I am currently building a large (20 TB) online data store and my first attempt has gone a bit awry. The use case for this storage is to have a non-backed up repository of data for a set of users to access. I/O speed is not the primary concern as this array will act as read-only data store.
My first attempt to build the array utilized the following hardware.
- RocketRAID 2302 (2 eSATA, 2 SATA ports)
- 2 10-bay 4U drive arrays with Sil3726 port multipliers (plugged into separate power supplies)
- Intel S3210 server board running Windows Server 2008
- 20 2TB Seagate Drives
The actual hardware installation went fairly well. The RAID card recognized all 20 drives and we were able to set up a RAID 10 array with each half of the mirror placed on a separate 10-bay unit (to prevent failure if one power supply failed)
However, after running it for a couple of days, I have noted several deficiencies.
- very slow I/O to the array (2 MB/s read or write)
- very slow rebuild of empty drive sets (>30 hours per drive)
- general hardware instability
- one half of the array did lose power and the server locked up requiring a hard reset
- the server refused to boot with the array plugged into the RAID card
- plugging the the array after boot sometimes requires the array to be re-initialized
Based on these issues (I/O speed being the most important). I would like to replace the RocketRAID with a higher-end card. I have been considering something along the lines of the 3ware 9850 card. I would like to keep the price around $500 for the card, but can go up to $1000 to guarantee compatibility.
Thus, I have two questions for the community:
- Is there a higher-end RAID card that is officially compatible with the Sil3726 port multipliers and the seagate 2TB drives running in a RAID 1+0 configuration?
- If there is not a viable RAID card that works with our current hardware, what is an alternative for setting up a high-capacity/low-speed DAS?