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Suggested RAID configuration for new web server

By ohm.paul ·
Our company is about to start hosting our own website (used GoDaddy until now). We are planning on getting a PowerEdge 2900 III server with two quad-core processors, 4 GB ram, and a number of HDDs that will back each other up.

My question is, what type of RAID should I use? I have been told by some that I should use a Raid 5/1 option with 5HDDs (73GB 15k) (1 for OS, 1 to mirror the OS, and the rest to use parity to backup the server root). Is this a good solution? I have heard that RAID5 isn't worth the resources it uses.

The database that runs the site now isn't very large, which is why I am opting for the 73GB drives. We will also be purchasing another external backup solution, probably a 36/72GB tape backup. Any suggestions on this matter would be helpful.


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by cmiller5400 In reply to Suggested RAID configurat ...

If it were me, I would have done it like this... 6HDD's 2 as a RAID1 mirror, 3 as a RAID5 array, and 1 as a hot spare. The RAID1 mirror is for the OS, the RAID5 for the data. Or the other option that I have used is 4 drives in a RAID5 array with 1 hot spare. It's up to you.

RAID5 is quick with reads, and a little slower with writes, but it probably would not be noticeable on a new server that has hardware based RAID.

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simple enough

by ohm.paul In reply to Well,

Sounds good, perhaps I'll throw another 73GB 15k hdds in there to use for the hot spare, but I'll try to determine if this is necessary or not. As for the configuration of such a RAID setup, I have never dealt with anything but a RAID 0 which pretty much handled itself. How complex is it to configure this RAID setup, or will it come pre-configured from Dell if I order it with the RAID hardware and 5-6 drives?

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The Initial Setup

by cmiller5400 In reply to simple enough

The initial setup should not be too bad. It probably comes with some sort of bootable CD-ROM or a key sequence on startup.

The other option is to just create one massive RAID5 array and throw everything on that. It just depends on how much use this server is going to see. RAID5 is excellent on reads, but a little slower on writes. I suggest that you take a quick look at the Wikipedia article on RAID.

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