Advice on RAID with SATA drives

Posted on 2005-04-13
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Hi everyone,

Quick question, i'm just making sure here, so all feedback is very welcome.
I have to install a RAID system on a Windows 2000 machine for crucial data storage. It's been quite awhile since I set any RAID up, so there must be new stuff on the market that I don't know.

I have 2 X SATA Seagate Barracuda 200Gb 7200RPM 8MB.
1 X PCI SATA Raid controller 2-port - ADAPTEC 1210SA
Data being backed up are photographs (useless info. but anyway)

Which RAID would work best? Ideally, fast write speeds, owing to the pictures being quite large, and coming from an External Firewire ATA drive. Also, I don't want to waste a lot of storage space (I read somewhere there are issues with some RAID setups where 50% storage is lost)
As well as total redundancy, considering the data is this persons career. Obviously an off-site backup would be great, but no $$$. So, 2 drives are the next best thing.

RAID1 is my thought. I heard there were new RAID arrays, but I cannot get proper thoughts about them. Of course, that's why I come to Experts-Exchange.

Thanks a lot,
Not worth a lot of points, I just don't have many :)

Question by:chrispols
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    RAID defined

    RAID 0 is striping, which would be the fastest, but offers no redundancy and is riskier because a failure on either drive would render the data on the array useless.

    RAID 1 is mirroring, which would give you complete redundancy, but now you only have 50% of the total capacity available for use.

    A good compromise would be RAID 5, which gives you speed and error correction, but your card only supports RAID 0, 1 and JBOD (just a bunch of disks, or non-RAID).  If you choose RAID 1, you will have secure data, which seems to be the more important issue here.

    Author Comment


    Great. Thanks. Could you explain why 50% is only in use? What happens to the other 50%?

    200 Gb : 200Gb
    Data    : Data

    If it writes the same data to each disk, what happens to the rest?
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    RAID 1 writes the exact same data to both disks thus providing a full backup at all times, in case of a single disk crash you still have a full working copy of your drive

    Author Comment

    Ok, I think I just stepped into "Stupidity" territory. It's just before leaving work and my brain wasn't working.

    I was thinking that I would only have 50% storage of 200Gb. Not 50% of 400Gb. Sorry, I knew that, was just not thinking.
    Will assign points now.
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    Thanks for filling him in, reedsr!

    chrispols, don't worry, I've seen worse cases of misunderstanding here.

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