Archive for April, 2006

Apr
14
Filed Under (Random) by mark on 14-04-2006

For the last 4 months, I’ve had a 4TB storage array (=16x320Gb WD RE SATA hard disks) sitting in my front room.

Doing nothing. Nothing at all.

The reason? SATA RAID cards are _unfeasibly_ bad. Here’s what I’ve tried so far, under linux (various kernel versions and distributions):

– an Adaptec 21610SA. This lasts about 4 hours before it does the classic aacraid: scsi hang? (google for it, lots of references). Adaptec sent me a “heat sync” (sic.) for some reason, in a russian doll style series of packaging.
– a 3ware 9550. This lasts about 10 minutes before it powers down a random drive (physically: you can hear it), then claims that the drive has been reset (well, duh). 3ware deny everything (the last thing they told me was that it was “noise on the PCI bus”. The 3ware card has been tried in a couple of different motherboards, same thing in both of them).

Is this isolated? From friends I know of:

– At least two other machines containing Adaptec AAC series cards with the scsi hang? issue;
– At least two other machines containing 3ware 9xxx cards that pop drives;
– At least one other machine containing a 3ware 9xxx card that pops drives under a different OS

Good news? I got to play with an Areca-1160. Managed 24 hours without an issue, so that’s the best so far. If I can find someone who distributes them in the UK, I’ll get one!

Random technical details:

– I break the cards with dd if=/dev/sdX of=/dev/null (x10); dd if=/dev/zero of=fooX (x10); bonnie++ (x10); and cp -a on a kernel tree (x10). IoW, just a bit of IO.
– The cards were tried in a P8SCi motherboard, 3Ghz xeon, plenty of power supply (including 1100W worth for some experiments)
– The P8SCi is on 3ware’s compatibility list
– 3ware card also tried in an Athlon64+H8SSL motherboard setup with a 760W power supply

I can’t believe these companies get away with peddling such crap. But then I suppose so do Highpoint and Promise to name a few I’ve seen shite (ATA-100/ATA-66) hardware off in the past.

Is SCSI any better?!



Apr
14
Filed Under (Random) by mark on 14-04-2006

Updated to latest version (0.88.1). I’ve updated in the interm; will try to post other updates in a timely fashion. Do let me know if you are using this, that will be an incentive to do so.

Other fixes are:

– Updated to build with VC8 (VS2005)
– Fix a number of extraneous close() calls that VC8 doesn’t like
– Fix service stub so that it works with w2k3

You can get the MSI installer & patch here.

Full source code can be downloaded here.