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software RAID

Posted on 2000-03-21
Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I will be building a new server in a week or so and I want to mirror the hard drive (RAID 0 i think?) - is this possible in software? (i don't particularly fancy spending money on a RAID card).  The drives will be EIDE if that makes a difference.
Question by:shivers
LVL 40

Accepted Solution

jlevie earned 100 total points
ID: 2643024
In the general case, yes you can do software raid. Have you looked at the howto? You can see it (and lots of other howto's) at http://howto.tucows.com/LDP/HOWTO/Software-RAID-HOWTO.html.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 2643668
You cant have your boot-required files on a software mirror tho. so you will have to subpartition, so you will require atleast three drives unless you want to loose a heck of a lot of performance. (or two drives and boot from floppy.)

Expert Comment

ID: 2645597
Since the drives are going to be EIDE you're going to kill the performance.
At least put them on the different channels: one on ide0 and one on ide1.
Bad idea anyway.
It'll effectively kill performance.
I hope that it doesn't bother you.
Use scsi if possible.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 2645628
Personally i am just waiting for support for the Promise Fasttrak66, the performance under NT with IBM GXP disks are totally mindblowing. Just as fast as _any_ twin scsi device setup i have seen. Havent tried the promise with four drives yet.

(and before we get into the SCSI / IDE thing here, remember that the promise in a two drive setup has one dedicated datachannel per device, making the fact that IDE does not have CTQ null and void. Also remember that before saying "there are no 10krpm IDE drives" the fact that IDE does not have to use databus BW for unit negotiation / protocol overhead as much as SCSI does. And also consider the price.)

just my $0.02

Expert Comment

ID: 2645658
j2: absolutely right.
But, Promise Fasttrak66 needs only ONE irq request and ONE dma channel per request, thus, effictively emulating scsi way of thinking.
It could be fast I guess.
I've heard about hardware raids based on ide disks, and I'm pretty sure that these raids are not bad at all.
I'm just telling that regular computer with two ide disks which are mirrored is a porsche without wheels.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 2645696
Yeah. I have been known to use software striping, but never mirroring.

And, yes,  the fasttrak66 is fast.. 18.5 - 22.8Mbyte/sec sustained (depending on request block size).. and as i said. Cheap.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 2645701
but now we are straying from his question, so i will be quiet now :)

Expert Comment

ID: 2645717
jlevie already answered his question.
I could explain him how to use vinum if it was on freebsd :-), but the linux part is described well in the HOWTO and in the kernel Documentation.

Author Comment

ID: 2740632
sorry for the long delay - thanx for the answer

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