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Author Topic: Re: RAID  (Read 9238 times)

exo

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Re: RAID
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2007, 04:43:34 PM »

Hi, it is just a method of writing data to two or more hard discs.

Depending what RAID you use,  it will either give a slight speed increase in data writing speed or help protect data by mirroring data to a second drive.

To be honest, the speed increase is not particularly great and for data protection, it will be simpler to use an image backup program such as Acronis True Image. Overall, RAID is not worth the hassle for the average user in my opinion.

exo
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guest

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Re: RAID
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2007, 11:01:20 AM »

If you didn't get at least a 50% increase in read/write speed when using RAID0 then the raid controller you were using was junk.

None of the other (consumer-level) RAID levels offer an increase in speed. Redundancy (fault tolerance) is the point, not speed.
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exo

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Re: RAID
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2007, 12:12:02 AM »

If you didn't get at least a 50% increase in read/write speed when using RAID0 then the raid controller you were using was junk.

Reading data with Raid 0, then as you are reading from two drives, then yes, you will almost double the read rate when compared to a single drive.
An increase  in write speed of 50% will depend very much IF your system can handle it.

I was also referring to the average home user.
If a user does a lot of video/movie editing, then Raid 0 does have some speed advantage worth considering, providing loss of data is not an issue.

exo
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Floydoid

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Re: Re: RAID
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2007, 05:31:22 AM »

So RAID is a software system rather than a hardware arrangement?
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jabns

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Re: RAID
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2007, 05:33:30 AM »

I am currently using RAID0 with 2 WD Rapter 150's and it extreamly fast(a little noisy aswell).

I use RAID0 plainly because i do not store anything on the drives other than the OS.

I reformat the PC on a bi-monthly basis anyway or just Ghost it after installed everything and then just use PXE to load the image at 03:00 a couple of months later(don't loose all my stuff then).

EDIT: It can be done by both hardware and software. Hardware gives the best performance and most modern mobos have it. Or you can buy PCI cards but i have never done this so someone else will have to help you with that.

James
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 05:37:07 AM by jabns »
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Floydoid

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Re: Re: RAID
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2007, 08:58:41 AM »

I'm just curious that's all, and as others have commented it's probably not something for the average user.
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soms

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Re: RAID
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2007, 11:41:53 AM »

I use RAID 0+1 when one disc is mirrored to the other.

It was easy to set up, as the PC came with two identical hard disks installed. All I did was wipe off the original Vista install, used the BIOS to set up the RAID array (which allocates your hard disks to a chosen configuration e.g. mirrored, striped etc)

Then it was a reboot and install XP.

I needed to use a driver disk for the RAID controller for XP to detect the hard disk controller correctly and thus "see" te installed hard disks.

Because the RAID array was hardware controlled only one disk drive appeared to XP and once installed no further configuration was required.

The mirrored configuration offers you redundancy incase of one of your hard disks fail.

It does not protect you against motherboard or general PC failure as your software installation will only boot using the controller/disk configuration it has been set up for.

The general rule is to make other regular backups as whilst RAID is a nice piece of mind from disk failure, it cant really save you from any else.
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guest

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Re: RAID
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2007, 04:13:38 PM »

I use RAID 0+1 when one disc is mirrored to the other.

That's RAID1 soms. I've never had any problems with taking a RAID1 drive from a dead motherboard and having it boot in another motherboard. RAID1 is just a transparent backup (mirror) and either the source or mirror disk should boot in any other motherboard built in the last few years, whether it has a RAID controller or not.

Where you might have issues is moving two disks from one RAID controller to another different RAID controller (eg motherboard dead) due to Windows driver issues. So the answer is that you don't - you connect one disk to the SATA (or IDE) controller and test to see if it boots. If it does then you go online (don't reactivate), find the newest stable driver and install it. Then move that disk to the RAID controller making sure its the source and reinitialise the mirror. Then reboot into Windows (which will be using the new driver) and reactivate.

RAID5 is where controller compatibility becomes a real pain. RAID1 is about the best use of two (big) hard drives that I can think of from a consumer perspective.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 04:19:47 PM by rizla »
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exo

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Re: Re: RAID
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2007, 04:18:44 PM »

So RAID is a software system rather than a hardware arrangement?

Hi, for the home user, if your motherboard supports RAID, then it will have a RAID controller chip along with drivers and basic software.
If your motherboard does not support RAID, then you will need to purchase a PCI RAID controller card.
Either setup will still depend on the system CPU and memory for operation and are referred to as software RAID.

In a dedicated hardware RAID,  everything is contained within the RAID hardware with no reliance on the system CPU or memory. The RAID processor will often be more powerful than the system CPU.
A more expensive setup than software RAID. It is normally used by business servers where minimal downtime is required. Downtime will mean loss of sales.

exo
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guest

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Re: Re: RAID
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2007, 04:33:06 PM »

I'm just curious that's all, and as others have commented it's probably not something for the average user.

RAID1 should be compulsory for the "average user" IMHO. The "average user" wouldn't know a backup if it fell on their heads :D

I dread to think how many photos, films, documents the "average user" has lost in the last five years.

Me? I still have every document/email/usenet post/photo/film/whatever I* have generated in the last 13 years. I doubt I'll be able to say the same in another 13 years as the first ten years produced about 6GB. The next three years seem to have produced about 8 times that - 48GB and its not slowing down.

I think we're very close to the stage that backups are taking so long that even the "clued-up user" won't want the hassle - especially if its the only computer in the house.

RAID1 does it transparently, without any impact on performance (given the way write-caching works in Windows). With the use of system restore points then the "average user" should be almost bomb-proof. Well maybe, but it is Windows ;)

I bet not one in ten of the people who read this post have ever TESTED one of their backups to see that it works.

*plus stuff the family flag as shared

Edit - by "tested" I mean really do the restore and see what occurs. Not verify the backup.

Edit 2 - and none of you posting in this thread are "average users" - nor are most of you reading it. Average users don't want to know about this sort of stuff :)
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 04:42:08 PM by rizla »
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Pwiggler

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Re: RAID
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2007, 07:22:19 PM »

riz - u could get that load on a bluray disk ... rw drives r down to 250 quid now but i think the disks themselves r around 300 quid each tho  :lol:
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Paul

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Re: RAID
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2007, 09:23:07 AM »

No. No more removable CDs/DVDs/HD-DVD/Bluray/whatever for me. Been there done that, lost the backups :P

All the family's data now gets backed up to Terastations automatically on a daily basis. Each machine also has an image made after installation of OS and applications which goes on the Terastations. Weekly images are made to individual USB hard drives - haven't found a way to really automate this properly though.

I'm aware I need to sort out off-site storage in case of something catastrophic - fire/theft/etc - but I haven't quite decided whether to pay for a colo server or use one of the many online backup/storage offerings available now.
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Pwiggler

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Re: RAID
« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2007, 11:52:59 AM »

i thought about online backups so they are 'off the premises' but with such crap upload speeds it would need to start again as soon as it finished.

i do a weekly drive image then disconnect the drive till next time.
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Paul

tickmike

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Re: Re: RAID
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2008, 11:32:33 PM »

I'm beginning to understand the principals now - but still can't visualise what a typical RAID setup would actually look like.

I have just fitted a PCI 'Raid' card similar to this (see photo).
You can pug into it 4 more Hard drives (two IDE leads with two on each)
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