Which RAID level should we use?

Disk drives
A SearchStorage.com member recently asked: We have three 73 GB, U320, SCSI, 1-in, 15K, PE 2850s, with MR5 ROMB RAID-5 drives, to use in a server that will be doing file sharing and print serving. Is RAID-5 the best configuration?

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3 scsi drives is all (minimum) you need but make sure it is hardware raid not software as this last will fail if the os gets all fanny.

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  • ISOK2005
    What is the total disk capacity for the server? If all you have is 3 disks I would use RAID5 for them, creating seperate partitions for the data and print queues. If you have the ability to add 2 more disks I would do so and configure 2 drives as a RAID1 mirror for the O/S and printing functions and 3 drives in a RAID5 configuration for the data or file shares. All of this should be done with a SCSI controller and not using the O/S to handle the mirroring and RAID set, this will help with over all performance of the server and create a more recoverable environment if the O/S crashes. I would also suggest that you download a utility from Microsoft called "Print Migrator", this will allow you to backup the print queues you creat into a CAB file for backup/recovery if you need to.
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  • Poppaman
    Further to what ISOK suggests, I would certainly suggest utilizint two RAID volumes for your setup if at all possible: RAID 1 for the system volume (drive mirroring) and RAID 5 for data. I would however suggest that you use a dedicated RAID controller (Adaptec and LSI are the two industry leaders). It is not the cheapest solution, however you will get much more granular control over the RAID arrays with a RAID controller, as opposed to a SCSI controller which also contains Host RAID functionality. As a former support person for one of the large RAID controller manufacturers, I would also suggest strongly that you check the firmware level on your hard drives, and make sure that they are ALL at the same level and ALL running the most current firmware available. There are known issues with U320 drives and out of date firmware. Please see the following Seagate site for more info; the issue discussed IS NOT specific to Seagate brand hard drives... http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/u320_firmware.html Send me a private e-mail if I can be of any additional assistance, or post to the message board - whatever you prefer...
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