LSI MegaRAID SAS/SATA 9265-8i – Conclusions

For an enterprise situation the 9265-8i is an absolute winner. The sheer power of both the IOPS and throughput of the RAID controller are, quite simply, unmatched. The IOPS are 4x that of the nearest competitor, and the card boasts a 67 percent improvement in streaming writes. With the ability of this card to replace several other cards, the savings in both cost and the actual physical numbers of servers is impressive. To add to that, using the massive potential of the SSDs will yet increase savings further in the number of devices, power, and cooling required to use them in enterprise solutions.

The lead that LSI enjoyed with the 9260 and the LSI2008 ROC has simply been expanded even further with the groundbreaking performance of this RAID card.

DATA SAFETY

The performance of this card in raid sets with parity (eg Raid 5) is simply unsurpassed as well. We will be covering the impressive Raid 5 performance in an upcoming review.

One thing we did want to touch on here though, is the advantages of SSD Guard that this controller provides. It continuously observes the SMART data that is used to monitor the health of the individual drives.  If monitoring indicates that one of the devices is about to fail, or is in the process of doing so, it automatically begins to copy the information to another drive to preserve data.  A huge selling point for this megaRAID card is that this is all done without user intervention!

AUTHORS NOTE

Well I am truly impressed with this controller to say the very least. I have tested a multitude of raid cards from several different vendors over the years and none comes anywhere close to this controller.

I began using SSD’s a few years ago,and immediately built a rather large array to maximize the potential of the SSD’s. Unfortunately, for a very long time, users were left in the cold here. With the previous generation of controllers (3Gb/s), the scaling and utilization of the SSD arrays was simply pathetic! Many times the on board raid solutions, or even just using a single device, would outstrip those raid controllers’ performance easily.

This resulted in a sad state of affairs for effective benchmarking and I began the process of testing different raid cards to find one that could even begin to deliver the performance promise that the new generation of SSD’s were made to deliver.  After 7 different raid cards, LSI delivered with the 9260.

With the advent of FastPath on the 9260 things were even better, the scaling and speed were generational leaps above and beyond any of the previous cards. There was, however, still a bit of performance left on the table with the scaling of the random access.

Along comes the 9265-8i, and I can really and truly say that this card delivers in every aspect. Its latency is superb, the random and sequential throughput is just totally above and beyond any raid solution that has been introduced as of yet. Look for many companies to begin releasing controllers that utilize the on board processor of this raid card, the LSI2208. This is the real ‘star of the show’. The processor has unparalleled power and performance, and the engineers at LSI have really hit a home run with utilizing its potential to its fullest.

This is truly a redefining moment for SSD arrays and I would wholeheartedly, without reservation, recommend this card to any user who is looking for that highest level of performance

EDITORS NOTE TO ENTERPRISE CLIENTS

Having been involved with storage for several years, I believe that industry has a little known and valuable resource in the enthusiast reviewer.  Where manufacturer performance testing may provide for a products capabilities, the enthusiast takes it that much further by stretching the product as far as it can possibly go.  I’de like to personally thank Paul Alcorn for doing just that with the LSI 9265-8i and compiling a review that truly sets a new standard in RAID card testing.

Having said that, our sincere appreciation also goes to LSI for the opportunity to review the LSI 9265-81 MegaRAID card and also to Micron for their continued support in providing 8 x Micron C300 SATA 3 SSDs for our review.  They truly were their weight in gold.

LINKED INDEX

INTRODUCTION ~ EXTERNAL CHARACTERISTICS ~ BENCHMARK PREP

ATTO/CRYSTAL ~ AS SSD ~ HDTUNE PRO ~ WEI/AIDA ~ IOMETER

PASSMARK ~ VANTAGE ~ CONCLUSIONS AND THOUGHTS

If you want more detailed information on the testing, parameters and configurations used in testing, feel free to hit the forums! I will be happy to answer any questions, and as long as I have the hardware, if there is anything I have missed, I would be happy to run some tests for you and there will also be some more detailed presentations on 4k scaling for you enthusiasts out there 🙂 ~ Paul

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