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Q: Gen8 - B120 versus Raid Controller(s) (P420)


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I have a question for those who are familiar with RAID controllers on a GEN8. I currently run ESXi 5.5. with 4TB HDD’s (Hitatchi Ultrastar – 7200 rpm. - Sata-3). It primarily runs Server 2012 R2 and some Windows Clients and some lab situation for educational purposes.


Next is to install a SSD for VM’s and I have 2 ways in doing so I guess.


1) Onboard B120 controller

  • 1x 500GB SSD on FDD port. (running 5 to 6 VM's)
  • 4x HDD in Raid-0 on SATA 3 8TB and Raid-1 on SATA 2 4TB. (persistent vmdk's)

The Data on Raid-0 is not important, just for lab use but has to be fast.


2) HP P420 Controller (1GB/FBWC)

  • 2x 250GB SSD Raid-0. (running 5 to 6 VM's)
  • 4x HDD Raid-5. (persistent vmdk's)


In both scenario’s I’ll have 12 TB of total storage on HDD’s for datastore(s). What kind of performance in or de-crease can I expect when using Raid-5 versus Raid-0 i.c.w. Raid-1.


The FFD port will probably be the bottleneck for any SATA-3 SSD when operating @ SATA 2 speeds. I guess using a P420 solves that issue.


Bottom linen and curious about you opninion. Is it worth spending the extra cash on a P420? (In the Netherlands they retail @ 320,- Euro’s) or any other controller?



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I have played a lot with the B120i and other HP SA controllers in the MS G8, but not with ESXi.

Your comparison of a two drive RAID 0 and a two drive RAID 1 on the B120i versus a four drive RAID 5 on the P420 1GB cache?

It would be close but from my testing I think the RAID 5 would win.

You are correct on the ODD SATA port it is SATA II.

If you add in a P420 you can still use the B120i. You could drive the RAID 5 on the P420 and RAID 1 on the SSD's on the SATA III ports of the B120i.

You may want to look for a P222. That way you can have four drives external, four internal and boot drives on the B120i.

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