Windows 2003 server with 2 IDE hard drives > can they be mirrored > pros and cons

Posted on 2005-05-05
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I am in the process of purchasing a DELL Power Edge SC420 server for a small branch office with about 10 users. It will have Windows 2003 Standard Server loaded on it.

I want to mirror the 2 - 80GB IDE drives that are available with this model so that I have some kind of disaster recovery. The current server is currently being backed up over the wire to corporate.

Pros? Cons? Thoughts? Advice?

thanks in advance.
Question by:RSchierer
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    Well I would recommend a server that has the at least raid1 from the motherboard and configure the system for that. The pros being a solution for a single hard drive failure problem. Cons... can't think of any. For our smaller remote offices we use the Compaq/HP Proliant ML330 for this type of setup. It's got onboard raid, snap in two ide drives of your choice and away you go. If this is a remote location I'd recommend the HP Proliant ML330 because of HP's superior "remote lights out II" control board. My counterparts in europe only use hp for this reason, the lights out board will display everything when it posts. Excellent for troubleshooting.
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Pros: You have redundancy.  Always a good thing.  Personally, I prefer hardware RAID, so I would be getting a hardware RAID controller if the option were there.  But if not, software will do.  (Hardware is my preference as I feel it provides a faster RAID, having the hardware which is almost always faster than the software do the work.

    Cons: You waste disk space.  BUT I would consider it space well wasted.
    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution

    It is a longer process to restore a software mirrored drive than using hardware.  Hardware is much easier and faster to work with. Kinda like plug and play in some applications.  Spend a little bit of cash on a good IDE raid card and you're off to a good start.  Unless of course you have the resorces to go SCSI.  

    Also whether Soft or Hardware mirror, read speeds are increased due to both drives being read at the same time.   But do read up on different raid levels and what kind of advantages and disadvantages they provide.  The choice is up to you though.

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