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  • RAID 5 Hardware - Please Advise

    I'm looking to set up RAID 5 for a small server.
    I read that the best RAID is for hardware RAID as opposed to software.
    I went to newegg.com to check out some hardware RAID, but I'm not sure what I'm looking at...to make matters even more confusing I see marketing junk like "true hardware raid" - I'm buying a RAID controller what else can it be, "fake hardware raid?"

    1) What does a true hardware RAID look like - is it an expansion card that I plug in the motherboard and connect all the harddrives to the card?
    2) How do I know what I'm buying is truly hardware RAID.
    3) What is the price range for a true hardware RAID 5.
    4) What would you recommend..a link to the product would be really appreciated.

    Please advise and thank you for the assistance.

  • #2
    Re: RAID 5 Hardware - Please Advise

    More questions to answer:
    1) what hardware do you have? If it's not a brand, what mobo?
    2) what OS will run on the server?
    3) what purpose the server has? Does it holds files? Databases?
    4) what is the size of the volume you need on the server?
    5) do you have the disks? If so, what model are they (especially, what interface)...

    Sorin Solomon


    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    -

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    • #3
      Re: RAID 5 Hardware - Please Advise

      Originally posted by sorinso View Post
      More questions to answer:
      1) what hardware do you have? If it's not a brand, what mobo?
      2) what OS will run on the server?
      3) what purpose the server has? Does it holds files? Databases?
      4) what is the size of the volume you need on the server?
      5) do you have the disks? If so, what model are they (especially, what interface)...
      Answers:
      1) Currently I'm running AMD 4000 on Socket 939 mobo.
      2) I will be running Windows Server 2003 R2
      3) The server's primary purpose will be a file storage/sharing. I told everyone to save all their files on the server because then they can be backed up. Esentially, I need the files to be secure from hardware failure (this is where RAID 5 comes in) and user failure where users delete files which they later find out they need (this is where Shadow Copy comes in).
      4) Minimum size required is 200 MB
      5) I don't have the disks and will buy everything new.

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      • #4
        Re: RAID 5 Hardware - Please Advise

        There are some "hardware" RAID cards that really just give you extra ports and the actual RAID processing is software based, and not done by a chip on the card.
        ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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        • #5
          Re: RAID 5 Hardware - Please Advise

          Yes, there is such thing like "fake RAID".
          I cannot tell you exactly what card do you need, since I am working only with HP servers and they have their cards. For a low-end server (like yours sounds to be) it will be overhead to get such a card, I think. Last time I dealt with such cards (few years ago) I used to buy Adaptec cards mainly.
          Given the fact that we're talking about a file server here, for backup purposes, you may not need a card with a lot of cache, since you're not expecting a lot of I/O (like in case of a database or such). You may not need battery backed cache also.
          What slots does your mobo has? PCI-X? PCI-E?
          If you don't have the disks yet, I would suggest you go for SCSI disks, and not SATA (unless you have budget problems). For a brief comparison, see this article. There may be more, but this is what I found in a short search.

          These are my 2 cents. Good luck.

          Sorin Solomon


          In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
          -

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: RAID 5 Hardware - Please Advise

            a real raid controller will have it's own memory dimm installed in it and a battery to backup that dimm.

            have a look at adaptec (not my personal fave really), 3ware (excellent cards), HP smartarray (not bad at all), LSI (very reliable), or maybe Dell PERC6 (works on an LSI chip, might be cheaper than LSI though)
            ________
            Buy grinders
            Last edited by DYasny; 6th March 2011, 19:29.
            Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

            BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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            • #7
              Re: RAID 5 Hardware - Please Advise

              Dyasny,
              thank you. exactly the information I needed. now I know what to look for.
              also, thank you for your recommendations.

              Sorinso,
              thank you for that great article. It seems that I should probably go for Raid 6 instead of Raid 5 with SATA drives.
              Yes, it's a low end server with PCI-1 and PCI-16 slots.

              now the painful part:spending the money.

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              • #8
                Re: RAID 5 Hardware - Please Advise

                RAID6 will require a more powerful card and you will loose two disks instead of one...
                Given the info you gave so far, I will leave that out of the question...

                Sorin Solomon


                In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
                -

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: RAID 5 Hardware - Please Advise

                  RAID 10 is also an option worth considering depending on how much data you have and how critical it is.
                  1 1 was a racehorse.
                  2 2 was 1 2.
                  1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                  2 2 1 1 2

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                  • #10
                    Re: RAID 5 Hardware - Please Advise

                    Originally posted by biggles77 View Post
                    RAID 10 is also an option worth considering depending on how much data you have and how critical it is.
                    if you are using 4 drives, the capacity loss will be the same. but raid6 will be more redundant, while raid10 will perform faster
                    ________
                    Herbal Vaporizers
                    Last edited by DYasny; 6th March 2011, 19:29.
                    Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

                    BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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                    • #11
                      Re: RAID 5 Hardware - Please Advise

                      BTW, just returning to this conversation, there is also a possibility of RAID5E and RAID5EE

                      there is a performance gain, and also, depending on the space used on the array, a very serious increase in redundancy
                      Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

                      BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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