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Dual Raid 1s ?

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January 13, 2012 4:03:32 PM

Hello,

I'm looking at building a new system that consists of an i5/i7 processor and thus LGA1155 motherboard. I'm interested in a dual raid 1 setup for redundancy, if such a thing is even possible, and practical.

Currently I use 2 hard drives, main drive that contains the OS, programs, etc. And a second drive that is basically storage. My plan is to utilize this concept with my new build.

Eventually, I would like to convert the main drive to SSD, with raid-1. Plus, keeping the storage drive raid-1. Thus, a dual raid-1 setup.

Summary:
C: Drive = SSDs in raid-1
D: Drive = SATAs in raid-1

So my questions are:
1) What do I need to have the above setup?
2) Will there be any negatives to such a setup (redundancy, noticeable performance loss, etc.)?

Thank you in advance.

More about : dual raid

a b G Storage
January 13, 2012 4:43:59 PM

You can setup the boot drives as a raid 1 in the bios with almost any modern mother board. I dont know of any consumer board that can have 2 seperate raid arrays.

Once windows is installed and working you can add the storage drives and use windows to "raid 1" them. I have a little nas box that runs win 7 pro and my 2 storage drives are using the windows raid function. Been up for about 2 years and runs great.

One advantage of windows raid is the storage drives are not dependent on the mother board so if the computer dies you can pull the storage drives out and plug them into another windows system and retain your data and your raid array.
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a b G Storage
January 13, 2012 4:44:44 PM

Another idea is to use a PCI or PCIe raid expansion card to drive the second raid array.
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January 13, 2012 5:02:08 PM

RAID 1 for desktop in not a effective solution. All RAID 1 is good at, is if one HDD fails, then the computer keeps running on the other and the defective HDD can be swapped with a new one without having to actually turn off your computer. If you can afford to turn your computer off and nothing bad will happen, then I just see it as a waste of storage space. Especially with the price of the SSD. And with the reliability of SSD as of now, I would not use them as a safe storage solution.

RAID 1 is not good to backup data. in case of controller fail, you will need the same kind of controller to restore the array. In case of virus,same thing happen on both drive so if it waste anything beyong repair, it will be wasted on both drive. If you make a mistake, and delete file on one drive, the other drive will have the file deleted also. So, in other word, RAID 1 is not a backup solution. So it is what you plan to do, I would advise against.

I rather use RAID0 for performance, with the SSD. Just use the other for backup. I'm using a small app called PureSync that only backup folder that I want to be backed up. Not the whole system. So, a folder on the system RAID0 array that hold important data is monitored in real time and synced as soon as some change happen on another PHYSICAL drive, not another partition. It can even be stored as a redundant backup on a third drive if I wanted to, but having 3 drives failing at the exact time is really unlikely.

Sure, if something bad happen to the system disk, I have all my data on the other drive, and if I did an image of my system drive with all apps I need installed, then it take often less time to repair from the image than to rebuild the array if it was RAID 1.

But, as I said, if you are running a shop or a store that need the computer for work, then RAID1 is good, as it allow the computer to stay on even if a drive fails, and give you some time to do the repair in non busy hours.
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a c 110 G Storage
January 13, 2012 5:14:19 PM

Hate to say it bucknutty but you are wrong about the 2 seperate RAID arrays. Almost all modern boards can do multiple RAID arrays in several different ways. Most boards actually have multiple SATA controllers on them. The ports controlled by the Southbridge and a seperate set of 2 ports by JMicron or Marvell. Even before the new SATA 6 Gb/s standard this was true.

On Intel boards you also have the Matrix RAID option. With Matrix RAID you can even do multiple RAID options on the same exact hard drives. I ran a RAID 0+1 array on the same 2 hard drives for a while before I got the SSD. You run RAID 0 on say 150GB of each drive for a 300GB 0 array and the rest of the drives space is dedicated to RAID 1. You can set up as many RAID arrays as you have SATA ports.
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a b G Storage
January 13, 2012 5:18:11 PM

I dissagree on the value of raid 1 for a storage drive. I have photos and histories and things I dont want to ever loose, but i want to have acces to them. So I have 2 identical drives running raid 1 under windows. If the board fails I can put the 2 drives in any other windows computer and be good to go. If one drive fails I dont loose anyting.

You dont need a hardware raid controler to have an effective raid solution.

By the way I also keep an external HD with all my data in a concrete fire box that I only update once a quarter, this is just incase the computer is hit by lightning, or the house is robbed and it is stolen or something like that.
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a b G Storage
January 13, 2012 5:21:41 PM

anort3 said:
Hate to say it bucknutty but you are wrong about the 2 seperate RAID arrays. Almost all modern boards can do multiple RAID arrays in several different ways. Most boards actually have multiple SATA controllers on them. The ports controlled by the Southbridge and a seperate set of 2 ports by JMicron or Marvell. Even before the new SATA 6 Gb/s standard this was true.

