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Windows Thread, Installing Hardware RAID in Technical; Hi when I purchased 2 DELL servers a year or so back we did not have the finances to buy ...
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    Grommit's Avatar
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    Installing Hardware RAID

    Hi

    when I purchased 2 DELL servers a year or so back we did not have the finances to buy the Hardware RAID..

    Each Server has 2 SATA 120gb disks in

    I have been told the Windows RAID is not as good as Hardware RAID..

    How simple is it to buy the RAID controller and install it in the server to Mirror the HardDrive?

    Would it just be plug and play (make sure 1 hdd is empty) and activate the RAID controller in the BIOS ?

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    john's Avatar
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    Re: Installing Hardware RAID

    I would think you would have to restart it from scratch.

    Once they are in hardware you can do clever things like that, I have made RAID5 from RAID0 and all-sorts with my Smart Array cards in HPs before, added Disks, expanded storage arrays and all-sorts.

    They really are worth it over windows in my view, I never used to mind Windows but now its getting tired when you have these cards that do it for you, so anyway im drifiting but I think its time to start them again from scratch.

    So I would say get the card, stuff it in the server, wire them to it and start a fresh, I am sure it will thank you for it.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Installing Hardware RAID

    Yes, you will have to rebuild the server to take advantage of hardware raid.

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    Re: Installing Hardware RAID

    Is there much point? Windows RAID is perfectly OK just for mirroring. I'd just use hardware RAID for more intensive RAID levels such as RAID 5 or 6.

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    Grommit's Avatar
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    Re: Installing Hardware RAID

    Quote Originally Posted by Norphy
    Is there much point? Windows RAID is perfectly OK just for mirroring. I'd just use hardware RAID for more intensive RAID levels such as RAID 5 or 6.
    So is windows RAID OK for Mirroring .. as thats all I want to do...

    If disk fails goto other Disk.. but I have been told Windows RAID is rubbish

    Can't rebuld the servers as they are the SIMS server and andothe Database Server and would take days...

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    Re: Installing Hardware RAID

    Quote Originally Posted by Norphy
    Windows RAID is perfectly OK just for mirroring.
    Is it? I've seen Windows software RAID mirror bad data on a failing drive to a good drive on more than one occasion. Wouldn't hardware RAID1 be more reliable?

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    Re: Installing Hardware RAID

    We have PERC 4 RAID controllers in our PE servers and they are fantastic. Installing one yourself will be a great experience, but you are going to have to re-build the server as Geoff has mentioned. Once you have done that higher RAID levels give you more data redundancy but a slight speed hit. Major advantage is the rebuild time should a drive go south...we had a HDD go bad and it was replaced and RAID array rebuilt in less than an hour.

    Windows software-based RAID is *a solution* but it is in no way better than off-setting all that processing to a dedicated hardware card- especially since Windows' built-in RAID configuration is pretty much limited. The Dell cards come with excellent software for monitoring your array (and changing it if you want).

    If you can't rebuild the server then Windows mirroring is OK. But for a SIMS server I would want a RAID card and at least some redundancy and easy swap out of defective drives.

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    Grommit's Avatar
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    Re: Installing Hardware RAID

    Whats the diffrence between replacing a mirrored HDD to replacing a single disk in a RAID 5 array ?

    They both give you redundancy...

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    Re: Installing Hardware RAID

    Quote Originally Posted by meastaugh1
    Is it? I've seen Windows software RAID mirror bad data on a failing drive to a good drive on more than one occasion. Wouldn't hardware RAID1 be more reliable?
    Always has been for me. However, I only use it to mirror boot drives. Any server that hosts a database or acts as a file server of some description has a hardware RAID controller installed.

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    Re: Installing Hardware RAID

    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit
    Whats the diffrence between replacing a mirrored HDD to replacing a single disk in a RAID 5 array ?

    They both give you redundancy...
    Yes they both provide redundancy but its the way they provide redundancy ie one uses mirror (data is duplicated) and parity (use parity to calculate whats missing). Both have pros and cons but it depends on what you want will determine which is best for you.



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