[OT] Useable BIOS RAID 1 on the cheap?

Toby Corkindale tjc at wintrmute.net
Tue Jan 17 16:24:10 GMT 2006

On Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 03:00:37PM +0000, David Cantrell wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 02:26:17PM +0000, Toby Corkindale wrote:
> > On Thu, Jan 12, 2006 at 06:21:12PM +0000, Jacqui Caren wrote:
> > > Steve Mynott wrote:
> > > >I guess my best bet might be the 3ware cards but they are expensive.
> > > I saw an IDE raid controller card at maplin for 20UKP (in a "sale" 
> > > bucket). I assume these are part hard and part soft.
> > Most budget RAID controllers (including just about all the IDE ones) are
> > fairly crappy.
> > 
> > IMHO, you are far better off using software RAID under Linux. Especially
> > when combined with LVM, when the combo becomes *really* nifty.
> Software RAID is great if you have a limited budget, but it is VERY
> slow.  So slow that it can't keep up with an 802.11b network even on a
> pretty reasonable machine.

That surprises me. I haven't done any recent tests myself, but other people
have seen Linux's software RAID-5 performing faster than equivalent hardware
RAID setups on the same machine. 

I can't find Alan Cox's article on it, but a quick scan down Google's first
ten hits for "linux software raid comparison" support that view; and my own
RAID arrays seem to perform satisfactorily. I haven't done any
hardware-vs-software comparisons on the same machine for a long time though.

I have several old 20-30 Gb disks lying around at home though.. If someone can
lend me a Linux-supported IDE raid card then I'll do some proper benchmarks
with and without it and post the results.


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