAID 0. I know raid is supposed to be mainly for redundancy, but I wanted the performace more than anything else. Typically see 140 - 160MB transfer on the raid. Not bad in my opionion. Not sure if it beat SCSI considering Ultra 160 is out and 320 is just coming out....

Re:My experience with IDE RAID.... (5, Insightful)

Phosphor3k (542747) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815596)

Thats bullshit. Post some links to benches that back that up.

Two 80GB WD special edition drives in RAID 0 (7200RPM, 8mb cache) rarely burst over 90MB/s. They usually have a sustained transfer of ~50-65MB/s.

Additionally, your seek time is going to suck. I gaurantee its not going to be under 11ms. You cpu utilization during transfer will prolly be around 4% in the asolute best case senario and 11% on average. This is becuase, no matter what you think, all raid cards under ~140$ do the calculations for the transfers in software, not hardware. All you have is a controller card with special drivers. You wont come even close to beating the overall performance of a scsi 160 drive, or SCSI 160 RAID 0 setup.

Interesting... (1)

stevezero (620090) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815445)

How the Cheapest card (the Highpoint RocketRaid 133) seems to be the best in the performance chart.

Maybe it's just me, but why woould I go back to SCSI when IDE almost outperforms for about a third of the cost.

Just because I'm a geek doesn't mean I'm made of money.

Experience with 3ware Escalade hardware (0)

mccormick (40772) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815446)

I've had a 3ware Escalade 6200 (ATA/66, two IDE interfaces) running in an RAID-1 (mirroring) for about two years now, and I haven't had a single problem with it running under Debian Linux, kernel 2.4 series. It's nice to have the piece of mind RAID gives you. I also have a somewhat beefier server with a more recent 3ware Escalade 7400 (ATA/100, four interfaces) and again, no problems and great performance. I would definately recommend 3ware, but I have not tried too many others (haven't needed to.) There future offerings of their Escalade line combined with Serial ATA should be interesting to watch once SATA drives become available.

Re:Experience with 3ware Escalade hardware (2, Informative)

jpbostic (577923) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815485)

I work in a 24x7 shop and we've been using the 3Ware Escalade series as well (using Slackware here). They're really nice: the drivers are in the kernel - none of this add a binary driver that might or might not work with later kernel updates stuff. Painting oneself into a corner is for the birds.

Re:Experience with 3ware Escalade hardware (0)

mccormick (40772) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815529)

I agree. The open nature of the driver is a benefit, and not even for the opensource purists, but because it means that typically, the driver won't be limited to one kernel version (as I found with the binary-old, distribution-specific drivers for the Highpoint HPT366 based chipset.)

Hmm... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815447)

The only thing I RAID is my fridge. I have no ide-a if that counts...

External IDE RAID enclosure (2)

nakhla (68363) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815460)

I'd be happy if I could find a decent external IDE RAID enclosure at a good price. So far, the only ones I've seen cost waaaaaaaaay too much money. Is there anything similar to a Sun 711 Multipack for IDE? (Hopefully something I can buy on the cheap through Ebay?)

Re:External IDE RAID enclosure (1)

lakeland (218447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815501)

Sure, just buy a Shuttle cube with its built in RAID. Plug it into the server you want raid on via gigabit crossover cable, and enjoy.

Respond Bots?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815461)

24 comments in 8 minutes?

Does anyone even read the slashdot page anymore?

Re:Respond Bots?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815484)

Sorry, I meant 38 comments in 13 minutes.

I feel obsolete already...

Re:Respond Bots?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815519)

Seriously, how can 50 people possibly read an in depth article on IDE RAID drives, and make any kind of intelligent comment on them, faster than I can type a silly little post like this.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815547)

It just means that the first 24 people didn't thorougly read the article.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815591)

Yes, but how unthoroughly do you have to read an article to review it, form a response, and make a post? My browser barely even loads pages that fast.

It would be nice if /. had an option to filter out posts less than, say, 30 minutes, so that one could locate the more considered opinions more easily.

