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need input on RAID card

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Looking to increase some drives since my HDDs are getting full. I currently own WD Black 1TB drives. Looking to do a RAID 1 with 8 1TB drives. Looking for a RAID card that people would recommend for this. I have been using RAID 1 because my data means more to me then speed, also because my mobo only allowed RAID 1/0/10. Doesnt bother me the interface. I currently have 5 drives on each machine. 1 500gb for OS, software, and any other program, then 4 1TBs in RAID 1.


EDIT:

OS used will be windows 7 64-bit
Edited by graphicsman - 4/14/11 at 9:56pm
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post #2 of 20
I really love the features on my Areca raid card so that gets my vote. Here's a link to their stuff at the egg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...e=&srchInDesc=
    
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post #3 of 20
RAID1 isn't what you want really.

Three things:

Most cards can't do RAID1 with more than 2 drives - you would have 4 separate arrays if you wanted to do this.

Current-gen LSI cards can do a RAID1 with any even number of drives - but each drive is simply mirrored to another of the same capacity, so it's kinda like a RAID1-JBOD.

RAID1 only allows for 1 disk failure - a second failure in the same array will lose data.


You would be better off with either:

RAID6 (any 2 failures survived) if you need a single large array and decent sequential speeds plus decent capacity.

RAID10 (any 1 failue survived, plus up to half your drives fail without loss if your lucky) if you want better random speeds, but lose half your capacity.

Single drives (or arrays) plus a backup - best for data security, not so good for speed or capacity.

File-based parity protection such as unRAID, disParity or FlexRAID - multiple drive failures don't lose all your data. Not so good for file storage, but excellent for media.

Hope this helps...
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
sort of, but from what you are saying it would appear to just simply get a SATA card and manually copy my data over two drives and just remove privileges on the backup (B) drive
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post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_beast View Post
RAID1 isn't what you want really.

Three things:

Most cards can't do RAID1 with more than 2 drives - you would have 4 separate arrays if you wanted to do this.

Current-gen LSI cards can do a RAID1 with any even number of drives - but each drive is simply mirrored to another of the same capacity, so it's kinda like a RAID1-JBOD.

RAID1 only allows for 1 disk failure - a second failure in the same array will lose data.


You would be better off with either:

RAID6 (any 2 failures survived) if you need a single large array and decent sequential speeds plus decent capacity.

RAID10 (any 1 failue survived, plus up to half your drives fail without loss if your lucky) if you want better random speeds, but lose half your capacity.

Single drives (or arrays) plus a backup - best for data security, not so good for speed or capacity.

File-based parity protection such as unRAID, disParity or FlexRAID - multiple drive failures don't lose all your data. Not so good for file storage, but excellent for media.

Hope this helps...
Raid 1 is an exact mirroring of all disks, it allows the data to remain intact if you lose all but one disks. It is the most cost-prohibitive though. Source here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID

If OP is getting a dedicated raid card I would recommend Raid 5 or 6 as they offer a good balance of cheapness and fault tolerance. For the best performance/redundancy combination go with raid 10. Basically with raid you can have any 2 of the following 3 choices:
1. Cost efficiency
2. Redundancy
3. Speed
Edited by Klue22 - 4/15/11 at 8:20am
    
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post #6 of 20
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now are you saying that if i have a RAID card with 4 internal sata connections it will support only 1 drive fail over the 8 total. Or is it for each RAID 1 Array (1TB mirrored to 1TB 4 times)?
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post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klue22 View Post
Raid 1 is an exact mirroring of all disks, it allows the data to remain intact if you lose all but one disks. It is the most cost-prohibitive though. Source here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID
Wikipedia is not a source. It's unverified, and written by random people.

Try and find a single RAID card that will do multiple mirroring of disks - they don't exist. You can do multiple mirrors using some software RAID implementations, but not all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klue22 View Post
If OP is getting a dedicated raid card I would recommend Raid 5 or 6 as they offer a good balance of cheapness and fault tolerance. For the best performance/redundancy combination go with raid 10. Basically with raid you can have any 2 of the following 3 choices:
1. Cost efficiency
2. Redundancy
3. Speed
There is no 'best performance/redundancy combination' - it depends what you're doing with the arrays. For many applications (especially those used in typical home setups, but in many enterprise environments also) you get better performance from a RAID5 array than you do from a RAID10 array with the same number of spindles for example.

It is not nearly as clear cut as you seem to state, and the 'best' setup depends on the exact requirements...
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klue22 View Post
Raid 1 is an exact mirroring of all disks, it allows the data to remain intact if you lose all but one disks. It is the most cost-prohibitive though. Source here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID
the_beast is right, go back and read.... He is talking about the limitation of RAID controllers for multi-disk RAID1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klue22 View Post
If OP is getting a dedicated raid card I would recommend Raid 5 or 6 as they offer a good balance of cheapness and fault tolerance. For the best performance/redundancy combination go with raid 10. Basically with raid you can have any 2 of the following 3 choices:
1. Cost efficiency
2. Redundancy
3. Speed
A minor note... RAID5/6 can offer better performance than a RAID10/0+1.

RAID10/0+1 offer sequential read performance is about that of n/2.
RAID5 sequential read performance is about that of n-1.
RAID6 sequential read performance is about that of n-2.

It is not black and white of just those 3. There are shades of gray between cost, performance, and redundancy.




OP, I assume this is for data storage and not for OS and I/O intensive work. If so performance is irrelevant.

Also, please do not forget that RAID is for redundency. It is NOT a form of backup.
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post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by graphicsman View Post
now are you saying that if i have a RAID card with 4 internal sata connections it will support only 1 drive fail over the 8 total. Or is it for each RAID 1 Array (1TB mirrored to 1TB 4 times)?
I'm not sure what your asking
But if you have raid 1 with four disks then all the disks will be exact copies of each other, in that case you can lose all but one disk and maintain data integrity. For other raid levels:

Raid 0: Lose one disk, all data is gone
Raid 5: Can lose one disk
Raid 6: Can lose two disks

EDIT: Duckie I was referring to the pathetic write speeds that can accompany raid 5 and 6.
    
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post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klue22 View Post
I'm not sure what your asking
But if you have raid 1 with four disks then all the disks will be exact copies of each other, in that case you can lose all but one disk and maintain data integrity. For other raid levels:

Raid 0: Lose one disk, all data is gone
Raid 5: Can lose one disk
Raid 6: Can lose two disks

EDIT: Duckie I was referring to the pathetic write speeds that can accompany raid 5 and 6.
You can't have 4 disks mirrored in RAID1 - it just isn't possible with hardware cards. Try it. Doesn't work. Doesn't matter what Wiki says.

The only cards that support 4 drives in RAID1 are the current-gen LSI cards - but they don't give you 4 mirrored drives, they will give you 2 drives in JBOD mirrored onto the other 2 drives in JBOD - giving half the capacity of the drives (not 25% which you seem to expect), but none of the performance benefit of RAID10. You do gain a little redundancy though, but not much.

And RAID5 doesn't have poor sequential write performance if you set it up properly (with your partitions aligned etc). Again sequentially RAID5 will beat an equivalent RAID10 setup for the reasons Duckie quoted. If you have poor RAID5 writes then you're either doing small randoms (which mechanical drives struggle with generally, but RAID5 is especially terrible at), or you have screwed something up (or you're just using bad components). RAID6 is slower again than 5, but the same rules apply - properly set up the speeds are not necessarily poor due to the RAID level employed.
Edited by the_beast - 4/15/11 at 9:59am
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