Hardware for Linux software raid 5

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springbrk2005

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Apr 20, 2010
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What are the bottlenecks that slow software raid down in my planned system?

I'm in the process of building a media server.
Goals: Fast average write speed to hard drive, at least 140 MByte/s.
OS: MythBuntu or something similar like MythTV, definitely Linux.
processor: AMD 64 4000+ 2.41ghz, 1 gig ram, with plans to upgrade the ram to 4 gigs.
Vid: dual nvidia 7800, but I don't use sli (ie wasting 1) bc I want to use 2 video outputs, which does not work with sli enabled (MoBo limit). I may upgrade, if necessary.
The primary use of this storage is large files 400Mbyte to 10 Gbyte.
I would like to use 4 or 5 to 7 Hard drives in a raid 5.
My motherboard has 5 sata2 ports, and supports fake raid. But I think software raid will perform better.
I'm planning on either using 4 or 5 drives, or getting an sata2 pci card and putting 1 or 2 more drives for a total of 6 or 7. placing 1 or 2 drives on the pci card depending on bandwidth of the card.

The primary use for the higher speed will be to transfer a large quantity of movies from dvd to the HD, with 3 or more DVD drives reading at full speed. 3 internal drives, any additional drives will be exterior.

I have read through a lot of websites on raid drive setup, but most of those sites are using much slower/smaller drives than I chose (mine are simply newer). This is making it hard to estimate the performance bottlenecks.

I chose software raid as my drives are fast enough that only really expensive hardware controllers will be better, (ie cheap hardware controllers would be slower than software raid)

Hard Drive: 2TB WD The hard drive I picked out is Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB WD20EARS 64M Cache. I think the speeds for this drive are about 80 - 100 MByte/sec for sequential read & write.
I chose this drive due to cost and noise concerns, and I have already purchased 2 of them.
I will be increasing the timeout for Intellipark to greater than 20 seconds, maybe a min or so.
I will also be enabling Time Limited Error Recovery (TLER) with software.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time-Limited_Error_Recovery
 
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