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Is Win 2008 Raid 1 Reliable?

Posted on 2009-04-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi Experts,

I have a Win 2008 Web Server x64 running with Plesk 9 for hosting. I have 2 x 250GB SATA drives that are Raid 1 mirrored using Windows 2008 disk management. I have the following questions:

1) Is this type of Raid 1 setup reliable?
2) What would I need to do if one of the hard drive fails?
3) What are my chances of losing data if one of the hard drive fails?

I've read the following info here:

http://www.techotopia.com/index.php/Creating_and_Managing_Windows_Server_2008_Mirrored_(RAID_1)_Volumes

But I wanted to see if anyone of the experts has used this method of Raid 1 before and if it's worth the trouble.

Thank you,

Mike
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Question by:davisadmin
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Expert Comment

by:Mal Osborne
ID: 24276156
It works, but has a few problems:

If your server goes down dirty, (Power or BSOD), a resync will occur next boot.  If you have several partitions, it will do them at the same time. Result will be a server running like a crippled pig for an hour or so.  Performance generally is slower than a hardware RAID setup.

1. Gnerally it's as reliable as the drives themselves.
2. You shoudl be offered an option of booting from the second drive at startup, or could change thiusin the BIOS.
3. Minimal, you will usually ride out a single drive failure OK.  You will need to keep an eye on the event logs, unlike most hardware RAID systems there will be no obvious alert in the event of a drive failure.

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Author Comment

by:davisadmin
ID: 24276207
Malmensa,

Thanks for the info. Are there any other more reliable Raid software that I could use? The reason I'm going with the software is the hosting company I'm with doesn't offer hardware raid with the current package that I have. If I want hardware Raid I will have to upgrade to a more expensive package which I can't afford right now.

Also, if the primary drive fails what are some of the steps that I need to take to recover? What type of event logs should I be looking for?

Thank you,

Mike
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:Mal Osborne
ID: 24276293
There really is not a software only solution that will help here.  Software RAID is unusual, as pretty much any entry level server & most high-end PCs have this as standard.

A failed Hard drive will log errors in the system log, I guess with W2K8 it would be possible to set up alerts based on this, but I have never tried it or heard of anyone attempting it.  You could try setting up a task to send an SMS based on any event logged by "Disk" I guess.
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Author Comment

by:davisadmin
ID: 24291254
Would you be able to guide me on how I can setup an alert for this?
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Accepted Solution

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Mal Osborne earned 375 total points
ID: 24293805
Start with Task Scheduler, the 2008 version lets you kick off a task in response to an event being logged.  
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Author Comment

by:davisadmin
ID: 24296543
Malmensa,

Thanks for all your help. I've setup an even monitoring task to send me an email in the event any disk information event occur. I will keep an eye on it to make sure all is working.

Thank you,

Mike
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