I’m considering whether to flash out for 2 more drives and an Adaptec 2410SA SATA RAID card, a 3 x 1TB array, RAID 5 so 2TB capacity in all. Space isn’t the issue (TBH it really isn’t worth going for much less than 1TB drives as the price difference between them and most of the lower capacity ones is negligible), my primary reason for going in this direction is speed.
However the only ESXi 4.0 compatible RAID adapter I can afford (on eBay) is the Adaptec 2410SA which is SATA 1 (150GB transfer rate) where both the drives and onboard SATA are SATA II (300Gbs transfer in principle). The onboard SATA is RAID capable but the DELL Precision 490 RAID isn’t recognised by ESX 4 apparently (also no cache and probably uses up CPU slice rather than a proper RAID card with it’s own onboard processing) so I can’t use that for ESXi.
I could go for 4 x 500Gb drives RAID 5 but that would be more expensive (£200 as opposed to £120 for the same amount of space given I already have one of the 1TB units), the drives typically have only 16MB cache (as opposed to 32Mb on the 1TB drives) and, as I say above, I already have 1 of the 1TB drives (Samsung F2 EcoGreen).
So my question is RAID running across a SATA I controller or non-RAID running natively on the 490’s SATA II ports?