Thinking of 2TB Array in Raid 5 - Questions

Zxcs

[H]ard|Gawd
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Sep 11, 2004
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Simply put, I need more data storage for backups/media/documents etc. and I have a few questions:

Will more drives (i.e. 8x250gb rather than 4x500gb) help protect my data better if its in raid 5? (I know there will be a higher risk of one drive failing but I can quickly replace it, I mean is there any benifit to using more drives)

Can anyone recommend me a good pci/pci-x/pci-ex(upto 2x) raid controller that can do raid 5 within the $1-$300 range? (Should I be considering raid 6 at all?)

Thanks, Zxcs
 

Styk33

Weaksauce
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Jun 4, 2004
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I went with 8x200PCI for my RAID5. Only because I could get teh 200gb drives for so much cheaper than the other sizes. Having all 8 drives means if a drive fails I need to physically replace it. Most controllers offer hotswap and you can have the drive in teh array just sitting there waiting for one to fail and when it does, it will start transferring data right away and lessen your chances of another drive failing. I have had one drive fail and one drive make a horrendous noise (not at the same time). I just shut down and put in the spare drive I have sitting on the shelf and then reboot and let it rebuild. I have had my array for 16 months so far. I run two RAID5 arrays on one machine. Someday I will buy a bunch of big drives and go back to just one array.

I have a RAID5PCI, 8 port, software card if you would like. Real cheap.
 

ilkhan

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5x500s would work, 6x400 would work as well. It really depends on what you can get as the best storage per dollar for the most reliable drives you can find.
Fewer drives doesn't decrease the risk other than having less to fail, but with raid 5 long as you only lose one drive, it doesn't matter.
The emphasis must be on only losing one drive though. Rebuilding an array is extremely stressfull on each drive, more drives will lose while rebuilding than any other time, according to some source I vaguely remember from year ago+.
 

Zxcs

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hmm, in that case I'm tempted to go with many smaller drives (since they are cheaper to replace). I know some (such as WD and seagate) come with 3yr warranties but I'm planning on using this storage for around 5+ years (we'll see how it goes).

Any ideas on what sorta raid controller to get? I'm totally clueless.
 

Dew

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Jun 23, 2003
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Highpoint RocketRaid 2320. Its PCIe and its fast.
Here are my benchmark results(Linux, FedoraCore4, 5 drives, see sig for full specs):
Sequential Read: 176,716K/sec
Sequential Write: 71,612K/sec
 

unhappy_mage

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The controller you'll want to look at is the Highpoint 2220 or 2320. They're about $250, and have 8 ports and fast software raid which works under Windows and Linux.

As for disks - why are you worried about replacement costs? Buy disks with a five-year warranty, and if the opportunity should arise, use it ;)

 

Zxcs

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Usually RMAs take me a few weeks so I end up just buying another hdd while one is RMAing. I read a few highpoint 2320 reviews and it seems impressive. Problem is I will need to have to take a 6800U out of my sli rig and put it in the spare pci-e slot (and I don't think that will do 4x if a graphics card is in the other pci-e slot). I'll take another look at the dfi nf4 specs but unless this works in pci-e 2x I think I'm gunna have to find one has 2x speed or is pci-x (for my other computer).
 

valve1138

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Why not build an inexpensive file server? It wouldnt cost too much more over the RAID setup.

I've got a Highpoint 1820A myself. PCI-X 8 port SATA. I went with 8 300 Gig drives as it was the most cost effective, and still is if you look at the cost per gigabyte.

The whole setup has been great, and the Highpoint card is great bang for the buck.
 

unhappy_mage

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The 1820 doesn't allow for online capacity expansion. That means with the 2220 you can add another drive to an existing array without destroying the data on it. Worth the extra $50 if you ask me.

 

Dew

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unhappy_mage said:
The 1820 doesn't allow for online capacity expansion. That means with the 2220 you can add another drive to an existing array without destroying the data on it. Worth the extra $50 if you ask me.

It is absolutely worth it. I have already used it once, and will be using it a second time next week(My 1.2TB array is full!).
 
Joined
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good question :D i was lookingf or the same info thanks.

i sitl need to learn more about this raid 5 thing. i have 3x250 on raid 5 now. wanting to add in my 300 but doesnt look like i can without a format :'(
 

Farva

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thats why its good to stick around and read all the posts about people having issues with their raid. it will help when you finally built your own...at least i assume so because i am a year or so from building my raid 5 array...the drives (and how many) i want are too expensive for me right now
 

unhappy_mage

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paradoxblue said:
good question :D i was lookingf or the same info thanks.

i sitl need to learn more about this raid 5 thing. i have 3x250 on raid 5 now. wanting to add in my 300 but doesnt look like i can without a format :'(
It's generally the case that you can only use same-sized drives for a given array, and a good idea speed-wise to use all the same brand and model of disk.

Like protias said, if you've got time before you need to implement this, stick around a while, read the disk subforum, and you'll get a better grasp on what kind of equipment you want to buy, how much it costs, and what requirements it has. Feel free to ask questions along the way, too - even if nobody else on [H] is interested in the answer, it makes it available for the search engines. The more answers we can dig up and answer publically, the better a resource this place is :D

 
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