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  • Need an advice About RAID implementation

    Im about to purchase a new system for a small size business.
    Its gonna be a semi workstation semi server, which will host shared folder for the office.
    The OS is gonna be XP pro sp2. For Storage solution was hoping to get by with 2 External Seagate Hdd , each 1tb , usb connected. was hoping to set them in RAID 1 using the microsoft storage management tools.

    Can anyone shed some light of problems i might have by configuring RAID 1 with USB connected drives ? Should I go for Sata? Would it be good idea ( not thinking but ill ask anyways ) to combine a usb connected drive and a sata drive on the same raid array ? and should i drop the MS Raid Configurations and just use the BIOS Raid Settings ?

    Any help would be much appreciated

  • #2
    Re: Need an advice About RAID implementation

    XP SP2 does not have any native raid options.

    I would get a RAIDed NAS. (seperate from any single computer)

    Also you cannot mix and match drive types in any raid anywhere.
    "...if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said” - Alan Greenspan

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    • #3
      Re: Need an advice About RAID implementation

      I'd avoid software RAID, it'll just slow your system down. If the system you're purchasing has onboard RAID as part of the BIOS I'd go with that. Ideally a seperate RAID controller with it's own memory etc would be used.

      With a normal RAID controller you can only attatch drives that are directly attatched. It may be possible to connect across multiple buses using software RAID, but even if it is I doubt it would work very well.

      Personally though, of the options you present I'd say SATA drives on the BIOS RAID.
      BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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      • #4
        Re: Need an advice About RAID implementation

        OK, a host of questions come out of this.

        1. You say it'll be partly a server; how many people are going to hook into it at once, and what will they be accessing? Printers? Media? Files? Applications?

        2. RAID. I would not use Windows' built in RAID if you paid me. Nuh uh. Get a hardware RAID controller.

        3. If point 2 didn't dissuade you and you go with Windows RAID anyway, make sure both drives are on the same medium for a start; no way could you have effective and useful and safe RAID split between SATA and USB.
        a. Use SATA. USB is ssssssssssssssssllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooowww wwwwwwww by comparison and I reckon you'd wait a week for a well-used XP build to boot.

        b. Keep your data on a different drive (or at the very least a different partition) to your OS. If it's just documents and stuff a USB drive will be fine for your data.

        p.s. just saw your comment on BIOS RAID. USE IT - it will be MUCH faster and MUCH safer than using Windows. Also if you're lucky it will allow hot-swapping drives which are faulty. Don't get clever; just a mirror will be absolutely fine for your OS. I reckon a 40-50Gb partition for your OS and apps will be fine and the rest can be used for data if you don't use the USB for that.


        Tom
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        • #5
          Re: Need an advice About RAID implementation

          You could also look into a NAS w/RAID. That way the data is not tied to any one server/workstation.

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          • #6
            Re: Need an advice About RAID implementation

            Originally posted by Lior_S View Post
            XP SP2 does not have any native raid options.
            Dynamic disks in XP allow Raid 0 (RAID Uh Oh) and spanning but not RAID1 / 5, so there is no resiliance against failed drives.

            Also XP will only allow 10 concurrent connections. IMHO look at SBS for a small office environment
            Tom Jones
            MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
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            IT Trainer / Consultant
            Ossian Ltd
            Scotland

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            • #7
              Re: Need an advice About RAID implementation

              I would strongly advise against using a workstation as a fileserver.

              If I have my work on my computer, I can accidentally delete my work. If I have the company's work on my computer, I can accidentally delete the company's work. And what if I turn out to be a malicious user?

              Agree with the previous recommendation about SBS, failing that install setup Linux as a fileserver. But I would strongly recommend that you do not use the server as a workstation.
              Gareth Howells

              BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

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              • #8
                Re: Need an advice About RAID implementation

                Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                Dynamic disks in XP allow Raid 0 (RAID Uh Oh) and spanning but not RAID1 / 5, so there is no resiliance against failed drives.

                Also XP will only allow 10 concurrent connections. IMHO look at SBS for a small office environment
                Touche!


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                "...if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said” - Alan Greenspan

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