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July 25, 2007

Comments

Jacob Cord

> Because only a NINNY would be put out by drive failure.

AMEN

In our development environment, we use distributed building technology to cut down compile times for the (roughly) 750k lines of code that make up our program. The problem then became link times: it was taking forever to link all those object files. By migrating to RAID-0 we cut those times down by a little more than 50%. Is it worth it? Hell yeah. Have we had drive problems? Yes. Were they only with the RAID-0 systems? No.

If you can't live without the data you're storing on your hard drive you better have some kind of backup in place, period. No excuses. I've spent a couple thousand dollars on backup equipment, but I also back up about 900Gb of data per night. Full backup, not incremental. Smaller companies could spend considerably less and still have a great backup strategy, but like you said, you can't just run backups, you have to test it by restoring frequently.

Great article, I hope more people realize the benefit of RAID-0 in disk-access-intensive applications. You get a lot of performance for a fraction of the cost of the entire computer. For me, the benefits of RAID-0 far outweigh the additional risk, which is offset by my backup strategy anyway.

Grammar Nazi

"I could not care less". The not is necessary.

Ted Z

You should really mention RAID-10, or this whole post looks silly by that omission.

Michael K. Campbell

Ted,

RAID-10 is a very nice setup. But is typically too cost prohibitive for many small-to-medium businesses in a lot of cases so I left it out as it really doesn't have much bearing for 'desktop' scenarios.

K

1) can you partition a RAID 0 drive?
(backups are easier)
2) Could a faster (10K) main HD be a better option for some?

Thanks, K

Michael K. Campbell

Yeah, you can partition just about any RAID. The nice thing about RAID is that, to the OS, it just looks like any 'physical' disk. For example, I've got 3 partitions across my 300GB RAID-0.

And yeah, 10K disks will be better at lots of short/quick things (scatter-gather IO) whereas RAID-0 is good for lots of chunky sequential IO.

My hope is that in a while we'll see 10K raptors with SATA 300 apertures (SATA 150 is the max right now - which is an actual bottleneck in some cases)... in which case you'd get the 10K scatter-gather IO benefits and the sequential IO benefits of a RAID-0 configuration if you slapped 2 or more of those 10K disks into a RAID-0.

Marty

I agree with every aspect of your article. I have 4 250GB Seagates SATA/300gbs drives and they scream in a Raid 0. If I set a 20 to 40GB partition for WinXP 64-bit and use the rest for virtual machines, is there a performace hit with the partitions, or is it better to have it one large drive almost 1TB.

David

My only worry is that I'll do something stupid like open the case to put in something new unplug the sata cables and forget which one goes where... my raid-0 will now be toast right?

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