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Short Stroking Secondary RAID 5 drive

Last response: in Storage
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July 10, 2010 10:09:33 PM

Question:
If I create a RAID 5 array and split it into two partitions - the first one taking up 20% of the array and the other taking up the remaining 80%, is there any advantage to doing this? If i primarily only access the smaller partition, will I actually still see the performance benefits of short stroking?

Background:
I'm building a computer with my primary (windows, etc) drive being an Intel SSD. Due to the SSD small size, I will be putting all my video/music/large documents/etc. on a 4 disk RAID 5 array. I decided on RAID 5 because i don't want to pay the 100% storage loss penalty of RAID 1, and you still get the performance benefits of striping when reading from a RAID 5 array. Plus, since most of the files will be video/music - I will only be reading them, not constantly writing them.

I read an article awhile back about short stroking, explaining how by minimizing the movement of the hard drive heads and the fact that the outside of the platter spins faster than the inside you get a performance boost. Hence, my initial question.

Thanks.
a b G Storage
July 11, 2010 1:41:21 AM

onboard raid5 sucks performance wise, if you buy a hardware raid5 card its cheaper to just go raid1 *anyhow*, and less complex - raid5 recovery is a nightmare, and all raids you must remember still suffer from corruption (filesystem etc), deletion, virus's and user faults etc - its not a true backup solution.
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July 13, 2010 7:45:47 PM

The intel 9/10 series chipsets have pretty decent raid 5, for a low end raid 5 soft hardware setup, the rebuild on a 512 gb drive is about 6 hrs. They have fairly slow writes but their reads are good. They both support sata 2 as far as i know (though i honestly don't remember if 9 does...). Actually i think apache u have the same board i do or close anyway...I'm running raid 5 on it with 4 512 gb drives, then a raptor for my boot disk, and a sata dvd burner to round out the 6 sata controllers. Never mind, i bought a gigabyte board then sold it oc'd, and turned around and bought a dfi bloodiron p35 as well...I get 150mb/sec (ish sometimes a lil lower sometimes higher...) reads...from the raid 5 setup, say during cs:s reloading a map or eq2 loading a zone...It goes down a bit when i'm running 2 instances of eq2 on the same setup...(watching process explorer).

But as to short stroking...I haven't ever tried testing that...You could always just do it, then test both with futuremark pcmark version whatever...or some other tool like hd tune. I don't think you could short stroke a raid 5 setup though because of the weird way it does writes to different areas of the hd...but i could easily be wrong ;-).
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