Operation Overkill Has Entered a New Phase…

I present – Operation Overkill Overloaded Extreme Turbo expanded.

Whatever, I’m expanding/improving the capacity and capabilities of my storage. I was originally running 6 drives RAID6 using 3 shitty Chinese £5 SATA PCIe cards I got from ebay running some awfully cheap, slow chipset. I decided to upgrade to a proper RAID card, so that I was only using the 1 PCIe slot. I found myself an OEM Sun unit, that I installed the stock Adaptec firmware on. I’ve coupled this with an extra 2 2TB drives ( the card supports 8 drives so why not eh?). So once this little lot arrived from eBay I was on my way:

Overkil components

Originally, I wanted to use ZFS, but alas, the card won’t do JBOD properly. It still insists on writing meta data onto the disk anyway (I therefore ask the question, WTF is the difference between a single drive RAID unit and a JBOD unit on this card, if both involves writing meta data?). After messing about with it for some time trying to get it to work, I said fuck it and just used the card’s own RAID ability – this turned out to be faster than my server’s ZFS anyway, even if it is less versatile and hardware independent.

One thing I did find though, is that the RAID card’s heatsink would get extremely hot even on idle. I assume these things are usually used in air conditioned data centres in server cases that actually have a decent amount of airflow, not a cheap 4u case that spends it’s time in a loft where the temperature varies from barely above freezing in the winter, to well over 40C in the summer. It was averaging 65C on the heatsink itself (I can assume the chip might be hotter still, but didn’t want to take the thing apart to show my thermocouple in there). One £5 expansion bay cooling fan later, and it halved the temperature of the heatsink. Anyone else installing these things in a similar location might want to bear this in mind.

After waiting several eons for the array to be initialised, then 40 billion years restoring my shit from backups, I’m now left with a fairly decent amount of space left, which in theory, should last me a few years.

Obligatory inside post for teh geeks:

Inside view

Hmmm… might be slightly overkill for some HDD space.

 

Also, if anyone else wants to convert a Sun Adaptec 5805 to a stock firmware, links and shit are here:

http://ilaurens.nl/blog/archives/21
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1696205

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