RAID or 2 drives

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Long View, Oct 16, 2007.

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  1. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    If this post belngs somewhere else perhaps it can be moved ?


    I have never tried RAID in any form but it seems to me that by having the OS and programs on one hard disk and data on a second drive that I am getting 3 benefits (1) Speed improvement as both drives are working at the same time - RAID 0 to a degree ? (2) If C: is attacked then my data is safer on another drive (3) if C: dies then data is still safe

    From a security point of view 2 drives are safer than one and perhaps quicker.

    So why do people use RAID ? Is it really that much faster with 0 or safer with 1 ?
     
  2. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    This could be quite an interesting topic, as people with knowledge of benefits and drawbacks of Raid setups comment. I intend to have a new working machine built next year. My thought for my needs was to install 2 x 500 GB HDD's and partition them identically with system, data, and backup partition. Install an OS into both system partitions. The first OS, on drive one, would then be my working one, while the OS on the second drive would remain simply as a backup. The data partition and backup partition of drive one would be replicated to drive 2, thus on a failure of drive one, I would simply have to change the boot sequence to boot into drive 2, update that OS from the backup copies on its drive and carry on as normal, replacing drive one. (How computer feasable this is I don't know yet)
    From my understanding an appropriate Raid would do this just, if not more simply. However suppose the disaster was malware in nature, does Raid not copy this all over your drives.
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Both Desktops and one laptop I have are classified as gaming machines, and I bought them from Velocity Micro which is one of several companies who's specialty is gaming machines. They all have Raid 0 on them.

    Since the desktops have 3 identical drives, 2 in raid 0 as the c: drive and one extra as a d: drive. It was interesting to test them and the raid 0 does yield about a 20% improvement. Do I see that in use. Hard to say. All these machines are equally fast in all departments, so it's hard to have a realistic feel.

    One of my prime considerations in getting the machines with raid 0 was buying them from someone who really knew what they were doing with it. One of the key questions for me was do I have to do anything special, is there anything I can't do, etc. Velocity micro folks told me with these machines, as far as usage, I just had a c: drive, and go. That has pretty much been the case.

    I also don't partition the drive, I keep my data all on the c: drive, but I don't have huge libraries of photo's music or video's. For me it has worked out fine, no issues, no loss, no threat's etc.

    Questions.

    Pete
     
  4. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Never tried raid for one simple reason - simplicity.
    I don't like the idea of things going semi-bad or semi-corrupt.

    Then, the following issue might come into effect:

    - only one hard disc gets worn all the time
    - the backup hard disk really is what it is - a backup
    - performance, not really sure, but so far, everything runs great, so if it ain't fixed, don't broke it

    Cheers,
    Mrk
     
  5. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Mrk

    Don't disagree. I think with Raid, the key is that it is set up right. I've never had a lick of problem on 3 systems with it. But I'd never set it up myself. Also from my perspective it's fairly simple. I just have a c: drive. I put them under warranty, so if something breaks, they fix the hardware, and I restore image. Simple.

    Pete
     
  6. Chris12923

    Chris12923 Registered Member

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    I had RAID 0 and noticed quite a bit of speed gain. I removed one of the drives and and could tell a difference. mainly at boot up and drive intensive operations of course. I set it up myself (first one) and never had any trouble.

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  7. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    I just use raid 0 for the added speed it gives. I always use it alongside a backup drive, as i wouldn't have a clue as to how to recover data from a raid array gone bad.

    If you only have 2 drives, for safety i'd leave them seperate. At the moment i only have 2 drives in this system so i'm running it exactly like your setup. I am getting another drive soon in which case i will change to 2 drives in raid 0 and the third for backing up.
     
  8. Rilla927

    Rilla927 Registered Member

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    I have used Raid0 with a pair of Raptors (my old AMD system for 3 years) 10,000rpm for my OS and my scan times flew, but I ran out of room really quick cuz they 74.5 x (2)= 149gig. I never ran into a corrupt Raid Array. The drivers were Via Technology. The Array literally only takes a couple of seconds to setup.

    I pulled the Raptors out and replaced:

    I purchased two Seagate Sata II 750gig each at 7200rpm and paired the two up as Raid0 and there is a big difference between the two. With the Raptors I seen a big performance increase but the Seagates I didn't, although they are slower. I think a lot depends on what speed the drives you are going to use the drives for the Raid0 to see the performance increase. The Raptors are good drives but you get so little room for the money you pay compared to the Seagates 7200rpm. I purchased (2) more 500gig Seagates.

    I recently built a new system so I'm using the new Seagates (2) 750gig, (2) 500gig with a Q6600 and no Raid0 this time because I seen no performance increase and it's humming a long beautifully and I have loads of room.

    Two years ago I started reading about the Intel Matrix Storage Technology and it sure has a lot to offer compared to the old Raid setups. Eventually I want to set mine up like this:

    Full Atricle
    http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets/matrixstorage_sb.htm
     
  9. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    There are very few people who can argue that they really need the increased STR (sequential transfer rate) offered by RAID 0. High STR is important in video editing (HD video) and making/editing large models with huge amounts of polygons/textures (CAD/CAM/etc).
    On the other hand, RAID 0 suffers from serious disadvantages: higher latencies, higher risks of data loss, etc.
    RAID 1 makes some sense in a workstation. It provides a mirror which is always updated and it provides some fault tolerance against disk failure (it doesn't protect you from your mistakes, malware infections, etc). RAID modes which uses parity blocks are only used in servers.
    Matrix RAID probably offers the best balance of speed/fault tolerance in a desktop-oriented RAID solution for a workstation.
    Remember that RAID = higher uptime/always online (you don't have to interrupt your work because a disk goes south). RAID isn't backup.
     
