RAID suggested practice for Windows - home use

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Apr 29, 2002
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What is the suggested RAID practice for Windows at home in your opinion?

Setup:

"Server" in one part of house that is multi-use but also a sync point for backup of another RAID where data is stored and manipulated. I copy/sync from RAID 1 (Areca controller of 5 drives) to currently another system with an Areca but that system has died and components very old. I built a new system - Ryzen 2600/B450/16GB/NVME boot but don't know what's cost effective but sound RAID solution these days.

Thoughts on solution:

1: Buy an Areca/PERC/LSI etc like I usually do at heavy cost.
2: Hardware...."Hardware" RAID from motherboard using multiple Raid 1 mirrors.
3: Windows RAID a 6 or better.

Is option 2 and 3 considered arguably safe? I never trusted it before but trimming costs is always a plus. Linux not an option nor a NAS as system will have alternate purposes than just data storage. Power consumption also a goal as I have a Synology and Buffalo NAS but since I need the system for other reasons I want to get rid of it.

Thanks.
 

Biznatch

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It would help to know the 'alternative purposes' of the system. Freenas would still be my recomendation, and depending on your other needs, you can most likely run them in docker containers on the freenas box itself. Or virtualize freenas, and use another VM for the alternative purposes. There are a lot of different options, but it's hard to help without all the requirements.

But software raid with a bunch of raid 1 mirrors is quite an inefficient use of space/resources.
 

mwroobel

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If Windows is going to be your Host OS and you want to use the “server” as an available PC running Windows (eg no ESXI running Windows in a VM and a *nix ZFS VM and passing through to Windows) the 1 is your best choice, especially if that machines Areca card is still salvageable.
 
Joined
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Thanks for input thus far. I work in an environment where on high VM's are forbidden so this will be Windows Host OS only (please don't ask why, I lost the battle). Windows Server 2016. This is personal use for at home, will be a domain controller and I will use it to make/test pshell scripts and domain class changes. It however will also be an extra crunching machine for encodes, audio file manipulation and other uses similar. Storage with performance as the main driver is not a concern, this will be 1 hour a day sync to my main machines RAID for duplicate storage. I have boatloads of hard drives so efficiency of disk usage isn't really a concern either. Only reason I say multiple 1 mirrors is the motherboard can only do 0/1/1+0. Were only talking 4TB anyways. I know of and used FreeNas before, its just seems overly complex for my minimalist needs. Areca is toast, died in brownout along with mobo and psu. I scrapped everything.
 

Dead Parrot

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If performance for encodes is the goal, nothing wrong with Raid 0 as long as you have a good backup plan for any data on the array. Raid only protects from drive fail, not operator error and HDs are pretty reliable. You could run a Raid 0 array for performance uses and a Raid 1 array for backups/OS. If the encodes are scripted, include a copy to backup array on success as part of the script.

You will lose a little bit of performance by using the OS to do the raid, but you don't need a raid capable controller or MB. And CPUs are getting pretty fast these days.
 

Jandor

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If performance for encodes is the goal, nothing wrong with Raid 0 as long as you have a good backup plan for any data on the array. Raid only protects from drive fail, not operator error and HDs are pretty reliable. You could run a Raid 0 array for performance uses and a Raid 1 array for backups/OS. If the encodes are scripted, include a copy to backup array on success as part of the script.

You will lose a little bit of performance by using the OS to do the raid, but you don't need a raid capable controller or MB. And CPUs are getting pretty fast these days.
In fact for SSD on Sata it's RAID1 for backup and performance since the SSD is faster than SATA you will get more performance only with 2 sets of the same data.
 

EniGmA1987

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Storage Spaces on Windows (what MS uses for software raid now) with RAID6 equivalent has atrocious write speed. I have tried it on 3 different PCs and all of them got around 30-40MB/s on average. Read speeds are great, but Windows does not seem to be able to calculate parity during write on the fly very fast. Just something to think about when considering your use cases.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Storage Spaces on Windows (what MS uses for software raid now) with RAID6 equivalent has atrocious write speed. I have tried it on 3 different PCs and all of them got around 30-40MB/s on average. Read speeds are great, but Windows does not seem to be able to calculate parity during write on the fly very fast. Just something to think about when considering your use cases.
A solution I used for a while was to put FreeNAS into a Hyper-V VM on a Server 2016 box. Offline the NAS drives in Windows and pass them to the VM and used ZFS, and I was seeing excellent read and write speeds across 10Gb ethernet.

But if mirrors can be used, Storage Spaces most certainly gets the job done.
 

EniGmA1987

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A solution I used for a while was to put FreeNAS into a Hyper-V VM on a Server 2016 box. Offline the NAS drives in Windows and pass them to the VM and used ZFS, and I was seeing excellent read and write speeds across 10Gb ethernet.

But if mirrors can be used, Storage Spaces most certainly gets the job done.
Yep, thats the best way to do it if someone must use Windows as a host. I had no problems with SS when using mirror config. It seems to be just parity that is "broken".
 

dedobot

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Option 2 is worst - degraded performance and questionable security .
LSI 9260-8i is a 50-60 USD in ebay, excellent choice .
 

Master_Pain

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Get an LSI raid controller like dedo said. They are very good.

Sidenote, most of the perc cards are trash.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Still wouldn't use a 'hardware' card for more than just ports. Software RAID, be it ZFS on BSD or Linux or other *nix tech or even Storage Spaces aren't going to degrade performance perceptibly (with spinners) while they'll provide better integrity and far more portability.
 

Ready4Dis

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What is the suggested RAID practice for Windows at home in your opinion?

Setup:

"Server" in one part of house that is multi-use but also a sync point for backup of another RAID where data is stored and manipulated. I copy/sync from RAID 1 (Areca controller of 5 drives) to currently another system with an Areca but that system has died and components very old. I built a new system - Ryzen 2600/B450/16GB/NVME boot but don't know what's cost effective but sound RAID solution these days.

Thoughts on solution:

1: Buy an Areca/PERC/LSI etc like I usually do at heavy cost.
2: Hardware...."Hardware" RAID from motherboard using multiple Raid 1 mirrors.
3: Windows RAID a 6 or better.

Is option 2 and 3 considered arguably safe? I never trusted it before but trimming costs is always a plus. Linux not an option nor a NAS as system will have alternate purposes than just data storage. Power consumption also a goal as I have a Synology and Buffalo NAS but since I need the system for other reasons I want to get rid of it.

Thanks.
Everyone ditched RAID 5 for the most part, and RAID 6 isn't much better. The recommendation is typically either use RAID 10 (1+0) or just run raid 0 with backups depending on how critical your information is. Also, how many drives are you talking about? Just the 5 you have, or is that # going to change? If you use 4 drives, your RAID 10 and RAID 6 would have the same capacity, but the RAID 10 would be more performant. "According to manufacturer specifications and independent benchmarks, RAID 10 provides lower latency and superior throughput to all other RAID levels, except for RAID 0." If you have 5 drives, RAID 10 won't really line up and you'd have to either buy another or run only 4. If you have 6 drives, you will end up with more capacity in RAID 6, but reduced performance (especially if you don't have hardware parity) and more possibility for data loss (although, for most it's still a relatively low possibility).


https://searchstorage.techtarget.com/definition/RAID-10-redundant-array-of-independent-disks

ps. I am currently using RAID 0 with a backup drive for my media server as I don't care much if I lose a little bit of data between backups. I run a dell R710 with 12/24 and 96GB RAM with 5 drives in RAID + main OS Drive which is getting swapped to SSD this weekend.
 
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