hi all, i have a raid question as i do not have a whole lot of raid playtime., i am building a server dual xeons and using intel server board s5500bcr and 3 wd server class 500gb hdd's. i was planning on doing raid 5 configuration, but upon recieving mobo learned that a special addon "key" was required to do raid 5. so i am now rethinking my strategy. i am pretty well tappped out after purchasing everything. the intel boot cd will allow me to use raid 1 (or 0 but im going for redundancy here) but requires me to use all 3 drives. i am wondering if i would just be better off to install windows on disk 0 then proceed to do software raid on 1 & 2 within server 08. then just proceed to do routine backups to nas of both drive 0 and raided 1 &2. im thinking in theory this should be sound deal as if drive 0 fails i should be able to reinstall server on new replacement 0 drive and then recover from backup which should restore all setting of the raided drives. am i correct in my understanding? i welcome inputs from anyone with good raid experiance. thank you in advance
In data protection terms it makes sense to consider the OS drive to be easily replaceable. But the purpose of redundant RAID isn't for data protection (that's a job for backups) - what it really does for you is to eliminate downtime. This is especially true in a server environment. And if your OS drive isn't redundant then you still have a big potential for downtime.
My recommendation is that if you don't already have a backup strategy planned out then forget about RAID and put the extra drive(s) into external enclosures and use them for backups.
If you do have a backup strategy and uptime is important, then use a single RAID 1 volume with 2- or 3-disks, or buy one more disk and create two RAID-1 volumes with 2 disks each.
If uptime isn't that important, then 1 non-RAID OS drive and a RAID-1 data volume with two disks is probably a reasonable way to go.