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Raid 0+1 vs 5, software vs hardware raid

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May 30, 2002 1:50:27 AM

I plan to setup a raid system starting with 4 120GB IDE hard drives, maybe more in the future. My question, before I start buying things, is exactly which would be better, raid 0+1 or raid 5. I believe I understand what each is, but I still don't really have anything to base my decision on in terms of actual experiences. Both can be implemenent in software and hardware. However, software would require the use of Windows 2000/linux which is potentially a hassle. In terms of hardware, both are easy enough, the raid 5 controller just costs more. If you really wanna get picky, you could factor in whether there is 1 drive or 2 per channel. Anyone that can give some good insight/comments/experience/etc on this is appreciated. Thanks.

-Dan
May 30, 2002 7:46:34 AM

Ok, 4x120GB drives = 240GB RAID 0+1, or 360GB RAID 5 (or maybe 240GB with a hot spare). That's the first thing to consider - how much space you need?. Speed and CPU utilization is another consideration, but going for real hardware raid makes it easier (Level 5 needs to do parity calcs every write). "Maybe more in the future" Level 5 is more easily expandable: Plug another drive in, and grow the array. 0+1 needs 2 drives to expand, if the controller software actually lets you do that. Read the product manuals online before buying *anything* to make sure it does what you want.

Onboard cache and processor to speed things along is nice, and you get that with the better cards like Adaptec 2400 etc (Make sure you've got room for the big PCI cards, btw). Make sure the drives have room to breath - things get quite toasty otherwise.

You mentioned Windows 2000 / Linux as potentially being a hassle; What is the box actually doing?

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