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RAID 5 or JBOD??

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January 27, 2011 2:36:34 AM

Excuse the ignorance, but bc of these threads i am quite enthused with the amount that one can learn from others questions... I understand that is the point of forums, however i have been less than impressed until i found this site. Sorry, on to the question. I know it is not recommended, however I am taking a tower i am building to afghanistan with me. Now bc i am americian army, we have to buy the satelite for the internet. I have the capability and the room to cool, 4x 2tb in my tower comfortably. Now I am not expecting this set up to run forever. When i return from this tour, i am going to buy a nas. The attempt is to put the 4x 2tb as a "share drive" for the other 9 on my internet connection. Should I just jbod it or should i not risk it and do a raid 5?? I am new to true mass storage... well multiple drive storage anyway, so any imput is welcome. I will say that the "array" will be read mostly, not write... Once i write the information, it will stay, and the acess to it will be read. No one but i will be allowed to write to it.

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a c 289 G Storage
January 27, 2011 3:20:02 PM

RAID5 has the advantage that, if one drive fails, all of your data is still accessible.

JBOD has the advantage that it is much simpler.

If the RAID controller itself fails, mounting the RAID5 disks on another one can be a chancy thing if you don't have another of the same kind of controller.

So you have to consider what risks you want to avoid. JBOD disks can be pulled out and used in any other machine if the machine fails, but will lose data if the drive fails. RAID5 will lose nothing if one drive fails, but be a real pain in the a** if the controller fails.
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a c 103 G Storage
January 27, 2011 4:24:14 PM

Afghanistan, hot, poor infrastruture, dusty. You want to risk drives in a non-redundant setup there? I'd bring along a few spare drives still sealed with you too :-)
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January 27, 2011 7:56:42 PM

ok so if i opt for raid 5 do i put in the .... "hot spare", or not. and i do agree that i probably should take a few extra drives. I am using a motherboard based raid controller... what are the odds that it will fail. I am using a gigabyte ga-890fxa-ud5. I am not sure how reliable it is, since i am new to this. Any suggestions.
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a c 103 G Storage
January 27, 2011 8:06:17 PM

The odds that the controller will fail, less than that of a drive failing. When I worked in heavy RAID places (CVS has a raid setup in all the pharmacy servers), it was probably a 10-1 ratio of drives vs controller issues.
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January 27, 2011 8:11:42 PM

ok, so the question is still, should i buy a separate controller, or should i be ok relying on the motherboard controller? I will take extra drives, but should i put in a "hot spare", is that worth it?
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a c 103 G Storage
January 27, 2011 9:00:02 PM

The motherboard controller would be fine, external ones are not more reliable they are there for more features and speed (maybe more speed).

You already have a spare when you setup raid, drive fails, you take it out, put a new one in and rebuild the raid. So you should bring an extra drive with you for that.
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a b G Storage
January 27, 2011 9:49:00 PM

Use one of this five drives hardware raid and PCI bracket

then you have stand alone raid, which you can move the array raid to any system that has a SATA port.

BTW it is FAST too

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January 27, 2011 10:27:28 PM

FireWire2 said:
Use on of this five drives hardware raid and PCI bracket

then you have stand alone raid, which you can move the array raid to any system that has a SATA port.

BTW it is FAST too



It is a matter of cost however. I have decent hard drives, and a monster cpu, and motherboard. Why is it worth it to buy a controller. Does that make the difference between hardware, and software raid. My mother board has 6 sata II connections, so i am not sure What makes the raid controller... a separate raid controller, required... Is it that big of a performance boost to the raid, or is it just the hardware software thing? Do explain please
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a b G Storage
January 29, 2011 1:41:41 AM

When you create a raid array, that array is piratically married to that controller. With a motherboard based controller, its tied to the motherboard. If you use a separate hardware based controller, if the computer dies, you pull out the controller card, along with the drives and use it in a new computer; and everything works, not so with motherboard based raid.
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January 29, 2011 6:13:56 AM

So we go back to what is more reliable? Witch is more stable. In my opinion i would believe that a new motherboard has a better lifespan than a controller. Now we go back to the question if bc the motherboard is under a higher stress by the raid, does that lower the lifespan?? Does that also mean to move the info, i have to install a controller, or connect a nas, and move the info to a new raid to replace the motherboard?
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a b G Storage
January 29, 2011 9:19:56 AM

I'd say that the controller card has less points of failure that would require its replacement. If your machine gets hit with a power spike, the motherboard and its voltage regulators and power conditioning circuits will be hurt, requiring the whole board to be replaced. In the same case, you pull the card out of this board and put it into a new one.

Lifespan of the motherboard won't be affected by your using the onboard raid or not.

When you return from your service you will need to copy the information to other media while you move the drives to a new home and re-create the array, then move the data back. The array will not stay viable across a move from one controller to another.

These are great questions to have answered before making a RAID array of anykind, and one we usually end up answering after a motherboard failed or a drive dies.
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January 29, 2011 3:26:03 PM

So if I could get a complete ok, it would probably be best if i got a controller, if for no other reason, the stability of the array, and the rig. The controller would probably send me over my limit, however if I could get a good recomendation, So far my set up is as follows:

Antec df-85 case
amd phenom II x6 1100t black edition
gigabyte ga-890Fxa-Ud5
128gb ssd for os booting
8tb Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 2tb, pn 0f12115, and two extra of course just in case
Antec cp-850
Thermaltake SpinQVT cpu cooler
Geforce GTX 460 SE

So I go back to what is a managable controller for a "newbie" like me to raids. I plan on overclocking the phenom... but slightly, I dont feel the need to blast it. If i can get it to sit comfortably arround 4.0 ghz, then i will be ok. Also will i need to run a copy of my os on my raid, or can the raid be accessed from the boot drive separately? Also I am relatively sure that i can set just the raid array to be shared on the network, so I am not worried about that, but I was just wondering about the stability of the entire set up, and worry about the array. Once again this is my first.
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a b G Storage
January 29, 2011 3:52:47 PM

As far as a specific recomendation for a raid card, I can't make one; I haven't used any of the cards on the market. What you want to look for is one that boasts true or real hardware raid. The cheaper cards are no better performance wise than your motherboard.

As far as your OS is concerned, aside from needing special drivers to access it, the raid array is a "drive" and is partitioned and formatted as such. Your OS doesn't need to be installed on it. Sharing gets setup the same as if you only had one drive, its just fast and massive.
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January 30, 2011 3:27:18 AM

Best answer selected by chiggidy.
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January 30, 2011 3:31:35 AM

Thank you all of you for your help. You have "opened my eyes". I learn so much from you guys. you have tought me so much. This will make life much eaiser for me.. Thanks.
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