Solved

Which RAID Configuration to go with?

Hi all,

I need to setup a raid 1 or raid 5 for redundancy on a server. I have 2 1TB hard drives and one 500GB hard drive. The 500GB one is currently in use.

So, I will need to get Windows Server 2008 and all configuration and files on that server onto the new raid configuration.

Raid 1 would give me redundancy, but raid 5 would do that and give me a performance boost. I heard that you can have 2 drives and one smaller drive on a raid 5 configuration.

So, should I go with raid 5 or raid 1? And how should I go about doing it- software or hardware raid, could I setup the raid and just image the old drive to the new raid?

I am new to this but need to get this done ASAP because I have a server that is vital to business that still does not have a backup of any sort.


Thank you all for the help in advance,

Sam
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about raid configuration
  1. You are aware that:

    1. RAID 5 requires at least 3 drives, the smallest drive in the array defines the max size of the array (in your case 3x500=1.5TB)
    2. RAID is not a substitute for a good backup plan.
  2. Yes, I am aware of #1, which is why I asked about using 2 drives + one smaller drive.

    For #2: If I mentioned backup, I meant redundancy. We already backup files.
  3. For maximum performance all drives in an array should be identical. In a perfect scenario all the drives would be same make, model, firmware level, size, & consecutive serial numbers.

    You really should engage the services of a professional for this. You don't want to make a mistake and lose valuable company data.
  4. Best answer
    RAID5 requires all drives to be of the same size. Since it stripes the data across all drives and includes parity, one drive can be lost. Every block of data has a corresponding parity block so it can calculate the data if a drive is lost. Also remember that the array controller has to work harder to calculate parity in a RAID array and that impacts performance, especially on the lower end controllers. I would honestly just mirror the two 1TB drives. I have not seen RAID3 or 5 used very much lately on stand alone servers. Over time it can degrade the controller. The only physical servers I've ever had a volume die on were RAID5. Never have never lost a RAID1 volume. Drives have failed and been replaced, but never had a complete loss of data.

    If you are looking for better drive performance on a physical server, consider a RAID10. Depending on the size of the business and the function of the server, there are many possibilities out there. Concurrent connections to the server also plays a part.
  5. if the server is currently booting from the 500gb drive in a non-raid setup you are looking at a full reinstall to go to a 3 drive raid5 with it. You don't mention which raid controller you are using but motherbd controller usually aren't able to migrate from a single drive to a raid5.
  6. Setting up a RAID function for a business server and data is not a job for a novice, hoping to get it right on the first try.
    Especially with "a server that is vital to business". Fart wrong, and its all gone.

    At the very least, you'd set up a duplicate test box and try it several times until you feel comfortable doing it. Of course this means other hardware and $$.

    You said you have backup files. Have those ever been tested? Is it just files, or the whole OS, etc?
    Tread carefully here. The wrong checkbox or command could blow the whole thing completely.

    As said above, you may want to pay a local pro to do this.
  7. Software RAID1 it. Only need two drives and you have safely copied data on both drives. If you were smart you would also still get a third drive and backup to that one because, as we all know, a RAID is not a substitute for a backup. The performance increase with RAID 5 won't make or break the setup in my opinion and it is very easy to set up through a Windows software RAID. If the data will be accessed often go with a quality drive because after all you will need to have three of them so you dont want to buy crap times three.
  8. samhuang1999 said:

    Hi all,

    I need to setup a raid 1 or raid 5 for redundancy on a server. I have 2 1TB hard drives and one 500GB hard drive. The 500GB one is currently in use.

    So, I will need to get Windows Server 2008 and all configuration and files on that server onto the new raid configuration.

    Raid 1 would give me redundancy, but raid 5 would do that and give me a performance boost. I heard that you can have 2 drives and one smaller drive on a raid 5 configuration.

    So, should I go with raid 5 or raid 1? And how should I go about doing it- software or hardware raid, could I setup the raid and just image the old drive to the new raid?

    I am new to this but need to get this done ASAP because I have a server that is vital to business that still does not have a backup of any sort.


    Thank you all for the help in advance,

    Sam


    RAID 5 will not give you a noticeable performance boost. In fact, it will cripple write performance far more than it helps read performance.

    RAID 1 will double read performance, with no impact on write performance.
  9. I'm lost.

    Quote:
    I need to setup a raid 1 or raid 5 for redundancy on a server...need to get this done ASAP because I have a server that is vital to business that still does not have a backup of any sort...We already backup files.


    You might want to spend some time and figure out what you already have and what you need. I suspect RAID1 is what you want. More so if you do already backup data.
  10. RAID-1 for the OS with SSD's and RAID-10 for data with HDD's, will give you best balance of performance and redundancy, with a backup to a NAS with RAID-1.
Ask a new question

Read More

Configuration Storage NAS / RAID Hard Drives