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PERC 5/i RAID Card: Tips and Benchmarks - Page 430

post #4291 of 7150
Ok, so to all you PERC veterans that are using it for large arrays I have a few questions.

I am using 4 x 1TB drives in a RAID 5 array for an effective 2.75TB usable space. I loaded WHS onto a separate drive and then loaded the drivers for the PERC, however it will not recognize more than 2TB's of space, so I configured my array with two VD's, one 2TB and the rest as a second drive. That seems to work, but I am not sure how WHS drive extender will handle the space, meaning if a drive goes bad will I lose data due to WHS drive extender. I am thinking about using Windows 2008 server or W7 Ultimate since this will be nothing more than a storage setup for files to be streamed. I am pretty sure both of those can handle the full array without me resorting to breaking the array up into several VD's, any thoughts on this? I looked at FreeNAS, but it seems to have the same issue and I am not sure how it will handle the PERC card in the first place. On top of the box being used for storage I plan on using it for folding for WCG, so that pretty much rules out FreeNAS anyway. What OS's is everyone using with their arrays that are over 2TB's?
Thanks.
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post #4292 of 7150
Quote:
Originally Posted by utnorris View Post
Ok, so to all you PERC veterans that are using it for large arrays I have a few questions.

I am using 4 x 1TB drives in a RAID 5 array for an effective 2.75TB usable space. I loaded WHS onto a separate drive and then loaded the drivers for the PERC, however it will not recognize more than 2TB's of space, so I configured my array with two VD's, one 2TB and the rest as a second drive. That seems to work, but I am not sure how WHS drive extender will handle the space, meaning if a drive goes bad will I lose data due to WHS drive extender. I am thinking about using Windows 2008 server or W7 Ultimate since this will be nothing more than a storage setup for files to be streamed. I am pretty sure both of those can handle the full array without me resorting to breaking the array up into several VD's, any thoughts on this? I looked at FreeNAS, but it seems to have the same issue and I am not sure how it will handle the PERC card in the first place. On top of the box being used for storage I plan on using it for folding for WCG, so that pretty much rules out FreeNAS anyway. What OS's is everyone using with their arrays that are over 2TB's?
Thanks.
I have 5 1.5TB drives and have used it on Server 03 and Server 08 R2 with no issues with partitioning over 2 TB. It sounds like you might be formatting as MBR. For partitions larger than 2 TB you have to use the GPT format. If this is not the case, I found the following link that may help with WHS. http://social.microsoft.com/forums/e...-bc8e3b2609f0/
Edited by spatchcock - 4/28/10 at 5:42am
post #4293 of 7150
I still can't conclude on which drives to buy.

With all i've heard for WD dropping arrays,the old fw prob of 7200.11, the "odd" formatting of WD EARS line and the fact that there's no 7200.12 2TB or 1.5TB....so i cant choose.

Prices here are as follows :

Seagate Barracuda LP 5900rpm 2TB ST32000542AS = 135€ / 179 $
WD Caviar Green WD20EADS = 137€ / 182 $
Hitachi 7K2000 HDS722020ALA330 (0F10311) 2TB = 140€ / 187 $
Samsung F3 Ecogreen HD203WI 2TB = 135 € / 180 $

Seagate Barracuda LP 5900rpm 1.5ΤΒ TB ST31500541AS = 90€ / 119 $
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5ΤΒ ST31500341AS = 97 € / 129 $
WD Green WD15EADS 1.5TB = 96 € / 127 $
Samsung F2 Ecogreen HD154UI 1.5TB = 95 € / 126 $

I think that with drives of either of 1.5TB / 2TB range, the size of the R5 array on the Perc5i will be satisfactory, so the main question is.... Which drive is the best choise for an almost trouble-free array ?

