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Defragging a RAID 5

Posted on 2004-10-05
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Simple question... perhaps a more complicated answer:

Is defragging a RAID 5 array good, bad or a useless waste of time???

My guess would be that it's a waste of time because of the data scattering nature of RAID 5.

Jared
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Question by:Jared Luker
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by:Pete Long
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No Jared - your guess is off the mark :(

The striping is done at a hardware level the OS has nothing to do with it, de-fragging deals with the storage of "non-contigious" files that are split up because of the way files are stored at a cluster level that is handled by the file system of the drive NOT the type of volume/partition
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by:Jared Luker
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I didn't say the OS had anything to do with it.  

I stated that with raid 5, or raid 0 for that matter, the data gets scattered all over however many drives you have.  I don't see what good a defrag would do.  It seems to me that a defrag of a RAID 5 stripe set would just move pieces of files or pieces of directories around the raid array.  Is there even such a thing as "contiguous" with RAID?
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Pete Long earned 350 total points
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>> Is there even such a thing as "contiguous" with RAID?

Yes, regardless of the "Parity striping of Raid" is designed for speed and resiliance, where as bit mirroring is only concerned with resiliance.

regardless of how things are stored at a hardware level the info is placed on the drive on an in-efficiant cluster sorage system - the only thing that sees the segragated bit level of RAID is the RAID controller (unless we are talking software RAID)

every hard drive no matter what its formatted as is a big grid of pigeon holes that are mapped (at a digital/OS level) de-fragging sorts that out

>>I didn't say the OS had anything to do with it.

no but even defragging from command line needs at least a 16 bit  operating system enviroment to run
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by:Duncan Meyers
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To add to PeteLong's remarks, I've seen backup times halved by defragging a badly fragmented RAID 5 array. It's worth doing...
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by:Jared Luker
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Should I get something special to defrag it with, or does the windows defragger or even disk keeper light work OK?

Jared
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by:Pete Long
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Nope - disk manager and defrag is all you need :)
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by:Pete Long
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ThanQ
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