Quick Tutorial on Raid 0

ok, as short sweet and understandable as possible given the following limited information:

Using 4 SCSI drives, setup RAID 0

Give me the basics... the whatevers

Tutorials... wisdom... all graciously accepted
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chuckroxConnect With a Mentor Commented:
As far as I understand, if it's a hardware raid you'll be prompted on bootup (before the OS loads) with something like "press ctrl+E to enter Promise controller setup" from there you'll have a simplistic menu with options for setting up your RAID, refer to the manual that comes with the controller card for more details. Once this is setup, the OS will just treat the RAID like a regular hard drive. If software RAID is your case then you'll need a driver disk for when you first start the OS install. In the example of WinXP, when setup first starts from bootcd it says to "press F3 now for third party RAID driver" at which point you'd load the driver from floppy.
My experience with RAID has been limited to just a couple of occasions, so please take any advise with a grain of salt.
Finally, from what I know, there isn't a huge perfomance gain from going from a 2 drive striped array to a 4 drive striped array; before setting up a 4 drive striped array I'd suggest looking at RAID 0+1 or 5 (if the system can handle it) which would come at a nominal performance decrease, but give you the advantage of redundancy.
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Hi oldgreyguy,

I think this is what you're looking for.


oldgreyguyAuthor Commented:
thanks for the quick post... am looking for the steps one takes to setup the booger
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LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Do you want to have hardware raid, or software raid?
If software Raid => What operating system?
If hardware Raid => What kind of raid-controller do you have?
oldgreyguyAuthor Commented:
therein lies the small problem... I will not know until I get to the site tomorrow.... all the info given was per the first post.. I basically am trying to bone up on as many scenarios as possible
LucFConnect With a Mentor EMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Yep, that's a small problem... there are more than 100 different Raid controllers wich all have other ways to setup the raid array :(
As a most general way:
All raid-controllers have their own setup program like the BIOS. While booting, you will see something like "Press X to enter Raid-Setup"
Within the setup program, you should find something like "Create Raid Array" follow the instructions on the screen.

What you should consider is RAID-5 check the link which I posted above to see why (Redundancy)

oldgreyguyAuthor Commented:
Not wanting to admit this... but never having done RAID.. I am just trying to gain some rudimentary knowledge before appearing at the site

as to the options of 0 or 5... this guy was pretty set on making this thing 0....

LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
I do suggest you to talk about data loss with your client.
If you loose one disk with a RAID-0 array, you will loose all data. With a RAID-5 array, all data will still be there, you just have to replace the faulty drive to get the array back.
CallandorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
People who know what they're doing use RAID 0 when speed is the most important thing, above all else, and are willing to accept loss of data if that happens.  Four drives in a RAID 0 configuration means your chance of total failure is four times the probability of a single drive failure.  RAID 5 is used as a compromise between speed and redundancy, because a checksum is calculated for each write, though performance will bog down if a drive goes bad and the array has to be rebuilt on the fly.  As LucF says, better have a talk with that client, to make sure they know what they are getting into.
blacksteelConnect With a Mentor Commented:

  Raid 5 would be great to use if you can afford it, it's exspensive. You could setup a RAID 0+1 which would provide speed and redundency. I would use hardware RAID because it gives better performance even if software RAID works. The bad part of doing RAID 0+1 is lose drive space to redundency. The setup of RAID is not too hard to do, it just takes some time. The one thing to mention is that all the hard drives have to be the same size, speed, and brand to work the best. It is possible to use a different drive brands, but it's not advised. The RAID SCSi setup is going to cost this person a good amount unless they already have the SCSi RAID card. The amount of money I'm talking about for this SCSi RAID card is several hundred dollars.

  If the client just wants to stay with RAID 0. I would advise to install an IDE drive (20GB or more) to backup important information and create an image of the RAID 0 setup to the IDE drive. I do this for my computer system because I'll eventually will screw it up if it has Windows.

"Four drives in a RAID 0 configuration means your chance of total failure is four times the probability of a single drive failure." Well this might be possible, but SCSi drives are very reliable. The failure rate of SCSi drives out lives IDE drives greatly, compare SCSi MTBF to IDE drives and you see what I mean. You have more of a chance of losing RAID setup than losing a SCSi drive. Well just passing up some information.

Well, I'll chat later, good luck with RAID!

NilknarfConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If your client asks about backup solutions, (which they should do if they are considering a RAID setup) have a look at Acronis True Image Server:

I've used Drive Image (from version 5 to the latest), Ghost (2000 to 2003) and Acronis True Image Server. And out of the three the Acronis software is fabulous!

It makes a backup image while Windows is running to another disk (or DVD/CDR/Zip disk, DAT tape/Jazz Drive/Network Drive/Firewire & USB disks etc..) and it supports all levels of IDE and SCSI RAID controllers. It uses good compression and it's fast. To restore an image you simply put a boot CD in, restart, the program loads, and it looks just like the windows interface! It’s a simple point and click operation to restore an image.

Making backup images to another partition also has the advantage of allowing you to restore data that has been accidentally deleted (which you still couldn't do with a redundant RAID).

Anyway, hope my experience with this imaging software is useful to someone! :o)
oldgreyguyAuthor Commented:
hey folks thanks for the inputs...and a special thanks to NILKNARF.... i looked at the ACRONIS software... I liked it so much I bought it....
Thankyou, and you're welcome! :o)

At the end of the day it's a small price to pay to have complete peace of mind while enjoying the benifits of a RAID system.

I hope your client enjoys his new system! :o)
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