> Have you done any benchmarking of the 9550SX against a software raid configuration?
Interesting - no, not on SATA, mostly because I've had awful luck with Linux drivers and SATA. The popular manufacturers of SATA to PCI bridge chipsets are Silicon Image and Highpoint, and I've not seen Linux work with them at any reasonable performance yet. I've also had problems with Adaptec's cards - I think they manufacture their own SATA to PCI chipset as well. So far, I've only had good luck with the on-chipset Intel SATA implementation. I think the problems I've had could be entirely driver-related, but in the end it doesn't matter if you can't find drivers that work for Linux.
The other problem is getting enough SATA connections for the number of disks we want. I do have two new Areca SATA RAID cards and I'm going to benchmark those against the 3Ware 9550SX with 2 x 8 = 16 disks on one host.
I guess we could run the HW RAID controllers in JBOD mode to get a good driver / chipset configuration for software RAID, but frankly I prefer HW RAID if it performs well. So far the SATA host-based RAID is blowing the doors off of every other HW RAID solution I've tested.
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