I plan on building my first real RAID server soon. My idea is to have 8 to 12 hard drivers in RAID 5 or 50. It will serve as a storage server. I would prefer to have real hardware RAID. When looking for what to buy, a few questions came up.
1) Channels vs Maximum supported devices
I know it's possible to have multiple drives on the same channel. I've read this has a performance impact. What I don't know is how big the impact would be. Do I have to get a controller with 1 channel per drive? How many drives should I put on the same channel? Does it matter if I'm running multiple RAID arrays on the same controller?
2) SATA vs SAS
Until now I have always used SATA drives and they have never disappointed me. Is it a bad idea to use SATA drives in a storage array?
3) RAID Controller: 3Gb/s vs 6Gb/s
Since many of the new SATA drives are SATA-600, I started looking for RAID controllers that supported them. Apparently those are less common and a lot more expensive. Are they worth buying, or would it be better to go with a good old proven 3Gb/s controller? What would the performance impact be?
If you have any hints for someone who is new to RAID controllers, I'm all ears. Maybe there are some things I should be aware of, brands I should avoid, ...
Also, I apologize if some of my questions were answered already in other threads. I've been searching for an answer but I never found a clear one.
Your advice is much appreciated.