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Question about RAID 1 and RAID 0+1 for server storage

Last response: in Storage
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November 22, 2009 1:24:06 AM

Hello all,

I am confused about what i can do with upgrading my upcoming RAID array for network storage. Currently I have a server running an Intel Pentium 4 non-HT 2.6GHz with a PCI 'RAID' card (its that crappy that only one SATA port works, doesn't matter as i only needed one for this temporary setup). Now as soon as i can get Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64) trial downloaded i will be switching to a PC which came out the bin for my server; an AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 2.2GHz 64-Bit CPU with a GIGABYTE GA-K8NMF-9 motherboard which has an NVIDIA nForce 4 chipset with 4 SATA150 ports that support RAID0, RAID1 and RAID0+1. I have a Seagate 1TB SATA300 drive at the moment which is NOT in any type of RAID, when i upgrade to the athlon i'm going to want to for christmas get another Seagate 1TB drive and put it in RAID1 to make fault tolerance.

HOWEVER, what i want to know is lets say 6 months later i need more space and go for the RAID0+1 but i can get 2TB hard drives a lot cheaper and buy 2 to add to the RAID. Will i be able to keep 2TB of space or will the existing 1TB disks restrict the 2TB drives down to 1TB RAID partitioning?
If that is so is there a way i can have them on 2 seperate RAID1 arrays and somehow join the two arrays together so i get 3TB of network storage as one neetwork share?

Because the server will only have one gigabit PCI-Ex1.0 card i'm not really concerned about the speed benifets of RAID0, only the fault tolorance of RAID1 as these drives are going to be run 24/7 when their not really designed to, but it is argued that keeping hard drives running all the time is better for them. Anyway thats getting off subject, all i really want is:

1.) Fault tolerance of stored data (Windows and roaming profiles stored on separate 30GB IDE disk)
2.) All drives capacity used (not cutting down of disk space to fit RAID)
3.) All drives as one 'physical' disk (so it can be shared as ONE network drive)

Any releated answers are appreciated.

Thankyou,

dglad4.
November 22, 2009 5:16:57 AM

OK well i did some Googling and found in a RAID0+1 configuration I will be wasting 2TB of space IF i in future bought 2x 2TB hard drives over price fall. Thats ONLY if i add it to to existing RAID1 of the 1TB disks. I found a calculator here (http://www.z-a-recovery.com/art-raid-estimator.htm)

I guess what i might have to do is add the disks and not worry about the wasted space until the future or if one of the single terabytes died and retire the other and get another 2TB disks to make a 4TB configuration.

Well that closes my forum anyway. Others can source from what i've learnt here ;) .

dglad4.
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November 22, 2009 5:24:29 AM

raid 5 is the way you want to go for storage....get a bunch of 1TB drives, you lose 1 of them to parity data

you said your chipset doesn't support that though.....

i would highly suggest getting a PCIE card that supports raid5 and raiding 1TB drives.....it can sustain any single drive failure without dataloss
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November 22, 2009 11:38:14 AM

uh_no said:
raid 5 is the way you want to go for storage....get a bunch of 1TB drives, you lose 1 of them to parity data

you said your chipset doesn't support that though.....

i would highly suggest getting a PCIE card that supports raid5 and raiding 1TB drives.....it can sustain any single drive failure without dataloss

Yes i had done all my research on that before, but as you pointed out, the NVIDIA nForce 4 series does not support RAID5, otherwise i wouldn't have even posted here and gone for that! I'm going to break my budget (hey, i'm only 15) and get an Intel PRO/1000 PCI-Ex gigabit ethernet card for the server so a card will take more saving and also the only lane will be used by the NIC. I'm quite happy with RAID0+1 to upgrade with for future, the NVRAID utility for the chipset allows hot-swap and RAID morphing. The RAID morphing allows me to morph my array twice to fit my upgrade to the RAID; Single terabyte disk on channel (no RAID yet), then get another disk for christmas and add it to a RAID1 and then the new drive will start building a mirror from the first, then a RAID0+1 from two new drives later to add capacity and keep redundancy, and also the RAID0 benifet (from what i've heard it isn't that great anyway).

So i've decided that's the plan. Now i need to really find a suitable NIC. If anyone is still reading this; is it worth going for a PCI-Ex or just a PCI slot for a NIC? Í'm not entirely sure whether i will be using both PCI lanes on the mobo or not so maybe PCI-Ex but i want several opinions on it and get a majority vote.
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