Due to events beyond my control, a Dell R420 server my (non-profit) organization relies on as an applications server was built using a Dell PERC H310 raid controller. This is much too slow for the work the machine is expected to do (especially when writing). We have since bought a new server (for other reasons), and the new one has a nice Dell PERC H710p raid controller in it. It is significantly faster.
I would like to repurpose the Dell R420, and to that end, I'd like to upgrade the raid controller for as low a cost as possible. I see Dell PERC 6i raid controllers available on E-bay for very low prices. I have a few questions:
1) In principle, would a Dell PERC 6i be faster than the Dell PERC H310? My understanding is that the H310 has no write-cache, and that the 6i has some.
2) What would it take to install a PERC 6i in the Dell R420? I see right off the bat that the PERC 6i uses a different kind of connector than the H310 and H710p. Do I just need to change the cable/harness, or are the technologies just fundamentally incompatible?
3) Are there any inexpensive third-party raid controllers that would do the job at least well enough to write at 25 MBps (as opposed to the 1-3 MBps I'm getting with the H310)?