3ware or Areca for sataII multilane pci-e x8 controller?


M

markm75

I'm torn between two choices, wondering if anyone knows the pros and
cons of each if any...

I prefer the 3ware brand, but i'm not opposed to Areca, as we've had
them before and they work well.

My main goal is to have dynamically expandable array ability without
recreating the array, which i know the 3ware does, but not sure on the
Areca.

Here are the two in question:

3ware 9650SE-12ML-KIT http://www.pcconnection.com/ProductDetail?Sku=7229801
(full height); RAID10

areca arc-1230 http://www.directron.com/arc1230.html (low profile)
RAID1E

I noticed the areca only has RAID1E, but i guess this is just as good
if not more flexible than 10? This is key too as we will be using
RAID10.. Our case is also not full height or technically riser
capable, though we were planning on buying an 8x riser and using
standoffs to make the full height 3ware work in our 2u case (this
should be fine, but requires a little more effort).

Would we be just as well off going with the areca as the 3ware? Will
both perform just as well?

Also.. we have SAS ability and I know 3ware makes cables that would
work with our non multilane SAS backplane, not sure on the areca,
should we switch a few years later (from SATAII to SAS).

Thanks
 
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A

Arno Wagner

Previously markm75 said:
I'm torn between two choices, wondering if anyone knows the pros and
cons of each if any...
I prefer the 3ware brand, but i'm not opposed to Areca, as we've had
them before and they work well.
My main goal is to have dynamically expandable array ability without
recreating the array, which i know the 3ware does, but not sure on the
Areca.
Here are the two in question:
areca arc-1230 http://www.directron.com/arc1230.html (low profile)
RAID1E
I noticed the areca only has RAID1E, but i guess this is just as good
if not more flexible than 10? This is key too as we will be using
RAID10.. Our case is also not full height or technically riser
capable, though we were planning on buying an 8x riser and using
standoffs to make the full height 3ware work in our 2u case (this
should be fine, but requires a little more effort).
Would we be just as well off going with the areca as the 3ware? Will
both perform just as well?
Also.. we have SAS ability and I know 3ware makes cables that would
work with our non multilane SAS backplane, not sure on the areca,
should we switch a few years later (from SATAII to SAS).

If it is Linux, 3ware is preferrable, since their driver is
in-kernel. The Arcea drivers work well also, but you have to patch
them in yourself. It also has no complete SMART support, which I think
is a big minus. 3ware has. As to dynamic extension, I am not sure
also. We have some Arcea 8 port controllers running, but that question
did not come up.

Arno
 
M

markm75

If it is Linux, 3ware is preferrable, since their driver is
in-kernel. The Arcea drivers work well also, but you have to patch
them in yourself. It also has no complete SMART support, which I think
is a big minus. 3ware has. As to dynamic extension, I am not sure
also. We have some Arcea 8 port controllers running, but that question
did not come up.

Arno- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -

Its 2003 X64.. from looking at their website.. they appear to have all
the drivers (coming with the card).. No patching needed i guess?

Quite a few have said go with the aerca over 3ware.. then there were
actually a handful that said they had problems with areca, not to do
it, to stick with 3ware...
 
M

markm75

If it is Linux,3wareis preferrable, since their driver is
in-kernel. The Arcea drivers work well also, but you have to patch
them in yourself. It also has no complete SMART support, which I think
is a big minus.3warehas. As to dynamic extension, I am not sure
also. We have some Arcea 8 port controllers running, but that question
did not come up.

Arno- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -

When you say no "complete" SMART.. what did you mean.. i mean the
description here appears to say it has it, but doesnt say the
specifics:
http://www.allpcdeals.com/servlet/the-10161/Areca-ARC1231ML-PCI-dsh-E-SATA2/Detail
 
A

Arno Wagner

Its 2003 X64.. from looking at their website.. they appear to have all
the drivers (coming with the card).. No patching needed i guess?

Microsoft uses external drivers, so this works differently.
Just install them. With Linux you do not need to install drivers.
Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages.
Quite a few have said go with the aerca over 3ware.. then there were
actually a handful that said they had problems with areca, not to do
it, to stick with 3ware...

