Is a 3 drive RAID 5 array a good idea?

5 pts.
Tags:
RAID
RAID 5
RAID Array
I am specifying a new server and have been told that a 3 drive RAID 5 array is not a good idea as I will not have a bootable drive in the event of a array controller failure. A better idea is O/S on a RAID1 mirror with apps too, and data on RAID 5 array of 3 drives. Any comments please.
ASKED: April 24, 2009  2:26 PM
UPDATED: April 19, 2013  6:41 PM

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I first suggest you choosing drives that are “hot swappable” so you can always do your operations with the system online; then RAID 5 is a really good choice (the best to my point of view).
For the array controller failure oh well that’s something that can happen but at that point the disks should still be safe enough so changing the controller should simply solve the issue.

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I’ve never had any problems with RAID 5, but I think you should use more drives than 3. RAID 10 is also a good choice. I wouldn’t worry too much about the RAID controller failing, it would be more likely if two hard drives failed one after the other (it happens…).

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If the RAID controller fails it doesn’t matter what RAID level you are using. You’ll still be offline until the RAID controller is replaced.

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  • Bitraptor
    RAID 5 accomplishes both techniques of RAID 0 and RAID 1. There are other benefits of RAID 5. You'll just have to take my word for it. RAID 5 requires a minimum of three drives and it is recommended that all drives on the system be of the same size. The more drives you have on the server, the better RAID 5 will perform. RAID 5 is the version most often recommended. Because the price of disk drives have drastically dropped, the cost of implementing RAID 5 is now within most companies budgets. The only time RAID 5 could fail is if two drives were to fail at the same time.
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  • Robertomm
    raid 10 is just raid 1 + raid 0 -- both are paired so you need at least 4 drives
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