locked
RAID Advice Cont. RRS feed

  • Question

  • All,

    Thank you guys for your help.  I have spent the better part of a day reading about this and wish I spent a little more time researching before purchasing.  Anyways, I think I am close. Let me run down what I am trying to do so you guys get a clearer picture of what I want to do.

    Primarily I want to use this machine for basic filesharing and backups.  I am trying to start a business and am looking for a centralized storage container.  I want to keep all of my docs, xls, ppt, etc files in one place.  Also, we use OneNote extensively (but more on that later).

    What I want to do that is a bit out of the ordinary is to have a similar server in another location and use a program like beinsync to keep all the files synced between machines.  I have run this in the past using desktops and for files that don't change frequently, it works well. 

    What attracted me to WHS vs a standard Win2003 server is several things.

    1. The footprint was tiny for a windows box.  It is optimized to run in 512MB of Ram
    2. Had backup services.  (Good for some of the less knowledgeable users.
    3. Was Windows based.
    a) I know windows
    b) All the programs I know how to use run on windows.

    Now, I have not used WHS before so I do not know the ins and out of its capabilities, but I figured worse comes to worse, I could use what I purchased and go back to a regular version of Win2003 and since it comes with MSDN Universal.

    Now, I really need to run OneNote for our business, though we will not sync it between servers.  It runs just fine keeping the master database in one location and everyone else just connecting to it.  I would really like to move it to a WHS, but after reading about DE and how it worked, I knew it would not work with OneNote from its very design. In the beginning we tried to use one of those sync programs on OneNote - MS Groove, beinsync, etc.and if you have ever tried that you would know why DE can't handle it. While I saw another thread started by Ken stating that MS is working on the issue, I can tell from the way OneNote works and from what I read about tombstones and the methodology behind DE, that they may never get it to work properly.

    That being said, I think the only way for me to use WHS and OneNote is, from what I read, to use an underlying RAID array.  I have three 750GB WD Green drives and may get a fourth, formatted they may give me 2GB or so.

    Other Uses. I would like to use WHS to stream music files and every once in a while video to another computer.  However, just keeping it on a share is good enough, I suspect.  It is also time for me to get a gigabit switch as all the motherboards today come with gigabit, might as well.

    So in the end, I am not sure how much throughput I need.  I don't think I need a lot so I am back to my inital questions.

    Is there any advantage in getting a seperate RAID card like the RR2310 rather than getting a motherboard with a RAID card? 
    Does anyone run RAID 5 using a motherboard RAID controller?
    Is there any danger to it?
    I am looking for a good Micro ATX motherboard, Ken's recommended board is no longer available at NewEgg?
    John says that there is a lot of CPU overhead in doing Raid 5 a non-coprocessor board.  How much?  I got a pretty good processor based on Ken's quote, will this be enough considering it won't be doing much else?
    Lastly, i am considering getting a co-processor RAID card, I keep going back and forth. John had mentioned that people would be putting together WHS worth $1500 to $2k, I think the opposite is true.  My hardware cost $900 shipped.  A coproc card could cost 30% to 50%.of that.

    All comments are welcome.






    Tuesday, February 19, 2008 11:59 PM

Answers

  • Unfortunately I have been "visited" by none other than Joel Burt himself and ordered to stop discussing RAID.

    I have put together a group on YAHOO if you wish to take this discussion there.

    WHSOnRaid

    Other than that I cannot help you.

    My apologies.

    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 1:19 AM

All replies

  • Unfortunately I have been "visited" by none other than Joel Burt himself and ordered to stop discussing RAID.

    I have put together a group on YAHOO if you wish to take this discussion there.

    WHSOnRaid

    Other than that I cannot help you.

    My apologies.

    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 1:19 AM
  • Ok, I get it.  I read Joel Burt's message in the previous thread, I guess that is why the closed it.

    I didn't know that "not supported" meant that we couldn't even discuss it any more. For me my biggest problem is that Windows Home Server as supported, does not even work with Microsofts own products. It does not work with OneNote and they still don't have a connector that works with Vista 64. I figured that if anyone would try and support Vista it would be MS, but I guess not.

