[lug] SATA raid array

Ferdinand Schmid fschmid at archenergy.com
Mon Apr 26 10:34:39 MDT 2004

HI Ed,

Based on recommendations I read (and from Sean at tummy.com) I built my first
3ware SATA array about 18 months ago.  It consists of 7 200GB drives in a
RAID5 configuration and one hot spare.  I am using XFS as the file system and
SuSE Linux.  We have filled about 65% of this 1.2 TB array and have only seen
outstanding performance.  I did originally have trouble with a power connector
and lost two drives.  The array performed so well in degraded mode that my
users never noticed it...  But my cell phone did, thanks to the 3ware
controller's outstanding reporting.  In fact I just got a page from one of my
(now 4 systems with 3ware SATA controllers), alerting me to proper
initialization after power failure.

As far as performance goes - your disk drives make a huge difference.  I see
between 50 MB/s and 150 MB/s in bonnie++ tests, depending on disk
configuration...  The new WesternDigital 10kRPM drives with larger cache are
nice.  I would definitely buy 8MB cache drives rather than the older 2MB

There are new Chenbro drives with disk lights per disk for your hot swap 3ware
array.  Very nice - but only works with the latest generation of 3ware
controllers.  Hot swap cases are nice though because of easy service and also
because you avoid routing all those cables.  After running SATA and power
cables to 8 drives in one chassis I appreciate printed circuit boards even
more ;)

FYI - smartmon works, even if your drives are connected through a 3ware RAID
array.  So you can keep your eye on the health status of your drives in

Hope this info is useful,

--On Monday, April 26, 2004 11:23:12 AM -0400 Ed Hill <ed at eh3.com> wrote:

> Hi folks,
> Has anyone built their own Linux SATA raid array?  Do you have any
> pointers or comments to share?
> We're about to build a 2-4TB ATA-133 array here at work and are thinking
> about using SATA instead.  The SATA drives look pretty competitive on a
> speed/cost basis and our only real concern is the driver quality for
> SATA controllers with Linux.  Any recommendations would be appreciated.
> thanks!
> Ed
> -- 
> Edward H. Hill III, PhD
> office:  MIT Dept. of EAPS;  Rm 54-1424;  77 Massachusetts Ave.
>              Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
> emails:  eh3 at mit.edu                ed at eh3.com
> URLs:    http://web.mit.edu/eh3/    http://eh3.com/
> phone:   617-253-0098
> fax:     617-253-4464

Ferdinand Schmid
Architectural Energy Corporation
Celebrating over 20 Years of Improving Building Energy Performance

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