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Raid 5 Configuration on Microsoft Server

Posted on 2009-04-13
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Can Raid 5 run on 10 disk drives on separate disk controllers?
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Question by:jnelipowitz
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by:DrUltima
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You want to create 1 RAID 5 logical drive from 10  disks on two different RAID controllers?  What hardware are you running?
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by:mrmark75
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Like Drultima said it really depends on your hardware, software and firmware. If you are running any Microsoft 2003 sever software you are limited to 32 disks on a software raid not including the boot disk. The boot disk cannot be on a raid volume if you use Microsoft's software raid. Are you configuring data disks on backend storage or local disks?  Your average server Dell Poweredge or HP 380 family only has 6 disk slots so I assume you may be using a Dell Powervault or possibly an IBM FastT device or other for storage arrays. I personally would not suggest a raid 5 with that many disks I would use a raid 10. Programs like Microsoft SQL Server and Exchange platforms can take advantage of the speed and protection offered by RAID-10.Because RAID-10 combines striping and mirroring to help produce large virtual disks with both high performance and fault toleranceremaining functional for up to one drive failure per mirrored pairit can help increase performance by striping across mirror sets without requiring parity calculations. RAID-10 is well suited for environments requiring high levels of performance and redundancy as well as rapid data recovery following a drive failure. Although if you wanted to Dell's Perc 6 controller allows up to 144 drives to be configured on a raid with 6.1 firmware but only 12 disks with 6.0 software. So we will need the specs of what you are trying to accomplish and what you have to work with.
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by:jnelipowitz
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I really don't think that hardware or controller have an impact on this question.  It's an older Compaq server with dual controller with 12 disk drives.  Using Microsoft  O/S for the Raid 5.  I've configured 2 disk as a duplex mirror for the O/S the balance of the drives will be Raid 5.  Raid 10 is not an option.  Will the Raid 5 using 10 disk on 2 separate contoller work?
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DrUltima earned 250 total points
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I would not recommend it at all, if it is even possible.  A RAID is stable because of the hardware controller doing massive amounts of reading and writing, freeing the computer and OS to behave normally.  Unless the two RAID controllers are aware of each other, and from what you describe, they are not, you cannot set up a stable RAID 5 with your remaining drives.  I am assuming you have DISK 0 and 1 on RAIDCONTROLER1 set up as a mirror (RAID 1).  To set up a RAID5 using DISK 2, DISK3, DISK4 on RAIDCONTROLLER1 and DISK0-5 on RAIDCONTROLLER2 is only possible if your RAIDCONTROLLER1 allows you to see those disks on RAIDCONTROLLER2 in its setup.
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by:mrmark75
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Weather it's recomended or not, to answer your question YES it will be possible. To set up the remaining disks in a raid configuration is an easy task, follow this microsoft document...

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/323434
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by:DrUltima
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Ick... Software RAIDs...mrmark75 is right.  It is possible if you want to go that route.  I would not recommend it, though.
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by:jnelipowitz
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Thanks for the help.  I deleted the Raid 5 and recreated 2 separate Raid 5's, each using 5 disks on it's own controller.
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