    Joel, some of us are trying to solve real world problems.  I am sorry if that does not fit into MS's little box of how people should use or should not use the software.  I understand there are some things that are not supported, but WHS has severe weaknesses as designed that some of us are trying to address.  I guess I could go with a Win2003 solution or with treatment like this look to move to a linux solution.  You would think that MS would be more open to people looking for ways to expand the use of their software, but I guess that is not the case.


    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 1:47 AM
  • John, that's not what Joel said. I think he made it pretty clear that, no matter how informative your lectures on RAID may be in the broad sense, the purpose of these forums is to help people solve problems they may be having with Windows Home Server. It's not a platform for people to extoll the virtues of their favorite technologies.

    In the context of this thread, I would say go ahead and answer the OP's questions. (I'm going to...) But don't post long discourses on RAID in general, and don't make long posts rebutting the points that others who are also providing answers make, as you have done repeatedly in other threads. All that does is demonstrate that you like arguments; it certainly doesn't help anyone...
    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 5:10 AM
    Moderator
  • Roger, When Microsoft fixes KB946676, I'm sure that OneNote will be safe to use on the server. Don't worry about that. For now, either work with OneNote locally (which is what Microsoft recommends) until KB946676 is fixed, or if you can't wait for the patch to be released, you can stick with a WHS that contains only one volume in the storage pool. Taht single volume can be a large disk, or it can be a RAID array with one large volume defined.

    To answer the questions you asked at the end:
    • Maybe. It will give you additional SATA ports if you need them, but since they're both software RAID I would expect that they'll perform at least roughly the same.
    • I use motherboard RAID on my desktop system at home, because I tend to have a fair amount of data that I don't want to risk on it at any time. But the system is over a year old. If I built the same system today, I'd have less storage, and no RAID.
    • Motherboards: take a look at this search on NewEgg. I would guess that as many as half those boards might have the critical Windows Server 2003 drivers available, even though most of them are doubtless not in the Windows Server Catalog.
    • Software RAID is getting more efficient, but it uses the CPU for XOR calculations on writes. In theory, it could consume most of one core, but in the real world you will rarely see the RAID calculations using more than maybe 5% these days, even under pretty heavy stress.
    • Coprocessor boards are good for when you need your RAID system to be as fast as possible. Do you need your WHS to be that fast? I don't think so. A reasonably speedy drive will support multiple media streams just fine; for WHS anything above that is overkill. (and a waste of money. If you've got money to burn, give it to your favorite charity...)
    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 5:21 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello, I tried to build a WHS using hardware RAID in an HP Proliant.  It went OK and worked OK but in the end I stripped it off and built it the recommended way - system disk plus two others.  This really is the best option, since otherwise you're effectively crippling a key component of the system - the dynamic drive extender thing - or ending up with loads of hard disks chewing through power for basically no purpose.

     

    The system is protected without RAID, it handles drive failures OK and just tells you to fix it.  No dramas.

     

    BTW I spent five years running a data centre with 120 or so Proliants, all hardware RAID, and a Amdahl SAN so am fully aware and conversant with the benefits of 'proper' RAID.  But the WHS drive extender thing is so neat, it really is unnecessary.

     

    Hope that helps you.

    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 10:37 AM
  • Ken,

    First let me say that RAID is not my favorite technology, it is simply a tool that I use for handling specific problems.  I use it when appropriate, and I have been provided with absolutely NOTHING to indicate that it is not appropriate for WHS other than "we don't like it, we like our file duplication".  Well good for you and enjoy your file duplication!  In the absence of anything more useful than that I will use a superior tool for handling data integrety, thanks.

    Second you have plainly and clearly straightened me out when I voiced mistaken opinions on how things work.  I appreciate that and I think that is important.  I am here to learn and I have learned a lot already.

    What you are saying is "people can say whatever they want, it doesn't matter if it is just flat wrong", and "no you can't correct people when they are flat wrong".  I hear that a LOT around here.

    I don't rebut ANYTHING unless it is wrong, and I invited explanations on how my rebuttals were wrong, which were never supplied by the way which pretty much indicates something.

    Ken, I worked at Stac Electronics back in 1990-92 working on the Stacker data compression product.  At Stac we did DRIVERS, reaching down to intercept interrupts, to compress and decompress data at the point that the computer's BIOS read it off the disk.  To say "you can't use Stacker with RAID would absolutely be the truth and there would be verifiable easily explained reasons why.  We would have had to insert our drivers between the hardware and the RAID controller, the data handed us by the raid controller would no longer fit our compression algorithm etc.  I imagine that as long as the driver load order was correct Stacker COULD be used with RAID (wouldn't corrupt data) but it would not have provided compression.

