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RAID: Threat or Menace?

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Anonymous
May 20, 2005 3:49:27 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Now that RAID is readily available on high-end Dells, I can regard it as a
serious option.

My sense is that RAID probably isn't a good idea, unless there's a special
need for the largest possible disk structure or to process a lot of very
large files. RAID 0 striping can increase data throughput for large files,
but is of marginal use for small files or scattered data, where seek time is
more important. RAID 0 also increases the chance of disk failure, because
there are two critical components instead of one. RAID 1 redundancy could be
useful in a disk failure, although I guess it's not of use in cases where a
software crash or corruption results in bad data being written or the
configuration being lost; you just end up with two corrupted disks instead
of one. Meanwhile, the two disks add a little more noise and a little more
heat to the PC. So on the whole, RAID strikes me as less than compelling for
the average user.

Did I get it wrong?

More about : raid threat menace

Anonymous
May 20, 2005 3:49:28 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Talkin Horse wrote:
>
> Now that RAID is readily available on high-end Dells, I can regard it as a
> serious option.
>
> My sense is that RAID probably isn't a good idea, unless there's a special
> need for the largest possible disk structure or to process a lot of very
> large files. RAID 0 striping can increase data throughput for large files,
> but is of marginal use for small files or scattered data, where seek time is
> more important. RAID 0 also increases the chance of disk failure, because
> there are two critical components instead of one. RAID 1 redundancy could be
> useful in a disk failure, although I guess it's not of use in cases where a
> software crash or corruption results in bad data being written or the
> configuration being lost; you just end up with two corrupted disks instead
> of one. Meanwhile, the two disks add a little more noise and a little more
> heat to the PC. So on the whole, RAID strikes me as less than compelling for
> the average user.
>
> Did I get it wrong?

Probably not! <g>

I've got a WorkStation set up in a RAID 1 configuration... For me,
it's worth the added expense, as I've had a hard drive crash, with
*very* important data on it. "Once bitten, ..."

As far as noise goes, to tell you the truth, I haven't noticed any
additional noise... Then again, I don't have an identical, single
disk, system running side-by-side to compare it to.

Notan
Anonymous
May 20, 2005 3:49:28 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

You waited for Dell to offer it before you regarded it a serious option?!?


"Talkin Horse" <davidrolfeN0SP&AM@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:bC9je.3319$X92.1138@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> Now that RAID is readily available on high-end Dells, I can regard it as a
> serious option.
>
Anonymous
May 20, 2005 3:49:28 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

In article <bC9je.3319$X92.1138@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net>,
davidrolfeN0SP&AM@earthlink.net says...

> Now that RAID is readily available on high-end Dells, I can regard it as a
> serious option.
>
> My sense is that RAID probably isn't a good idea, unless there's a special
> need for the largest possible disk structure or to process a lot of very
> large files. RAID 0 striping can increase data throughput for large files,

<snippety>

You're not getting the whole picture.

> of one. Meanwhile, the two disks add a little more noise and a little more
> heat to the PC. So on the whole, RAID strikes me as less than compelling for
> the average user.
>
> Did I get it wrong?

Depends heavily on the user and their application, and it also
depends very heavily on what kind of storage reliability, redundancy,
and backup that you feel you need.

Example: I'm fully self-hosted for my Internet presence, and I
maintain large file archives of software and electronically-stored
documentation which dates from this year clear back to the late 80's.
This includes a large amount of (probably irreplaceable) 'legacy' DOS-
based software, much of which was designed to fill specialized
industrial apps or is otherwise of value to computer collectors.

My big FTP archive is housed on a Compaq ProLiant 6500 server with
SCSI RAID-5. Building such an array requires a minimum of three drives
of identical size (I've got a full shelf of six nine-giggers, giving me
a usable array size of about 45 gigs).

If I lose a drive, no problem -- The server continues to operate,
albeit with a reduction in performance (but, more importantly, NO data
loss), until I can plug in a replacement drive.

Our smaller server, where my wife and I keep our home directories,
is housed on a smaller ProLiant, but still on a RAID-5 array.

In almost six years of operation, I've had ONE drive go bad on me.
It was successfully replaced with no data loss, no down time, and no
hassles. Even if there had been disk-based data loss, I would have been
able to recover from our regular backups on DLT.

That's where RAID-5 really shines -- In its ability to withstand
the loss of one or more drives, and keep on ticking.

It all comes down to how much you value your data. In my case, I
can confidently say that RAID is neither a "Threat" nor a "Menace."
Properly implemented, it can really save your tail!

Keep the peace(es).