On Intel boards you also have the Matrix RAID option. With Matrix RAID you can even do multiple RAID options on the same exact hard drives. I ran a RAID 0+1 array on the same 2 hard drives for a while before I got the SSD. You run RAID 0 on say 150GB of each drive for a 300GB 0 array and the rest of the drives space is dedicated to RAID 1. You can set up as many RAID arrays as you have SATA ports.


Sweet... I never said it could not be done, I just stated I did not know of a board that can do it. So would you say 1 raid controller could do multiple arrays? If so is this a function of firm ware support or hard ware support?
Or is it 1 board with 2 raid controls could have 2 raid arrays?
Either way thats pretty neat stuff.
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January 13, 2012 5:45:55 PM

bucknutty said:
Another idea is to use a PCI or PCIe raid expansion card to drive the second raid array.


Thanks for the reply, I'll keep that in mind.

pat said:
RAID 1 for desktop in not a effective solution. All RAID 1 is good at, is if one HDD fails, then the computer keeps running on the other and the defective HDD can be swapped with a new one without having to actually turn off your computer. If you can afford to turn your computer off and nothing bad will happen, then I just see it as a waste of storage space. Especially with the price of the SSD. And with the reliability of SSD as of now, I would not use them as a safe storage solution.

RAID 1 is not good to backup data. in case of controller fail, you will need the same kind of controller to restore the array. In case of virus,same thing happen on both drive so if it waste anything beyong repair, it will be wasted on both drive. If you make a mistake, and delete file on one drive, the other drive will have the file deleted also. So, in other word, RAID 1 is not a backup solution. So it is what you plan to do, I would advise against.


Thanks for the reply. I've had a few hard drives fail on me over the years, and for me, the extra $100 for a "wasted" drive is worth it.

I'm not completely set on creating an SSD raid yet. I'll likely wait for SSD prices to fall, and hopefully intel evolves their raid-0 TRIM driver to raid-1 TRIM support.

I would just hate to buy brand new parts, only to find out I should have picked a different motherboard or etc.


anort3 said:
Hate to say it bucknutty but you are wrong about the 2 seperate RAID arrays. Almost all modern boards can do multiple RAID arrays in several different ways. Most boards actually have multiple SATA controllers on them. The ports controlled by the Southbridge and a seperate set of 2 ports by JMicron or Marvell. Even before the new SATA 6 Gb/s standard this was true.

On Intel boards you also have the Matrix RAID option. With Matrix RAID you can even do multiple RAID options on the same exact hard drives. I ran a RAID 0+1 array on the same 2 hard drives for a while before I got the SSD. You run RAID 0 on say 150GB of each drive for a 300GB 0 array and the rest of the drives space is dedicated to RAID 1. You can set up as many RAID arrays as you have SATA ports.


Thanks for the reply. Do you know what feature(s) I should be looking for to verify this is possible with the motherboard?
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a c 99 G Storage
January 13, 2012 5:58:27 PM

I once had 6 drives set up in 3 RAID 0 arrays in my Asus P6T with X58 chipset.

2-SSDs for Boot/OS
2-HDD for Data & Media
2-HDD for BackUps

You choose which drive you want when you set up an array. You can even have different RAID versions (i.e. 2 in RAID 0 for OS & 2 in RAID1 for data), if you have enough SATA ports!

If you get a mobo with the Z68 chipset, you will be limted to 5 drives and 1 optical, a problem with the third party controllers and a ODD. And only 2 SATA 3, and 4 SATA 2. Use SATA 3 for boot/OS, use SATA 2 for data/media and/or backups.

But anyway: Stay away from RAID 1 as a backup. Instead, use a backup drive! Get some backup program (SyncToy) or use Windows or Nortons back ups.
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a c 110 G Storage
January 13, 2012 7:25:25 PM

I used to run multiple RAID as a rule. RAID 0 for boot drives and RAID 1 for storage drives. So I used to have between 4 and 5 hard drives total in the computer at one time. I did this from back in the very early LGA775 Pentium 4 days on the Intel 865 chipset then in the early Core 2 days with the P965 chipset and on to the latter LGA 775 P45 chipset. Then I got the SSD when I still had an E8400/P45 setup and I dropped RAID 0 because it became unnecessary.

When I first upgraded to Sandy Bridge last January I kept my Wd 640s in RAID 1. Then came the motherboard recall, and my motherboard was one of the bad ones. My SATA ports degraded and I got used to just using the SSD as my only drive because I only had 2 working SATA ports for 3 months until the new boards were sent out. Since then I dropped RAID altogether and have identical backups on my 640s and use my SSD for the OS and all my programs and games. I actually like this way best.

I also back up everything to an external drive. You can be as redundant as you want but if your house gets hit by lightning it can fry everything in your case.

Since I assume you are going with Z68 here is a 3 way comparison.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...


All 3 boards have 4 SATA 3Gb/s ports. Figure 1 of those for an optical drive. That leaves you 3. The boards have between 2 and 6 SATA 6Gb/s ports. All 3 support RAID 0/1/5/10 in whatever combination of drives you have. And the Matrix RAID from the Intel ports.
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January 19, 2012 11:50:21 PM

Best answer selected by Tom1.
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