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2 Questions Concering Raid


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#1 Wi1d

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 09:57 PM

I'm wanting to setup a back up system for all computers on my network and a computer in my office using possibly a RAID5 w/ 3 disk. The system doing the backup will be running Gentoo linux, AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core, A8N32-SLI Deluxe, and 3 Seagate Barracuda SATA 3.0 250GB. I'm only needing to back up business docs, templates, email, and a subversion server so it's nothing heavy like movies, games, and music. I plan on using rsync to sync all the computers and I do have a VPN already into the office.

Here is the part I'm really not sure on. I've never set up any sort of RAID what-so-ever so I've made a few assumptions. Any help from an experienced voice would be much appreciated.

Assumption 1: I can add 3 more disk into my already running Gentoo box and set only those disk up as a RAID array. I don't want my operating system on the array or have to reinstall and even more painfully setup everything again. I can't afford the downtime on this machine since it serves as a web development server. Can RAIDs really be set up like this? Without affecting the current installed system?

Assumption 2: Raids are mainly setup inside of BIOS. I do have a NVRAID which from what I understand is a software RAID and is setup under the BIOS. Is this correct? I did read a Gentoo howto and the guy had setup his boot partition is the first partition on the raid. I don't want to do this.

Assumption 3: My previous simple backup systems have always been nothing more than adding an extra disk into the system and saving everything important to that disk and everyone so often writing extremely important data to a DVD. If the OS screws up I just reinstall and have all my files there waiting for me 30 minutes later. This has worked great since I've never had than many extra disk fail to-date. However that's is what I'm trying to prevent with the RAID. So .... let say I set up a RAID, I later decide to reinstall my OS, will the files and the RAID be waiting on me when I reboot into the fresh install?

I guess what I'm really wanting to know is will a RAID be a lot like my old backup system except protect me from disk failures too. Thanks for any input and/or suggestions regarding this. :thumbsup:

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#2 DaChew

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 11:20 PM

I am not exactly sure of what you are trying to do, just by adding one more drive of the same spec's as your system drive now, you could mirror that drive for redundacy with very little down time

if you want faster access(gigabit) then you would need to stripe 2 drives but if one drive fails you lose everything

ideally you would have 4 drives stripped and mirrored with a fifth drive as a spare
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#3 Wi1d

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 11:45 PM

I probably put to much info into my initial post so I'll try being a little clearer. I already have a 70GB disk that has the operating system. I don't want this disk to have anything to do with the RAID array. I'm wanting to buy 3 new disk, I'm assuming they need to be identical, and set them up as a raid5. Raid5 takes at least 3 striped drives if I understand correctly. Plus I only have 3 more SATA hookups left. Is this doable without affecting my 70GB drive or does that have to be part of the array. I'm assuming that if I buy the 3 drives, go into bios and set this up, reboot and I should see one new disk. That's what I'm not sure about. I hate to spend the money on 3 disk and be wrong.

Edited by Wi1d, 21 August 2007 - 11:47 PM.


#4 oldf@rt

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 11:57 PM

Answer One: Adding a raid configuration depends of the support inside the raid bios. Some onboard raid do not support adding, you must use all drives or re configure all drives again example you have a 6 sata system, with one drive, when you change the raid bios to add raid it wants to initialize all drives, even though you don't want drive 0 in the array, just drive 1-5.

Answer Two: Correct, except A separate raid card has a separate processor on the card, the on mainboard RAID(Softraid), relies on the cpu and raid drivers.

Answer Three: As long as you do not break the raid, you can remove a separate boot HDD, put a different one in and reload the os and raid drivers, and you should not lose any information.

My Recommendation: Make a NAS from an older computer, and use it exclusively for your storage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASLite
The name says it all -- 59 and holding permanently

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#5 DaChew

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 05:47 AM

the sil 3112 supports jbod in CONCATENATION mode, so you could move your system drive to it

that would free up all 4 of the nvidia raid/sata connections

see your manual and bios
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#6 usasma

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 07:37 AM

I've been researching the same situation for my wife's office (a small veterinary hospital) - and RAID 1 with hot swappable drives would be the ideal solution. BUT, we just don't want to spend that much money!

Our solution is:
1) An identical system as a backup in case of a hardware failure (this system is used at reception to check people in).
2) Periodic images of the primary system (it doesn't connect to the web, so updates aren't an issue).
3) Daily backups to various locations so that the data isn't lost (although we're contemplating backing up more frequently to reduce the downtime in the event of a loss. We currently backup to a second drive on the computer, to the office manager's computer, and to my house using pcAnywhere.
4) A separate system (the office manager's computer) with the program setup on it (it's a client database manager) - which also houses a copy of the backup - so they can start using the software immediately.
5) The primary system acts as a file server - so that the program can be run off of different workstations.

I'm still searching for a remote access solution that will allow me into the office manager's computer while I'm traveling (since it's a business, I can't use most freeware). The office manager's computer has full network access to the file server - so I can fix things remotely.
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