[Ardour-Users] SATA RAID - hardware or software?

sonofzev at iinet.net.au sonofzev at iinet.net.au
Thu Feb 19 19:09:53 PST 2009

Hi Justin 

I have been using software RAID 0 for some time on 2 * 80 GiB single platter SATA

My setup only has 8 inputs so I can't tell you for sure the result of your
intended setup, however I have not had any throughput issues recording 8 channels
on top of 16 or more existing channels at 48Khz or 96Khz with a period size of 64
and 3 buffers. This is with an M-Audio Delta 1010 recording from the direct outs
of my mixer. This is on a 64 bit Gentoo system on a core2 E6600. For the most
part the system actually runs at the lower clock of 1600MHZ while doing audio
even under fairly heavy plugin load, it only ever seems to clock up to the full
2400 MHZ when compiling apps. 

I use XFS as the filesystem with a write allocation of only 64 MB. I am keen for
the release of btrfs to see if this will improve the write speed. 

That being said I will be probably moving to an SSD (non RAID) based system later
this year primarily for the silent nature of the drives combined with the very
fast write speeds available.  I may possibly just opt for a single platter drive
for the system and an SSD for the recording drive.  

I use an Antec Take 4 rackmount that sits at the bottom of my rack unit but find
that the 4 drives create a bit of noise and vibration through the case even
though the drives are mounted on silicon grommets.  This is what is making me
re-think the setup. 



On Thu Feb 19 21:50 , "Justin M. Streiner"  sent:

>I mentioned a few months ago that I planned to build a new machine for 
>Ardour and friends, and now I'm getting to the point of building a 
>definitive list of pieces and parts to buy.  The plan is to support 
>recording up to 24 simultaneous 16 or 24-bit tracks at 48 or 96 khz early 
>on, and grow that in the future as needs (and funding!) warrant.
>At this point I plan to stick with Gentoo as it's the most familiar distro 
>to me, but I will use the pro-audio overlay this time around.  I may 
>tinker with other distros once the pieces are bolted together, so the 
>distro decision might not be set in stone.  I'll also have to make a 
>decision on whether or not to go 64-bit as well...
>That said, I plan to build the system with two separate RAID sets - a 
>RAID 1 set for the system, and a RAID 10 set for Ardour sessions.  I 
>suspect that I can run the system RAID 1 set using the software RAID 
>drivers in Linux, but what I don't know is if that driver would impose a 
>significant enough performance penalty for the audio RAID 10 set to make a 
>hardware SATA RAID controller a necessity.  Has anyone on the list had any 
>experience with this?
>Finding a 'real' (the kernel doesn't have to do neat things with the 
>on-card BIOS calls or talk through a proprietary shim driver of some 
>sort) hardware RAID controller that is properly supported in recent 2.6 
>kernels has been a bit of an exercise.  The 3ware 9690SA-4I looks like a 
>Google has provides lots of resources, but many of them end up being 
>contradictory or out of date.  http://ata.wiki.kernel.org/  has been a 
>good resource for determining what's supported in Linux.
>Ardour-Users mailing list
>ardour-users at lists.ardour.org

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