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Storage Setting up a RAID array

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Rygel Cumberbatch, 17 Oct 2012.

  1. Rygel Cumberbatch

    Rygel Cumberbatch New Member

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    Heya,

    I'm currently sporting the following rig:

    AMD A6-3500 APU
    ASUS F1A75-M Motherboard
    2x4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz

    2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 250GB SATA2 HDD
    1x Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB SATA3 HDD

    I use the 2TB HDD for media storage, but I have run out of space, so I have purchased an additional two identical HDDs to boost my storage to 6TB. I would like to set the drives up in either JBOD or RAID 0 (striping), but am not sure whether that would be efficient ...

    The 250GB drives are over 6 years old and one of them is making some really unhealthy sounding noises, so I'd like to get rid of them. At present, one of the drives are used for my OS and software, while the other is used for storing backups of software and game installers.


    What sort of performance issues and general problems am I likely to run into if I were to install my OS and software on one of the 2TB drives (they only run at 5900RPM). This isn't a performance oriented computer and is primarily used as a media server and HTPC. It's left on 24/7 and is scheduled to restart once a week in the middle of the night so startup and loading times aren't really an issue, so long as I don't hit buffering issues.


    Additionally, if I do decide to keep my OS on one of the 250GB drives, would I be able to setup a JBOD or RAID 0 array across the three 2TB drives, without losing the data on the drive I already have. Or would I have to make a backup?


    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Atomic

    Atomic Gerwaff

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    No - creating a RAID Array is destructive to any data on the drives already.

    You will need to backup your data to another source, create the 3 disk array then copy it back.

    I hope you have regular backups to another source as if you loose one drive in a RAID 0 array you will loose the data on ALL THE DRIVES. Also once it's created you cannot expand or shrink the number of drives in the array.
     
  3. camelsnowman

    camelsnowman New Member

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    Hi,

    this post doesn't really address any of the questions / concerns you asked / raised, per se, but I thought I'd mention a few things. You might already know some of the things below; sorry if you don't find it useful.

    Some say hard drive failure rates are known to be highly correlated with drive models, manufacturers and vintage, and so some recommend that when getting drives for a RAID array, it's a good idea to get the drives at different times (get some, then wait a month, and get the others) or from the different places to try to get drives from different batches. There's a paper about it at: http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/research.google.com/en/us/archive/disk_failures.pdf.

    I'm assuming you're considering setting up a software RAID array? If so, what OS would you be using?

    You could use a non-RAID configuration, such as a SPAN or a 'linear' setup with mdadm (if you would be using mdadm RAID). I believe more disks can be added to those, but it has about the same redundancy as a RAID 0 array.

    If you're looking for some redundancy, I think you should look at RAID 5. If you're not looking for redundancy, I recommend considering just using each hard drive as its own hard drive (mounting each one). By not using some kind of RAID or 'linear' configuration, you're more free to add or remove devices down the road.

    Some RAID 1 implementations can stripe reads, which gives a performance boost for reading. It sounds like you're not going for a really fast setup, though.
     
  4. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    Get a cheap 64GB SSD for the operating system. It makes a big difference in overall system snappiness, and a small SSD won't break the bank either.
     

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