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Nebsorg

RAID 1 : Marvell Raid or Windows 10

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Nebsorg

Hi Everyone,

 

I have bought a HP X3418 Gen 10, and I'm wandering what is the best setup for RAID 1.

 

My OS is windows 10, running on an SSD on the remaining SATA. I have bought 2 x 8to hard drive and I want to put them in RAID 1.

 

I can do this though the Marvell RAID controller on the server, or in windows 10.

I have made couple of test, and for me, the best setup is to create the RAID under windows 10.

 

Indeed, I want to be able to access the content of any of the hard drive in an external PC, to maximize my chance to recover my data in case of problem.

 

So I have made some tests : I have setup two RAID 1 with 4 HD. One Raid 1 under Marvell with 2 HD, and one under windows with the other two HD.

 

First, I have made some transfer test to determine if one of the RAID is more efficient in term of speed or in CPU consumption. I haven't seen any difference : same transfer rate and same CPU consumption (around 15 / 20%).

 

I have then remove one drive per RAID. In both case, I get an error message saying the RAID array is in trouble : in Marvell Tray for marvell, directly in windows for win RAID.

In both case, I was still able to access the data on the remaining drive.

 

I have then plugged the removed hard drive in another win 10 PC.

For the Win Raid, in hard drive management screen, the HD was recognize, and after having imported the foreign drive, I was able to access to the data normally.

For the Marvell raid, the HD was not recognised. I get a message "convert to GPT to access the drive". I have clicked on it, and it was a mistake :) The HD was displayed by windows as unallocated and I was unable to access the data.

 

Then I replug the drives in the server.

For windows RAID, after having imported the foreign drive once again, the RAID was displayed "safe" and all data were fine.

For Marvell Raid ... it was gone. The HD was not recognize as member of the RAID, and the server has started to reconstruct the array... So running only on one drive.  I suppose it the GPT conversion which destroyed some information on the hard drive. 

 

So my conclusion is : there is no interest to use the Marvell Drive. The data are more difficult to access, and do not provide any advantage (same efficiency)

 

I will certainly use the RAID 1 feature of windows to construct my final raid, but I want to be sure to not miss a point :)

 

What is you opinion on this ?  Do I miss something ?

 

Thanks in advance, and sorry for my English, it's not my mother language :)

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nrf

seems like you have put it thru its paces. proprietary raid frequently only works with the same chips originally used. this gives windows 10 some advantages. yet many people will decry software raid. I think there are more powerful raid options that have some performance advantages but I suspect they have the same issues of only working on identical hardwar.

 

I am curious how long it takes to rebuild a multi-terrabyte raid slice.

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Nebsorg

@nrf Thanks for your answer :)

I did not wait for rebuilding. I deleted the Marvell RAID 1 array and rebuilt it under windows.

 

As for software raids, I think we all agree that they are less effective than hardware ones.

The point here, is they are both software ! Marvell Raid uses CPU and memory to work, as well as the windows one. So for me, it's not really a hardware raid.

 

So, in my opinion, Marvell RAID just adds a level of complexity to accessing data, with no gain.

 

If I miss a point, do not hesitate to correct me :)

 

Thanks !

 

 

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schoondoggy

If you want to be able to read the drive in a stand alone PC, OS based RAID is the best choice. Hardware RAID and Firmware RAID, like the Marvell, write meta data to the drives that may make it difficult to read in a standard PC. Rebuild times will be very similar between OS RAID and Marvell RAID, both are limited to RAID 0-1-10 so there is no parity calculation as there is in RAID 5-6. One potential advantage of the Marvell solution, it has a provision to email you if there is a drive failure. I never got it to function properly, but I did not invest much time on it. Looks like you did your homework and Windows 10 RAID is the best for your use case. 

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Nebsorg

@schoondoggy : thanks ! I have arrived to the same conclusion. Everything works perfectly well now, and I'm fully happy with this server :)

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