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ttist25
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Ubuntu Desktop RAID5 Best Practices

Hey there Experts,

I'm getting ready to build an Ubuntu Desktop box that I'll be using for a virtual machine server using Ubuntu desktop and virtualbox.  I would like to create a RAID array to allow for hard drive fault tolerance but I'm a little shaky on the details of this, especially in Ubuntu.  

I have 3 500GB SATA drives that I would like to use for the array.  I also have a 250GB SATA drive which came with my server.  I think I would like RAID5.

I guess the most basic question is this:
Should I add the 250GB drive, install Ubuntu on it, and then create my array from the three 500GB drives to hold my VMs?  or

Should I just leave the 250GB drive out of the picture and install Ubuntu and my array on the three 500GB drives.  

It seems counter-intuitive to me to use the 250GB for the OS but I have seen this setup referenced on the web.  

Anyway, any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.  

Thanks!

PS - there is no hardware RAID controller and the budget is shoestring so we'll be sticking w/ software RAID.  
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ttist25

8/22/2022 - Mon
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edster9999

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Martin_J_Parker

Yes, I would leave the 250GB drive out of the equation otherwise your opsys won't be protected.

Does your motherboard support RAID 1 (mirroring) or RAID 10 (mirror + stripe)?
If it does a 4th 500GB disk might be a worthwhile investment as a RAID 10 over 4 disks would give you a far faster disk access than RAID 5 as there is no parity bit to calculate - although it would, of course only give you 1TB of storage from the 4x 500GB disks.

Considering that an additional drive is only about £30 including VAT you might be able to afford that: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/241715
ttist25

ASKER
Thanks guys.  I'm pretty much penned in budget wise so it will have to be software with the disks I have.  

Given what I understand so far you're both recommending I keep the OS on the three 500GB's in a RAID array (1TB is plenty of space so I'm assuming RAID5 is the way to go).

Is that right?  

I've asked another question re: when to setup the array and that's available here if you want to answer.

Thanks again!
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ttist25

ASKER
Thanks guys - I'll post a new question as you guys have gone above and beyond on this question and I have found that I actually DO have an S100 PERC controller integrated into the MOBO.  Initially Dell rep said no, but after chatting with a different rep, it turns out that there is an integrated controller.
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James Murphy
Martin_J_Parker

Great.  According to Dell the Perc S100 does support RAID 5 so that's just what you need:
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/software/svradmin/6.2/en/OMSS/apndx.htm#wp1089749
ttist25

ASKER
I think my only issue there is can I get it to work with Ubunutu
Martin_J_Parker

Hmmm - looks like it only works with Windows from what I can see on the net.
That's very annoying - unless you use Windows and run Linux in a Virtual Machine - which seems like an awkward way of doing things!
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ttist25

ASKER
Yeah - I just setup RAID5 with 3 disks.  Seems to be working.  I just shutdown and cut power to one of the drives and it dropped to initramfs.  

I guess this is where I could rebuild it?  That's another question.

Thanks again for everything.