[Tfug] SATA controller that plays well with others

Matt Jacob m at mattjacob.com
Tue Jun 3 11:04:45 MST 2008

Paul Steinbach wrote:
> I am setting up a cheap, low power file/print server for a friend.  I 
> will use a low end Celeron or P3 whatever I have lying around.  I will 
> likely run the OS off an IDE drive and put the data on mirrored SATA 
> drives.  I started with a cheap SATA card and found it completed ignored 
> by Xubuntu 6.06, 7.10, DSL 4.3 and Knoppix 5.0.  Can anyone recommend an 
> under $50 SATA controller card recognized by most Linux distros?  It 
> would be great if I could boot from it as well.  I am fairly distro 
> agnostic....

Hey Paul,

I haven't found a decent SATA hardware RAID card for under $300. I only 
mentioned hardware RAID because it sounds like you're going to be 
running it on older hardware, and software RAID performance (especially 
for a fileserver) is directly related to CPU speed.

Having said that, if anyone knows of a good 4-port SATA controller with 
which I can do software RAID in kernel 2.6 (Debian), I'm all ears. I'm 
looking to build out the storage subsystem of a new web server soon, and 
I have ample processing power to support software RAID (dual Xeons at 
2.2 or 2.4 GHz). The only problem is that the SATA controller on the 
motherboard is busted, but it gives me a good excuse to shop around for 
a new one. :-)

I think I'll be doing the same thing as you, Paul. I'll probably put the 
OS and swap on an IDE drive and then run RAID 1 or 5 off the SATA 
controller (haven't decided which yet). I figure that most of the OS 
will be running from memory anyway, so the IDE bottleneck shouldn't be 
that bad.


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