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I am looking to build a white box to run Hyper-V, because this is not meant to be critical system(home lab) I decided to ditch redundancy and go for performance by using RAID0. My problem is that I don't have much experience when it comes to buying RAID controllers.

Can any one recommend a hardware RAID0/1 controller?, any feed back is appreciated.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Nothing worth it since you're not going with a RAID1 or RAID5, etc. If you want performance vs cost blance, get 7200 RPM drives with a larger cache that have good performance reviews. You're onboard drive controller should be fine for that.

This is actually better then a one large volume RAID 0 (IMHO) because if you have say 3 drives are 500 gigs each that should be plenty for your needs, if you lose one drive, only only lose that one drive, where as depending on how the JBOD RAID 0 volume is setup if it looks like one large volume, you could corrupt data across the 2 good drives as well if the data is fragmented and on all 3 drives.

Also if you run out of space, you just drop another drive in and it's another data store, no need to expand the RAID 0 volume.

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Thank you for the recommendation. I was actually getting used to the idea of using multiple 7200RPM 32MB cache hard drives instead of RAID. I am on a student budget so RAID5 is not an option. –  Luis Ventura Jul 30 '09 at 22:34

I would say don't bother. Unless you spend a fair amount of money on a server-grade RAID controller, most controllers you can buy for a white box system will be mostly garbage with shoddy software RAID drivers. Doing RAID 0 or 1 is trivial enough to not require a dedicated controller and can be done in software.

Since you're using Hyper-V, I'm going to presume you're using Windows. If so, then you should check out the Dynamic Disks feature which lets you do striping (RAID 0) or mirroring (RAID 1) in software without installing anything extra.

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+1 don't bother, or do it in software. –  David Mackintosh Jul 29 '09 at 12:56

Honestly if it's gonna be a whitebox, just about any of the raid controllers on a modern motherboard would suffice. If you're committed to an actual pci raid card I've personally been a fan Promise controllers. I'm sure there are some raid enthusiasts on here that could tell you what the best deal on current raid controllers is.

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I second what Kamil has said, however if you are serious about getting a plug-in raid card, then ensure that it's hardware raid.

There's a fairly easy way to tell: Is it cheap (i.e. < $100)? Then it's not real hardware RAID.

What's the difference? Well a plug-in RAID card that does not have its own microcontroller will use the CPU to do its calculations and work, and thus offers no advantage over Windows RAID (in fact it's worse because it introduces an additional point of failure).

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