Plans for RAID

Discussion in 'Windows 64bit' started by Randy, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Randy

    Randy Guest

    Well, I'm taking the plunge and setting up a second SATA 80G Maxtor on my
    Dell SC1420. Any advice as to whether I should go with RAID 0 or 1 (or
    JBOD)? I guess I could grab a third drive and go with RAID 0+1 if enough
    folks feel that's the best.

    It's going to be a start-from-scratch setup, dual-booting x32 and x64 XP
    Pro, and maybe also x32 and x64 Server 2003, although I don't really see
    a use for that from my perspective, except to continue playing with them
    for the benefit of this and similar groups..

    And I'll be setting the RAID up via BIOS and Windows itself, not an add-in
    card. I guess that might mean I'm forced to install Server 2003??? Time to
    get out my manual I guess.

    My objective is to provide redundancy (safety) more so than speed
    enhancements, as it seems plenty fast enough as it is with a single SATA
    hard drive (and that with nothing more than a single 2.8GHz Xeon, although I
    also plan to add a second soon) and 512MB DDR2 PC400 RAM (ECC Reg.,
    which I also plan to boost to 1G soon).

    Note that I don't feel a *need* to make either upgrade OR setup a RAID
    configuration or even add a second drive; it's purely a desire to explore
    and see what's possible. I don't even use this server much... I see it as
    a learning tool and "funhouse" (again, showing my geekdom, guilty as
    charged).

    Alternatively, I could take the funds earmarked for all three of the above
    upgrades and instead buy an Athlon X2 64 4400/2M for yet another learning
    experience (yeah, it's grand not being married again) *IF* enough here think
    it's that much a superior system, and will be as easy to setup (to date,
    zero problems and very little time required to install either x64 OS).

    TIA.
     
    Randy, Jan 2, 2006
    #1
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  2. First, do some reading so you understand what RAID is and what the different
    numbers mean. RAID 0 is not RAID at all - it is striping and will actually
    INCREASE your exposure to failure. RAID-1 is mirroring and fully redundant.
    Not much speedup, except for some improvement from parallel reads, but you
    can blow a drive out and still run fine.

    RAID 0+1 requires 4 drives, not 3.


    --
    Charlie.
    http://msmvps.com/xperts64

    Randy wrote:
    > Well, I'm taking the plunge and setting up a second SATA 80G Maxtor on my
    > Dell SC1420. Any advice as to whether I should go with RAID 0 or 1 (or
    > JBOD)? I guess I could grab a third drive and go with RAID 0+1 if enough
    > folks feel that's the best.
    >
    > It's going to be a start-from-scratch setup, dual-booting x32 and x64 XP
    > Pro, and maybe also x32 and x64 Server 2003, although I don't really see
    > a use for that from my perspective, except to continue playing with them
    > for the benefit of this and similar groups..
    >
    > And I'll be setting the RAID up via BIOS and Windows itself, not an add-in
    > card. I guess that might mean I'm forced to install Server 2003??? Time to
    > get out my manual I guess.
    >
    > My objective is to provide redundancy (safety) more so than speed
    > enhancements, as it seems plenty fast enough as it is with a single SATA
    > hard drive (and that with nothing more than a single 2.8GHz Xeon,
    > although I also plan to add a second soon) and 512MB DDR2 PC400 RAM (ECC
    > Reg.,
    > which I also plan to boost to 1G soon).
    >
    > Note that I don't feel a *need* to make either upgrade OR setup a RAID
    > configuration or even add a second drive; it's purely a desire to explore
    > and see what's possible. I don't even use this server much... I see it as
    > a learning tool and "funhouse" (again, showing my geekdom, guilty as
    > charged).
    >
    > Alternatively, I could take the funds earmarked for all three of the above
    > upgrades and instead buy an Athlon X2 64 4400/2M for yet another learning
    > experience (yeah, it's grand not being married again) *IF* enough here
    > think it's that much a superior system, and will be as easy to setup (to
    > date, zero problems and very little time required to install either x64
    > OS).
    >
    > TIA.
     
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Jan 2, 2006
    #2
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  3. Randy

    Rob Stow Guest

    Charlie Russel - MVP wrote:
    >
    > RAID 0+1 requires 4 drives, not 3.
    >



    RAID 0+1 and 1+0 both require 2n drives, with n at least 2.


