RAID or no RAID

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i am getting ready to order a new dell, i7 2600 with 12gb RAM
i've always ordered 2 harddrives of the same size and use the 2nd harddrive to backup my pics (using an autobackup pgm)

is there a reason to order a RAID 0 config vs no RAID 2 hd-s ?

thx
 
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Hi Randy,

You'll realize a performance boost with Raid0 (striping) and an overall increase in disk space. But you'll not have redundancy so if one disk pukes, you're sol. Of course Raid 1 is what you need for complete real time duplication.
You can really boost performance with an SSD for your boot disk, and something mechanical and larger for backup if that's an option.
 

Growltiger

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I hope you have what I call a real backup as well, i.e. a copy of all your data on an external drive which you remove.

I don't believe it is sensible to use any form of RAID for a normal desktop. It adds complexity. If you have problems you may not be able to solve them, and you will suffer data loss. In particular RAID 0 is far more likely to fail than no RAID at all and if it does all your data is lost.

If you are a person with an IT background who enjoys technical issues, then buy it. If you are a normal computer user then avoid it entirely.
 
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I hope you have what I call a real backup as well, i.e. a copy of all your data on an external drive which you remove.

I don't believe it is sensible to use any form of RAID for a normal desktop. It adds complexity. If you have problems you may not be able to solve them, and you will suffer data loss. In particular RAID 0 is far more likely to fail than no RAID at all and if it does all your data is lost.

If you are a person with an IT background who enjoys technical issues, then buy it. If you are a normal computer user then avoid it entirely.
+1
 
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I would disagree.. Two disk RAID 0 is about twice as fast as one disk, which is very addicting. Importance depends on how you use the computer, but if an active user, it is hard to ever go back to single speed. For example, a Photoshop batch processing 100 RAW images? Perhaps those that won't try RAID 0 are simply missing out on a good thing?

Complexity? Everything is always difficult for a newbie, but this is just a menu. Automated and invisible after that, the disks continue to do what disks do. Except the speed is always very noticeable.

Reliability concerns are greatly overstated. The concerns are that two disks have more risk possibility of failing than one disk - two changes to fail instead of one chance. But the disk is likely going to be good for a few years, and it is really the same risk as if they were separate. True, RAID 0 disk failure does have two chances to bring down your system disk, but even if separate disks, you have the exactly same two chances of bringing down something, either the system disk or the second disk. If a disk fails, it fails. You simply keep it backed up, same as in any system, in case a disk fails.
 
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IMO, based on 26 years of richly-varied IT experience, Richard (Growltiger) has it exactly right. We stopped doing RAID 0 in servers years ago, because experience demonstrated that complexity trumped reliability. We still do RAID 5 with both hot- and cold-swap spare drives - but we back those servers up every night, just like single-disk servers.

If you do RAID 0, your gain is performance, not redundancy - YOU STILL NEED A GOOD BACKUP STRATEGY. My current strategy is the same as Alex: multiple external drives (I use e-SATA) that get swapped out periodically. My primary drive is imaged every so often to _another_ external hard drive; one not part of the backup rotation.

Hard drives have gotten far more reliable over the years, but the current crop of >1TB drives, from all mfrs, seems less reliable than their smaller brethren. Check the reviews at Newegg. I had a few week old Western Digital "Black" (top of the line, 5-year warranty) crap out recently. Had I not been backed up, I would have lost irreplaceable images, both old and new. RAID or not, back up your data!
 
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Wayne, while "Reliability concerns are greatly overstated." may be how you see it, I've personally suffered the failure of a RAID 0 device which wasn't part of a redundant system. Many sentimental shots lost forever. I'll never use RAID 0 again unless I have a second one backing it up.

Randy, there are numerous RAID configurations which offer both some data protection and blazing performance. I'm looking at a Lacie 4Big Quadra with 4TB storage. It's got four disks which are hot swappable. If I go this route, I'll likely run it in the RAID 3 configuration.

