Raid controller. Worth It?

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by obviouslytom, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. obviouslytom

    obviouslytom [H]ardness Supreme

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    So I was given the following raid controller card from a friend because I want to build a system here at home that my family can use, along with my parents remotely accessing it.



    My question is: is it worth it? Because I can't find, or am having trouble finding out what size drives it can actually handle. I was told that so long as I updated the ram on it to 1gb, I should be able to get the system to recognize drives that are larger than 2tb because even though it handles 8 drives, once in raid, assuming it only sees 2tb per drive, I would have 8tb of usable space which for what I am planning, is really not enough.

    Preferably, I would like to put 4tb drives on it but like I said, I don't know if it can.
     
  2. arestavo

    arestavo [H]ard|Gawd

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    PCI-X, what a blast from the past. With a card that old, I really doubt it has/had a firmware update to support >2TB drives.

    If you really want a cheap hardware RAID card, you can always pick up one of those really cheap LSI 9261 (I think that's the model) PCIE cards. Granted it's not PCI-X, so hopefully your machine has PCIE slots.

    Or you can go software RAID. Other folks are more of an authority on that subject, but you have zfs on Linux and refs with Windows storage spaces.



    Found something from the 4 port version that will probably be relevant - if you enable "auto-carving" you can get larger drives to show individually split up into smaller, sub 2TB volumes that your OS will see. Otherwise something called wrap around occurs, where the amount seen by the controller is reduced (~750GB seen for a 3TB drive). Whether or not auto-carving is useful to you is for you to decide - https://serverfault.com/questions/424675/can-a-3ware-9500s-4lp-controller-use-3tb-drives
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
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  3. Meeho

    Meeho 2[H]4U

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    You didn't mention the intended use, but 99% probability it's not worth it.
     
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  4. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya 2[H]4U

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    My Supermicro AOC-SAT2 MV8s would like to have a word with you ;)
    Running my Ultrastar He8s just fine.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. obviouslytom

    obviouslytom [H]ardness Supreme

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    I want to crate a server that has enough room to create backups of all my Pcs and of my parents plus pictures that my wife takes of everything.
     
  6. Meeho

    Meeho 2[H]4U

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    I would recommend something based on the likes of FreeNAS, hence no RAID cards.
     
  7. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    RAID isn't a backup though.
     
  8. danswartz

    danswartz 2[H]4U

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    RAID or not, it's a perfectly valid backup of OTHER PCs...
     
  9. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    RAID is not a backup and should not be alluded to as if it were. RAID is storage intended for maximum uptime. If the array breaks, and it can definitely break you are sol unless you have an actual backup.
     
  10. arestavo

    arestavo [H]ard|Gawd

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    One, two, TWO RAIDs, ahh ahh ahh!

    Even in different computers, yet in the same building, you run into issues if the house burns down or lightning destroys everything electrical (even surge protection can't help you against a direct strike). Then you need offsite backup for the critical stuff. Multiple off site backups in NON-disaster prone areas.

    Lemme get out my tinfoil hat... THERE ARE NEVER ENOUGH BACKUPS!
     
  11. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    Or you get robbed... lol that's my fear. Then again I can't see thieves running out the hose with my 100lb server with 12 ft of plumbing connecting it to an external loop. I hope...
     
  12. FLECOM

    FLECOM Modder(ator) & [H]ardest Folder Evar Staff Member

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    if you are looking for a cheap PCIe RAID card the Adaptec 5805 cards are pretty cheap on ebay... >2TB support, does RAID1/10/5/6/50/60 etc

    if you are backing up to a RAID then it is by definition your backup
     
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  13. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya 2[H]4U

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    *knock on wood* It'd be a royal PITA, but I could load up my car with HDDs, drive the ~900 miles or so to be alternate site, and reload the data.
    128TB would take a little while to copy though ;)
     
  14. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

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    Raid is almost more problem than it's worth outside of business use.

    Controller problems on motherboards, OS problems in software RAID. You are almost better off buying something like Retrospect and backing up differentials daily from one large drive to the next (at whatever interval you choose). Or just use Robocopy.
     
  15. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    Just because YOU decide it to be something else doesn't make RAID a backup. Backups don't spontaneously drop a drive and require a hotspare and 48 hours to rebuild. And let's not get into bit errors during rebuild. If you want to call that a backup solution, go right ahead lol.
     
  16. Blue Fox

    Blue Fox [H]ardForum Junkie

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    They're not using RAID as a backup. They have a backup that happens to use RAID (which if you didn't know, is rather common). Please learn the difference between the two so you can make a valid argument.
     
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  17. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    WTF? You realize you contradict yourself as both statements cannot be true. And who is they? It's a pretty simple concept, RAID is not a backup solution. One can use it as such, call it whatever the hell you want, that's one's personal definition. That however doesn't make RAID a viable backup no matter what you call it.
     
  18. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ 2[H]4U

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    what they mean is people refer to raid as being backed up by redundancy.

    this is not true.

    but a backup of a primary drive on to a RAID array is a backup.
     
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  19. Blue Fox

    Blue Fox [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You seem to either have a fundamental misunderstanding as to what RAID is or what constitutes a backup.

