Will increase and split points as needed.
Have built lots of workstations but never worked with RAID before. Basically need to keep working when a hard drive fails, and not have to rebuild the OS (or ghost from image backups). Also want to be able to go back to previous images of the OS.
This for a a fault-tolerant home business system (single workstation) for a client. Choosing RAID 1, but would like option to upgrade to RAID 1+0 at a later date for better performance. (RAID 5 seems too much of a hassle to rebuild in the event of a disk failure - looking for no hassles. Hot sparing and automatic rebuilding of RAID array is desirable.) Performance not much of an issue at present, although will insist on hardware implementation of RAID 1 via controller.
I'm thinking of running Win2000 or XP professional on a 3-drive (A,B,C) so when one OS drive fails single redundancy continues until the drive is replaced.
Files possibly kept on a fourth drive (D) "trickle" backed up on a fifth drive (E). By trickle I mean only changed files are re-written, and backup takes place slowly in the background with very little performance degradation. Also keeping images of the OS backed up on physical drives D and E to allow going back to previous configurations.
I'll probably be partitioning some existing drives so all match in size for use in the array (realizing the remaining space will not be used by RAID).
How closely does speed of drives need to match? (Yes, I've heard "exactly" - is this true?) Controller-dependant? (See http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_21383264.html
How easy to "upgrade" to RAID 1+0 later? Add the fourth drive and change some settings would be simplicity desired.
What specs should I look for in a controller? (RAM amount, etc.) Recommendations of brand/item?
Comments on desirability/feasability of this approach overall?
Some recent references I have read include: