Dual Raid Server?

I am currently researching a NVR build and can't find an answer to a specific question.

I would like the NVR to be use 2 SSD boot drives in Raid 1 for the OS, and have a separate Raid 5 for the storage. Both raids need to be "hot swap-able" so that there is no downtime. I'm planning on using a Super Micros system with Windows Server 2008.

1. Is this possible to have 2 separate raids in the same server? Hardware requirements?

2. Is there a better way to minimize any downtime so that the system is always recording?
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  1. A server with a hardware RAID controller that supports hot swappable drives will meet your requirements. Which Supermicro server(s) will you buy?

    Can you explain the SSD boot drives requirement for such a server? If using RAID 5 for storage and write performance is important, then you should consider a caching RAID controller with BBS. Otherwise writes might be too slow. A RAID 10 configuration would be faster when writing.

    To have zero downtime, you also need dual power supplies, two separate UPS, etc. You won't be able to achieve 100% uptime because Windows Server 2008 sometimes needs to reboot the server when applying patches.

    Will you install Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2?
  2. Best answer
    Hoggins said:
    I SSD boot drives in Raid 1 for the OS. Both raids need to be "hot swap-able" so that there is no downtime. I'm planning on using a Super Micros system with Windows Server 2008.

    Supermicro makes a number of excellent boards. Good choice. Great NIC's.

    I'm puzzled why you would want SSD in RAID 1. Theoretically it's fine, but it seems expensive. Aren't the error rates on the SSD's a magnitute better than mechanical drives?

    As GhislainG has said, I also suggest a dedicated hardware RAID controller for RAID 5 to do all of the parity calculatons and provide onboard cache for the writes. His other points are also very important to consider.

    My main home server includes dual power supplies (hot swappable) and a large UPS, RAID 5 for data, plus RAID 1 for the Server 2008 system disks. Difference is my system disks are WD Black label drives not SSD's. Cheap and reliable, and a five year warranty. The speed I have is fine, although I'm not running MS-Exchange or SQL that would add more disk IO and maybe slow things down. Certainly your setup will offer more performance but I wonder if it is the best place to make performance increases... better in a dedicated RAID 5 controller maybe?
  3. Thank you both so much for your help and answers. I suppose the raid 1 doesnt need to be ssd's. Any hotswappable HD should do.
  4. You are correct.
  5. Best answer selected by Hoggins.
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