Is 15TB RAID5 with different controllers possible?

By AlExAkE ยท 6 replies
Jun 2, 2011
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  1. I would like to build new htpc/server for myself, and I'm going to use Zotac H67ITX-C-E or Zotac Z68ITX-B-E motherboard with Lian Li PC-Q08B case. The case itself has space for 6 3.5" hard drives, 1 2.5" hdd, and 1 5.25" cd/dvd/blu-ray ROM. Therefor I would need 8 SATA ports available, 1 for DVD, 1 for 2.5" HDD with OS (Windows Home Sever 2011 or Windows 7 Ultimate), and 6 ports to put 3TB HDD on each, for 15TB RAID5 array. Both of those motherboard have 2 6Gbps SATA III ports, and and 2 or 4 3Gbps SATA II ports.

    My question is, they probably use a different controllers for the different ports, but does that matter? Can I put a HDD on a SATA III port on Marvel controller and 1 HDD on SATA II port on Intel and make RAID with it? In addition, since the ports are not enough, I will buy RAID controller like this one: MODEL# IXBAY-PX237

    Would that work? Or for RAID I need all the ports to be from 1 controller? Keep in mind, all of the controllers support RAID5. This controller here has only 5 internal, and 1 external port, so I cant use it alone to connect 6HDD on it. Can I use the 5 from here, and 1 from the motherboard, to connect 6 3TB hard drives, to create my 15TB RAID5 array? IF not, please give me some solution. Thanks
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,122   +982

    here's a link to that discusses this question.

    For certainty you can have multiple controls with one Raid-x on each.

    Having 2+ controllers configured as one Raid-x is not really addressed.

    An external enclosure accessed via SCSI (which will support 16 devices per card)
    would certainly work, (as it's one CTL->multiple HDs).
  3. AlExAkE

    AlExAkE TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, I'm looking into having multiple controllers working together to create 1 combined array. Like 3 controllers with 4 port each, for 12 drives array. Something like that... I know having multiple controllers you can have in 1 machine, and each controller his own array, but this is not the case that I'm looking into. BTW thank you a lot for the link, I was amazed to see 1.5TB in 2006 was more than you ever need. 750GB cost 400$ wow! :)) We are moving forward!
  4. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,272   +455

    I don't know about doing it with different controllers like you're trying to do, but I know my controller supports doing it with up to 4 identical controllers for 32 drives in a single array. I don't know for sure but I find it unlikely that you'll be able to mix controllers for this as it's a specifically advertised feature for my controller.

    ... unless you use software raid which I would not recommend.
  5. AlExAkE

    AlExAkE TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What controller do you use, model?? Have you tried and can conform this feature work properly? How is that feature called? thanks
  6. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,272   +455

    I use a Promise SuperTrak EX8350 and I've never used the feature before so I'm speaking from old memory of reading the manual (a couple years ago.) I don't know what the feature is called but booting in the the SuperBuild utility I'm able to select the controllers I want to configure and do things there (I only have 1 controller.)

    Personally, if I were you I'd just get a decent controller that supports the number of drives you want to use. Mine supports 8 drives which I have populated with 8 * 2TB drives in RAID6, but you could easily (with funds) get your hands on a 16 drive controller.

    Once you've got your stuff set up please don't end up being one of those guys who complains about the lost drive space after formatting your drive. 2TB won't show up as 2TB in your OS (in most cases.) Remember that capacity is all represented as X * 2^10.
  7. AlExAkE

    AlExAkE TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh yes, I know about the lost space, but that is your security of redundancy and gives you the peace of mind that your data is safe. Thank you :)

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