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back to article When it doesn't get boring in series 8: Adaptec touts RAID RoCket fuel

Adaptec's new 12Gbit/s SAS RoC controller packs in more than double the RAID adapter speed of its older brother. Remember storage biz wannabe Adaptec? Its RAID adapter business was acquired by PMC-Sierra in 2010, and new generations of its RAID cards have been coming out ever since then – with Series 7 supporting 6Gbit/s SAS …

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Hardware raid obsolete

A hardware raid card is essentially a tiny PC on a card with it's own cpu, RAM, BIOS, raid software, etc - that is the reason they are expensive. You are buying a tiny PC.

Long ago a server's cpu was weak and you needed to offload I/O to raid cards. Today a server multi core cpu has plenty of power and you dont need to offload I/O anymore. For instance, to run ZFS on a single core, costs something like 2-3% of cpu power. That is nothing, so typically a raid card has 800 MHz 32 bits PowerPC cpu, and yes they are very weak.

Also a server might have 16-32 GB of RAM, whereas a raid card might have 256-512 MB RAM. A server is vastly superior in all aspects, so why dont you run your raid software on the server instead? Use software raid such as ZFS, and you get superior protection and performance. No 800MHz raid cpu can outclass a multicore 2.7GHz server cpu. So, who buys raid cards today? They are obsolete. Use software raid instead. Sell your raid card, and switch to open sourced software raid instead, and save money and gain performance.

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WTF?

Re: Hardware raid obsolete

Holy shit, I thought you were being serious for a minute!

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Re: Hardware raid obsolete

Of course I am serious. There are no reason to use a hardware raid card over software raid such as ZFS. Hardware raid has only disadvantages: it is slow (a server has tons of more resources), costs lot (ZFS is free), vendor lockin (you can not migrate your disks to another card, you must buy an identical card from the same vendor), SPOF (if the card breaks you are toast, in ZFS you use several cards so you dont have a SPOF), etc etc and a dozen more disadvantages. Actually, I can not come up with a single reason of using hardware raid over software raid as ZFS.

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A major problem with hardware raid: it is unsafe, your data might get corrupted, it is vulnerable to write-hole-error which makes you loose all your data. ZFS fixes all these problems.

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