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New Servers - Sata vs SCSI and RAID Options

T

TheScullster

#1
Hi all

I am looking to replace our ageing File/Print and Exchange servers and would
welcome opinion on the above subjects:

For the drive arrays, there seems to be a trend towards SATA drives for
array builds.
I have approx 20 PC users running SATA drives, with no failures in the last
five years.
However I have had 2 failures in 6 months in a cluster of 4 servers running
SCSI arrays.
This would tend to support the argument for SATA.

Once the drive type has been decided, what is the preferred drive
configuration?
Mirrored system drives and RAID 5 data
OR
RAID 5 array for both system and data?
I am looking for around 2 TB

Any comments on the above opions appreciated.

Phil
 

My Computer

P

Phillip Windell

#2
I always do a mirror on the system drive and RAID5 on the rest.

Regardless of what problams you may have had with your SCSI setup I still
consider SCSI more reliable. The problem may be your particular hardware
brand or model,...or just bad luck.

I have seen a ton of trouble with custom built machines. I have had little
to no trouble with machines from major vendors like Dell. The worse I have
had to do with my Dells is update the Firmware on both the Controller and
the Drives (which should always be done anyway), and I might have had to
re-seat a drive one or twice.


--
Phillip Windell

The views expressed, are my own and not those of my employer, or Microsoft,
or anyone else associated with me, including my cats.
-----------------------------------------------------


"TheScullster" <phil@newsgroup> wrote in message
news:qY6dncKmXINC9_3WnZ2dnUVZ7vydnZ2d@newsgroup

> Hi all
>
> I am looking to replace our ageing File/Print and Exchange servers and
> would welcome opinion on the above subjects:
>
> For the drive arrays, there seems to be a trend towards SATA drives for
> array builds.
> I have approx 20 PC users running SATA drives, with no failures in the
> last five years.
> However I have had 2 failures in 6 months in a cluster of 4 servers
> running SCSI arrays.
> This would tend to support the argument for SATA.
>
> Once the drive type has been decided, what is the preferred drive
> configuration?
> Mirrored system drives and RAID 5 data
> OR
> RAID 5 array for both system and data?
> I am looking for around 2 TB
>
> Any comments on the above opions appreciated.
>
> Phil
>
 

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L

Leythos

#3
In article <qY6dncKmXINC9_3WnZ2dnUVZ7vydnZ2d@newsgroup>,
phil@newsgroup says...

> RAID 5 array for both system and data?
> I am looking for around 2 TB
>
I would rather see you install 4 x 1TB drives in a RAID 0+1 or 1+0
setup, you get speed and redundancy.

Normally I would setup an OS partition for 100GB, since space is cheap
and running out of space is a PITA. Use the rest for your data.

As for SATA, SAS, SCSI.... SAS/SCSI perform well, SATA is still slow. If
you get a caching raid controller for the SATA you may not see the
performance difference with 20 users.

--
You can't trust your best friends, your five senses, only the little
voice inside you that most civilians don't even hear -- Listen to that.
Trust yourself.
spam999free@newsgroup (remove 999 for proper email address)
 

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P

Phillip Windell

#5
"David Kerber" <ns_dkerber@newsgroup_warrenrogersassociates.com> wrote in message
news:MPG.25cce77caeb589c39896bb@newsgroup

>> When a single drive fails in a RAID 10/01 setup you really don't see a
>> significant performance hit.
>
> You will when you start rebuilding the failed disk.

>> If you have a 3 or 4 drive R5 setup and a single drive fails you will
>> see a SIGNIFICANT PERFORMANCE HIT.
>
> Only once you replace the failed drive and start rebuilding it. If you
> continue to operate with the failed drive in place, you no longer have
> the redundancy, but the speed isn't hurt.
That's what I thought too. Even with the debate over speed the difference
in speed (during *normal* operation) is so miniscule to not even be
"humanly" perceivable. I have never been in a situation where the drive
speed was the bottleneck. It was always the Network throughput that held
things up.

--
Phillip Windell

The views expressed, are my own and not those of my employer, or Microsoft,
or anyone else associated with me, including my cats.
-----------------------------------------------------
 

My Computer

D

David Kerber

#6
In article <OMp3W8QoKHA.4648@newsgroup>,
philwindell@newsgroup says...

>
> "David Kerber" <ns_dkerber@newsgroup_warrenrogersassociates.com> wrote in message
> news:MPG.25cce77caeb589c39896bb@newsgroup

> >> When a single drive fails in a RAID 10/01 setup you really don't see a
> >> significant performance hit.
> >
> > You will when you start rebuilding the failed disk.
>

> >> If you have a 3 or 4 drive R5 setup and a single drive fails you will
> >> see a SIGNIFICANT PERFORMANCE HIT.
> >
> > Only once you replace the failed drive and start rebuilding it. If you
> > continue to operate with the failed drive in place, you no longer have
> > the redundancy, but the speed isn't hurt.
>
> That's what I thought too. Even with the debate over speed the difference
> in speed (during *normal* operation) is so miniscule to not even be
> "humanly" perceivable. I have never been in a situation where the drive
> speed was the bottleneck. It was always the Network throughput that held
> things up.
I have some highly disk-intensive processes that run in the middle of
the night that I have found are limiting my backup speed while the
network is nowhere near being saturated, but those kinds of situations
are going to be rare for most applications.

I suppose one situation where a failed HD in a raid array may cause
throughput issues, MIGHT be if you have a software raid instead of a
hardware controller. That's just speculation on my part, though,
because I've never had the nerve to try software raid.

D
 

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F

Falcon ITS

#7
Hello,

I agree with all the prior posts : SAS or SCSI for RAID and definitely
Hardware RAID.

Important: use a GOOD raid controller, LSI, Adaptec, Mylex. Stay away
from cheapies. I have witnessed horrible experiences with low end SATA
drives and SATA RAID controllers even from well known companies (that
make CPU's and GPU's) where I have witnessed corrupt data when one
drive fails, clueless tech support personnel and buggy drivers and
product discontinuation w/o future support. Low end RAID controllers
bring headaches instead of preventing them.

The Adaptec and LSI controllers on Dell Servers sunning SCSI or SAS
have been VERY reliable for me. I have never had problems with either
and doubtful I ever will (knock on wood). I have 6+ year old models
out in the field that have had failed drives. I replaced the drives,
rebuild, no problems, no lost data, no worries, no headaches. Worth
the $.

Good luck,

Miguel Fra / Falcon ITS
http://www.falconits.com
 

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