McDonalds' hamburgers are fast, but they're not good.

Annoying (5, Funny)

cheezedawg (413482) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815469)

You would think that after 130 graphs comparing the controllers he could come up with a stronger conclusion than "I cant really decide which one is the best"

Re:Annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815483)

Information Overload at its finest

Chrisd! Have I got a story for YOU! (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815479)

I have a MSI motherboard (845 Ultra max) that has a Promise 133 lite controller on it(IIRC). I don't actually use the RAID functions tho, I use them as extra IDE channels.

I have two 40 gig WD HDs that were originally purchased for RAID, but I've not had a wild hair enough to use them. So I've got an E: and an F: drive and occasionally back up the E to the F. So, in summary, I have RAID capabillities, but choose not to use it, because 7200 RPM on one drive is fast enough for me.

I know, what a shitty story. I feel like the videocam/train guy.

IDE, Serial IDE, SCSI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815486)

Just as a matter of interest:

With the introduction of serial IDE drives to the mix, and the fact that they are taking on more of the features of SCSI, would this affect the whole IDE RAID vs. SCSI RAID issue?

If not, why not? And conversely, why?

3ware Escalade controller querying (0)

mccormick (40772) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815494)

Does anyone know how useful information could be obtained from a 3ware Escalade controller on Linux? Something like which arrays exist, if any drives have crashed, etc. Thanks :)

fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815497)


Software vs. hardware raid (3, Interesting)

snowtigger (204757) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815498)

A friend of mine set up a raid0 (striped array) using the built-in raid-controller in his motherboard. Later, this motherboard had to be changed. To our great surprise, the raid information was only stored in the motherboard and thus permanently lost. This could be a good thing to know ... Make sure the data is not lost if the controller fails.

Personnally, I run several software RAID arrays under Linux and it works very well. It's easy to manage and gives me decent performance on my rather old machine.

I feel very confident in mirroring system/boot partitions on my linux machines =)

Re:Software vs. hardware raid (3, Informative)

Phosphor3k (542747) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815618)

Most onboard RAId solutions and add-in cards under ~140$ are like this. You have to replace failed ones with cards using the same chipset in order to recover the data or use the array again. Onboard Promise and Highpoint RAID controllers have add-in counterpart cards that use the same chipset, and thus can be used to recover data if the on-board chip decides to die.

scsi vs raid (0)

yet_another_user (513529) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815500)

I use scsi (raids) only at our production servers (sysadmin for a medium sized company in the UK). We run a database intensive website serving up to a 100k ppl per day.

While these drives may be expensive (15k rpm / 18 gb / 4-6 per machine) they definately dust the arena with any IDE-raid I've ever seen. But then again I've used only one IDE raid (something cheapo) for one other productionserver, and other than that just talked to friends who run it.

What really would be interesting to see would be the latest and greatest from the IDE/raid-scene pitted against dito in the SCSI/raid-scene. All along with prices for controllers and disks ofcourse, to show how much more you have to cough up to get the scsi solution.

Hey why don't y'all paypal me 10 pounds each and I'll put a test like this online in a few days! :)

RAIDed and raped (1)

Faeton (522316) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815507)

RAID, for me, sucked big donkey balls. Used an MSI KT3 Ultra ARU which has RAID built in.

The jist of the story is that I lost almost 240 gigs worth of files. Yeah yeah, I did RAID 0, when one day one of my HD's decides to click incessantly. There was nothing I could do. I sat there tearing up as the drive was clicking because I knew I wasn't going to be able to save the drive.

I habitually backup files, but mostly the dynamic stuff like email, documents and ICQ databases. Most people don't backup 240 gigs worth of data, let alone a gig. I tried to restore what I could, but some stuff was lost forever. It was like a fire going through all my files. I guess that's a painful lesson learned.

RAID system bootup times are also longer, by a factor of 2x. But that's another story.

Re:RAIDed and raped (1)

pro-mpd (412123) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815544)

RAID 0+1 my friend. Although it's double the cost, just consider it part of the price of data godliness.

