Help Me Choose: RAID Controller

The Dell PowerEdge Expandable RAID Controller (PERC) series-8 family of enterprise-class controllers is designed for enhanced performance, increased reliability and fault tolerance, and simplified management of your RAID array drives.

When choosing a RAID controller, consider both your business’s storage and performance demands and your budget:

• If you are configuring external storage enclosures with high-performance SAS hard drives and application-accelerating solid-state drives, the H810 may be the right controller for you.
• If you are implementing hybrid server platforms based on solid-state storage for unsurpassed performance and enterprise-class reliability, the next-generation H710 or H710P may be the right controller for you.
• If you are a small- to medium-business owner looking for file, web, database and email servers at affordable prices and low-power consumption, the PERC H310 may be the right controller for you.

To learn more about our RAID controllers, see the tabs below.
H310
  • Entry-level RAID controller
  • PCI-Express Gen2.0 support and 6 Gb/s SAS (SAS 2.0) host interface
  • No cache
  • Adds pass-thru support
  • Connects to SATA and SAS drives
  • RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 10 and 50

Note: For optimum RAID5 or RAID50 performance choose the H710 or H710P controller with cache. Controllers with cache are able to achieve higher performance because they are able to buffer large amounts of I/O prior to calculating the RAID5 parity and write the data to disk at a later time. The H310 entry controller has no cache, therefore multiple I/O operations have to occur for every write I/O and parity calculation which increases the time for I/O to fully complete.

Ideal for file, web, database and email servers, the PERC H310 delivers trusted Dell PERC reliability with minimal maintenance effort. Our entry-level controller card provides moderate performance and uncomplicated configuration options at the lowest price point. In addition, these cards connect to SATA and SAS hard disk drives and solid-state drives, allowing for tiered storage that optimizes cost and performance.

H710
  • Value-hardware RAID controller
  • PCI-Express Gen2.0 support and 6 Gb/s SAS (SAS 2.0) host interface
  • 512MB nonvolatile cache
  • RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60
  • Dual-core PowerPC CPU
  • Increases IOPS performance with Cut-Through IO and FastPath™
  • Supports Self-Encrypting Drives (SED)

The PERC H710 is a built on the LSISA2208 dual-core PowerPC RAID-on-Chip (ROC). It offers unmatched I/O performance for database applications and streaming digital media environments. The H710, with eight internal ports, delivers two PowerPC processor cores and a 72-bit DDR3 interface that drives 512MB nonvolatile cache memory. You can deploy the PERC H710 in hard-drive-based server environments for significant performance gains. If you are implementing hybrid server platforms based on solid-state storage, this PERC exploits the potential of solid-state drives (SSDs) for unsurpassed performance and enterprise-class reliability.

H710P
  • Value-hardware RAID controller
  • PCI-Express Gen2.0 support & 6Gb/s SAS (SAS 2.0) host interface
  • 1GB nonvolatile cache
  • CacheCade 1.1
  • RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60
  • Dual-core PowerPC CPU
  • Increases IOPS performance with Cut-Through IO and FastPath
  • Supports Self-Encrypting Drives (SED)

The PERC H710P combines all the capabilities of the H710 with the CacheCade feature and a full gig of cache memory, enabling optimal SSD performance and improved IOPS with cut-through IO and FashPath software.

H810
  • Performance RAID controller
  • PCI-Express Gen2.0 support & 6Gb/s SAS (SAS 2.0) host interface
  • H710P for internal RAID and the H810 for external RAID (JBOD)
  • 1GB non-volatile cache
  • RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60
  • CacheCade 1.1
  • Dual-core PowerPC CPU
  • Increases IOPS performance with Cut-Through IO and FastPath
  • Supports Self-Encrypting Drives (SED)
  • Connects up to 192 drives to one PERC H810
  • Connects both 2.5" (MD1220) and 3.5" (MD1200) enclosures to a single PERC H810

The PERC H810 is nearly identical in features to the H710P, with one major difference: the H710P is for your server’s internal drives — up to 32 of them — while the H810 can connect to JBOD, running up to 192 drives. This controller is ideal for configuring external storage enclosures with high-performance SAS hard drives and application-accelerating solid-state drives. You can deploy the PERC H810 in existing hard-drive-based server environments for significant performance gains. Or if you’re implementing hybrid server platforms based on solid-state storage, the PERC H810 exploits the potential of SSDs for unsurpassed performance and enterprise-class reliability.
When choosing a RAID controller, there are a few critical hardware features that affect performance to keep in mind:
  • Write-back cache enables commands to complete quickly, so RAID performance with controllers that have cache can be considerably greater.
  • CacheCade uses the SSDs to enhance the performance of the drive system by caching frequently accessed or “hotspot” data to SSDs. In this way, system applications can read important data much faster than if they were limited by the speed of HDDs alone.
  • Cut-through I/O (input/output) is an IO accelerator for SSD arrays that boosts the throughput of devices connected to the PERC controller.
  • FastPath software enables the use of the second core on our PowerPC chip to accelerate write-through I/O, which significantly enhances SSD performance.
PowerEdge RAID Controller (PERC) Series 8 Family

Model Interface Support PCI Support SAS Connectors Cache Memory Size Write Back Cache RAID Levels Max Drive Support RAID Support
PERC H810 Adapter 6Gb/s SASPCI-Express 2.0 2x4 External 1GB NV Flash Backed Cache 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60 192Hardware RAID
PERC H710P Adapter 6Gb/s SASPCI-Express 2.02x4 External1GB NVFlash Backed Cache0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 6032Hardware RAID
PERC H710P Mini Mono 6Gb/s SASPCI-Express 2.02x4 External1GB NVFlash Backed Cache0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 6032Hardware RAID
PERC H710P Mini Blade 6Gb/s SASPCI-Express 2.02x4 External1GB NVFlash Backed Cache0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 604Hardware RAID
PERC H710 Adapter6Gb/s SASPCI-Express 2.02x4 External512MB NVFlash Backed Cache0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 6032Hardware RAID
PERC H710 Mini Mono 6Gb/s SASPCI-Express 2.02x4 External512MB NVFlash Backed Cache0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 6032Hardware RAID
PERC H710 Mini Blade 6Gb/s SASPCI-Express 2.01x4 External512MB NVFlash Backed Cache0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 604Hardware RAID
PERC H310 Adapter 6Gb/s SASPCI-Express 2.02x4 External--0, 1, 5, 10, 5016, Non-RAID 32Hardware RAID
PERC H310 Mini Mono 6Gb/s SASPCI-Express 2.02x4 External--0, 1, 5, 10, 5016, Non-RAID 32Hardware RAID
PERC H310 Mini Blade 6Gb/s SASPCI-Express 2.01x4 External--0, 1, 5, 10, 504Hardware RAID
S110 Software RAID 3Gb/s SATAPCI-Express 2.0---0, 1, 5, 104Software RAID - Windows Only
PERC H310 Mini Blade 3Gb/s SASExpress 2.01x4 External--0, 1, 5, 10, 504Hardware RAID