    As far as 3 drives goes ... there is nothing stopping someone
    from having a 2 drive stripe set and mirroring it onto a single
    drive - and I have personally done it just to prove the point to
    a skeptic. It would raise a lot of hackles to call it 0+1, but
    it does work.
     
    Rob Stow, Jan 2, 2006
    #3
  4. OK, yes, you could do that. And no, I probably would not call it 0+1. ;)

    (and you're correct about the 2n, I was simplifying.)


    --
    Charlie.
    http://msmvps.com/xperts64

    Rob Stow wrote:
    > Charlie Russel - MVP wrote:
    >>
    >> RAID 0+1 requires 4 drives, not 3.
    >>

    >
    >
    > RAID 0+1 and 1+0 both require 2n drives, with n at least 2.
    >
    >
    > As far as 3 drives goes ... there is nothing stopping someone
    > from having a 2 drive stripe set and mirroring it onto a single
    > drive - and I have personally done it just to prove the point to
    > a skeptic. It would raise a lot of hackles to call it 0+1, but
    > it does work.
     
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Jan 2, 2006
    #4
  5. Randy

    Randy Guest

    Yeah...

    I looked at my manuals again, and the onboard (Adaptec) controller won't do
    "0+1", and I'm not big on just mirroring a drive full-time (due to
    performance hits, space required, and wear-and-tear), nor having to buy a 2x
    bigger drive to backup should I go with the performance-enhancing striped
    RAID (or with which to mirror it in a pseudo "0+1" RAID).

    Ideally, I'd like to go with striping with parity, but that's not happening
    without a new hard drive controller. My system *does* support the use of a
    "hot blank" drive, which apparently saves at least a little work of
    repairing a broken RAID, but is nowhere near as complete as using parity.
    And once you have four hard drives in the box, you have to add another
    case/CPU fan/shroud and memory cooling shroud... all Dell proprietary (read:
    expensive) crap.

    So I'm thinking I'll wait for now, but consider striping and simply backing
    it up to an external drive every night or week as a cloned, bootable copy...
    and then if the RAID dies, I'd use that 2x sized drive to create a new 4x
    sized RAID (0). That was the plan all along; 2x40G cloned to an 80G, which
    then becomes 2x80G cloned to a 160G, which then becomes 2x160G cloned to a
    320G (at which point the entire paradigm will likely have shifted anyway --
    my need for more space, or the way we store data). And I'd migrate each time
    regardless of the health of the existing RAID, simply based on space
    requirements... I could even be using cheaper PATA drives as clones, whether
    I keep them as the new RAID drives or simply clone them back to fresh new
    SATA drives when the time comes. Or to whatever storage medium then
    exists, with merely a tweak of the boot.ini file to reflect it. Hopefully...

    Of course all this thinking started back with two Compaq dualie servers (P3
    Xeons) and SCSI drives (9G to 18G to 36G to 72G etc.), but then Dell
    grabbed my attention away with a $500 dual P4 Xeon server (never to be
    sold at that price point again) and SATA drives... my SCSIs gather dust now.
    Why two servers? To mirror one to the other for ultimate redundancy... ;~)

    The manual states the RAID control (via BIOS settings) is "OS independent",
    yet specifies "OS Compatibility" of Win 2000 (?) and Win Server 2003, but I
    think those are simply what Dell supports on the system itself. I guess I
    could just throw Win2k Pro on there if that's all it takes... sweet OS.

    Thanks to you and Charlie for your input. I missed the sale on the drives
    anyway... ;~) When they were going for under $50, it suddenly seemed like a
    fun (and *inexpensive*) idea to play with. But thinking it through, it seems
    it might be more of a disadvantage at this point, considering my limited
    needs.

    "Rob Stow" <> wrote in message
    news:%...
    > Charlie Russel - MVP wrote:
    > >
    > > RAID 0+1 requires 4 drives, not 3.
    > >

    >
    >
    > RAID 0+1 and 1+0 both require 2n drives, with n at least 2.
    >
    >
    > As far as 3 drives goes ... there is nothing stopping someone
    > from having a 2 drive stripe set and mirroring it onto a single
    > drive - and I have personally done it just to prove the point to
    > a skeptic. It would raise a lot of hackles to call it 0+1, but
    > it does work.
     
    Randy, Jan 3, 2006
    #5
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