New to the raid world!

Hey guys I need some guidance on what to do.

Right now i have an ESXI server with 2x2TB + 2.5TB and 2x3TB. I combined all of these drives using a program called Drive Bender. I feel like the performance isnt good enough and that Raid 5 might help.

So I was thinking of using the 2x3TB and buying 2 more 3TB drives and putting them in Raid5 then selling the other drives.

Will i notice a big increase in speed?

So if you agree with going raid5 then we come to the next question. I was looking at raid cards and i was told to pay like 200 bucks for one. Well through this search I stumbled onto Raid Enclosures.

Heres some i found.

So I found these but something concerns me. Are these really cheap raid cards in them because they cost same as some raid cards.

Any help would be appreciated. I just want better performance with a little bit of safety. Please keep in mind im using ESXI because the drivers are im told to be a problem.

Thanks guys
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More about raid world
  1. Firstly, I would recommending reading the <b>RAID</b> <b>FAQ</b> v1.3.2. Lots of useful information there. You can expand on that by looking up RAID on wiki as well.

    If you are looking for performance, stay away from $200 controllers. These are typically no better than your onboard sata ports. Not sure what performance you are getting now, but RAID10 or RAID50 usually offer better performance than RAID5 at the cost of less usable space.

    All the enclosures listed uses software RAID. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I question a sub $200 enclosure if you are looking for performance. These enclosure will be slower thatn your current setup as they are limited to a single eSATA port or USB connector, as oppose to multiple drives directly on your SATA port (unless drive bender is a horrible piece of software).
  2. Well drive bender just writes to a single disk of its choosing. If I turn duplication on in it then it makes a complete copy of the file on a different drive. So its not exactly raid at all just copied entire file. So if i were to use duplication and i had a 12TB array then i would only be able to use 6TB due to it making complete copies.

    As of writing this i just did a speed test of the pooled drive using crystaldiskmark and well im somewhat surprised. I got 624MB/s read and 540MB/s write. Ive ran it 3 times now with 5 passes, using 500MB 1000MB 2000MB.

    The whole reason i want to change this up is because when im over the network i only get 50MB speeds so i think i need to focus on improving that and maybe you could help or maybe i should post in different form.

    Heres my setup so you have a better idea of how to approach this.

    I have an ESXI server with Windows Server Essentials 2012 on it. From there i set up my shares.

    This server is connected via Gigabit Router. Both the server and router are Gigabit. Then my desktop which is also connected with Gigabit Ethernet is connected to router.

    So what would cause me to get such different read and write speeds?
  3. So, what is the point of driver bender without the duplication feature?

    Network performance is a whole other ballgame. As you can clearly see, your network performance will be significantly slower than direct disk access. The max theoretical speed of the GigLAN is approx 125MB/s (if I get my bits to bytes right). Real world performance is about 80MB/s (above 80 would be considered excellent). Ask on a network forum on how to improve your LAN before looking into making RAID changes for performance. Your router's make and model is also a significant piece of this puzzle.
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