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Re: 3ware vs Areca

From: Greg Smith <gsmith(at)gregsmith(dot)com>
To: Jeff <threshar(at)threshar(dot)is-a-geek(dot)com>
Cc: Pgsql performance <pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: 3ware vs Areca
Date: 2008-07-11 19:21:20
Message-ID: Pine.GSO.4.64.0807111507040.21818@westnet.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-performance
On Fri, 11 Jul 2008, Jeff wrote:

> I've got a couple boxes with some 3ware 9550 controllers, and I'm less than 
> pleased with performance on them.. Sequential access is nice, but start 
> seeking around and you kick it in the gut.  (I've found posts on the 
> internets about others having similar issues).

Yeah, there's something weird about those controllers, maybe in how stuff 
flows through the cache, that makes them slow in a lot of situations. 
The old benchmarks at 
http://tweakers.net/reviews/557/21/comparison-of-nine-serial-ata-raid-5-adapters-pagina-21.html 
show their cards acting badly in a lot of situations and I haven't seen 
anything else since vindicating the 95XX models from them.

> My last box with a 3ware I simply had it in jbod mode and used sw raid 
> and it smoked the hw.

That is often the case no matter which hardware controller you've got, 
particularly in more complicated RAID setups.  You might want to consider 
that a larger lesson rather than just a single data point.

> Anyway, anybody have experience in 3ware vs Areca - I've heard plenty of good 
> anecdotal things that Areca is much better, just wondering if anybody here 
> has firsthand experience.    It'll be plugged into about 8 10k rpm sata 
> disks.

Areca had a pretty clear performance lead for a while there against 
3ware's 3500 series, but from what I've been reading I'm not sure that is 
still true in the current generation of products.  Check out the pages 
starting at 
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/SERIAL-RAID-CONTROLLERS-AMCC,1738-12.html 
for example, where the newer Areca 1680ML card just gets crushed at all 
kinds of workloads by the AMCC 3ware 9690SA.  I think the 3ware 9600 
series cards have achieved or exceeded what Areca's 1200 series was 
capable of, while Areca's latest generation has slipped a bit from the 
previous one.

--
* Greg Smith gsmith(at)gregsmith(dot)com http://www.gregsmith.com Baltimore, MD

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