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Windows Thread, RAID 5 Configuration On Server 2003 in Technical; I am in the process of setting up a server with Server 2003 and a RAID 5 disk configuration. The ...
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    AngryITGuy's Avatar
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    RAID 5 Configuration On Server 2003

    I am in the process of setting up a server with Server 2003 and a RAID 5 disk configuration.

    The server has a hardware RAID controller using 3 identical disks. I have set up a single virtual disk on the controller using RAID 5 and installed windows onto a 30Gb partition.

    When checking the Disk Management on the server the disk is shown as a Simple Layout Disk using NTFS as its File System.

    Should the disk Layout not be shown as a RAID 5? Am I doing something wrong when configuring the RAID controller?

    The reason I ask is because I'm sure have seen other servers where the disk Layout has shown as RAID 5.

    Many thanks in advance for your replies and advice.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    As the server has hardware raid the underlying layout of the raid array is hidden to windows. As far as the OS is concerned, you have one big disk.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryITGuy View Post
    I am in the process of setting up a server with Server 2003 and a RAID 5 disk configuration.

    The server has a hardware RAID controller using 3 identical disks. I have set up a single virtual disk on the controller using RAID 5 and installed windows onto a 30Gb partition.

    When checking the Disk Management on the server the disk is shown as a Simple Layout Disk using NTFS as its File System.

    Should the disk Layout not be shown as a RAID 5? Am I doing something wrong when configuring the RAID controller?

    The reason I ask is because I'm sure have seen other servers where the disk Layout has shown as RAID 5.
    I was confused about this for a while until I watched one of the cramming sessions from ITidiots and that helped explain what's going on.

    A hardware RAID card does all the hard work and just present WinServer with a single disk and that's definitely the best way to be..

    However Win2k3 also has the ability to create "dynamic" disks including RAID 5 arrays using the OS which is infinitely more resource hogging but a nice touch if you need it.

    So in effect you have two types of RAID5 but the OS will only see it's native one.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    The raid controller looks after writing the data across the disks windows just thinks it's got a huge disk available to it.

    Ben

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    Michael's Avatar
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    As already mentioned, hardware RAID is transparent to the OS whereas software RAID is managed using Disk Management.

    With the system drive (using software RAID), the most you can do is convert to dynamic and setup a RAID 0 or RAID 1 setup.

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    With the system drive (using software RAID), the most you can do is convert to dynamic and setup a RAID 0 or RAID 1 setup.
    indeed... although I'd trust software RAID about as much as i'd trust myself to not spend lots of money needlessly on computer games hehe

    Nath.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryITGuy View Post
    The server has a hardware RAID controller using 3 identical disks. I have set up a single virtual disk on the controller using RAID 5 and installed windows onto a 30Gb partition.
    Check the size of the disk Windows thinks is available to it. RAID 5 over three identical disks should mean you get an apparent disk twice the size of a single one of those drives.

    Note that you will still need a driver for the RAID card - you need it to tell you (preferably by email or similar) if a harddrive fails and needs replacing.

    --
    David Hicks

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    AngryITGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Check the size of the disk Windows thinks is available to it. RAID 5 over three identical disks should mean you get an apparent disk twice the size of a single one of those drives.

    Note that you will still need a driver for the RAID card - you need it to tell you (preferably by email or similar) if a harddrive fails and needs replacing.

    --
    David Hicks
    Windows indeed shows available disk space which is equal to twice the size of one of the installed disks.

    Thanks to everyone for the replies. I did think that because of the hardware controller card installed the RAID configuration would be hidden from the OS and that the the OS would only see the available disk space as a single disk.

    I just needed others to confirm what I thought.

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