Mar 192013

SCSI LVD/SE logoMy [servers]German flag web, SQL and mail directories are all sitting on a RAID-5 array hosted by an ancient IBM ServeRAID II controller that delivers 10MB/s at most. Using a very old 33MHz PowerPC 403GCX as its XOR processor and only 4MB of cache, what could one expect? Also, most stuff is cached in RAM anyway, so there isn’t much hurt.

Still, there is a guy that is currently selling much more powerful IBM ServeRAID 4H controllers on ebay, fully equipped with 128MB cache and battery backup unit. Who knows if the batteries still work, but nonetheless, for 10€ it’s just dirt cheap, so I got one. The auction is hosted in germany, see [this link]German flag! That one is 64-Bit 66MHz PCI and doesn’t quite fit into my older server (from a style perspective), also it features U160 SCSI, whereas my backplanes are only UW SCSI. So 160MB/s versus 40MB/s. But still, If I can max out the bus system of those backplanes, it’s going to be quite a boost anyway. And that should very well be possible given the far more powerful 266MHz PowerPC 750 XOR processor on this controller.

Also, the ServeRAID 4H features a pretty majestic appearance, full length and all, just need to add the bracket at the end of the card so it will sit properly in my server:

Now there is just one thing that remains unclear, and that’s whether my server will even be able to run the card. First I’ll test it in another machine anyway, to check for basic 32-Bit 33MHz PCI support. Unfortunately I can only test for PCI 2.1, whereas my server uses ancient 2.0. But we’ll see. It’s going to be quite some time before I’ll try it in my server anyway.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 IBM ServeRAID 4H 128MB + BBU for my server by The GAT at is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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