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Help Me Choose: Server-Storage Controllers

The Dell EMC PowerEdge Server-Storage Controllers include series 9/10/11 PowerEdge Hardware RAID controllers (PERC) that are designed for enhanced performance, increased reliability, fault tolerance, and simplified management of your RAID array drives.  The PowerEdge Server-Storage family of controllers also includes internal and external 12Gbps SAS Host Bus Adapters for use with applications that manage the storage directly.

Help Me Choose: Server-Storage Controllers

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

  • If you are configuring external storage enclosures with high-performance SAS hard drives and application-accelerating solid-state drives, consider the H840 for your Hardware RAID requirements or the 12Gbps SAS Host Bus Adapter to present disks in “Pass-Thru” mode to your application.
  • If you are implementing hybrid server platforms based on solid-state storage for unsurpassed performance and enterprise-class reliability, our  H740P and H745 are  very good choices.
  • If you are a small- to medium-business owner looking for file, web, and email servers at affordable prices and low-power consumption, our entry hardware RAID PERC H330 or H345 may be the right controller for you.
When choosing a RAID controller, there are a few critical hardware features that affect performance to keep in mind:

  • Controller Cache – There are two types of cache on our high performance controllers – Write Cache & Read Cache.
    • Write Cache can be configured in “Write Back” or “Write Through” modes.  Write Back is the default setting and is specifically used for Hard Disk drive configurations.  Write Back enables write I/O to complete more quickly providing better overall disk performance.  With “Write Through” mode, the architectures of our low latency, high performance flash based SAS/SATA Solid State Disks are optimized for best performance.
    • Read Cache can be configured to “Read Ahead” and “No Read Ahead”.  HDDs are the main benefactor of Read Ahead and provides slightly better read performance.
  • FastPath™ feature enables the use of the second core on our RAID-On-Chip (ROC) Processor to accelerate write-through I/O, which enhances SSD performance

Note: For parity-based RAID (RAID5, RAID6, RAID50, or RAID60) it is essential for performance workloads to have controller cache present.  Controllers with write cache are able to buffer large amounts of write I/O and have a hardware XOR engine for calculating parity. Controllers without cache such as the H330 must “Write Through” I/O directly to disk which hampers and slows overall I/O performance dramatically. While RAID5/50 is supported on the H330, the performance is considerably lower and similar to software RAID performance.  We discontinued parity RAID (RAID5/50) support on our H345 controller.

For best performance with RAID5/6/50/60, Dell strongly recommends a RAID controller with controller cache and hardware XOR engine such as the H730P, H740P, H745 or the H840.

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Dell EMC PowerEdge Server-Storage RAID Controllers & SAS Host Bus Adapter Products

Model & Form Factors Interface Support PCI Support SAS Connectors Cache Memory Size Write Back Cache RAID Levels Max Drive Support RAID Support
PowerEdge Server-Storage Controllers (PERC & SAS HBA) Series 10
PERC H840
Adapter - LP & FH
12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.1 8 ports - 2x4 External 8GB Flash Backed Cache 0,1,5,6,10,50,60 Up To 255 Hardware RAID
PERC H740P
Adapter, Mini Mono
12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.1 8 ports - 2x4 Internal 8GB Flash Backed Cache 0,1,5,6,10,50,60 Up To 32 Hardware RAID
PERC H745P
MX
12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.1 16 ports - 2x4 Internal
2x4 External (MX5016)
8GB Flash Backed Cache 0,1,5,6,10,50,60 Up To 32 Hardware RAID
PERC H745
Adapter, Front
12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.1 16 ports - 2x8 Internal 4GB Flash Backed Cache 0,1,5,6,10,50,60 Up To 32 Hardware RAID
PERC H345
Adapter, 'Front'
12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.1 16 ports - 2x8 Internal No Cache No Cache 0,1,10
Note1
Up To 32 RAID, or 32 Non-RAID Hardware RAID
HBA – Internal HBA345
Adapter, 'Front'
12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.1 16 ports - 2x8 Internal No Cache No Cache No RAID
Pass Thru Only
Up To 32 No RAID
SAS HBA
PowerEdge Server-Storage Controllers (PERC & SAS HBA) Series 9
PERC H730P
Adapter, Mini Mono, Mini Blade, MX
12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.0 8 ports - 2x4 Internal 2GB Flash Backed Cache 0,1,5,6,10,50,60 Up To 32 Hardware RAID
PERC H330
Adapter, Mini Mono, Mini Blade
12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.0 8 ports - 2x4 Internal No Cache No Cache 0,1,5,10,50 Up To 32 RAID, or 32 Non-RAID Hardware RAID
HBA – External 12Gbps SAS
Adapter
12Gb/s SAS PCI-Express 3.0 2x4 Internal No Cache No Cache No RAID
Pass Thru Only
Up T0 240 No RAID SAS HBA
HBA – Internal HBA330
Mini Mono, Adapter, Mini Blade, MX
12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.0 2x4 Internal No Cache No Cache No RAID
Pass Thru Only
Up To 32 No RAID
SAS HBA
PowerEdge Server-Storage Software RAID
S150 Software RAID
Software
6Gb/s SATA/
NVMe
N/A N/A No Cache No Cache 0,1,5,10 Up to 12 SATA or 24 NVMe Software RAID -
Windows & Linux (Limited) Note2
S140 Software RAID
Software
6Gb/s SATA/ NVMe N/A N/A No Cache No Cache 0,1,5,10 Up to 12 SATA or 24 NVMe Software RAID -
Windows & Linux (Limited) Note2
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