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    Quote Originally Posted by pjm1974 View Post
    would the HP ML350 G5's inbuilt smart array E200i with 128MB BBWC class as a proper one due to the cache? the £200 additional smart array P400SAS controller has a larger 258MB cache so would this desireable?
    Yes the E200i is a proper controller, I actually have one of these servers at a site that I work at and it copes with a couple of arrays one in SAS and the other in SATA. You can buy upgraded cache memory chips for this server which do enhance the performance a lot and would be worth you looking in to, I think that they may also enable extra features of the controller but I can't remember just now.

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    extra feature is that it supports 15K SAS SFF hot-plug drives, without it limited to 10K ones, now how much of a difference would that make to performance on file and print RAID 1, given the larger cache too?

    "far end of a fart"!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjm1974 View Post
    extra feature is that it supports 15K SAS SFF hot-plug drives, without it limited to 10K ones, now how much of a difference would that make to performance on file and print RAID 1, given the larger cache too?

    "far end of a fart"!
    The more cache the better, if you only have the 128mb I am pretty sure that you are limited to using either write caching or read caching but not both at the same time, you are also limited in the tasks that you can perform such as migrating from one type of RAID to another in the future.

    Adding more cache will improve its performance by a significant margin when it comes to multiple users all trying to save and open small files at the same time. It can also help speed up array rebuilds in certain circumstances as the controller can offload more data onto the cache and not have to disturb the rebuild so often with read or write requests.

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    RAID 5 or RAID 1 for user home and share file serving

    So I can afford 4 300GB drives in my config but will be using only the E200i controller 128Mb cache, so final question:

    2 300GB pairs RAID 1

    or

    3 300GB drives in a RAID 5

    what do you think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjm1974 View Post
    So I can afford 4 300GB drives in my config but will be using only the E200i controller 128Mb cache, so final question:

    2 300GB pairs RAID 1

    or

    3 300GB drives in a RAID 5

    what do you think?
    For a little more raw speed but less reliability and more hassles when upgrading storage you could go with the two RAID arrays in RAID 1.

    As this is a storage server I would personally go with the 3 drives in RAID 5 configuration as this will be more robust and much easier to expand. You can still partition off an area for the OS. I would definatly try to get the extra cache module with this option as it will up the speed vastly and make it easier to mess with the arrays later. In the past I have even lowered the processor spec of servers slightly to allow enough money to pay for this option. For a file server I would heavily recommend it.

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