RAID 1 - IBM ServerC100 RAID or CentOS Software RAID-1?

Hi Experts!

I have a new IBM X3650 1U server with 16GB ECCRAM and 2 x 4TB HDD. The server has a C100 RAID which is configured from bios, i don't think this is hardware raid.

I'm thinking of 2 options here.. but need your advice. I'm using this server as a web hosting (directadmin) server and I'm deciding.

Option 1:
- Configure C100 RAID-1 from bios. Install RH Enterprise ($799) and it will detect the RAID-1 configuration and install from there.

Option 2:
- Install CentOS (free) and configure the software RAID-1 during the installation of CentOS

Which is better?
Who is Participating?
DavidConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
The native host-based (md driver) raid WILL do read load balancing, so read performance on hardware or software raid will be pretty close.  But for writes, the hardware buffering in your RAID controller will be noticeably faster if you are doing write-intensive work.

The Megaraid (which is what you really have) will also do housekeeping and data integrity stuff in background.  It won't, however, support something like a 3-way RAID1.

So it comes down to this .
1. If you are limited to 2 disks, or are write intensive, then go with the megaraid. It will be faster and do data integrity checking in background.

2. If you have the slots, then personally, I would go with the software (md ) raid and configure a 3-disk RAID1.  A 3-way RAID1 will also do load balancing, so the extra HDD will improve read performance significantly over 2 disk RAID1.

(BUt i have no idea if your hardware will support booting a 4TB HDD off the existing SATA controller. YOu'll have to talk to IBM about that, same is true with the RAID card.  For all you know neither will be bootable due to the 2TB limit on most hardware).
sharepoint2013Author Commented:
Good answer.

What's 3-way RAID1?
Megaraid is the C100 I have?
It is a RAID1 with 3 disks.  Remember rAID1 does NOT prevent data loss in event of a single HDD failure.  It only protects against data loss in event of a single HDD failure AND there are no unreadable blocks on the surviving drive AND the remaining disk doesn't fail during the required rebuild.

A 3-disk RAID1 lets you sleep at night in event a disk dies.
sharepoint2013Author Commented:
Ack okay, i only can have 2 disks.
sharepoint2013Author Commented:
I decided to leave it as the MegaRAID RAID-1 with my 2 disks and I booted into CentOS 64bit with the default partition layout where the main vol is 3.75TB
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