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Stability of Windows RAID 1?

Posted on 2014-02-13
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Last Modified: 2014-02-13
Hello all,

   a question nregardgint MS Windows software RAID 1 implementation.

   How stable it is?
   And what about disaster recovery - can other win computers read fallen Windows RIAD 1 member drives?

   I have an old server to manage and limited resources, so I wanted to migrate DATA to a software raid array.


Thank you!
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Question by:mrmut
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11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Alex Green
ID: 39855774
Well I wouldn't use RAID1 to start with anyway since you'll end up using up double the disk space, RAID5 would be better.

As for software raid, if it were on a UNIX box then I'd say go for it... Windows... Meh, probably not.
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by:mrmut
ID: 39855783
This is not an answer to the Q :-)
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Alex Green earned 500 total points
ID: 39855794
How asked how stable it is, I'm saying that I wouldn't recommend it due to the fact that it isn't particularly good.

Firstly you can't access the data until the OS is up and running since it's software based, attaching the disks to another machine and then accessing the data is possible.

Plug the disks in, get into windows, open up disk management and right click and then rescan disks. That will then bring up the software RAID array.

However this is a terrible idea and windows software RAID isn't very good. It's slow, you can't access the array without windows (No chance of a disk scrape either) and RAID1 for data is pointless.

Does that answer your question better? :D

Regards

Alex
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Author Comment

by:mrmut
ID: 39855814
Does that answer your question better? :D

YES! :-)
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Expert Comment

by:Alex Green
ID: 39855817
:-)

Thanks bro, you have a good day :D

Regards

Alex
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Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39856053
RAID1 simply mirrors the data from a hdd to the other.
Windows's implementation is as good as any other soft/fake implementation.
It's stable. Didn't had disks "jump out of RAID", like on some on-board controllers.

You can remove one hdd from the mirror and read the data in another computer.

RAID1 is NOT used for DR, it's for reliability: your server will continue to run even when one of your hdd fails.

As an added benefit, you'll have much faster reads (since the system can read from 2 different hdds at the same time).

HTH,
Dan
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Expert Comment

by:Alex Green
ID: 39856096
The increase in read speeds is marginal and that would only be on a hardware based raid controller, software based is still going to be horribly slow.
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Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39856139
Software based RAID 1 is not going to be slower than single disk reads.
The penalty you're referring to is on writes.
Here's an article from someone who took the time to test: http://kmwoley.com/blog/?p=429
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Expert Comment

by:Alex Green
ID: 39856153
Sorry but

http://kmwoley.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/image-thumb.png

and

http://kmwoley.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/image-thumb2.png

They both show that the raid is slower on writes and MARGINALLY faster on reads.
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Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39856169
I said: Software based RAID 1 is not going to be slower than single disk reads.
you said:  the raid is [...] MARGINALLY faster on reads.

I said: The penalty you're referring to is on writes.
you said:  the raid is slower on writes

So, we're arguing on... ?
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Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39856190
Anyway, to keep the conversation on topic with the OP, on servers where I have no budget for a HW Raid card, I always resort to software RAID 1, to help the server's reliability.

HTH,
Dan
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