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post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norse View Post
Random question, what happens if you have two identical raid controllers? would one know to goto like CTRL+B?
No - they both stick with the same letter. But they initialise one after the other, so you just watch the screen and press the key combo at the right time to go to the BIOS of the controller you want to configure.

In this case you'd be better off if you switch off the BIOS on any add-in controllers you aren't booting from though, as if you leave multiple ones active you can have problems with POSTing (and it makes the boot take much longer for no benefit).
post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_beast View Post
No - they both stick with the same letter. But they initialise one after the other, so you just watch the screen and press the key combo at the right time to go to the BIOS of the controller you want to configure.

In this case you'd be better off if you switch off the BIOS on any add-in controllers you aren't booting from though, as if you leave multiple ones active you can have problems with POSTing (and it makes the boot take much longer for no benefit).
You are correct, sir! Some good replys by you, and the RAID comment above about connections made more sense then my attempt. +1 for you.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q9550 stock Intel DP35DP 8600 GTS Extreme Overclock 8GB DDR2-800 
Hard Drive
2x Intel X25-V RAID-0 and 1 Seagate 750GB SATA 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q9550 stock Intel DP35DP 8600 GTS Extreme Overclock 8GB DDR2-800 
Hard Drive
2x Intel X25-V RAID-0 and 1 Seagate 750GB SATA 
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post #33 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_beast View Post
Get away from the idea of channels or controllers. The PERC has 8 ports. Ignore how they are cabled. Any of the 8 ports can be used to form arrays with any of the other ports. If you want 5 drives in an array, you can use 5.

How much space do you want, how many drives do you want/have, and what level of RAID are you considering? A PERC may not be what you need anyway if you are considering running *nix on your server, especially if you're looking to save money - non-Windows RAID is excellent...
Got it.

I want 10 TB in total, meaning 5 drives @ 2 TB each. And if I understand it correctly, Raid 5 is the most suited to my needs. Speeds of Raid 0, combined with the reliability of always having a hot spare drive on the array- automatically kicking in if one does happen to fail.

I am considering running some Linux distro, it's what I wanted to do, gain some experience, knowledge, etc. If required/easier for my needs, I can always go the Windows way, what with WHS 2011 coming soon (probably not before I get my hardware, but one can hope.)
post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Legionfalls View Post
Got it.

I want 10 TB in total, meaning 5 drives @ 2 TB each. And if I understand it correctly, Raid 5 is the most suited to my needs. Speeds of Raid 0, combined with the reliability of always having a hot spare drive on the array- automatically kicking in if one does happen to fail.

I am considering running some Linux distro, it's what I wanted to do, gain some experience, knowledge, etc. If required/easier for my needs, I can always go the Windows way, what with WHS 2011 coming soon (probably not before I get my hardware, but one can hope.)
RAID5 is not RAID0 with a hotspare. And it doesn't offer the speed benefits in the same way either. I think you have a little more reading to do before you drop all this cash on your new server...

RAID0 is a simple striping of your data across multiple drives. This gives speed benefits as all the drives can process data (somewhat) concurrently, so transfers can go faster.

RAID5 is a little tricky to explain quickly or simply, but here goes...

With RAID5 you again stripe your data across your drives. However this time you spread your information across all but 1 of the disks (unlike RAID0, which uses them all). Now you then put each stripe of data into a fancy algorithm that calculates what is known as parity for you. This parity data is written onto the last of your drives (and it's location is then rotated between your drives, so each drive contains both data and parity in a round-robin type arrangement). The way this parity is calculated is very clever - if you know the parity plus all but 1 of the original bits of data, you can reconstruct that original data using some math. So if a single drive dies you can recreate the data that was on it, meaning you don't lose data in the case of a drive failure. If a drive fails in RAID0, everything is gone. However this parity takes up space on your array, so you lose the equivalent of 1 drive's worth of capacity. With 5 2TB drives you would get 8TB of useable space, so for your 10TB capacity you will need 6 drives.

