1 2 Previous Next 19 Replies Latest reply on Sep 1, 2009 4:00 AM by aitor_ibarra

    What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?

    tingshen

      I hope those who are currently using either X25-M or X25-E with any of the validated RAID controller could share your experience here.

       

      So far I only saw some products from Adaptec with official validation of both X25-M & X25-E. Please update this thread and I will try my best to maintain the list for the benefit of everybody. I personally need some help on this for my virtualization project, therefore I can't segregating the optimum use of SSD or set up hybrid combi for whatever purpose. All the Virtual Machines are just a bunch of files so that they are very easy to maintain/migrate around should the host fail. So, everything must run on the SSDs! *except the backups

       

      List of validated RAID cards with X25-M & X25-E:

      1.Adaptec RAID 51245
      2.Adaptec RAID 51645
      3.Adaptec RAID 52445

      4.Adaptec RAID 5405
      5.Adaptec RAID 5445
      6.Adaptec RAID 5805
      7.Adaptec RAID 5085

       

      Just curious, is Intel IOP 348 @ 1200 the best RAID processor in the market? Is adaptec also using this? If not, is Adaptec processors better than the Intel's?

        • 1. Re: What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?
          zulishk

          tinshen,

           

          Sorry, I cannot contribute much here in the way of 'validation' of hardware.  I did notice you mention virtualization, so I thought I'd just mention the FusionIO products.  They offer extremely high-speed PCI-e based I/O with redundancy built-in, specifically engineered to make virtualization super-fast.  The cost associated with multiple SSDs and the appropriate RAID controller might be more than getting one, or even two, FusionIO cards.  Take a look at their product, too, if you haven't already.

           

          Also, if you haven't already, do some research on the fastest RAID *chipsets* instead of the whole device.  That might point you in new directions.  For example, what did they use in the "Battleship MTRON" tests?  (http://www.nextlevelhardware.com/storage/battleship/)

           

          Hope this helps you, and thanks for listing the products you did find on Adaptec!

           

          William

          • 2. Re: What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?
            tingshen

            Hi William,

             

            I can't find any validation from Areca website. Areca is cheaper than Adaptec. I am not keen to look at non-Intel SSDs as they doesn't have full 3 years warranty at affordable price. It is also not nice to talk about rival products in the Intel support community. Do let me know if you can find the validation document from Areca for both X25-E & X25-M.

             

            I did notice the fusionIO product. The problem is, I am at Singapore, I have no clue who is selling them. We are constantly talking to Texas Memory System, they also have very reliable PCIe based SSD products but it cost as much as USD18K.

             

            It cost me about USD300 odd for a X25-M 80GB. Having 10 of them gives me 700GB of effective storage through RAID 0 at USD3000 with potentially more than 2GB/s read speed and 700GB/s. May I know how much does an ioDrive Duo 640GB cost? Can it be made as a primary boot drive? If the cost is way cheaper than USD3000 + Adaptec RAID card, I think I have to seriously consider using FusionIO.

             

            PCIe SSD may be faster, but bare in mind about the following concerns:

            1.PCIe cannot be made available easily to multiple end users' desktop after 3 years of service in the server environment.

            2.PCIe may not be able to scale up by small amount accordingly. Adding 1-2 X25-M simply increase the capacity and performance easily, this kind of flexibility can't be found in PCIe SSD like ioDrive Duo

            • 4. Re: What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?
              tingshen

              Pull your handbrake OJ. What is your definition about "Ruling All!!!" ???

               

              IOP 348 1200Mhz chipset from Intel has an internal bandwidth of 12GB/s. This will only be saturated by about 175pcs of X25-M from the writing speed perspective (in theory). I can't seem to find much info about the LSI 1078 chip used in Intel SRCSASJV RAID card. But for sure, it is validated with X25-E ONLY.....

               

              This is not looking good, and for sure it doesn't rule at all but chasing behind all the vendors adopting IOP348.

               

              X25-E is very fast (170MB/s writing speed compare to 70MB/s in X25-M), but that would mean you only need very little amount of X25-E to saturate a particular RAID controller. Let's take IOP 348 1200Mhz for example, it takes about 72pcs of X25-E to saturate the RAID controller in terms of writing speed. What does that mean?

               

              You'll be paying a premium, for up to 72pcs of X25-E 32GB, to have only about 2TB of effective storage, and see no more performance improvement when you scale up beyond 72pcs of X25-E.....

               

              With the same amount of money, you can probably get 144pcs of X25-M 80GB, to have up to 10TB (5x of X25-E 32GB) of effective storage, and still continue to see linear performance when you scale up all the way to 175pcs before IOP 348 1200Mhz is showing no more performance increase.