    RAID is often mentioned to not be a backup when people use it in lieu of backups. So, an example of it not being a backup would be having a desktop with RAID 1 and thinking your data is safe because there are technically two copies. That is just having a RAID array and no real backup because any changes you make immediately affect all copies.

    So, now you decide you want real backups. You back up to an external hard drive nightly. That's a backup. Or maybe you backup to your file server instead. That too is a backup since there are two disconnected copies. If your file server happens to use RAID, it is still a backup because it is an independent copy from whatever device it is you're backing up.

    If anything, having a backup on a file server that happens to use RAID only makes it more secure since there is some built-in redundancy to said backup.
     
  20. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    I was replying to posters explicit talking about using RAID as a backup, then I get you questioning my fundamental understanding of what RAID is or a back up is yet, all you do is support my point lol. Using a RAID array as part of a backup "solution" doesn't make a RAID array a viable backup. Obviously RAID arrays are used as a storage intermediary until said data is backed up, then moved offsite or to a cloud, etc etc. The final location of said data is the back up, not the temporary storage location.

    "I want to crate a server that has enough room to create backups of all"
     
  21. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ 2[H]4U

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    but that RAID array is a backup of a primary drive.

    meaning there is 2 copies of data.

    not that he is using a raid array as a primary drive and calling it a backup.

    1 set of data with redundancy.
     
  22. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    You guys are getting into an argument of semantics, copies vs back up, location on an aray, etc etc. It's all besides the point isn't it?
     
  23. toast0

    toast0 Gawd

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    My advice is not to use a raid card, unless you have a plan for how to get the data off the drives when the card fails. Simple answers are a spare card if the configuration is portable, using the disks in passthrough (and doing software raid); perhaps some controllers have enough documentation or reverse engineering that you can plug the drives into something else and get it to work.
     
  24. FLECOM

    FLECOM Modder(ator) & [H]ardest Folder Evar Staff Member

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    If I have a drive full of data, and I copy that data to RAID array, the RAID array is a backup of the drive...

    I am genuinely curious what you would call a backup

    it's not semantics either... the OP asked

     
  25. arestavo

    arestavo [H]ard|Gawd

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    Some folks just can't admit they're wrong, and so just keep digging deeper hoping you'll give up.
     
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  26. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ 2[H]4U

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    a copy is not a backup???

    today i've heard it all.

    fuck me.
     
  27. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    WTF is wrong with you ppl? RAID is not a back up. If you want to argue that putting a copy here or there is a back up, go right ahead. Scribble on a piece of paper, there's another back up. That all is besides the point that a RAID array is not a viable backup medium.
     
  28. Blue Fox

    Blue Fox [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You're the one that doesn't seem to get it. I'll have break the news to my manager that the tens of millions of dollars we spent on our backup solution that utilizes RAID should be tossed because it isn't a 'viable backup medium'. You need to understand that having a backup is defined as a distinct and separate copy. If I backup my desktop to a single drive NAS, that is a backup because there are two independent copies. If I backup my desktop to a two drive NAS that happens to use RAID 1, that's also a backup because there are two independent copies. The latter gives you a far lower likelihood of losing data too, since RAID by definition, improves uptime (so therefore my backup NAS has less downtime).

    PS, scribbling some data on a sheet of paper technically does count as a backup. Think of all the people that do that with their passwords.
     
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  29. rive22

    rive22 [H]ardness Supreme

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    What in the world do you think the cloud you mentioned is comprised of. Or what do you think the thousands of companies with huge amounts of data do, write to individual drives. A copy is a copy, period. The raid isn't backup argument you are touting is meant for when people plan that as their only copy.
     
  30. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    WTF, more? When did I mention a godamnn cloud? Is that a copy or a back up? Cuz you know some will argue that to the death. As I wrote before and before, I don't care what you do with your files but to call dropping files onto a RAID a backup is misleading for the inexperienced. If one wants to know the difference between a RAID and an actual backup, google it. There's a bazillion articles/blogs explaining the differences.
     
  31. rive22

    rive22 [H]ardness Supreme

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    It's like your eyes are covered with a brick wall
     
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  32. danswartz

    danswartz 2[H]4U

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    This guy is either a moron or a troll. Either way, I'm done here...
     
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  33. Logan321

    Logan321 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Get archive drives for cheap, back up that way. Buy 2, set your backups to alternate between drives. Don't use raid. That's my 2 bits.
     
  34. Biznatch

    Biznatch [H]ard|Gawd

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    No... you're regurgitating information incorrectly. RAID by itself on the host system is not a backup. That is the mistake people make, thinking they don't need to back up the data because the local machine has a raid array.

    Having a separate backup server storing data on a raid array is absolutely acceptable (but should still be backed up offsite), and is done in pretty much every enterprise backup solution...... The array adds redundancy/availability to your backup server so it can withstand a drive failure and still function. Do you really think companies are storing their backup data on single drives? What about backing up a 20TB database? Would love to see your suggestions on backing that up without a raid array.
     
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  35. Quartz-1

    Quartz-1 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Windows Home Server or Windows Server Essentials will do all that.