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Windows Storage Spaces: Two Way Mirror with SSD+HDD?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

With my Crucial M500 240GB running out of storage, I'm considering buying a 1TB Sandisk X400 drive to bump up my storage. I do some photography work (some professional) and some video work (for fun) so I figured an SSD would be good for speed and reliability. But even so, I would still like to have a backup for the new SSD. I was thinking a cheap 1TB mechanical hard drive.

Windows Storage Spaces seems like a nice way to get RAID functionality easily, so I've been looking into it. If I wanted to make a space consisting of the SSD and HDD and configured in two-way mirror (RAID 1), what kind of perfomance would I expect. I don't really know how Storage Spaces works, but here are some of my thoughts. I understand if Windows will write the same information to two drives simultaneously, but how does it determine which drive to read the data from? I'd like to get a performance upgrade with the SSD and improve reliability with the HDD.

Perhaps I should just use a scheduled drive backup tool?

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 5
Based on the info below, it sounds like you'd probably be better off with just doing a backup to the bigger drive, versus using RAID to connect them to each other.

•RAID 1 is a fault-tolerance configuration known as "disk mirroring." With RAID 1, data is copied seamlessly and simultaneously, from one disk to another, creating a replica, or mirror. If one disk gets fried, the other can keep working. It's the simplest way to implement fault tolerance and it's relatively low cost.

The downside is that RAID 1 causes a slight drag on performance. RAID 1 can be implemented through either software or hardware. A minimum of two disks is required for RAID 1 hardware implementations. With software RAID 1, instead of two physical disks, data can be mirrored between volumes on a single disk. One additional point to remember is that RAID 1 cuts total disk capacity in half: If a server with two 1TB drives is configured with RAID 1, then total storage capacity will be 1TB not 2TB.


Source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2370235,00.asp
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks! As I was typing out this question, I was already kind of leaning towards backing up the drive regularly instead of real-time mirroring. While I do like Storage Spaces/RAID because it is real time, if the HDD is going to be a bottleneck and make the SSD worthless, I'd probably be better off just doing backups. Perhaps someone else knows how software RAID, and specifically Storage Spaces, chooses which drive to read from. When writing, I understand if there is a performance hit due to increased load on the northbridge (or whatever its called these days) to handle the doubled throughput. But for reading, surely only one drive gets requested (?)

Thanks!
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post #4 of 5
Keep in mind any kind of mirror will also mirror accidental deletion, file corruption, viruses, etc. Mirroring is NOT a backup! Read the top link in my sig for more on why from our resident data storage guru, Sean Webster.
     
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post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post

Keep in mind any kind of mirror will also mirror accidental deletion, file corruption, viruses, etc. Mirroring is NOT a backup! Read the top link in my sig for more on why from our resident data storage guru, Sean Webster.

^ And this. Good info!
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