SUMMARY: Which would you select - hardware RAID or ZFS RAID 1?

From: Syed Zaeem Hosain ( <(>
Date: Wed Sep 29 2010 - 01:01:57 EDT
Hi, all.

I asked a question that a number of people responded to. Thanks to all the
folks - there were plenty that I could not thank with individual e-mails, so I
apologize for that.

The majority of you (more than 95%) felt that the features and advantages of
ZFS (data integrity, reliability, compression, etc., etc., etc.) more than
out-weighed any minor reduction in cpu loading when using a hardware RAID.

Some asked whether I was perhaps being overly concerned about the cpu load,
i.e., did I expect the disk usage and consequent cpu loading to be worth an
issue. This is a tough question to answer - frankly, this is an situation
where I am looking for as much cpu cycles as I can get (you may remember my
recent question comparing a V440 to a T5120 performance for a Java
multi-thread application ... I hope I summarized that ... if not, I will do so
sometime soon).

I did have one response that said "I've installed it and tested it repeatedly
in T2 and T5 series boxes and it always performs flawlessly." That is a good

However, given the relatively lighter usage of actual disk I/O that I expect
to have, I think I will be okay with a ZFS implementation rather than making
it too hardware dependent on the LSI chipset ...

So, summarizing: I will use ZFS!

Thanks all!


From: Syed Zaeem Hosain (
Sent: Monday, September 27, 2010 5:44 PM
Subject: Which would you select - hardware RAID or ZFS RAID 1?

Hi, all.

I have some Sun T5120 servers, with dual Sun 146GB drives in each of them. I
was literally about to start reloading Solaris 10 and planned to use ZFS for
the file systems - with RAID 1 for mirroring the drives, since I want
reliability - and had a question that stopped me.

Would you all use the hardware RAID controllers built into these systems (they
are "LSI 1068E" chips according to "raidctl -S") OR would you set them up with
ZFS RAID 1 and leave the hardware RAID turned off?

My instinct says that the hardware RAID would be less cpu-intensive and thus
perform better, but I'd like to hear from people here about their experiences


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Received on Wed Sep 29 01:03:17 2010

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