I am in the process of selecting components for a fairly high end server that I am building for a client and I'm trying to make up my mind on which RAID array I should implement.
The client is a large dentist office and they are currently using an old 2003 SBS system that is primarily charged with file sharing. All of the in office data is stored on the server and losing it would obviously be catastrophic. SO...
RAID 6 seems to be the prudent choice since it offers a fault tolerance of 2, but I'm concerned about performance. The latest version of the primary software they use has a more server resource intensive option that will increase performance and enable the installation of thin clients for the workstations.
I really like RAID 10 but I'm just not sure it's worth sacrificing half (n-1) of the drives I install.
I'd really appreciate any insight that any of you have! FYI, I will likely be using 2-4TB HDDs but I'm open to suggestions on going a different route than HDDs.
1) 4TB drives still have a high failure rate. Your better off getting a bunch of 2TB's. (And it might be a little cheaper too depending on the brand)
2) Are you going to be doing a software raid or a hardware raid? If its a Hardware raid you should see a whole lot of performace decrease in a Raid 6. A Raid 10 is goo as it allows 1 drive from every mirror fail but if a whole mirror fails your screwed.
3) In a Work enviroments its always good to have a hot spare. This way your not having to worry about replacing the failed drive then and there.
One thing about Raid is that always have a hot spare and also realize that the chances of having a two drive failure at the same time is like .1% or some crazy small number like that (Unless the hard drives get power surged or something which doesn't count). With the increasing life of these newer drives we have moved a lot of our clients from Raid 5's (Old SCSI Drives though) To simple Raid 1's but they all have Daily backups as well.
With raid 5 or 6 you will want a real hardware raid controller.
As this data will probably be going out over a gigabit or wireless network, drive performance isnt needed. I'd focus on a proper backup system and reliability (raid1,5, or 6) and perhaps splitting up the most used data between two different arrays in a raid 1 scenario. For example images on 1 raid1, business office stuff on another...