Thank you in advance.
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post #4294 of 7150
Quote:
Originally Posted by spatchcock View Post
I have 5 1.5TB drives and have used it on Server 03 and Server 08 R2 with no issues with partitioning over 2 TB. It sounds like you might be formatting as NTFS. For partitions larger than 2 TB you have to use the GPT format. If this is not the case, I found the following link that may help with WHS. http://social.microsoft.com/forums/e...-bc8e3b2609f0/
You are confusing MBT and NTFS.

NTFS has no 2TB limit - it can handle (just less than) 16TB with the default 4k cluster size, and with 64k clusters you can go all the way to (almost) 256TB. I doubt many round here will be hitting that limit any time soon...

GPT is a different way of formatting a disk, an alternative to the MBR 'normal' way of doing things. GPT is fine for storage arrays, but it does come with a few limitations - although you can go greater than 2TB (which MBR cannot), you can't (usually) boot from a GPT partition, and fewer versions of Windows can support such disks.
post #4295 of 7150
Hi guys. I've not checked this thread in a while and have a question. I'm about to upgrade from an 80GB RAID-1 array to a (WD Black SATA 7200RPM) 640GB RAID-1 array on a PERC 5/i Dell firmware.

Regarding initializing time, is there a general rule-of-thumb to determine approximately how long it takes to initialize different RAID arrays? I'm wondering how long approximately it would take so I can plan the crossover better.

Cheers!
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post #4296 of 7150
Quote:
Originally Posted by spatchcock View Post
I have 5 1.5TB drives and have used it on Server 03 and Server 08 R2 with no issues with partitioning over 2 TB. It sounds like you might be formatting as NTFS. For partitions larger than 2 TB you have to use the GPT format. If this is not the case, I found the following link that may help with WHS. http://social.microsoft.com/forums/e...-bc8e3b2609f0/
That seems to have done the trick. Thank you.
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post #4297 of 7150
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_beast View Post
You are confusing MBT and NTFS.
Mega brain fart You are absolutely correct, and I knew the difference too. I meant MBR vs GPT. I will edit original post. Luckily the GPT part helped the guy out. I have my RAID5 set to GPT but formatted with the NTFS file system.

Thx Beast.
post #4298 of 7150
Quote:
Originally Posted by spatchcock View Post
Mega brain fart
No problem - happens to us all once in a while...
post #4299 of 7150
Hi all,

Have been following this thread for the last year and have been very happy with my setup, I had;

Perc 5i on 4x PCI-E bus
3x WD RE2 500GB
Adaptive Read Ahead
Write Back (w/ BBU)
128K Stripe Size

This was running well and was getting average speeds of 150MB/s read which I was happy with for a 3 disk raid5 array. I recently bought Windows 7 x64 and another RE2 500GB and decided to rebuild this array / 'reshuffle' it.

I decided to create two virtual disks, a 400gb virtual disk 0 for the OS and the rest of the space for data, both in raid5. After initialising both I was getting appawling read speads on my OS array (vd0) of around 70 - 80mb/s where my data array (vd1) was getting speeds of about 200 - 250mb/s!

Now I undrstand that accessing the inner area of the platter of a hard drive is faster than the outer edge hence before I had this controller I always put games and programs on my 1st partition and data on the second. So with this, can I correctly assume that I shouldn't set up mutliple virtual disks but instead set up 1 whole virtual disk and then partition it?

I've also done a lot of searching for optimal stripe size and it seems for 4x 500gb disks I should use 64k, would this be optimal or would anyone know of better settings I could use?

Thanks
post #4300 of 7150
Have a rather odd problem now,

I built the array using 64k stripe size, adaptive read ahead, write back ... plugged in the BBU, installed Windows 7 and went away. Came back, the computer was on the Windows 7 installation screen again after reboot and it could

a) No longer see any virtual disks to install windows on
b) Couldn't book from the installed virtual disk
c) The bios used to say RAID : (Virtual Disk Name) under hard drive selection but now says RAID : Dell Perc5/i Controller Bus 6

and this is odd as the controller can see the 4 disk array fine?

Any help would be much appreciated as I now have an unusable system!

Thanks
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