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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,571

    RAID and hard drives

    I am looking into replacing the single 20gb drive already in my server with a RAID array of some sort. It is a 1U system that normally supports 2 hard drives but can be made to support 3 if I remove the CD-ROM. There are some things that factor into what I should buy: price, performance, and space.

    The Raptors seem to provide extreme performance, but only in single-user (even with the 73gb model, I can't find any RAID cards that support TCQ) and are extremely expensive - I would be spending $750 just on the hard drives in a RAID 5 array of them. I can find hard drives that fit more for much less, but the thing is, wouldn't a RAID 5 array of just three hard drives, regardless of the drive, be slower than a single drive?

    I also previously considered using RAID 1 for two drives, and purchasing a third drive that was two times the size for backups and the like. At 50% space efficency and slightly slower speeds than a single drive (at least with the 3ware cards) it also appears to not be worth it, except for the ability to restore from a backup in case I accidently delete files.

    What I want is something that would work well for light to moderate Web serving and development work, with the available storage space around 100-200GB or so after RAID overhead is considered. If anyone has any specific recommendations, please let me know.
    -Mooneer
    Thoughtbug Software: Hosting shouldn't require any thought.
    Legitimate host? Support the Code of Ethical Conduct

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    18
    I was in a similar position. I opted for Raid1 since the server really does more reads than writes. Raid 1 reads round robin so you get excellent performance.

    I have the raptors as well with a 3ware card. Very happy with the performance all around even writes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Canton, Ohio
    Posts
    62
    Our solution was to run RAID 1 Mirroring on all servers including mail, dns, web. Now that we run multiable web servers we've also installed a Storage server running RAID 5. Each of the web servers reference the SAN for their content.

    It makes it very nice when your looking to do off-site backups. We can just push a relicate of the SAN daily.

    Now if a server has problems we can first try and pull the bad drive and get running quickly. Worst case everything is on the master storage server and we can rebuild a new box and mount drives with content.

    Dustin Wright
    The Karcher Group, Inc
    [email protected]
    North Canton, OH

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    1,114
    We've seem to have found a good combiation for us. We use 2x80 SATA for raid 1 and a 120 for backup with the 3ware 8000 series card.

    We didin't worry about having 2x the space on the backup drive as we've never used more than 50% of the raid drives.

    If you can get a hot swap option it also makes life a lot easier.
    SiteSouth
    Atlanta, GA and Las Vegas, NV. Colocation

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