ProLiant Servers (ML,DL,SL)
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

SATA RAID or SCSI RAID

SOLVED
Go to solution
T. Hatlø
Advisor

SATA RAID or SCSI RAID

We are going to buy new file/print servers for our remote offices. There are between 3 and 30 persons working at these offices. We are considering segmenting the offices in two and buy separate models for the two segments. We are considering to buy servers with SATA RAID for our smallest offices. Can anybody share their experiences with servers and SATA with me? The OS is 2003 Server.
4 REPLIES
Ernest Ford
Trusted Contributor
Solution

Re: SATA RAID or SCSI RAID

The only problems you are likely to see with SATA RAID will be limited expansion - it is a one "drive per port" technology and controllers with six or more ports are rare, with two & four parts being the most common.

The drives are slower and, at least in theory, less reliable (they are built to a less demanding specification), but none of these are likely to be a big issue in a small office scenario.

After using SCSI RAID (some RAID1, but mostly RAID5) in different applications on different brands of server, with arrays of upto perhaps ten drives or so, including clusters, I bought myself a low end IBM with SATA RAID on board - it's limited to two drives and RAID0 or RAID1 - and so far it's done everything I could ask.

I did subject it to a battery of tests (being suspicious of any new technology) including pulling drives to simulate failure, and so far I have no complaints - rebuilds worked properly, audible alarms worked, SNMP alerts worked, and the RAID manager supports remote access, so problem diagnosis can be done from head office.

I was also able to pull a drive and hook it up (as a non boot disk) to a desktop and retrieve data from it, something which in a SCSI RAID environment would require at the very least a SCSI RAID controller from the same family, which is not always possible (in the case of integrated RAID) or convenient.

You need to bear in mind that this is low end technology, and the features and tools you may be accustomed to on the more mature SCSI RAID cards may not be available - don't expect hot spares and online expansion of arrays and so on - as I said earlier - not likely to be a big issue in a small office environment.

Oh - one thing - my IBMs didn't have any LEDs to indicate a failure status, so if you were supporting the small office remotely and sent a new drive with a courier for the branch manager to swap out (the IBMs have simple swap, so it's easy enough) you would have to describe the drive by position to make sure he/she pulled the right one, again not a big issue since you only have a few drives.
RufusG
Frequent Advisor

Re: SATA RAID or SCSI RAID

I built a RAID-1 system by adding a Promise FastTrak S150TX4 Controller and 2 SATA-1 disk drives to an HP ML110 G2. The board was not expensive at about $70 and the support from Promise in Eindhoven was excellent.

This has additional software to manage the RAID system ( PAM Promise Array Manager )

I loaded the Operating System on the original disk and put the Data on the RAID drives, so that the Operating System can be re-built without affecting the Data.

I added the "Lights Out" module and can re-boot and manage the system remotely.

It has proved to be a reliable system for remote offices.

.
e4services
Honored Contributor

Re: SATA RAID or SCSI RAID

I would suggest going off to the Adaptec site and reading about it. THey are really good about talking to the differences and also make a pretty strong product, as you I am sure know.
My 2 cents is on the power of the inexpensive SATA RAID cards. They are usually designed for simple RAID 1 applications with little traffic. Adaptecs 6 port has a Co-Processor like the SCSI RAID cards do, which helps in the traffic issues.
But like it has been said here, the SATA tech is limited, one drive to one port, lighter wieght drives and more diffcult to expand and modify once in place.
Hot Swap Hard Drives
T. Hatlø
Advisor

Re: SATA RAID or SCSI RAID

Closed by author.