Now a hotspare is something different - but you may wish to use one. A hotspare is a drive that is sitting unused on the controller, waiting for another drive to fail. When something happens to one of the drives in the RAID5 array, the controller will automatically start to use this spare drive to recreate the failed drive. This is to minimise the amount of time the array is left in this degraded (damaged) state - if a second drive dies then all the data will be lost. This obviously costs an extra drive - so 7 drives for 10TB.

Another option is RAID6. This is like RAID5, but now you do 2 fancy bits of math on the data to give 2 different, redundant parity bits. Now you can reconstruct your data even if 2 drives fail together. It again costs another drive (so 7 drives for 10TB, or 8 drives if you want a hotspare).

Regarding speed - you get somewhat of a boost from having multiple disks working together (as you did with RAID0), but now there are a few caveats. The parity data is redundant, so you lose your max sequential speed drops to roughly what you would have had in RAID0 with 1 fewer drive. But not everything works out so well - because your parity data relies on data on EVERY drive, if you write just a small change to 1 disk you then have to read the rest of the stripe, recalculate the parity and rewrite the data back again - and that is where the downside comes from - RAID5 is terrible at small writes, making it unsuitable for OS use for example.

I hope you understand the above - if not I can try again (or go to WikiPedia - the article there is reasonable, although a little incorrect in some places).

Regarding the OS choice - Linux means you can do all the RAID stuff in software. Nice and cheaply too, and you get a rock solid platform with more recovery and setup options than you can find anywhere else. But the downside is the complexity - if things go wrong it can be much harder to get your stuff back than if you went with a good hardware card. And when your array has fallen apart and you need to recover your wedding photos before your wife leaves you probably isn't a good time to start learning the intricacies of the Linux commandline...

I would suggest you have a proper think about exactly what you want your server to do, your budget, and what kind of backup/recovery strategy you want/need before you spend your money on anything.
post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_beast View Post
I would suggest you have a proper think about exactly what you want your server to do, your budget, and what kind of backup/recovery strategy you want/need before you spend your money on anything.

Agreed! I may be asked a silly question, but must you have 10GB in storage space or is that a number that you are just shooting for to shoot for? Asking only because based upon that answer you will help define and asnwer the rest of your system build questions.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q9550 stock Intel DP35DP 8600 GTS Extreme Overclock 8GB DDR2-800 
Hard Drive
2x Intel X25-V RAID-0 and 1 Seagate 750GB SATA 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q9550 stock Intel DP35DP 8600 GTS Extreme Overclock 8GB DDR2-800 
Hard Drive
2x Intel X25-V RAID-0 and 1 Seagate 750GB SATA 
  hide details  
Reply
post #36 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_beast View Post
I hope you understand the above - if not I can try again (or go to WikiPedia - the article there is reasonable, although a little incorrect in some places).
Fantastic. Excellent breakdown, I believe I understand correctly now. Regarding having an OS on my RAID, yes, terrible idea. I was thinking of getting a small SSD and throwing the OS on the onboard sata-0 or something. But that's probably overkill. So it would seem that Raid5 is the best choice. I don't want to lose all my data with Raid 0 if it does fail, and I don't want to buy more drives than I need with Raid 6.

The hotspare is something I may or may not need, but should probably keep around just in case. I haven't decided on it but will most likely do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanuthead View Post
Agreed! I may be asked a silly question, but must you have 10GB in storage space or is that a number that you are just shooting for to shoot for? Asking only because based upon that answer you will help define and asnwer the rest of your system build questions.
I agree, now I wonder if I should reduce my serve cost by quite a large amount since it's just a file server, but then again what if I want to use it for something else? Should I then build a second server for .. say, seedbox use, f@h, game servers, apache, you know- etc.. so that way my little file server that can't do very much is limited to only hosting files on my network.

If that is the case, then I might as well just install FreeNAS on it, right?

Hm.. What do you guise think I should do? Now I'm leaning on building a second server just to be able too


EDIT: Yes, the 10 tb of total storage was just a number I was shooting for. When I buy my hardware, I won't even have the x amount of drives I need anyway, so I'm going to need to figure out what to do when it comes time to raid them and I'm forced to reformat.. but I'll tackle that when I come to it.

The reason I'm using 10 is because it's a simple even number, and because I've easily filled up my 1 tb external harddrive with dvd/game backups.
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