Need expert advice on LSI RAID card configuration

Posted on 2011-04-30
Last Modified: 2012-06-22

 I recently purchased an LSI MegaRAID SATA/SAS 9260-4i 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 w/ 512MB onboard memory RAID Controller Card  for a new build. This new machine will have X4 1TB HDD with Windows Server 2008. I can configure it with the manual no problems but I would like an expert advice on what would be the best configuration for my build, for example, best Strip Size, which Access policy, Read Policy, etc.

Thanks in advance.

-VMware - XP/Win7/Ubuntu/
-will run 24x7x365
-stream movies/musik
-home backup server
-I would like RAID 10 or 6 (which is best)

i7 2600K
12GB RAM G.Skill 1600

Question by:valdezf
    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution

    raid 10 for four drives, proper setup for raid 6 is five drives,  any kind of raid that uses parity has a read/write penalty.

    accept the defaults for the rest - if your drive was just for movies making the strip size larger would be appropriate but since you are also storing smaller music files and probably using the server as a backup the default setting covers all file sizes.

    if you make this setting for large files, small files will use a lot more space on the drive.

    the write policy is how the drive uses write caching.  if you have absolutely no doubts that your server could lose power during a write operation you could change this setting - i Never do, ever.
    LVL 22

    Assisted Solution

    RAID 10 will give you 2 TB capacity.  Sounds like you are setting this up for a home system where performance is probably not the top concern.
    I would just use RAID 5 configuration to get 3 TB of space.  For a home setup RAID 5 should be fine for performance and it gives you the most space to cost ratio.

    RAID6 just gives more redundancy.  The odds of 2 drives failing is pretty low (but I have seen it happen on old servers).  Make sure you enable the audible warning (beep) for a failed disk and replace the drive if it fails.  

    Normally I just leave the default settings for stripe size, etc.  Unless I need to try and get a little more performance or optimize the disk.  Your screen shot shows an 8 kb stripe size, That is too small in my opinion.  I would go to something larger like 128 kb +.  Stripe size is how big a chunk gets written to each disk when splitting up the file to each disk in the RAID
    Also, I agree about leaving the write cache off, unless if your RAID card has an on-card battery backup on it - then I would enable it.
    LVL 13

    Assisted Solution

    by:Greg Hejl

    all the reasons to Never use raid 5.

    you will lose your array, it's never a matter of if - just a matter of when. you will lose your entire movie/music/photos/documents collection.  

    in my experience the failures always occur during a rebuild after a drive failure - the disk activity is too much for consumer grade drives.
    LVL 55

    Assisted Solution

    Consumer grade drives won't work properly anyway, whatever RAID level they have. But perhaps they are near-line SAS ones which, although slow, will run 24x7 and are supported on RAID controllers.

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