--
Dr. Anton T. Squeegee, Director, Dutch Surrealist Plumbing Institute.
(Known to some as Bruce Lane, ARS KC7GR,
kyrrin (a/t) bluefeathertech[d=o=t]calm -- www.bluefeathertech.com
"If Salvador Dali had owned a computer, would it have been equipped
with surreal ports?"
Anonymous
May 20, 2005 4:13:30 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Talkin Horse wrote:

> Now that RAID is readily available on high-end Dells, I can regard it as a
> serious option.
>
> My sense is that RAID probably isn't a good idea, unless there's a special
> need for the largest possible disk structure or to process a lot of very
> large files. RAID 0 striping can increase data throughput for large files,
> but is of marginal use for small files or scattered data, where seek time is
> more important. RAID 0 also increases the chance of disk failure, because
> there are two critical components instead of one. RAID 1 redundancy could be
> useful in a disk failure, although I guess it's not of use in cases where a
> software crash or corruption results in bad data being written or the
> configuration being lost; you just end up with two corrupted disks instead
> of one. Meanwhile, the two disks add a little more noise and a little more
> heat to the PC. So on the whole, RAID strikes me as less than compelling for
> the average user.
>
> Did I get it wrong?
>
>
My favorite RAID setup is level 5; it provides data striping at the byte
level and also stripe error correction information. The downside is it
requires at least 3 drives, and you lose 1 drive's worth of storage (so
you lose 33% with 3 drives, 25% with 4 and so on). However you get a
nice speed boost (esp. for reading data) and can have 1 drive fail
without losing data. I still think for consumer desktops, RAID is
pretty much not worth the cost (in parts, heat, power, etc.). For a
workstation, perhaps, and for servers definitely.
Anonymous
May 20, 2005 4:56:30 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

> That's where RAID-5 really shines -- In its ability to withstand
> the loss of one or more drives, and keep on ticking.
>

one or more? only if you have 1 or more hot spare drives configured.

though, the OP was talking about in a desktop (entry level workstation), not
a server. But ... i do applaud your use of Proliant servers. No one ever got
fired for buying Compaq Iron ...

- NuTs

> Keep the peace(es).
>
>
> --
> Dr. Anton T. Squeegee, Director, Dutch Surrealist Plumbing Institute.
> (Known to some as Bruce Lane, ARS KC7GR,
> kyrrin (a/t) bluefeathertech[d=o=t]calm -- www.bluefeathertech.com
> "If Salvador Dali had owned a computer, would it have been equipped
> with surreal ports?"
Anonymous
May 20, 2005 5:37:54 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

"Notan" <notan@ddress.com> wrote in message
news:428D295D.32A2455E@ddress.com...
> I've got a WorkStation set up in a RAID 1 configuration... For me,
> it's worth the added expense, as I've had a hard drive crash, with
> *very* important data on it. "Once bitten, ..."
>
> As far as noise goes, to tell you the truth, I haven't noticed any
> additional noise... Then again, I don't have an identical, single
> disk, system running side-by-side to compare it to.

So what happens when a RAID 1-mirrored disk dies? Is it a straightforward
process (i.e., the PC continues to run without pause, but the system
automatically notices the failed component and takes it out of service,
meanwhile informing you that it must be replaced, so you plug in a new one
and then click for the new drive mirror to be initialized and then
everything is back where it should be)? Or is there a complex, mysterious
procedure to set things right that nobody who hasn't done it often quite
knows how to do or whether it works?
Anonymous
May 20, 2005 5:48:21 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

"Ken Williams" <REMOVE-THIS_kwillmech1972@yahoo.com_FOR-ANTI-SPAM> wrote in
message news:W_9je.60$yp.57@fed1read02...
> You waited for Dell to offer it before you regarded it a serious option?!?

Back in days of old, I assembled PCs from component molecules. I suppose
I've gotten fat and lazy, but I've been so much impressed by the Dell PCs
that I'm disinclined to stray significantly from the Dell configuration. A
major factor was that Dell could sell me a PC that had adequate airflow and
was pretty quiet, as opposed to my home-grown wind tunnels. So I'm happier
knowing that Dell stuffs the components into the box this way, especially
when "big" components are involved like multiple hard disks.
Anonymous
May 20, 2005 11:40:40 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

NuTCrAcKeR wrote:
>>That's where RAID-5 really shines -- In its ability to withstand
>>the loss of one or more drives, and keep on ticking.
>>
>
>
> one or more? only if you have 1 or more hot spare drives configured.
>
Well RAID5 can only lose one drive (RAID6, 10,or 0+1 is necessary to
avoid problems with multiple failures (overkill for most users).

> though, the OP was talking about in a desktop (entry level workstation), not
> a server. But ... i do applaud your use of Proliant servers. No one ever got
> fired for buying Compaq Iron ...
>
I'll take Big Blue any day, heck, I'd go Sun before HP/Compaq these
days. Back in the day though, the Proliant line was quite nice.
!