Motherboard query...

Bill Broadley bill at
Fri Mar 1 02:53:22 PST 2002

On Thu, Feb 28, 2002 at 11:50:04PM +0100, ml at wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 28, 2002 at 04:07:25PM -0500, Robert G. Brown wrote:
> Hello,
> belong to your problems with the IDE-Raidsystem i can remark, that we have
> very good experiences with the hostbased controllers from 3ware (
> They have controllers with up to eight channels and our benchmarks show
> results between 50-60 MB/s at Raid-Level 5 (with 8* 120 GB Maxtor, 5.400
> rpm). That should be the right controller for your purposes -> 3ware Escalade 7850B

Another data point.  I was very optimistic about eide raid, my previous
linux software raid server had uptimes over 400 days, so I built the raid
system out of the best components I could find.  Intel STL2 motherboard,
ECC memory, redundant power supply, rack mount case with good airflow,
8 ibm eide drives, and the top of the line 3ware, the 6800.

I downloaded the 3ware drivers, installed the redhat-7.2 (maybe it was
7.1), looked good although dissappointingly slow (8 drives much slower
then a single drive).  Lost a filesystem (unfsck'able), called 3ware,
they said oh, redhat-7.2 isn't supported, use 7.1.  We did, and lost
another filesystem.  We called back, oh a new driver should be available
next month.  We waited, upgrade the 3ware bios, updated the driver, and
lost another filesystem, tech said, well *laugh* yeah they do that quite
a bit, use raid 1.  Then they commented that the 6800 wasn't designed
for raid 5 and shouldn't have be advertised that way, but 3ware rushed
it out despite the poor fit for the hardware because of the competition.
Purchasing the new top of the line card was recommended.  At which point
I removed the card, recycled the drives into desktop and went scsi,
which has been perfect since.

I posted to various mailing lists my experience, and got quite a few
responses saying that they had the same problem, and had ditched 3ware.

I seem to recall seeing a press release or similar saying 3ware was
getting out of the eide raid controller business, but I'm guessing
that either wasn't true or they changed their mind. 

Buyer beware.

Bill Broadley
Mathematics/Institute of Theoretical Dynamics
UC Davis

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