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Raid types

I have a server that is using a hardware RAID 1 for it's data. The drives are becoming too full to be able to comfortably handle the regular operations of the Business. I am planning on replacing the data drives with larger ones because the MOBO and the case won't hold any more drives.

I was thinking of replacing the RAID with the Windows software RAID so that data rebuilding can happen while the server is operating instead of taking 20 - 40 hours to build a raid 1 or Raid 5.

Are there advantages or disadvantages to which type of RAID I use?
a hardware or a software?
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LostInWindows
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LostInWindows
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4 Solutions
 
Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information SystemsCommented:
Hardware RAID is generally more robust because it doesn't rely on the CPU to operate (the RAID controller is its own processor).  A hardware RAID will generally be faster than a Windows software RAID.

Each RAID level has its advantages and disadvantages.  The user has to weigh their needs against those to decide what's best.
http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/answer/RAID-types-and-benefits-explained
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jamietonerCommented:
In layman's terms software raid sucks(especially microsofts), hardware based raid is much much better, and driver based raid is ok(still better that software raid but not as good as hardware based raid). Also most hardware and even driver based raid support support rebuilding a raid array during operation you just need to appropriate raid management software installed.
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LostInWindowsAuthor Commented:
The raid controller is LSI MegaRaid. I don't think it supports rebuilding while running. The Asus mobo is 2.5 - 3 years old
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jamietonerCommented:
Every LSI based controller I have ever used supported rebuilding during operation. Have you tried using the latest megaraid management tool from LSI?
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LostInWindowsAuthor Commented:
I am trying to find out what the best, easiest, & cheapest option is.
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LostInWindowsAuthor Commented:
I will look for a newer tool. Thanks for the tip.
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Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information SystemsCommented:
If you're otherwise satisfied with your hardware (if you only need to increase your disk capacity), back up your data somewhere, throw two new drives on your existing controller, make your mirror, then restore from your backup.

If your existing controller won't handle the drives you want to attach to it, or if you just want to build a whole new box, look for a motherboard with a built-in RAID controller.  Then you can build your new computer from scratch, get the RAID established, and copy the data from the old computer at your leisure.

Using a software RAID is a fine option, you just need to be cognizant that there's overhead involved.  If you can accept the impact on performance, go ahead and consider it.
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LostInWindowsAuthor Commented:
I want to replace dual 500 Gb drives with 2 or 3 terabyte drives. The contoller should handle it. I will check the lsi version later when i am onsite.
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Sa well as running in background as already mentioned RAID 1 rebuild is much faster than 20-40 hours with 500Gb disks, it's a simple mirroring process. It's RAID 5 rebuild that takes a long time.
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LostInWindowsAuthor Commented:
Thank you for all the detailed and helpful advice and information
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