Cheap 3Ware RAID cards are awesome


Just a quick tip this time. As part of a server reshuffle at work we picked up a 3Ware Escalade 7006-2 PCI IDE RAID card that has turned out to be quite brilliant. Instead of dealing with CPU and I/O-intensive software RAID (as this particular server was set up with before), now we have reliable, hardware driven RAID that only cost $100! It was unbelievably easy to set up to boot, I simply plugged in the card with the machine's two 33gb drives, did a quick firmware update, booted into the BIOS-level configuration panel and within 30 seconds had a RAID-1 (drive mirror) setup created. My SP4-slipstreamed Windows 2000 Server installation went without a hitch, besides catching the driver-installation prompt before it disappeared, and right now I'm installing the usual boat-load of Windows Updates. This is one card that I thoroughly recommend to anyone who needs some basic drive redundancy, and as its available on ebay for $100 there's no reason not to put it on all your basic servers or anywhere else you would otherwise use software-based RAID.

A huge thanks to Bryan Smith who tipped me off to this card, and continued thanks to him for the continued tips and insight.