Is Controller Hardware or Proxmox Managed Better?


May 16, 2020
I have a DL380 server with 8 x 150GB SAS HDDs. I will also install one or two 1TB NVMEs.
Is it better if you configure a RAID6 from the controller or a RAID-Z3 from Proxmox?
I was thinking of using NVME partitioning it for booting and other space, then all SAS disks as working space, managing everything from Proxmox.
The RAM is 32GB.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
also, you should always think of bit rotate, so zfs is always better. Raid-z3 is Raid7. when using 8 SAS Hdds, i think raid-z2 is ok. Maybe, u can partition the nvmes for L2Arc an ZIL.
Last edited:
To a certain degree, it comes down to what you prefer. As already mentioned, ZFS has the additional layer of checksumming everything, therefore being able to detect bit rot. It does need a bit more RAM, depending on what you plan on VMs and how much resources they will need, a bit more RAM might be good.

The one big reason why I personally prefer software RAID is the fact that I can access the RAID from another system that supports it. Should the HW RAID controller fail, you will probably have to get the same model with a similar firmware to get the RAID back working. With Software RAID you could even plug the disks into another system and still get to your data.

If you plan to use ZFS, you might want to replace the RAID controller with a simpler HBA, especially if it is a Gen 8 or older. From what I heard, the newer models have a somewhat okay HBA mode that allows you to boot from it if in HBA mode. Ideally, you still change it for a simpler HBA controller.

Regarding ZFS pool layouts: please have a look at .
The TL;DR is that any RAIDz layouts will have a usually unexpected space usage overhead for VM disk images due to parity. To avoid that and for better IOPS performance (what is usually needed more for VMs) consider a pool made up of mirror vdevs (RAID 10 like).


The Proxmox community has been around for many years and offers help and support for Proxmox VE, Proxmox Backup Server, and Proxmox Mail Gateway.
We think our community is one of the best thanks to people like you!

Get your subscription!

The Proxmox team works very hard to make sure you are running the best software and getting stable updates and security enhancements, as well as quick enterprise support. Tens of thousands of happy customers have a Proxmox subscription. Get yours easily in our online shop.

Buy now!