[nycbug-talk] RAID controllers - what doesn't suck?

Charles Sprickman spork
Mon Sep 13 18:27:43 EDT 2004

On Mon, 13 Sep 2004, O_Sleep wrote:

> Charles,
> I have been using dell pe 1650's with freebsd.  They have rebranded adaptec 
> SCSI RAID cards.  Haven't had a large enough number of drive failures to 
> raise concern.  Are you using the aacli utility?

Hi Bjorn,

What brand of drives are you running?

For minimal management tasks without going into "SMOR", I use the raidutil 
client, which is supplied by Adaptec.   It's one application that I wish 
had the MS-like "Are you sure (y/n)?" prompt when you do something stupid 
like typo "rebuild" when you mean "build". :)



> -Bjorn Nelson
> On Sep 13, 2004, at 4:29 PM, Charles Sprickman wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Looking for some feedback from people using low to midrange SCSI RAID 
>> controllers under FreeBSD (but other *BSD input would be useful as well).
>> Last time I shopped, Adaptec seemed like the best value for the money. But 
>> since installing a number of these, I'm rethinking that.  The most annoying 
>> problem I've run into is the controller just marking drives as bad.  If I 
>> reboot and ask it to build back onto the "bad" drives, all is well for 
>> quite some time.  Most of the drives are IBM, bought before people started 
>> noting that IBM drives are garbage.
>> This of course leads to troubleshooting hell... Checking the firmware on 
>> all the drives and then digging up a windows box and scsi card to "flash" 
>> the drives, double and triple checking the scsi chain is terminated 
>> properly, hoping that the SCA backplane isn't hosed, etc.  Time consuming 
>> and a lot of mixed results.  Part of me just thinks this is an issue with 
>> the IBM drive, but then again, the drives work fine standalone.  In a few 
>> days I'm taking one problematic system down and junking all the IBM drives 
>> for some new (and larger) Seagates.  So if that makes everything "OK", I'll 
>> stick with Seagate.
>> One other question...  I'm going to be setting up a new shell server that 
>> also serves up a decent amount of ~user webpages.  That too will need a 
>> RAID controller.  I'm not really up on what advantages SATA has over normal 
>> IDE drives, but I wonder if perhaps SATA RAID would be sufficient in this 
>> case?  Lots and lots of random reads, not very sequential. Opinions?
>> Thanks,
>> Charles
>> ___
>> Charles Sprickman
>> NetEng/SysAdmin
>> Bway.net - New York's Best Internet - www.bway.net
>> spork at bway.net - 212.655.9344
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