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What would be the best way to set up RAID on my system

Posted on 2009-04-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a optiplex GX620 running server 2003 with two HD's installed. I want to add two more hard drives and configure RAID 1. it does not have software raid installed. I have looked at some promise cards but they all say raid 5 not 1. If a card can do 5 can it automatically do 1 also? What is the best way to do this?
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Question by:bankadmin
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14 Comments
 
LVL 88

Accepted Solution

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rindi earned 1200 total points
ID: 24086798
Recheck the manual of those cards. You should be able to download them. Personally I know of no raid controller that supports RAID 5 and not RAID 1. Those I've used (also such from promise), supported RAID 0,1 and 5. I've seen the opposite, where RAID 0 and 1 is supported, but not RAID 5.
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by:brittonv
brittonv earned 800 total points
ID: 24086830
Depends on what you need.

Raid 1 is faster then raid 5 for writes, but you can only use 2 disks.  So with 4 disk, you have to set up 2 raid 1's.  

But you could run raid 10 or 01 which would be the fastest option typically, but it is typically the most expensive as you can only use half of the disk space you purchase.

RAID 5 is probably what you want to use for data warehousing, or a low I/O Application.  You probably wouldn't want to use it for a busy database, or as your boot partition if you are going to be gaming, etc.  But for storing MP3's and videos or moderate file serving you'll be fine.
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Expert Comment

by:brittonv
ID: 24086852
OH and yeah if it says raid 5 it does 1 as rindi said.  If you want to see the complete specs and good user reviews, I recommend pluging the model number in to newegg.com and start your research there.
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Author Comment

by:bankadmin
ID: 24086876
Thanks for the fast response times.I should have stated the following in the original post: This server is a backup for sensitive data. It has a C: which is for os and some backup applications that all run locally. The D: is for backing up two other servers data.
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Expert Comment

by:brittonv
ID: 24086952
Thanks for that information, but it doesn't change anything.  

I still think you'll be find with raid 5.  In addition to the fact that you can't have a 4 drive RAID 1 configuration.

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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 24086984
He can have 2 x raid 1. Or if speed is of interest and the raid controller supports it, raid 10. As raid 1 is a lot simpler to setup and manage than raid 5, and since today's HD's are large and cheap enough I'd use raid 1 in most cases.
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Author Comment

by:bankadmin
ID: 24087197
Speed is not really a concern. Alls the server does it copies information in real time from one server and scheduled time from a diffrent one. Can I set up the 2 x raid one with just one card or would I have to get two?
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Author Comment

by:bankadmin
ID: 24087204
I want swapable disks in case one goes down thats why I lean towards raid 1
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 24087240
It's your raid controller that would have to support 2 raid 1 arrays. Usually if you can connect 4 HD's to one controller, it supports that.
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Expert Comment

by:brittonv
ID: 24087296
The ability to swap disks has nothing to do with the Raid you use.  I presume you are talking about hot swapping, if so that is a function of the raid card you are using, not the raid you are using.  With any RAID you have to swap the failed disk with a good disk.

If you are talking about having it done automatially then you are talking about having a Hot Spare.  So that you have a disk (or disks) just sitting there.  If one of your production disks fails the hard will automatically engage one of these hot spares recreate the data.  Again this is a function of the Raid Card, not the RAID itself.  You can have a hot spare with any RAID Chosen (Raid 1,5,10,01...)

Most likely you can set up 2 raid 1's with a single card.  But again that depends on the particular card you are using.
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Author Comment

by:bankadmin
ID: 24087557
No Im not talking about hot swaping. More like if drive D fails I can turn off the server and swap the HD's reboot and its back running. I realize that if drive D fails the raided D: drive wont copy when its broke but that doesnt really matter to me I can the copy the missed data back manually
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Author Comment

by:bankadmin
ID: 24088160
Could you look at this data sheet. I think this will do the job whether I do two raid 1's, raid 5 or 10.
Im using 250g HDs

http://www.promise.com/marketing/datasheet/file/FT_TX4310_DS_032206_web.pdf
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 24088297
Should be OK for your needs
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Author Closing Comment

by:bankadmin
ID: 31567478
Thanks guys
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