software raid with netware

can you do software raid with netware?  if so how do you set it up?

What is the Con of doing this versus doing hardware raid?

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Yes, despite Redmond's lies, NetWare has always supported software RAID.

Note that you mirror PARTITIONS, in NetWare, not Volumes. So if you want to mirror just one Volume, it will need to reside in its own NetWare partition.

You haven't specified the VERSION of NetWare, and how software RAID is done varies by version. Here is a link to the NetWare v6.5 Documentation for Software RAID -->
As for pros and cons of software RAID vs hardware RAID, in general:

1) Software RAID is slower and carries a higher performance penalty than hardware RAID
2) Hardware RAID is more expensive than software RAID

jpalazziAuthor Commented:
ok thanks for the info psicop.  unfortunately i am still working with 5.1  will that still work?

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Yes, but you need to look at the v5.1 docs, because the procedures are different.

Also, since NetWare v5.1 is so old (tho still supported), software RAID is only available on the Traditional (FAT) filesystem. See -->

To see what NSS under NetWare v5.1 supports, go here -->

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It has always been my experience that unless you have zero hardware budget, you spend the extra few bux on hardware RAID because it's so much more efficient to offload the RAID processing to the controller.  No matter what OS you're running.

With how cheap (inexpensive) hardware RAID controllers have become, and the availability of PATA and SATA RAID controllers, it makes a whole lot more sense to me to always do hardware RAID nowadays.

NetWare, back as far as I can remember( 3.11 - I only briefly touched 2.x), NetWare has supported duplexing, mirroring and aggregation.  Duplexing putting your mirrored drives on separate  hardware controllers, mirroring is RAID 1 and aggregation is RAID 0 (aka JBOD in today's lingo.)  NetWare 6.5 can do software RAID 5, too, IIRC.  

As PsiCop mentioned, 5.1 only mirrors traditional (FAT) partitions, not entire disks, so you'd have to manually "mirror" the DOS partition.  If you don't, then the 2nd drive in your mirror cannot be made the bootable primary without a lot of screwing around, because NetWare bootstraps off of DOS.  Too many "admins" make the mistake of only mirroring the NetWare partition(s) and end up scrambling when the primary drive in the pair dies.  You used to be able to make a boot floppy, but with DOS partition requirements nowadays, that's inadequate.

You don't have that issue if you do hardware RAID 1.  Plus, you can use NSS partitons on NetWare 5.1 on a hardware RAID set.
I agree that on a "bang for the buck" basis, hardware RAID is the way to go. Tends to be simpler to configure/maintain, and relieves the OS of a lot of busywork. But if you ain't got the $$$, you ain't got the $$$.

NetWare v2.x did support duplexing, as I recall. Wasn't known as "RAID" back then, I don't think. Earliest I admined was v2.12a.

Good point about mirroring the DOS partition. jpalazzi, be sure to create a DOS/FAT partition on the second drive, equal in size to the boot partition. When you format it, be fure to use the /S parameter (altho if you forget, you can always boot DOS from a diskette). Write a small batch file to copy C:\NWSERVER\*.* to D: (or whatever). Only need to do it after you finish installing, and then again whenever you apply any SPs. Obviously, the server will need to be down to do it.
jpalazziAuthor Commented:
yes right now the issue is money....sounds like i might just have to save.

Can this be implemented after everything is installed and configured.

I wish i could hire you guys to help :)  but once again i run into $$$

Yes, you can add a drive, fdisk it, format the DOS partition /s, copy the NWSERVER directory from C:, and then after loading NetWare off the original disk, use NWCONFIG to format the NetWare partition(s) (be sure to reserve adequate hofix area - mirroring needs hotfix) and then mirror them.
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