Re:RAIDed and raped (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815623)

Gee you lost all your data running RAID-0. Theres a big suprise. No sympathy here.

As they say, were you born stupid, or do you have to work at it?

Short IDE-RAID story... (1)

pro-mpd (412123) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815518)

2 Western Digital drives in RAID 0. Fast as hell. Beats 15k SCSI drives.

I think that most of the innovative work is being focused on IDE, so we get uber fast drives like those (promised) for SATA. Meanwhile, the quality work is focused on SCSI, since they are a slightly more niche market and cost matters less. So, either get a really big, fast, innovative drive that might or might not die in a few months, or get a really expensive SCSI drive that will probably last years, but was obsolete (capacity wise) months before it was even purchased.

The way I see it, if one of my IDE drives goes, aside from being SOL, I'll just buy a new one. Hell, they're cheap enough...

I guess it's time to get two more drives and set it up for 0+1... just jinxed myself maybe?

Also check out for IDE RAID 1 support... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815532) - OS independent (including DOS!)

3-ware = Good (1)

Robert Hayden (58313) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815541)

I have two linux file servers in my basement, each with a 4-port 3ware RAID5 array on it. One has 4x120GB drives and one with 4x80GB drive. Great storage for network-available (via Samba) MP3s and movies and the RAID cards were only $99.

It just works well.

Yes, RAID5 is a little slow on writes, but generally that's not the way my data flows. For a bigass box with REDUNDANT arrays, it's a very nice and INEXPENSIVE way to make that happen.

It has my hearty recommendation.

IDE RAID (5, Interesting)

13Echo (209846) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815546)

My experiences with IDE RAID have been pretty darn good. Benchmarking my Desktar 60GXP drives in Windows 2000 last year showed that I was getting read speeds in striping mode (between two drives) at faster rates than the fastest seagate Cheetah SCSI drives. Times have probably changed now though.

I started with a KT7A-RAID mobo. The important thing is that you get the cluster sizes just right for your particular partition. I used Norton Ghost to image my drive and try all sorts of different variables. In the end I had very satisfying results. Since I switched to Linux, I stopped using RAID-0 (yes, it is supported with this device!). I found that ReiserFS and the multi-drive Linux filesystem on these drives seemed to be just about as fast without having to hassle with soft-RAID controllers. It is probably due to my system RAM though. I couldn't seem to get Windows 2000 to make the most of 1024 MB without using that swapfile. Linux seems to avoid the swap altogether and uses static RAM instead. It is very nice having the extra IDE channels though. Without them, I probably wouldn't have 4 HDs hooked up right now.

I use IDE RAID all the time ... (2)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815572)

... and I absolutely love it ...

I can't remember how I got by without IDE RAID ...

In fact I love IDE RAID so much I reccommend it to everyone I see on the streets ...

I even bought one for everyone in my family, just in time for the hollidays ...


3ware 7850 8 channel drive (5, Interesting)

tcc (140386) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815587)

I bought that about a while ago when the maxtor 160GB 5400RPM drives started to ship.

I had to build a datacenter and storage price was the main issue. I had to have something cheap, yet hold a LOAD of data. Problem is personally I hate maxtor drives, I always found the more or less reliable (but drive experiences varies from a person to another so..). Anyways at that time maxtor were the only one offering 160GB drives, at a decent price/meg, and although 5400RPM is quite slow for access time, the main issue was cost so I could take a hit on access speed as long as "streaming" speed was fast enough.

the Adaptec 2400A card was the best at the time, simple, cheap efficient, it had 3 bad sides for my application, no 48Bits LBA support (130GB+), no 64bits PCI version (I was using a K7 thunder, and that chipset will slow down the pci bus to the slowest card connected to to bus, and since I wanted all available bandwidth to be thrown to the 64bits gigabit card, I couldn't accept using 32bits), and finally, no more than 4 drives. I wanted to break the terrabyte limit, so let's say I would have used 2 of those cards, it wouldn't have been price-performance-wise since the 2 would have shared the bus and I would have lost 2 drives for raid-5 instead of one with a 8 drive setup. but the performance of the Adaptec 2400A was the best. Still looks like the best overall today, yet I dunno if they are supporting 48bits LBA?

