Specifications, Pricing and Availability
The 9265-8i MegaRAID is from LSI's Value Line of storage controllers but you wouldn't know it from the specification list. The heart of the system is a dual-core 800MHz RAID-on-Chip (ROC) that's paired with an embedded 1GB DDR2 cache. This is LSI's second generation 6Gb/s ROC, we reviewed the first generation last year on the 9260-8i.
Connectivity comes via two SFF-8087 mini-SAS ports, each with 6Gb/s throughput. There are several different configurations for SAS. You could run each channel directly to a SATA or SAS drive or with expanders the 9265-8i can connect up to 128 drives. On the host end the 9265-8i uses a PCIe 2.0 8x lane and this will be your limiting factor when using a very large array or a group of high speed SSDs.
The MegaRAID series of products cover all of the major RAID array types. RAID 5 and RAID 6 are the most popular and allow for one (RAID 5) or two (RAID 6) disks to fail before you lose data. RAID 0, the old enthusiast's favorite is also included, but with the advent of high speed SSDs most stay away from RAID 0 since it doesn't offer any redundant features or significant performance increase over RAID 5. The ability to run RAID spans 10, 50 and 60 are also available.
Current pricing on the 9265-8i is about 40% less at the time of writing than what we found on release in 2011. We managed to track down a seller on Google's Product Search with stock available for $620 shipped in the US. That covers the basic card, SFF-8087 to SATA cables (2), the manuals and a three year warranty. Add-ons include a battery backup unit, MegaRAID FastPath, SafeStore, CacheCade and recovery software. A fully outfitted 9265-8i with all of the goodies can add another $870 if purchased through LSI directly. For most users, Fast Path and CacheCade are all that is needed. We managed to find a bundle package with both of these add-on packs for 249.99.
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