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Thread: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?




  1. #11
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    Now I'm confused :) What I wanted was to get some hdd performance and a bit data redundancy with 2 disks. Being able to use acronis is good news, (and I hope I can migrate my current os to that raid array with acronis **possible??**) and what I wanted can be done, so far so good. Should I do this? Or will I get more headache for a small improvement?

  2. #12
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    What is your current OS? If vista or windows 7, yes but it is tricky. If not, you will need a clean install, which would be easier no matter what.

    RAID 0 is fast, as for using RAID 1 as a backup, you will need to do that or some array because if you don't you wont be able to use the rest of the disk space on the disks

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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    The wikki link explains it better than anyone can really. It also includes illustrations.

    In brief, 0+1 is very different to 1+0/RAID 10 and 0+1 is a completely different RAID standard than having a seperate RAID0 and a seperate RAID 1 in the same machine. The ICH only supports RAID 1+0 (also called RAID 10), RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 5. If you want a 4+ disk RAID 0+1 array (not a seperate RAID1 and seperate RAID0, completely different thing) you need to go hardware RAID via a card.

    The RAID naming convention is confusing. Always when you see "1+0" and "0+1" it's refering to the actual RAID modes and not a stand alone combination of RAID 0 and RAID 1. Raid 0+1 is "Striped sets in a mirrored set" and 1+0 is "Mirrored sets in a striped set". The Intel ICH can only do the latter.

    I've even seen storage articles by so called pro's where they make screw ups. One refered to a "Stripe width" of 64K. This makes no sense. The stripe you set in the ICH is technically called "Stripe Height" and is also refered to as "Stripe Size". Stripe size is used as really it's the only Stripe proportion you can alter in software. Stripe width is by definition exactly the same as the number of drives in the array. On a 4 Disk RAID 0 array the stripe width is 4, because there are 4 drives. Stripe width can only be changed by adding or removing hardware, hence why stripe size in a RAID BIOS automatically refers to stripe height. Confused yet?

    Yep, for me, the best way to go on an Intel ICH is to have 4 drives and use two in a stand alone RAID 0 for the OS and another two for a stand alone RAID 1 array. Using the RAID 1+0 (10) and RAID 5 on the ICH seldom lead to good results. The benefits of a real hardware RAID with a decent (128MB+) cache are clear for these array types.

    Note that things like boot time and app load will benefit less from RAID 0 than one thinks. RAID0, especially on the cacheless ICH, doesn't impact on small random read/write (4K) as much as RAID 0 with a hardware card and a large cache. When using a card and cache, benched 4K randoms are often increased exponentially. On the ICH they're likely to be less than double a single drive. RAID0 on the ICH is more for increasing sequential speeds. If you have a drive you do a lot of file copying etc on then RAID 0 is superb. It will boost app and OS, ofc and is worth it, just not as much as a decent HW solution.
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  4. #14

    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    Let me write a bit of analogy from the world of pure software RAID.

    Software RAID stores the info about RAID array into the disks as what is called "metadata". This is what the "BIOS RAID" aka "fake RAID" does too; the BIOS utility writes the metadata to disk (and the OS driver uses it).

    One can store one block of metadata that says that the remaining disk is one "leg" in a RAID array. The RAID mode (0, 1, 5, 6) is irrelevant. This is the simple setup and the one supported by practically all software and fake RAIDs.

    But software RAID does show an alternative. You partition the disk first. Then you can write RAID metadata block to each partition. Each partition can then be either ordinary volume, or "leg" of some RAID array, and in different mode too. This does clearly require a bit more from the software: instead of looking for one metadata block per disk, one has to look from each partition. Probably more other maintenace kinks as well.

    But there are fake RAIDs that do this. Silicon Image "RAID modes" "SAFE33" and "SAFE50", for example. IIRC, the SAFE50 means that two drives are partitioned into two equal sized partitions each, and the first partition in each drive is a leg of RAID1 array, while the second partition in each drive is leg of RAID0. There are two physical disks, and if either of them fails, then all of the RAID0 array will fail, but the RAID1 array will retain its files intact in the remaining good physical drive.

    Intel Matrix clearly does offer "RAID10", which is a "nested" setup. First, you take (actually, the Matrix will do the whole magick for you) two pairs of disks and create a RAID1 array from each pair. There will be two RAID1 arrays. Then, you create a RAID0 array, using the RAID1 arrays as "legs". The RAID0 striped the data over two legs, and achieves its speedup due to that. But each leg (there could be more than two legs, but ICH10R has only so many SATA connectors) happens to be a redundant RAID1 array, so single disk failure won't crush the RAID0 array. Only loss of both members of one leg would be fatal.

    The other version of the 1+0 and 0+1 pair uses striped arrays as legs of a mirror.


    [Edit] Cannot beat a bunny. :roll:
    Last edited by mv2devnull; 11-29-2009 at 01:13 AM.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post
    What is your current OS? If vista or windows 7, yes but it is tricky. If not, you will need a clean install, which would be easier no matter what.

    RAID 0 is fast, as for using RAID 1 as a backup, you will need to do that or some array because if you don't you wont be able to use the rest of the disk space on the disks
    I'm using Win7 Ult. right now on a single disk without ahci mode. According to phsyco101's latest post it seems I won't gain much performance 'cause I do not do much copy operations in my day to day usage. If I won't gain some performance when launching apps or when booting I should go with my 2 satas in ide mode. Maybe I should wait for the ssd's prices to come down to plausible levels :/

  6. #16
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    Quote Originally Posted by mv2devnull View Post
    Let me write a bit of analogy from the world of pure software RAID.