Anyways the 3ware 7850 was an excellent choice. Although their tech support is more or less good (like most tech supports) especially for real bugs and not just standard drivers reinstallation issues, the response time and sales people were very nice and professionnal. I got surprising results from the array, where I thought it would run like molasse, I was getting over 50MB/sec sustained non-sequential reading if I recall correctly. And the tools are very good, rebuild time is about 3-4 hours with 8x160GB @ 400GB filled on the drives, there are email alert tools and web interface to the host machine to check diagnostics. Overall it's a nice system and I'm sure the 7500 series are even better.

Oh and on a "funny" note, windows shows 1.1TB available in the explorer window, not 1134GB :) Reminds me when I plugued my first gigabyte drive in my amiga and saw big numbers :)

As for the maxtor drives, I didn't take any chances, I ordered 10 to get 2 spares, 2 blew off in less than a month, but didn't have any problems since then, I guess if you can afford the time, doing a 1 month burn-in test with non critical data isn't overkill. usually they SHOULD blow up one by one so you could rebuild the array :).

New cool raid: automatic raid (3, Interesting)

snowtigger (204757) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815597)

HP has developped a pretty cool type of RAID. An automatic RAID-level that automatically organizes your disks for best performance while maintaining security.

When a friend explained it to me, it sounded like a mixture of raid 5 and 0+1. For example, if you replace a disk with a larger one, the extra capacity will be used to duplicate some other part of the array.

White papers here []

Open Source IDE RAID Drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815603)

Despite the claims of the article I have yet to see any 3Ware or HighPoint IDE RAID drivers. The simple reason being that they do NOT want to release their IDE RAID source code as this is the IP their entire company is based on. The best you'll get is a driver with a precompiled binary of the IDE RAID engine and an open source wrapper. At least Promise is honest about this fact to the Linux community while the others just lie.

Drive reliability/backups are major factors (5, Interesting)

trandles (135223) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815612)

We've run several big RAID-5 setups on 3ware cards. When I say big I mean 1TB+ on each card. To do this we've used the 100GB+ drives available (120GB - 160GB) The biggest problem has been drive failures. Out of the 40 drives I think we've lost 6 in less than 1 year. In only 1 case have 2 drives gone bad at once (RAID-5, we're covered if 1 drive fails), but lost around 1TB of data. Luckily the data could be reproduced but took two weeks to regenerate.

It's WAY too easy to build massive arrays using these devices. How the hell are you supposed to back them up? You almost have to have 2, one live array and 1 hot spare array. If you think you're going to put 1TB on tape, forget about it. If you have the cash to buy tape technology with that capacity and the speed to be worthwhile, you should be buying SCSI disks and a SCSI RAID controller.

just like winmodems (4, Insightful)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815613)

Using IDE Raid is like using a winmodem. Unlike with modems, where everyone has one, RAID has a basic educational entry point. I seriously doubt IDE Raid will ever overtake SCSI in any area where knowledgeable people are doing the administration.

Promise 20276 contoller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4815617)

Well - my computer has two 7200 RPM 80GB drives in a RAID stripe 0 array. Works beautifully. In Windows that is. I've been trying to install any distro of Linux on it for the last couple of weeks. All but one of the distros that I've tried couldn't find any RAID controllers. Mandrake found both hard drives - treating them as two - and not one drive. I already have set aside 20GB free using partition magic. So, anyone know which distros support this controller? It's part of the Gigabyte GA-7VRXP mobo. Thanks!


oddityfds (138457) | more than 11 years ago | (#4815624)

There are RAID systems that make use of cheap IDE disks but still have a SCSI connection to computer. Until consumers wake up and start demanding that IDE and SCSI disks cost almost the same, I think this is an ideal solution. It works well and it's both fast and cheap.
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