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Thread: To RAID or not to RAID ?

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    To RAID or not to RAID ?

    Soon I will be giving my PC an upgrade and its got me thinking about what to do for the boot disk. For many years (and several machines) I've had the OS on a RAID 0 set up (at one time 4hdds).

    Currently I'm using 2x74Gb raptors in RAID 0 for the boot drive but, I've started thinking It may be better to ditch the raptors and use just a single disk something like a WD 320Gb blue or black ? Considering alot of the windows boot time is windows faffing around rather than disk access times I doubt I'd notice much difference in boot up times.

    What do you think ?

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    Re: To RAID or not to RAID ?

    what do you use the pc for?

    software or hardware raid?

    and i'll take ur raptors from you

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    Re: To RAID or not to RAID ?

    I would say no to raid unless you're building something like an enterprise server. Some justification: http://www.pugetsystems.com/articles.php?id=29

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    Re: To RAID or not to RAID ?

    Ciber... That article was written by an uninformed (and erronious) idiot. Ignore everything written there, and recite "both RAID, and non-RAID, is not a replacement for backups". RAID is for extra performance and reliablity of your machine. Whether you delete your crap by mistake, or getting infected is entirely irrelevant as far as data storage systems are concerned.
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    Re: To RAID or not to RAID ?

    An idiot that runs a highly succeesful company building and selling high performace PCs? I don't think you read that article properly.

    Anyway if you want RAID in your PC that's fine by me, each to their own.

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    Re: To RAID or not to RAID ?

    RAID - had one disk fail me and paid the price with lost data.....
    TBH - alot of hassle and for what...?

    If you are serious and want the best get the latest SSD
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/sto...b-ssd-review/1

    Or stick with the tried and tested
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/sto...point-f1-1tb/1

    0 + 1 is OK but alot of messing around, unless you do some big file transfer stuff...

    BTW - do NOT buy seagate drives...!

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    Re: To RAID or not to RAID ?

    Do you want rid of the raptors cos of the noise? If not you could use one to hold the swapfile.

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    Re: To RAID or not to RAID ?

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    Ciber... That article was written by an uninformed (and erronious) idiot. Ignore everything written there, and recite "both RAID, and non-RAID, is not a replacement for backups". RAID is for extra performance and reliablity of your machine.
    Huh? That's what he said.

    I'd agree with most, if not all, of what that article said. The only bit I can see immediately that I don't agree with is the failure levels he refers to. That isn't to say I disagree with him on that - merely that I don't have the hard data he has.

    He said, as you do, that RAID isn't about, or a substitute for, backups. And I agree. He says it's about, in a desktop, non-server environment, performance ..... but adds that you only get it in certain situations, and I agree. He says that software RAID is a source of significant problems and reduces any performance benefits compared to a good hardware RAID board, and again, I agree.

    My attitude is that RAID gives you resilience and decreases downtime, IF you do it right, and in the right situations it can boost performance too. But I also agree that a good quality hardware RAID controller is the way to go (and is what I use), but that it comes at a price that probably isn't justified for most home user and/or desktop machines.


    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    Whether you delete your crap by mistake, or getting infected is entirely irrelevant as far as data storage systems are concerned.
    Well, no.

    If you use RAID as backup, which many people seem to think is what it's for, then it won't protect you against that type of failure or problem. If you have a properly designed, and adhered to, backup regime, then you are protected against those issues, at least up to a point. That's the point the article made - RAID is not a substitute for backup, and if you use it as one, you're likely to get bitten sooner or later.

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    Re: To RAID or not to RAID ?

    I've always been aware that RAID 0 is performance gain only, I backup in case of drive failure with a drive image program.

    The question I was asking was, Seeing that these days it's not uncommon for a single drive to have an average transfer speed of 90MB/s is it really worth me continuing with the raptors in RAID 0 that only give an average of 122MB/s ?

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    Re: To RAID or not to RAID ?

    In my opinion, no it probably isn't. However, if you're doing something where there is a real-world (as opposed to benchmark) performance benefit, then maybe you'd get different mileage from me. But IMHO, no.

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    Re: To RAID or not to RAID ?

    The WD Blacks may be quite a bit louder than a WD Blue or Samsung F1, my pref is no RAID 0, not sure whether the small performance diff is worth the cash. I run Linux so my whole OS is less than 4gb so I may be Bias. For me it seems like a waste to buy 2 320gb drives just for OS though but that just my view. one 1tb drive does a great job for me.
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    Re: To RAID or not to RAID ?

    Nowadays RAID0 does not have any advantage.
    For applications that need that kind of speed / response, get a 64-128GB SSD and the speed issue is solved. For niche applications that use large amount of space, a high performance RAID5/6 disk subsystem have minimal speed penalty compared to RAID0.

    Apart from my OS Disk which need some speed (WD Blue), I've started to migrate all my data disks to WD Green ONLY, protected by RAID5. Performance is good even at 5400RPM.

    If I run anything that might contain a virus, I run it in a virtual machine, otherwise the chance of getting infected on the host installation is close to zero for my usage pattern. In fact I haven't had an virus/trojan infection in the past 5 years. (Only instance was the stupid Blaster worm that infected my newly installed OS on an unprotected DMZ before I login the first time. Crazy stuff back then).
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    Re: To RAID or not to RAID ?

    You really need to look at WHY you think you need RAID, in terms of what you are doing with the computer, and the specific RAID you are using.

    IMHO RAID 0 is a high risk option, because if you have two disks, each with a mtbf of (say) 10000 hours (in practice they will be more than that) then using two in RAID 0 will double that failure rate for the array to 1 in 5000 hours. RAID 0 may have an application for scratch disks (video editing, transaction processing) where performance is critical, but long integrity isn't.

    RAID 1 is more about resiliance and uptime - if a disk fails, you can be up and running again quickly, or, if the controller supports hot swap, you maintain continuity of service (provided you are monitoring the health of the array to detect a failed disk)

    The other levels of RAID (the most common being RAID 5) combine the two features, although in some situations write performaance can be worse for a RAID array, although read performance is generally slightly better. The downside is that you need more disks to obtain that, although it is more efficient than RAID 1 where there is simple mirroring.

    As has been said, RAID is not a backup strategy or substitute - with RAID 1 if corrupt data is written to the array, it is corrupt on both disks. If the controller fails, the data is potentially lost.

    Whether otr not RAID is worth it for you depends on the specific requirement and the depth of your pocket!
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    Re: To RAID or not to RAID ?

    The decision has been made, I'm going to retire the 2 raptors from RAID 0 and use a single new 320Gb for the OS.

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