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 Please advise which 4 port SATA RAID card to buy 
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:01 am
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Post Please advise which 4 port SATA RAID card to buy
Hi there,

I have just built a new system which I want to use as a home lab with ESXi 4. My system comprises the following:

Asus M4A78-E, AMD 790GX motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition, 3.0GHz
4x Samsung HD103UJ, F1, 7200rpm, 32MB, 1TB, SATA-II
1x Seagate IDE 60GB (holds the VMWare OS)
Corsair CMPSU-550VX, 550W, ATX2.2/EPS
Mushkin ES2-8500 2x2GB, DDR2-1066, CL5-5-5-15@2.1V
Antec Case Performance One P182
2x Intel PWLA8391GTBLK Pro 1000GT Gigabit Adapter

The system boots up fine and I can create VMs, however it does not recognise the on-board RAID controller. I want to set up my 4x 1TB SATA-II drives as RAID-5. Can you please recommend a separate hardware RAID controller card to use? I would like it to be able to plug into a PCI express socket.

Thanks,
keymoo


Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:39 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Please advise which 4 port SATA RAID card to buy
What sort of budget and performance do you need? You could look at an Adaptec 3805 / 5405 or 5805 but you won't get health status for it within ESXi. Or you could look at LSI based cards such as the Dell Perc 5/i which you can pickup on ebay.

If performance is a concern you'll want to look at something with a battery backed write cache at it make a huge difference in disk performance.

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Dave Mishchenko
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Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:16 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Please advise which 4 port SATA RAID card to buy
One other thing - ESX(i) has a 2TB LUN limit. If you get a RAID controller and create a 3 TB array, then ESXi won't be able to use it all. You'll want to get something that can create multiple arrays on the same disks. For example, you would create 2 RAID 5 arrays of 1.5 TB each on the 4 disks. That way you're under the 2 TB limit but you still use all your drives efficiently.


Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:20 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:01 am
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Post Re: Please advise which 4 port SATA RAID card to buy
Thanks Dave I have ordered the Adaptec RAID 5405, 4-Channel SAS/SATA, low profile card and will publish my results when it's all up and running. Thanks also for the heads-up on the LUN limit - sounds like a 32-bit limitation - is this limit also true for ESXi 4.0 as it's 64 bit?


Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:15 am
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Post Re: Please advise which 4 port SATA RAID card to buy
It's due to VMware using the SCSI-2 standard for storage which has this limit.

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Dave Mishchenko
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Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:38 am
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:44 am
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Post Re: Please advise which 4 port SATA RAID card to buy
@ Dave...

Is the 2TB limit in place for the new Vsphere releases?


Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:53 am
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Post Re: Please advise which 4 port SATA RAID card to buy
It's still the case.

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Dave Mishchenko
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Now available - VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security
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Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:56 am
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