Difficult to say. You may have to try it and in the worst
case switch over to the other. Not ideal, but that is the
price to pay for PC hadware being pretty cheap.

Personally I would go with 3ware, but that is because of the
better Linux support. This may or may not indicate also a
better driver, since the Arcea driver is a source code driver,
but thay did not manage to get it into the kernel. That may
point to either technical or legal issues, I do not know.
The 3ware driver, however, needs to be pretty sound or it
would not have made it into the kernel.

Arno
 
A

Arno Wagner

When you say no "complete" SMART.. what did you mean.. i mean the
description here appears to say it has it, but doesnt say the
specifics:
http://www.allpcdeals.com/servlet/the-10161/Areca-ARC1231ML-PCI-dsh-E-SATA2/Detail

With 3ware, you can query the full smart attributes of each attached
disk. The Linux kernel has a special pass-through function for that.
The windows drivers may also have that. With Arcea you only get
the reallocated sector count (I think), the SMART status (failed/ok)
and the drive temperature. Some people (like me) want more.

Arno
 
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C

Christian Franke

Arno said:
...
With 3ware, you can query the full smart attributes of each attached
disk. The Linux kernel has a special pass-through function for that.
The windows drivers may also have that.

Yes, SMART support was added to the 3ware 9000 Windows driver in 2006.
See http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/#FAQ-RAID
Provides full SMART support, except SMART_WRITE_LOG.
Status, attributes, read logs and short/long/offline self-tests work.
Selective self-tests and SCT temperature history log do not work.

I talked to a product manager from Areca during CeBit 2007. There was
not much interest to add smart support (for external tools) to their
drivers.

Christian
 
A

Arno Wagner

Yes, SMART support was added to the 3ware 9000 Windows driver in 2006.
See http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/#FAQ-RAID
Provides full SMART support, except SMART_WRITE_LOG.
Status, attributes, read logs and short/long/offline self-tests work.

Good. I think every server installation should run long SMART
selfteste on each disk every 14 days or so.
Selective self-tests and SCT temperature history log do not work.

No loss. These are a bit obscure anyways.
I talked to a product manager from Areca during CeBit 2007. There was
not much interest to add smart support (for external tools) to their
drivers.

Aha. That would be a good reason to go with 3ware.

Arno
 
M

markm75

Good. I think every server installation should run long SMART
selfteste on each disk every 14 days or so.


No loss. These are a bit obscure anyways.


Aha. That would be a good reason to go with 3ware.

Arno

In my searching i have found an article that actually gives lots of
Kudos to Aerca in terms of performance, mostly on what appears to be
for writes and for database/server applications:

http://tweakers.mobi/reviews/557

Their support is still very weak compared to 3ware though.
 
C

Christian Franke

Arno said:
No loss. These are a bit obscure anyways.

No loss for typical 24x7 server disk monitoring. But not so obscure :)

A long self-test of a large (400GB+) system disk may run several hours.
Selective self-tests are useful to test such disks on systems not
running 24x7.

The SCT temperature history feature provides a persistent log of (at
least) the last 2 hours. This info is useful in some situations.

Christian
 
A

Arno Wagner

No loss for typical 24x7 server disk monitoring. But not so obscure :)
A long self-test of a large (400GB+) system disk may run several hours.
Selective self-tests are useful to test such disks on systems not
running 24x7.

Hmm. Ok. Although was this not arranged so that the disk
resumes a test after power outage at the place it was last?
The SCT temperature history feature provides a persistent log of (at
least) the last 2 hours. This info is useful in some situations.

I don't think a single of my disks supports that.

Arno
 
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C

Christian Franke

Arno said:
Hmm. Ok. Although was this not arranged so that the disk
resumes a test after power outage at the place it was last?

A boot cycle typically aborts the self test with status "Interrupted by
the host with hard or soft reset".

There is a method to specify that the self-test should be resumed. But
this is part of the selective self-test commands.

I don't think a single of my disks supports that.

This is at least supported by some recent Maxtor, Samsung (e.g.
T133/166) and WD disks. hdparm -I reports this feature as "SCT Data
Tables (AC5)".

Christian
 

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