SUMMARY: Hardware vs. Software

From: Jeff Kennedy (
Date: Tue May 18 1999 - 18:07:06 CDT


Here's the lowdown on what was said.

1) Hardware RAID is ALWAYS better. Go with the A3500.

2) Fiber is the wave of the future. The A5100 is better, more expandable,
and can be used on another server with faster cpu's (and more of them). Go
with the better box.

3) Depends on the RAID used. If stripe and/or mirror, probably not that
big a deal. If striped with parity, hardware will always win out.

Personally, I have to go with 2 and 3. Since it will be a test site HA is
less of an issue so raid-5 would not necessarilly need to be implemented.
Also pointed out was that raid-5 will only be a problem on writes, and for
our purposes we write once when we have updates and read the rest of the
time. Most writes are done overnight anyway (sorry, I didn't mention this
before so there was no way for anyone to know).

Another crucial piece of the puzzle that I left out was that I already have
an A5000 attached to an E3500 that is the production site. It would be
nice, in a test environment, to have as close to the same circumstances as
possible. If performance was going to be sooooo bad that it's not even
really usable, well.........

Thanks to:
Doug Otto Reinaldo Luis Ono
Tom Mornini Daniel Ellis
Hal Miller Gary Franczyk
Charlie Mengler Rachel Polanski
Sam Vilain Daniel Penrod
John White David Evans
David Robson Cliff Skolnick
Gert Marais Jochen Bern
John McIntire Mike Salehi

Jeff Kennedy

---------------------- Forwarded by Jeff Kennedy/NDS on 05/18/99 03:49 PM

"Jeff Kennedy" <> on 05/14/99 04:00:46 PM
 cc: (bcc: Jeff Kennedy/NDS)
 Subject: Hardware vs. Software


If you had the choice between a scsi hardware raid and a fiber software
raid, which would you go with and why?

Here's the deal:

A3500 scsi with RAID Manager or A5100 fiber with Volume Manager.

This will be attached to a UE2 (2 x 200MHz, 1.5gb RAM) and used almost
exclusively as an Oracle test site.


Jeff Kennedy

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