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Re: SATA drives performance

From: Richard Neill <rn214(at)cam(dot)ac(dot)uk>
To: Jeremy Harris <jgh(at)wizmail(dot)org>
Cc: pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: SATA drives performance
Date: 2009-12-24 18:09:46
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-performance

Jeremy Harris wrote:
> On 12/24/2009 05:12 PM, Richard Neill wrote:
>> Of course, with a server machine, it's nearly impossible to use mdadm
>> raid: you are usually compelled to use a hardware raid card.
> Could you expand on that?

Both of the last machines I bought (an IBM X3550 and an HP DL380) come 
with hardware raid solutions. These are an utter nuisance because:

   - they can only be configured from the BIOS (or with a
     bootable utility CD). Linux has very basic monitoring tools,
     but no way to reconfigure the array, or add disks to empty
     hot-swap slots while the system is running.

   - If there is a Linux raid config program, it's not part of the
     main packaged distro, but usually a pre-built binary, available
     for only one release/kernel of the wrong distro.

   - the IBM one had dodgy firmware, which, until updated, caused the
     disk to totally fail after a few days.

   - you pay a lot of money for something effectively pointless, and
     have less control and less flexibility.

After my experience with the X3550, I hunted for any server that would 
ship without hardware raid, i.e. connect the 8 SATA hotswap slots direct 
to the motherboard, or where the hardware raid could be de-activated 
completely, and put into pass-through mode. Neither HP nor IBM make such 
a thing.


> - Jeremy

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