Need RAID 5 advice from those with experience

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rawdawg, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. rawdawg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #1
    I apologize in advance for what may seem stupid :) I just need some advice

    I do video and photo work and am working on a maxed out 17" MBP from 2009. I often move around huge files and was looking for a faster setup. Last fall I bought an OWC 2TB RAID 0 (with a Tempo Pro eSATA card). In addition to my other 1TB external and 500Gb system drive I have been wasting countless hours finding ways to backup everything. Since I have more data than a simple 2TB drive can backup, doing so across multiple HDDs has been a pain. I have a pile of HDDs with stuff on it and it gets very confusing and I haven't been on top of performing backups. In addition I've been running out of space and keep swapping data out, not good practice...

    The simple solution to have more space and up-to-date redundancy in case I lost a drive was to get a RAID 5. It would be large enough to not have to keep track of the many HDDs I have been using to incrementally back up my data. I could use it to place all my media and have plenty of room for time machine for my system. (I know RAID isn't a backup so I also plan to keep off site backups that I will update monthly)

    Now I'm getting the annoying "scared to use it" sickness. With 4-HDDs spinning in my RAID 5 I'm afraid of wear and tear when much of the time I'm only accessing small data like music and stuff.

    Should I limit use on the RAID 5 to increase it's lifespan? Should it only be for heavy lifting? Should I keep my entire existing setup (RAID 0 + other externals) and only use the RAID 5 for time machine?

    Does anyone have advice? I assume I'm being too paranoid, but I would hate to loose a drive in a few years when it would be hard to find a match (I only bought one extra).
     
  2. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    dont rely on raid 5 , its not bad with smaller capacity drives but larger ones have higher bit error rates that can cause a rebuild to fail requiring alot of work to recover data.

    i would stick with 1+0 or just mirrored set's , RAID 6 is not bad but i still will not rely on it.

    RAID5 is not a 100% redundant solution.
     
  3. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #3
    Thanks, I've been reading about that, unfortunately a little late considering I just received my OWC Qx2 and 5 WD Green 2TB drives. My drives have 64MB cache, do you think that helps?

    I was not aware of this bit error issue. Why would smaller capacity drives perform better in this instance? I've never encountered an issue with any of my drives, does this only happen with RAID setups?
     
  4. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    the green drives are a bad choice, they have TLER on them that causes them to park and wear the drive actuators out, depending on what model green drive(EADS and EARS both have them), i had 3 EARS 2tb in a raid5 to do testing and 2 of the 3 wore out in 2-3 months.

    this can be corrected with a program called WIDDLE.

    smaller drives dont perform better, they just have a less chance of getting to a bit error due to lower capacity, when you get into 2tb drives you risk getting this error because of the large capacity that you will be rebuilding mind you i have only seen this 2 times in real life(with very expensive raid controllers too).

    Mirroring is the absolute way to guarantee data, 1+0 will give you lots of speed and that same guarantee.
     
  5. kook macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    #5
    It's time you look at something with more expansion, like a drobo pro or a NAS with least 8 slots with hot spares and such.

    But even then, it would still get filled up. I would suggest you start looking how you should manage your data storage, eg by year, by alphabets etc and properly document/store in separate NAS/online-disk-storage medium
     

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