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Krankycheese

RAID Question

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Krankycheese

I am interested in setting up a RAID to provide better protection for drive failure in my WHS 2011 box.

 

Here is my current setup

O/S is in a RAID with 250 GB drives in a mirror via an IcyDock enclosure

1 TB drive as main data drive (contain all my data and PC backups)

1 TB drive (SyncToy copies all data from main data drive to this drive)

1 TB drive (server backup of the OS)

 

 

My current data usage on the 1 TB is about 300 GB, so my data needs are low at this point in time which is why I went with the SyncToy route at first. I definitely need to improve it, and this would be a good opportunity to try RAID. I use Crashplan cloud backup service to protect the irreplaceable data.

 

Here are my questions.

1. What would be the best RAID option?

 

2. Should I go with a RAID mirror or a RAID 5?

 

3. If I go with RAID 5, should I go with 3x1TB drives or 3x2 TB drives? How much space would I lose with RAID 5?

 

4. Since I am new to RAID, what would be a good controller card to get? I would sooner use a controller card than software options to handle any future needs.

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ikon

With your current situation I would RAID1 two of the 1TB drives. You could use RAID1 on the mobo, but I would recommend a RAID card. Start off using the card to create a RAID1 array.

 

When you get up to 600 or 700 GB of data, then look at getting another drive and going to RAID5. You should be able to use the same RAID card. I would get a 2TB or 3TB drive. You won't be able to use all of it for the RAID5 to start, but as your data grows you can replace the two 1TB drives with 2TB or 3TB ones.

 

Going this route will keep your costs incremental but still give you room for growth.

 

You seem to be satisfied with your current offsite backup so I won't recommend extra drives for that. I personally would want data backed up again on local drives, but that's just me.

 

With RAID5, you always lose the space equivalent to the size of 1 drive. For example, if you have three 1TB drives, your RAID5 would be 2TB - the space of 2 drives for data and the 3rd one for RAID5 parity. If you have four 1TB drives, you still only lose the space of 1 drive, so you would have 3TB for data (3 of the 1TB drives) and the final (fourth) drive for parity. BTW, 3 drives is the minimum for RAID5.

 

I like higher end RAID cards, but many people here really like the RocketRaid so a 2680 or 2720 should suit you fine.

 

BTW, RAID5 doesn't really store parity data the way I described above. The description is to give you a mental picture of how much space you would have. The parity info is physically stored across all of the drives.

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Joe_Miner

Here are my thoughts --

1. RAID1 (Mirror) --

-- If you didn't have Crashplan I would suggest that: you then attach a USB or eSATA drive to you machine and back-up your Data Drive to an external disk that you rotate with another disk to an off site location -- giving you three backups -- A. the real time mirror drive, B. the external disk attached to your system and C. the external disk that is off site. Even with Crashplan you may wish to consider that strategy or some variation of it (like backing up to a computer of a relative at another location).

2. RAID1 (Mirror) for your critical data. I'd consider using RAID5 for data that would be inconvient to lose but is replaceable (such as a ripped movie collection)

3. Since your current data useage is about 300GB I am assuming it's mostly critical data so I wouldn't go with RAID5. You can read up on the different RAID configurations here.

4. If you would rather not go with the WHS-2011 Software RAID then I would go with HighPoint RocketRAID 2720 PCI-Express 2.0 x8 SATA / SAS Controller Card

 

Hope this is helpful. Let us know how things go.

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fredp1

I like the idea of a raid card with onboard cache and a battery backup option. With the battery, your data will be "safer" in the case of a power failure.

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mattd390

My RAID card doesnt have a battery backup so I just have my server hooked up to a UPS and have it setup to shutdown if the battery reaches a certain percentage. I use the RR 2680 mentioned above. All I do is stream video from my WHS so the slower sata II ports are enough for my needs. At $99 it's really affordable and PCDoc made some great install vids for that card as well.

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ikon

I'm the same about battery backup. I have a CyberPower pure-sinewave UPS that will shut down the Server if it loses AC.

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mattd390

I got the same type :). 1350 VA I think.

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ikon

not sure of the VA on mine, but it's around that, maybe a little less.

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pcdoc

Your storage needs are fairly modest so if you wanted to keep the price down, you could just mirror two drives using the OS. I would run that way till you need more space then add a 2720 and 3x2T drives in a RAID 5 as you next logical expansion while retaining your mirror. From there, you just continue to expand the array. RAID 5 expands easily enough but converting from a mirror to a RAID 5 can be risky so it is best to plan on adding the RAID 5 at once you need it, then just migrate you data to it.

 

Here is the link to the video so you can see an overview of the process.

 

To build:

http://thedocsworld.net/building-your-raid-5-array/

 

For Expansion:

 

http://thedocsworld.net/raid-5-expansion/

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