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RAID 1 speed

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by AvvY, Jan 27, 2006.

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  1. AvvY

    AvvY Thread Starter

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    I have two 200GB sata hdd's. One used for my data, and a second I want to use as a backup drive. I have the options of using software, but this is very slow and cost money.

    I was thinking of setting them up in RAID1. I looked at http://www.acnc.com/04_01_01.html and I should easily be able to do it, but it says one of the cons being " Highest disk overhead of all RAID types (100%) - inefficient" now, I am not looking for what people want in RAID0 being extra performance. I am just curious if it will be slower than a single drive by itself.

    I can set it up in hardware so it wont be a problem taking up CPU/ram.

    What do you think?
     
  2. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79

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    Hi Avvy,

    Good question!

    Since you have already absorbed the inherent cost of RAID1 - i.e. mirroring, then that should not be an obstacle. Of course, mirroring means keeping both disks in sync, so that when the primary disk is modified, the mirroring software or hardware will do its job and make sure that the mirror disk is synced up to the primary.

    The question of whether it is any slower than a single drive by itself is hard to tell unless it is measured. A RAID1 array may use parallel access for high data transfer rate when reading; more commonly RAID1 array members operate independently to provide high I/O transaction rates.

    Unless you are running an application that needs high availability - i.e. the usual motivation for a RAID1 solution, I would think twice about it unless of course you want the experience of trying it. Note: the hardware implementation is strongly recommended, but my guess is that this will also cost money.

    For backup or cloning a hard drive, there are freeware solutions:
    Cobian: http://www.educ.umu.se/~cobian/cobianbackup.htm
    PCI CloneMaxx: http://www.pcinspector.de/clone-maxx/uk/welcome.htm
    HDClone: http://www.miray.de/download/sat.hdclone.html (free version available)

    -- Tom
     
  3. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    RAID is NOT a subsitute for a true backup that can be removed or is seperate from the main system. RAID-1's advantage is if one of the drives fail you just run off the other drive without any data loss. But if you happen to delete a file it gets deleted off both drives or if the file systems experiences problems you could also loss all your data. Same goes for a massive system failure(surge or environmental damage) or if its gets stolen.
     
  4. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy

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    Running raid vrs non raid really depends on the controller you uring and how it is interfaced with the system. I find onboard raid to be much more efficient than add in cards usually. I have to say if your buying an add in card for this go with something well known like a promise or adaptec. Usually you get what you pay for with shoddy raid controllers.

    Hardware setup is always perferable to software solutions IMHO. Really its hard to have a card go bad but I have found many times in the past when software gets corrupted.

    As has been mentioned this isn't a backup solution so much as it is a redundancy solution so treat it as such.
     
  5. AvvY

    AvvY Thread Starter

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    Ah ok. In which case I suppose I wont use RAID1. I was looking at the other types of RAID and thought if I buy a third 200GB hdd, I could setup a RAID5 (using my onboard controller) which wouldn't provide backups, but I'd only loose a small portion of my data if a drive failed. This seems to be a more popular solution for people. If I setup a 3 disc RAID5, can I easily add a 4th drive later on? (I wouldn't use more than 4 discs). Also, I have two 200GB seagate sata's but because I bought them a year apart they are slightly different models. Is this ok in building a RAID? I heared its best to use identicle drives, but I don't have the cash, but they are the same brand/capacity just slightly different models.
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'd look a bit closer at your on-board controller specs, very few offer RAID-5 functionality.

    As long as the drives are similar, they should work fine in a RAID array. Note that different sized drives in a RAID array will only use the capacity of the smallest drive for all the drives.
     
  7. AvvY

    AvvY Thread Starter

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    I have an Asus A8N-SLI Premium:
    nForce4: 4 x SATA 3Gb/s
    NVRAID: RAID0, RAID1, RAID0+1 and JOBD span cross SATA and PATA
    2 x UltraDMA 133/100
    Silicon Image 3114R RAID controller
    4x SATA with RAID0, 1, 10, 5

    So as long as I use the Silicon Image controller I can do it. And then use the NVRAID controller (which supports Sata2/3gb/s) for my main HDD which I could always get two and run RAID0.
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'd go RAID-5 if I had three disks or more. :)
     
  9. AvvY

    AvvY Thread Starter

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    So in a RAID5, can I set it up with 3 discs and add a forth later without any troubles?
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Well, I don't know about "without any troubles". :D I suspect that you'll have to backup the entire RAID array, add the disk, recreate the array, and restore the data and O/S.
     
  11. AvvY

    AvvY Thread Starter

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    Alright, so I should wait till I have all 4 drives before creating an aray - These drives will be for data only and not for my OS, that will be on a seperate drive.
     
  12. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I boot from my RAID array, since typically the O/S is the busiest in terms of disk usage. I figure I'm using the RAID-0 for speed, might as well get all the speed I can out of it. :D
     
  13. AvvY

    AvvY Thread Starter

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    Well, as I see it, I will setup my 200GB hdd's in a RAID5 (4x200gb) and use this for data- I have a lot of music, random files, and also for my video editing which loves hdd space.

    I currently use an 80GB IDE hdd for my OS which I am VERY keen to replace (if not to remove cable clutter) and get a fast SATA drive - probably can't afford a Raptor, so a 16mb cache sata2 would be the go - smallest capacity I can get.
     
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