Remember - with RAID 0 you get numerous disks working together, but with every disk added to the system, the statistical chance increases proportionally that one will fail. With RAID 0, when one goes, ALL the data is gone. Unless, of course, you don't mind spending many thousands of dollars for a data recovery service to try to retrieve some of it!
 
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Wayne, while "Reliability concerns are greatly overstated." may be how you see it, but I've personally suffered the failure of a RAID 0 device which wasn't part of a redundant system. Many sentimental shots lost forever. I'll never use RAID 0 again unless I have a second one backing it up.

Randy, there are numerous RAID configurations which offer both some data protection and blazing performance. I'm looking at a Lacie 4Big Quadra with 4TB storage. It's got four disks which are hot swappable. If I go this route, I'll likely run it in the RAID 3 configuration.

Remember - with RAID 0 you get numerous disks working together, but with every disk added to the system, the statical chance increases proportionally that one will fail. With RAID 0, when one goes, ALL the data is gone. Unless, of course, you don't mind spending many thousands of dollars for a data recovery service to try to retrieve some of it!

When any disk fails, the data is gone. The only concern of two disks in RAID 0 is that one will fail before the second one fails. We never know which one that will be though. No matter which or where, data will be lost.

IMO, you are simply stating the problem of not having your data backed up. RAID 1 could be possible exception in some degree (from some causes), but RAID 0 or no RAID 0, we ALWAYS need to backup any data important to us. Things happen.

Regardless of disk system, anyone not backing up data regularly (every several days) is in some degree a fool, depending on importance of that data.
 
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Recently completed a build of a new system which consists of an sata3(6gb/sec)SSD for OS & programs(mainly Office , LR3 & CS5). An internal 1TB sata3 hd for the image files and the LR cat. 2 drives from my old system (set up as raid 0) for the scratch disk and LR & Bridge cache. All files are back upped to external hard drives which are only active when I physically plug them in.
Recently had a BAD virus which knocked everything out. The only thing I had to do re-install the programs since everything was backed up externally. Didn't lose anything except time to re-install.
 
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If you had done a disk image backup in the past week, full restore would only have taken a few minutes, and it would have immediately been an exact bootable image of last week. :smile:

If a disk failure, you just pop in a new disk and restore and are back up.
If RAID 0, so maybe you pay another $100 for a second disk, but still same thing.

SSD may make RAID 0 speed be a moot point now. A size difference, and some other concerns, but how do you like yours?
 
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If you had done a disk image backup in the past week, full restore would only have taken a few minutes, and it would have immediately been an exact bootable image of last week. :smile:

If a disk failure, you just pop in a new disk and restore and are back up.
If RAID 0, so maybe you pay another $100 for a second disk, but still same thing.

SSD may make RAID 0 speed be a moot point now. A size difference, and some other concerns, but how do you like yours?
When it first happened, I thought that it was the new ssd gone bad, but after calling my son in law(an IT) and explaining to him what I didn't have(desktop was just a BLACK screen) he said it could have been, but he didn't think so. When he came by and did some digging, he just looked at me and said I had a real nasty virus. Didn't do a disk image back-up(my bad). Son in law looked at that first and it wouldn't take. He had to go in and find the code and delete it manually. What he thought would take just a few minutes ended up taking over 2 hours. Since then, he installed better protection and things fly right now. I'm also A LOT more careful and more diligent about back ups.

As for the ssd, it's only 120gb, but that seems big enough for the OS & programs. As I said, right now everything flys.
 
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One can never have too many backups! Like many, my files are my bread and butter...can't afford to lose people's wedding pictures. I use RAID0 for the speed, but I also do have redundancy. My boot system and apps are on a SSD, I have an individual internal where my home folder and desktop are on. That drive is backed up daily with an external. I have 2 enterprise drives internally as well in RAID0 as my working drives. I also have an external RAID5 that backs up my working drive every 8 hours in the background. THEN, I also have portable externals to backup my current unedited RAWS for the last 5 shoots or so that are stored off site. FINALLY, all my delivered images are uploaded to Zenfolio in high resolution, which is pretty much like an online backup. I think I may be covered pretty well, and RAID0 is really quick.

