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Need advice from a RAID Expert

Posted on 2003-10-25
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Hi. I am building a new PC and am coming accross the options for my hard drives. I was to put in two Serial ATA drives in a RAID 0 configuration. I need a couple of questions answered.
If I use that setup, will it recognize it as one drive or two? Will it just be like one big C: drive?
I am going to go with this motherboard http://usa.asus.com/products/server/srv-mb/pc-dl/overview.hTm will I need to buy a RAID PCI card or is it all taken care of by the motherboard?
I have read about the risks involved with a raid 0 setup, losing one disk loses everything. My question is, is it possible to have three hard drives, the first two in a raid 0 configuration and the third to have a complete backup of everything automatically written to it everytime there is something written to the first two?

Thanks for the help
John
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Question by:jingato
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LucF earned 95 total points
ID: 9620146
> will it recognize it as one drive or two?
It will be recognized as one big drive, but you can partition it the way you want.

>will I need to buy a RAID PCI
The motherboard you've chosen supports RAID, so you don't have to buy an extra RAID controller

> the first two in a raid 0 configuration and the third to have a complete backup of everything automatically
No, this is not possible, Raid 5 does that, but the onboard RAID-controller on the motherboard you've chosen doesn't support that. It does support RAID 10, wich is striping+mirroring, you'll need 4 drives for this. You than have 2 pairs of 2 drives in striping mode, wich are mirrored.

LucF
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Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9620449
You can't do what you want with RAID on that controller though you could use a 3rd drive and replicate folders to it, writ a ghost image there of backup to file on.
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Expert Comment

by:amosss
ID: 9623653
You should ask yourself why you want a RAID 0 configuration. If you are hoping to get speedups from RAIDING IDE drives together, especially very fast ones, then you should think again. My tests in a host of different circumstances, and with various motherboards have made it clear to me that IDE RAID 0 setups rarely work out faster, but _usually slower_, despite the 'common knowledge' which say that it does. It does with SCSI drives, but (I'm guessing) the interrupt clashes which arise on fast IDE drives counteract the benefit of striped access. It turned out that many, many other people found this too. See for example


http://www.anandtech.com/storage/sh...html?i=1491&p=1
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.html?i=1491&p=24
http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=Mjk2LDM=

Note that there can be some RAID benefit with sequential READ in normal working (rather than test) scenarios, but then when you realise that you have effectively doubled the drive cache size by putting the two together, then that pretty much accounts for the small benefit gained.

If on the other hand you have single files which are about 300 GB, then that is a fair reason to use RAID 0 :)

Sorry not to answer your question, but I might have provided you with a comment which means you no longer need an answer to the question.

My advice: Use all the disks as single disks, and do regular idle-time software synchronisation across two disks. Then you get fast acess when you need it, some slight delay to cope if things go software belly up as well as hardware belly up. The rest of the backup schedule depends on your requirements.

Oh and if your motherboard blows you're not stuck with all your information on RAIDED drives.

 

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