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tiny form factor PC with RAID1

Posted on 2013-05-21
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Last Modified: 2013-05-31
I'm looking for tiny form factor PC (of core i5 or i7)
that could house RAID1 / mirror such one in the
following:

http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/desktop/thinkcentre/tiny-form-factor/m92p-m72e-tiny-datasheet.pdf 


Pls let me know what are several comparable products
around.  For medium critical use where space is a
constraint & there's only normal office air-conditioning
(not datacentre type of air-conditioning)
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Question by:sunhux
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12 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39186372
Pls recommend only 64-bit models that could run Win 7 x64 Enterprise
(as we may want to boost the RAM up to 16GB) with 500GB x2 (for RAID1)
with gigabit NIC
0
 
LVL 49

Assisted Solution

by:Jackie Man
Jackie Man earned 292 total points
ID: 39186502
ThinkStation® E31 SFF (3690) - March 2013

SATA drive(s) 3.5": SATA 6.0Gb/s, 7200 rpm, 3.5"
2.5": SATA 6.0Gb/s, 10000 rpm, 2.5"
SSD: Solid State Drive, SATA 6.0Gb/s, 2.5"
Onboard SATA Two SATA 6.0Gb/s connectors (red), two SATA 3.0Gb/s connectors (orange),
RAID 0, 1 support via Intel C216 Chipset (RAID can work on models with 2nd
drive bay only)

Source: http://www.lenovo.com/psref/pdf/tsbook.pdf

If you want to house 2 HDD for RAID1 in tiny form factor PC like the one in your link, you need to custom build one with SSD drive, but very expensive indeed and not financially sound.
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LVL 47

Accepted Solution

by:
David earned 928 total points
ID: 39186578
That RAID implementation is awful.  Why not use the native software RAID in whatever O/S you are using?  If you do that, then not only will you get BETTER performance than this fakeraid you want, but also it totally eliminates the constraint of having to find systems with that chipset.
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LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 780 total points
ID: 39188030
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39196064
Don't quite understand dlethe's suggestion:
Does your suggestion mean with a single HDD (or SSD),
we can fake a RAID1 mirror by using a software?
Can elaborate how this is done?

I'm thinking of SSD as SSD has much higher MTBF than
even the best HDDs (Amazon publishes some of it as
having MTBF of above 100 years)

Is there any other SFF PCs that's smaller than the following
Dimensions:
• 13.35"W x 15.0"D x 3.93"H
• 339mm W x 381.1mm D x 99.7mm H


For the Xi3 units at Interop, could they support SSD?
0
 
LVL 47

Assisted Solution

by:David
David earned 928 total points
ID: 39196146
Fake RAID1 w/ software?  No REAL RAID1 with software.  RAID1 functionality is built into LINUX, AIX, OpenVMS, Win2000, Win7 just to name a few.  The native win7 implementation is going to be 2x faster on reads than that raid chip you want to use, and no slower on writes thn what you what to use.

One does never need a dedicated controller to do RAID. They've been doing it for decades w/o dedicated controllers, and even NetAPP/EMC systems do it with just an embedded O/S and software on systems selling for over $100K.
0
 
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 780 total points
ID: 39196606
For the Xi3 units at Interop, could they support SSD?

Any SATA disk is supported.

You can buy them with built in SSD.
0
 
LVL 47

Assisted Solution

by:David
David earned 928 total points
ID: 39196608
No SSD on the planet will last for 100 years.  it can't.  Bit rot alone will assure that data will be lost long before that.
0
 
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 780 total points
ID: 39196623
Marketing boys spinning the wheels of hype.

But then again,that's their job.
0
 

Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39197604
Just to clarify a bit further on the fake RAID1:
can a single HDD act like it's a dual HDD (perhaps dual partition)
using software RAID?  Or it still has to be two physical HDDs but
on a single controller?

Coming to SSD, can I say that generally SSD lasts a lot longer than
HDD due to absence of mechanical parts & (ie no disk drive head
crash) but SSD may still fail due to dust, static, humidity?  If SSD
were to fail, it would fail gradually (sector by sector, bit by bit),
 not like HDD sudden 'crash'?
0
 
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 780 total points
ID: 39197845
SSD  big issues are with wear leveling and most consumer grade SSD is given a 3 to 5 year lifespan,so don't expect that large MTBF in the spec.

High end enterprise drives are (SAS) are built better and use a higher grade component as they are not produced in the same mass quantities as SATA.

10K RPM disks and above are better in terms of MTBF simply because they are engineered better.

I still have 73 gb 10k scsi disks that are well over 5 years old with out a single failure going 24x7.

The failure I have had with SSD can be like a burnt out light bulb,once it's gone ,that's it.

Data recovery is no longer a do it yourself job,it's thousands of bucks at a specialized facility.

As for mirroring partitions on the same disk,yes you can do it with the built in RAID in windows..
0
 
LVL 47

Assisted Solution

by:David
David earned 928 total points
ID: 39197968
You can do RAID1 with a single HDD.  It has (limited) performance and huge reliability benefits.

Think of it this way, data is always in two places.  So if a block is unreadable at one location, the stack reads it from the other location and fixes the bad block in 2-3 secs tops, instead of hanging for maybe 30 seconds and stopping all other system I/O in the process.

Again this is not some sort of fake raid or cheating. RAID does not require 2 disks, that is a limitation of some implementations.
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