    Software RAID stores the info about RAID array into the disks as what is called "metadata". This is what the "BIOS RAID" aka "fake RAID" does too; the BIOS utility writes the metadata to disk (and the OS driver uses it).

    One can store one block of metadata that says that the remaining disk is one "leg" in a RAID array. The RAID mode (0, 1, 5, 6) is irrelevant. This is the simple setup and the one supported by practically all software and fake RAIDs.

    But software RAID does show an alternative. You partition the disk first. Then you can write RAID metadata block to each partition. Each partition can then be either ordinary volume, or "leg" of some RAID array, and in different mode too. This does clearly require a bit more from the software: instead of looking for one metadata block per disk, one has to look from each partition. Probably more other maintenace kinks as well.

    But there are fake RAIDs that do this. Silicon Image "RAID modes" "SAFE33" and "SAFE50", for example. IIRC, the SAFE50 means that two drives are partitioned into two equal sized partitions each, and the first partition in each drive is a leg of RAID1 array, while the second partition in each drive is leg of RAID0. There are two physical disks, and if either of them fails, then all of the RAID0 array will fail, but the RAID1 array will retain its files intact in the remaining good physical drive.

    Intel Matrix clearly does offer "RAID10", which is a "nested" setup. First, you take (actually, the Matrix will do the whole magick for you) two pairs of disks and create a RAID1 array from each pair. There will be two RAID1 arrays. Then, you create a RAID0 array, using the RAID1 arrays as "legs". The RAID0 striped the data over two legs, and achieves its speedup due to that. But each leg (there could be more than two legs, but ICH10R has only so many SATA connectors) happens to be a redundant RAID1 array, so single disk failure won't crush the RAID0 array. Only loss of both members of one leg would be fatal.

    The other version of the 1+0 and 0+1 pair uses striped arrays as legs of a mirror.


    [Edit] Cannot beat a bunny. :roll:
    Yep. The confusion sets in with nested set ups. The ICH can indeed do RAID 1+0 (2 disk minimum, perfomance improvement kicks in with 4 disks +, even numbers only) but can not do 0+1 (4 disk minimum, even number of disks only). 0+1 is striped sets in a mirrored set and 1+0 (or RAID 10) is mirrored sets in a striped set.

    I only refer to 0+1 and 1+0 being totally different from RAID 1 and RAID 0 for the purposes of setting up a RAID 1+0 (RAID 10) on the ICH, as to do this you will need to tell it you want a RAID 10, and it will configure everything for you seamlessly.

    From what I can gather, RAID10 is not what the OP is looking for as this RAID level will show little speed boost, despite the RAID 0 element unless four disks are used.

    IMO the best solution here is to first ask oneself "Are the speed benefits RAID can offer needed?". If yes, then I'd grab another single big drive, set RAID 0 for the matching pair and save all critical data to disk 3 set to a non raid member, regularly backed up.

    If no, then the choice is then "Do I need the total capacity of both drives or can I make do with the equiv capacity of one of my drives?" If you need the whole capacity then to get RAID 1 type redundancy at that capacity you unfortunately need 2 more drives. If you can get away with half the total capacity of the two drives then RAID 1 them.

    Only when using 4 drives is there any real speed boost from the RAID 1+0 (RAID 10) choice. Remember RAID 10 is Mirrored, then striped so 4 drives are needed to get any "parallelism" from the stripe component.

    Only the individual really knows what's truely the best for them. Read the advice here in all the posts including mine, Lsdmeasap's and mv2devnull, along with the wiki link and the link posted by Lsd and then make a careful decision. Personally I'd only ever do any form of redundancy, be it RAID 1 or nested levels like 1+0 (RAID 10) or 0+1 if the data is ultra-super-mission-critical. Other than that, I'd use pure RAID 0 for OS and programs followed by a seperate drive (can be a cheap one if the data is small) for the precious stuff. A good backup schedule is critical. have a large capacity USB stick and always save a copy to it as you go. Remove from the PC when not in use to protect it from any mishaps, lightening strikes etc. Also back up incrementally to CD/DVD.

    In short there will be little to zero way of getting a big speed bump and fault tolerance with only two drives. It's a shame, but true from my understanding of RAID 10. I've benched a couple of 2 disk RAID 10 arrays and know of one person who, as soon as he set the RAID 10 and benched it went right out and bought two more drives to get the increase in speed he needed too.

    It's never really clear cut as to what RAID setup is suitable for you until you have a good look at the options and compare them to what you want/need to achieve. With all these choices and considerations it's little wonder that there are whole careers dedicated to storage and fault tolerance. Those guys are highly skilled in what they do. There are also many RAID variations that have been derived from the main standards but tweaked by various companies like IBM, Hewlett Packard etc that adds even more choice into the mix. Likely those proprietary systems need to be purchased or the storage rigs need to be IBM/HP branded etc with their own engineers setting up the arrays.
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  7. #17
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    You will see some very nice improvements in many areas if you switch to RAID 0, but you do need to make backup often in case it crashes on you.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    In case of using raid0 I'll need 3 disks at least, 1 for backup. What do you say lastly? MAtrix or no raid? And thank you very much guys for sharing your deep insight on this subject; at least deep for me :)

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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    You can get a second disk for data if you like, or save everything to a large USB stick. Some files/data not really suitable for an average USB stick include audio and video using large bitrates/uncompressed.

    You could also use something like Acronis True Image to mirror the array using an incremental backup. After the initial backup run, the archive is only updated with any changes/new data. This must be run very regularly though, depending really on how much you value your data.
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  10. #20
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    Ya, if you have three disks you can use 2 for RAID and one for backup (Non RAID). I used to run that setup for a long time, actually I am now with 2 SSD's and one 500GB Non RAID

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