               

              The above assumption is just based on my personal understanding towards SSD & RAID chip performance so far. Do correct me if I'm wrong.

               

              So are you still going to stick to X25-E or forget about the limited 100K erase/write cycle of X25-M which you could probably never able to hit within the 36 months warranty period?

               

              I really do not understand the following facts from Intel:

              1.IOP 348 1200Mhz is never part of the Intel RAID card product line but all the slow LSI based products.

              2.Intel didn't validate X25-M together with X25-E for many of the Intel RAID controller as well as Intel Servers.

               

              Was it done on purpose? So that all the 3rd party OEM like Adaptec can start selling IOP348 based product and make calculative people like me start chasing for X25-M?

               

              But one thing for sure.....it doesn't matter you buy IOP348 based RAID products from 3rd party or Intel RAID controllers; it doesn't matter you opt for X25-E instead of X25-M because you're so over-worried that the drive may just refuse to write anything to the cell out of sudden......

               

              Intel still win......lol!

              • 5. Re: What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?
                jeff_rys

                well you can find the Fusion-io in the States. I wanted to sent a private message, but no go....

                 

                Do not know if one can post it here, so i wait

                 

                Jeff

                • 6. Re: What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?
                  akhhu

                  Hi Tingshen,

                   

                  thanks for starting this topic, I guess many of us can consider really profitable

                  We have similar interest in our company as we're planning to build a server with FusionIO card. It would be a database server, so we don't need too much space (like you), but the greater IOPS the better. FusionIO cards maybe not-so-good at bandwidth, but if you are in need of IOPS, it's ideal (at its price level - Texas you mentioned is way more expensive). You're right, it's cannot boot (yet) and you can't share the old pieces among user computers

                  So I would assure you to go with ssd and not with pci card, as you have virtual machines and maybe you need better bandwidth than IOPS.

                   

                  As for raid cards.. We would use two/four Intel X-25E for the system and we're not sure whether to use raid card or not. But if we will, it will be definitely an Adaptec card.

                  • 7. Re: What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?
                    tingshen

                    Hi akhhu,

                     

                    Actually I am still quite confused between the 2 important terms. Bandwidth vs IOPS. May I know why is FusionI/O card not having high bandwidth but high IOPS? I saw IBM also get FushionI/O to OEM their PCIe SSD recently: http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/storage/disk/ssd/ssd_adapters.html but the price will sure be skyhigh compare to buying direct from FushionI/O.

                     

                    When using X25-M or X25-E Intel SSD, is the bandwidth and IOPS closely dependent on the RAID controller itself?

                    • 8. Re: What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?
                      akhhu

                      Hello Tingshen,

                       

                      actually the FusionIO drive has very good bandwidth compared to hdds (700/600 MB/s r/w) - the old version, the new ioDriveDuo is even better (1500/1000).
                      I guess their card contains some memory chip (like SSDs) integrated so they can achieve this performance.

                      Anyway, as I understood, higher IOPS needs you, if your system has many calls for the storage. (While HDDs can achieve some hundreds IOPS (multiplied in SANs), the X-25E may reach 35000/3300 r/w IOPS, the IOcard can do 100000 IOPS.) High bandwidth needs you, if you have many file opertations (mostly big files).

                       

                      We have one 2-3 GB database file, and our business system reads from/writes into that file everytime users do something, we'd better going for higher IOPS solution.

                       

                      Thanks for the IBM link, a month ago I got a reply from them and they said they can't give me price for the product for Europe and it hasn't changed by today :-/By the way, HP has IO solution too: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/HP-fusion-io-SSD,7198.html

                       

                      As for the controller... I guess every controller has a limit (both bandwidth and IOPS) that they can handle. The FusionIO card is placed into a PCIe slot, so it doesn't depend on the raid card. I don't know how many SSD can overflow a raid card, maybe a little googling could help us out

                      • 9. Re: What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?
                        tingshen

                        akhhu, any idea how much does the fusion i/o drive cost?

                         

                        What you mentioned is just the paper bandwidth and IOPS. Is there a way (application or device) for us to benchmark our application for the bandwidth and IOPS that's consuming?

                         

                        IBM is going to give me the price soon. However, I dunno if they are using the identical fushion io drive or a different firmware on it, and I dunno how much would IBM mark up for such "OEM" product......

                         

                        Fushion IO, texas Memory or even consumer base product like photofast monster, they are all relying on another RAID controller to hold the SSDs. The only difference between an Adaptec RAID card + many X25-M is......there is no SATA or SAS interface acting as another layer of bottleneck. So the onboard RAID controller will still be the bottleneck, it will never saturate the PCIe bandwidth.....

                         

                        So IOPS is relying on which part? The RAID controller? Or the SSD controller?