Mind you, I am not that tech savvy and I was able to set all this up myself.

Also, I realize this is in the PC section, however, my setup is on a Mac Pro. Might not be as easy to set up in windows..
 
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i have run many raid 0's in my PC's but this SSD is so fast its not even funny. I no longer run a raid 0

I run a 6 disk raid 10 with a hot spare for my backup stuff though:biggrin:
 
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I had a custom system built for me, it has HW redundancy which is RAID 1. I have two identical 1 TB HDDs that get CUD (create, update, delete) to at the same time. This is configured in the motherboard BIOS. If one crashes, the other is available. Because of the added CUD to the 2nd HDD, it is "slightly" slower but imperceptible to me and I'm not comparing this to any other system. I have room to grow; my digital media archive is less than 75 GB.

RAID configurations can be as complicated as you want. I consider my digital media archive and other pertinent documents "mission critical" to me so I will protect them based on level of complexity, ease of use & budget. Desktop systems have advanced pretty well in the last 5 years. Technology like RAID that was once the purview of more robust "server" systems has migrated down and become easy to use, less time consuming & very affordable in home environments.
 
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Randy,

On a small system, raid 0 is not an absolutely all bad choice as long as you:

1. Regularly create a system image backup to an external or network drive that can be used to rebuild your computer including all installed software and data on the C: drive.

2. Regularly backup all other data to an external or network drive.

3. Create and keep 2 copies of a System Restore CD.

You can accomplish all of the backup chores through Windows Backup.

Pros: Speed

Cons: You need two of the same size drive. The same exact drive is an even better choice.

Cons: If one drive in the stripe set fails, you will need to replace it and use the System Restore CD to boot your computer, attach the external drive and restore the sytem image. Once you do that your newly restored computer will be configured exactly as it was the last time you made a system image. If you had partitioned the stripe set into more than one drive, you will need to restore those files from the backup of data that was not on the C: drive.

I do not recommend going over 2x1GB for the system drive. If you need a large amount of disk space online, you might look into a Network Attached Storage enclosure with a Raid 5 disk array. Just be sure to configure it with recommended and compatible components.

Drives fail, drive controllers fail, memory fails, motherboards fail, every single component in a computer system can fail. Sometimes these failures lead to data corruption and loss. Backups are your friend.

P.S. I forgot to mention in the original post that doing steps #1, #2 & #3 are a really good idea on any PC no matter what kind of hard drive(s) you have.

I back my work laptop up to two separate external drives every week!
 
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The speed issues on RAID 0 is only is an argument for
reading data:
theoretically the read speed is doubled, because there will be no conflicts in a simple RAID 0 system

writing data:
do remain the same if you are lucky, but in real life the writes will be below the writes of a single disk

Of writing the data comparable to reading data, there must exist an additional process, that makes sure where which data are stored beaus two just cloned disk can not know which segment is actually written on which disk on which segment in which sector of the logical partition in which sector or cluster on the physical disk.

Hence using RADI 0 system for heave PS or CNX processing, there are always concurrent reads and writes being done so the limiting factor will be the write speed and not the theoretical read speed.


tom
I must respecfully disagree here, RAID 0 increases both read and write performance. while its not 50% because of reasons you listed, I have seen 45+% in my 3 raid 0' setups

my last raid was 2 WD caviar 80GB HDDS from Oct 2004

And they easily put out 100MB/s read and right in raid 0, right along with a raptor drive.

seperate these drive only do about 55-60MB/s per drive

what you describe here sound more like raid 5/6 where write are slow and reads are blazing fast

witch is why I did a raid 10 in my server
 
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thx guys, i knew u would know

i have decided on just 1 HD since dell no longer offers the option for a 2nd non raided hd and i'll add a 2nd one myself
 
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No sir I assure you I meant MB/second not Mb/s

example:

here is my 6 disk raid 10

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Here is my Veloci raptor
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and here is my SSD
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as i said above, my 2 raid 0 WD cav. drive also put in right about 100MB/s just under the raptor. not bad for old drives :smile:
 
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