Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75
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    Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    Looking for recommendations for Linux-friendly Raid controller board. I am planning to build a 4 x 2TB disk Raid 10 array for a new Proxmox server. Many thanks.
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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    Something like this?

    8-9/10 I use one myself in one of my servers running fedora, never had any trouble with it. Should support over 2TB disks if you decide to expand.

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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    Thx for the link -- I failed to specify that the disks are SATA ..

    have been seeing several posts on other sites saying to avoid "fake raid" and go with software raid...which is built in to Linux... did not know of this linux feature.
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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    SAS Controllers are an industry standard and are backwards compatible with SATA disks, you just need the right cable witch aren't hard to come by.

    But yes, you can also use software RAID which has been supported for years. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
    The hardware RAID card, in this case, will likely be easier to manage and provide better expandabilaty in the future. Meanwhile a software RAID will likely provide better low-level control in case something goes horribly wrong.

    A proper controller like what I linked is far from "fake", but in the end the decision is up to you. So long as you're maintaining your data, making proper backups and being careful, you can't really go wrong either way.

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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    Thank you - I had forgotten about sas/sata family.... so, I found another one, $20 less -- but it looks the same .. just want to be sure to get the right one -- still has 2 of the sff ports .. this is going t be a fun project ..
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    * Bill Clark Windham, VT *
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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    That looks to be the 9264. Not sure how much of a difference it would make for your intended use.

    I doubt it'll matter much for you, at least starting out.

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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    Thanks for all the responses --

    I think I will go with software raid, esp with the new Proxmox build. Looks like ZFS (which I currently know very little about) is built into Proxmox, and they just came out with version 6.0 of Proxmox.

    FWIW, reading more about ZFS, they do not recommend using hardware raid: (although it probably wouldn't make any difference at my level of use) ..


    From the ZFS wiki:
    Use of hardware RAID cards — perhaps in the mistaken belief that these will 'help' ZFS. While routine
    for other filing systems, ZFS handles RAID natively, and is designed to work with a raw and unmodified
    low level view of storage devices, so it can fully use its functionality such as S.M.A.R.T. disk health
    monitoring. A separate RAID card may leave ZFS less efficient and reliable. For example, ZFS checksums
    all data, but most RAID cards will not do this as effectively, or for cached data. Separate cards can also
    mislead ZFS about the state of data, for example after a crash, or by mis-signalling exactly when data has
    safely been written, and in some cases this can lead to issues and data loss. Separate cards can also
    slow down the system, sometimes greatly, by adding CAS latency to every data read/write operation, or by
    undertaking full rebuilds of damaged arrays where ZFS would have only needed to do minor repairs of a
    few seconds.
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    * Bill Clark Windham, VT *
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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    One thing I always find odd is people who are savvy enough to want to add redundancy to their system by implementing RAID, and then put a single RAID controller in the box creating a single point of failure. To do hardware RAID properly you should have redundant controllers in case one fails and ensure that if you need a replacement controller in the future then you will be able to get something compatible to replace it with. Even if you can afford the downtime while sourcing and replacing a single controller, if you can't get a compatible card to replace a broken one with then your data is gone.

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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    Too drunk to respond in a meaningful and intelligible way right now, but you're right to an extent.

    Like most things, it's not a one-size-fits-all situation.

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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    Quote Originally Posted by CPT Gray Wolf
    Too drunk to respond in a meaningful and intelligible way right now, but you're right to an extent.

    Like most things, it's not a one-size-fits-all situation.
    Ok, a gamer who doesn't really care about the data loss and just wants full on striping performance with the raid work being handled on the hardware probably wouldn't mind. Or you could ensure the hardware raid setup is convertible to software raid to avoid data loss (but with an outage) in the event of not being able to get a compatible card etc etc... as you say it's not one size fits all and most people still have SPOFs all throughout their system anyway so would have downtime if their power supply broke for example.

    I just meant that if your aim is to make your data redundant [and you don't mind too much about performance], adding a bit of hardware that adds a SPOF to that redundancy seems odd to me. As an example, if you're mirroring 2 disks then having 2 controllers with a disk attached to each one will mirror the both controllers and the disks, although for the OPs budget I doubt you'd get two duplexing controllers. I guess it depends what the OPs goal is.

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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    I was an administrator of high performance UNIX database systems for well over a decade, but I'm not sure how much of my knowledge is transferrable to modern hardware and software. But with that disclaimer:

    If you are building high performance, high reliability disk systems, yes, you need multiple disk controllers. One "side" of the mirror should be all on one of the controllers, and the other side should be on the other controller. We even used redundant power supplies for the controllers. The striping on each side should all be within one controller. Also, we built stripes of mirrors, not mirrors of stripes. This is for quicker recovery in the event of a drive failure - you only have to recover a single drive instead of the entire stripe. I was dealing with multiple disk arrays comprising well more than 100 drives.

    We used a forerunner of the most modern filesystems that was called Veritas Volume Manager and Veritas Filesystem. These provided similar functionality to today's zfs and btrfs. I use btrfs at home, but not with disk arrays, so I have no knowledge of how these concepts relate to the most modern filesystem software. Technology moves fast.

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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    Quote Originally Posted by tim8723
    I was an administrator of...
    It sounds like we had similar backgrounds. I started working as a pre-sales tech for Sun Microsystems a long long time ago designing high end systems with full resilience etc. I remember them demoing their latest and greatest mid range storage system which had redundant everything... including power supplies... which was amusing when someone in the conference room shut the thing down by tripping over the power cable as the redundant supply didn't have one. I then moved in to Solaris sys admin work, using a lot of VxVM and VxFS as you mention. These days I'm more production/application/managerial side but like to keep my Linux/Unix knowledge fairly fresh, that's partly why I'm here.

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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    Yep. I was managing Oracle databases on Sun Solaris systems for a major financial corporation. They sent me to California and other places to train on Sun and Veritas implementations.

    Before that, I had worked with HP-UX systems. Long before that, I worked on one of the original (and pre-production) Bell Labs UNIX implementations in the early 80s.

    I've been retired almost a decade, now. And all of that is why I use Linux at home (a big part of the reasons, anyway).

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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    wow - what a group! and here am I working for a MSP in Southern VT, just trying to add a bit of redundancy/security for my little 4T ProxMox server at home..(soon to be built). son-in-law works is a project manager at Dell-EMC, and it is truly stunning to consider the storage systems that say JP Morgan requires ..

    I really do enjoy your support, and your posts..
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    * Bill Clark Windham, VT *
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    Re: Linux-frisndly Raid controller recommendations under $75

    Personally, I've had bad experience with LSI cards. Yes you need to have redundant cards but even then it may not be possible to restore a failed system, for example, at one time I found the dead card actually held important metadata that made recovery impossible, thus the entire raid array was garbage and unrecoverable.

    Eventually, I ditched all hardware solutions and started using mdadm (software raid). While it has a little bit of cpu overhead, its so simple to use, I can just remove the drives, plug them on a new system and have the raid array start as if nothing happened. It is also quite easy to recover from various problems.

    I also used Synology raid devices, they are quite good and they use Linux, but I hate the fact that the devices "phone home" constantly and the fact that Synology has total access to your data (legally, because its in their license agreement that you have to accept to use their devices).

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