Areca has just released a beta driver for use with VMware ESX 3.5 🙂
This means that finally all the advantages of the Areca hardware can be used to build VMware systems.
I consider the Areca’s one of the best (if not the best) professional SATA RAID controllers out there.
I have used Dell servers a lot, because they offer more bang for the buck. However, Dell keeps on using crappy RAID controllers that are full of bugs. Over the last few years, it happened several times that Dell servers went down because of RAID controller problems, such as bugs in firmware.
I got really depressed by looking at the firmware history of their shitty PERC controllers – they started out the naming scheme with letters but they had to revert to another scheme as soon as the past the 27th firmware update. How’s that for mature code. Oh, and almost every update is labeled critical by Dell.
The PERC controllers that ship with Dell servers perform OK-ish, but they are hard to manage, they don’t have cool features like online RAID level migration, and at the time did not offer SATA RAID.
Luckily we have an IBM Fibre Channel box to store our data on, so if one of the Dells goes down again (you it will once you’ve seen the driver and firmware history) we don’t risk loosing too much data.
It was very frustating to be forced to buy servers that contain sub-optimal hardware when you know there is much better kit out there. But now, with the Areca drivers available I can create a multi-terabyte 1U VMware server for our disaster recovery plan.
When I get my hands on an Areca controller I will see how VMware behaves with that – to be continued.