  10. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    the main problem is software raid using drivers (bulti on motherboards) vs the real raid via real hardware raid cards.
    software raid bulti on motherboards uses drivers and uses some cpu usage.
    if there are any problems with the array hardware raid has much better tools.
    but a hardware raid cards cost alot of £££££
    lodore
     
  11. dja2k

    dja2k Registered Member

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    I've been running a dual Raid0 setup since I got my motherboard around 2+ years ago. Both are running via the motherboard, one via the Intel and the other via HightPoint. I haven't had any problems so far and the speed benefit is really noticeable. I of course backup any important data to an external drive.

    dja2k
     
  12. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    RAID 0/1/10/JBOD have negligible CPU usage. The problem with fake/software RAID is parity calculations (RAID 3/4/5/6)
     
  13. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    my main point was that the raid on motherboards has some cpu usage and is no way near as fast or reliable as a real hardware raid card.
    loore
     
  14. dja2k

    dja2k Registered Member

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    My R$aid0 setups don't show any CPU usage other than that of my applications running. Not doing anything, I am always at CPU Idle 98% or so. :D I agree though that real hardware Raid cards are faster than software Raid's.

    dja2k
     
  15. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Never tried a RAID setup and likely never will although i had a box with that set up i got at discount, i disassembled the entire structure and took the common route of setting up individual drives via IDE harness.

    As far as speed goes, i feel like the Hard Drive manufacturers need to get busy and roll out nothing but 10,000 RPM as a norm and then some. I feel stuck in 7200 rpm speed like a governor on a truck set at 55 mph back in the 70's.

    They can juice them up and crank them out i'm sure. Speed and drive velocity IS everything in a Hard Drive but then so is overclocking the CPU which i used to tamper around with a bit, but the increases are not so remarkable IMO.

    All PC hardware componants that meld together to create instant impulse need a strong dose of speed 'em up like adding a high voltage coil to a hi-performance engine, the more RAW POWER, the quicker the response, and so on.

    But, more power to the RAID fans if it works for you, go far it. :thumb:
     
  16. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Looking at some of the new solid state Drives ( Samsung 64gb) I have to wonder
    how much longer hard drives, in their present form, will exist. Look like generation 1 are a bit slow but give it a couple of years and 500 gig solid state fast drives will be the norm. Initially I wondered how this might impact on RAID - I guess some will always want that extra speed and others the security.
    Personally I can't stand heat or noise so I only buy small 160 gig drives and then run them one for the OS and programs and one for data. I could use the extra speed for video work but for most other tasks ( I don't play games - well not on a computer anyway) sata II is fast enough for me.
     
  17. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Not for RAID 0/1/10.
    10,000 RPM drives are smaller, more expensive, noisier and hotter than 7,200 RPM drives. 10,000/15,000 RPM drives are only useful in some usage patterms. Also, rotational speed isn't everything, see what a 5,400 RPM drive can do:
    Western Digital Green Power
    HDDs will always have a lower cost per GB of storage. SDDs should replace HDDs in laptops and desktops, but HDDs will continue to exist in large datacenters and in your home server storing your multimedia library, shared files and backups ;)
     
  18. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    You may be right - but I have "always" been concerned about using the word "always". Today I find it increasingly difficult to remember what we all thought would always be the case when using an Olivetti 101 back in 1968
    http://www.oldcalculatormuseum.com/c-programma101.html

    anyway for what it's worth I'm passing on RAID for now. My best guess is that every time I buy a new machine ( about once a year) the new machine is faster than the last one would have been with RAID anyway.
     
  19. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    Just installed a raid 0 setup in my old p4 machine yesterday. Used a couple of WD 160gb sata drives. Had a few issues with drivers but thats all sorted now. Also got a seagate 160gb ide hdd installed for backups. So far its working good, the perfomance increase is very nice, i'm a happy chappy :).
     
  20. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    Hey Peter, Ive read in several places that RAID has little benefit for gaming. What do you think?
     
  21. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Not sure I can answer. I know on my machines, I can measure a 20% difference on test, and also the drives are fast. If the biggest load of the game is graphics then no. It just depends. Since I haven't seen any downside with 3 different machines from Velocity Micro with raid 0 my feeling is why not.

    Pete
     
  22. dja2k

    dja2k Registered Member

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    I think that hard drive access times are faster with Raid0 for gaming. At least I can tell right away when the game loads with Raid0 than without. Rest of it depends on your Video Card.

    dja2k
     
  23. Kees1958

    Kees1958 Registered Member

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    Hi,

    Raid 0 in striping with say 16 MB of memeory per disk, makes the write speed enormeous of smaller files. Read speed in particular game performance is at streaming data level 40% higher compared to sata 2, 50% sata 1. In practice (loading games) it is indeed somewhere between 20 to 35 percent.

    Only Vista had some funny disk access usage when just released, lates fixes took care of that. On XP 32 and vista 64 we aways had raid 0.

    Specially the new Intel raid chips are great.

    On our other home PC, we still have old fashoined sata 2 drives. The ease of image cloning with the free Maxblast is preferable over speed. Tips on image baclup software on raid 0 are welcome.

    Regards Kees
     
  24. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Imaging hasn't been an issue for me with Raid 0. I've imaged and restored with Drive Snapshot, IFW/IFD, Acronis V9 and now Shadow Protect. No issues at all.

    In fact when I was testing Shadow Protect's HIR, I restored an image from my laptop which has Promise Raid, onto my desktop which has nvidia raid. All I had to do was feed it the nvidia drivers and away it went.

    Pete
     
  25. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    The major benefit i find when playing games is the reduced loading time. In game i see no improvements.
     
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