                        • 10. Re: What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?
                          jeff_rys

                          tingshen,

                           

                          the price goes from around $3000,00 for the cheapest version of 80 gb, unless price changed.

                           

                          Anyway i don't think the Fusion-io drive is what you are looking for:

                           

                          not bootable and soon not longer the fastest.

                           

                          In my opinion you can equal the performance with 8 X25e's.

                           

                           

                          Jeff

                          • 11. Re: What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?
                            tingshen

                            jeff_rys, that's quite an old info...80GB for USD3K.Yup, can't boot......very sickening....

                             

                            Why aren't you guys looking at X25-M? the read speed is the same, only the writing speed is cut by half compare to X25-E. For 200GB, I have to buy 7 X25-E but I only need to buy 3 X25-M....for the price of 7 X25-E, I can probably buy 14 X25-M.....

                            • 12. Re: What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?
                              jeff_rys

                              maybe thingshen, but it is my personal opinion.

                               

                              I know some time ago the prices where on the DVn....website. Right now probably between $3000, maybe $4000....

                               

                              Well i consider 70mb write not half of 170mb.

                               

                              Also you can with SLC let Perfectdisk run all the time.

                              You can write as many times as you like.

                              Your speed will go down with SLC but maybe with 10%.

                              MLC speed will probably drop with 30%.

                              Your reads or writes of small files will be faster, faster and faster.

                               

                              Tingshen, since you ask about the Fusion drives.....you must be interested in speed.

                               

                              True you can buy 14 M's for 7 X's and even have more GB, but for the price of the Fusion you can buy 10 X25-e's.

                               

                              The problem one has with PCIE disks:

                               

                              most give 1 year of warranty. If broken, well your troubles begin.

                               

                              Some companies give 5 year warranty, Intel 3 years.

                               

                              So if having 7-8 Intels and one dies after your warranty, you replace that one or go further with what is left.

                               

                              But with PCIE you do not need to buy a controller.

                               

                               

                              jeff

                              • 13. Re: What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?
                                tingshen

                                Hi jeff_rys, actually something that always holds me back about using PCIe cards is always the recycle and breakdown issues.....we can't recycle the PCIe card to many end users PCs after warranty (and usually it comes with 1 yr warranty only) and if the card break down, the turn around time will be a big headache, unless you buy 1 more for redundancy.

                                 

                                I am looking for performance, or you called "speed". However, it's the READ performance (especially in RANDOM, but I'm not sure about virtual machine as it's a big block of files) that matter to me, write performance on the other hand, it's no big deal even if MLC dropped 30%, it's still very fast....bare in mind that this ratio is only at the sequential write, when it comes to random write, the gap gets closer.....

                                 

                                Now look back at your data & applications, whatever benchmark programmes out there are just general simulation which doesn't reflect actual usage at all. You shall use your very own application to benchmark whatever set up instead of taking everything what general benchmark programmes give you. Let's take business intelligence as an example, if it's SQL2008 based, users will only execute write during cube write back. This is extremely tiny small data and you won't be expecting hundreds of users doing such activity at the same time. The key is still READ where both X25-M & X25-E are having the same 250MB/s specs.

                                 

                                If you look at HR/Payroll system, it's still very READ heavy and adhoc light write operation. So why is WRITE performance so important to you? and to everybody out there? I am keen to know....perhaps there are some applications that's write heavy and it's so crucial that you always have to get the "best"....

                                 

                                By the way, any idea what is the maximum bandwidth of PCIe x8? 4000MB/s or 8000MB/s? Adaptec (Intel IOP348 1200Mhz) 's capability is at 250,000 I/Os 1.2GBs based on the info given from their website. Does that mean it will be saturated by 5 Intel SSD in terms of READ & 17pcs X-25M in terms of WRITE?

                                • 14. Re: What's the best RAID controller that's validated with X25-E & X25-M?
                                  jeff_rys

                                  Hi Tingshen,

                                   

                                  well as said, SLC drives live longer (10 times).

                                   

                                  Maybe MLC drives are ok, but i have a Raid0 with 6 128 GB drives (MLC).

                                   

                                  Right now i am not interested in buying other MLC's.

                                   

                                  On the other hand, end of the year some big changes can be released.

                                   

                                  Look at Intel/Micron with their 34 nm technologie.

                                   

                                  I guess, i will wait further.

                                   

                                   

                                  True, PCI-E cards with only 1 year warranty is not so good.

                                   

                                  I think even if MLC reads are fast, SLC will still perform better, specially in the smaller file size.

                                   

                                  Many GB is not needed for me, so it's nice to have some  80GB Intel, but each drive cost almost as much as a 32GB SLC.

                                   

                                  Jeff

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