    One way or another we could write a 1/2 page explanation of the WHY NOT that any enthusiast could understand.  What I have seen out of the WHS team was a single sentence of total garbage.  It made absolutely NO sense at all and in fact was completely and entirely wrong, and no one is editing it to make it correct.  Oh, lest I forget the only other enlightment on the subject...

    There are problems that happen if you do not keep your home server in a supported scenario.


    WHOA, now THAT is informative.  In fact that might just be the missing piece for my Masters degree.

    It is my considered opinion that the whole RAID thing just steps on someones toes.  AFAICT it absolutely DOES work, that admittedly verified by only a couple of months of usage but I use RAID with WHS.  I don't use it "because it is my favorite technology", I use it because it solves a set of problems, it does so at a cost / benefit ratio that makes sense TO ME, and using it absolutely prevents HUGE costs to me.  I bought WHS FOR ME, not for MS.  It is my job to make sure that it does what I NEED and that it doesn't cost me infinite maintanance costs.

    As for responding to posts...

    I'm sorry I am late to this thread because this should have been locked with your first post. I am here to explain one time only, that you need to be here in this community to help them with WIndows Home Server and avoid creating off topic debates in threads.


    Now, go back and look at my first post.  It was a point by point answer to the OP's request for information.  But it discussed RAID, the whole entire question, starting with the title!

    And Joel said he should have locked the thread after my first post.  And notice the "one time only" which I interpret as "next time you get booted".

    Hmm... Nuff said there I think.



    There are technologies that exist that may be good or bad for Windows Home Server.  If it is not supported, we explain that to forum users so they do not end up having to pay for support.  There are problems that happen if you do not keep your home server in a supported scenario.


    Not very subtle reiteration that "there are unsupported technologies, we state that they are unsupported and we don't talk about them other than to say they are unsupported".


    The way I personally read Joel's reply is "JOHN DO NOT TALK ABOUT THIS".

    Clearly Ken you can answer any OP posts you like.  Clearly I cannot.
    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 1:51 PM
  • Ken,

    I hope you are right with KB946676.  I have seen the kind of noise that OneNote exhibits in a syncing situation and I am not sure that one can "fix" it by tweaking the delay between writes.  In my opinion, using delayed writes with markers is a dangerous methodology and I would have prefered a true concurrent write technology.

    As I said, I hope they fix KB946676, but I fear it will be little more than a hack to compensate for poor planning in the first place.
    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 5:53 PM
  • Roger, I can't discuss the specifics of KB946676. I don't have the code sitting in front of me, and if I did, well, I'd be a Microsoft employee and saying a lot less than I do. Smile Plus, anything I might know that I haven't already said about it is going to be under NDA. (I hope it's not a surprise to anyone that MVPs can be privy to some confidential information. I also hope it's not a surprise that we sign our lives away for the priviledge, or at least our firstborn...)

    That said, the bug that affects OneNote is not in OneNote. It's in WHS. Microsoft has acknowledged that. When the bug in WHS is patched, OneNote shouldn't have the issues it currently does. That's my expectation, because it's Microsoft's publicly stated expectation.
    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 6:25 PM
    Moderator
  • From what I gathered there still not ETA on when KB946676 will be resolved, could be days, weeks, or months.

     

    DE has it advantages but so does a RAID.

     

    While WHS has a reinstallation process for the primary drive in the event it fails, it doesn't reinstall all the little apps (printer sharing/UPS monitoring/etc) or user administration accounts/access rights. All of which has to be redone manually. However, it does restore data integrity of your files, which is a key importantance here.

     

    RAID has the ability to retain all data and settings. But its more costly to do so. All dependant how its configured.

     

    I'm no expert at raid and I've asked little questions my self from time to time (not necessarily on this forum).

     

    I'm still research the most cost effective way to build my own OEM WHS server. But I'm still leaning toward a Raid5 setup.

     

    I've actually change my line up of hardware bases on my past growth rate. 2 years later this will obviously change. Most likely an entirely new server. (as I'm rebuilding a 5 year old PC into a WHS, which is still plenty fast)

    - RocketRaid 2220 controller

    - 4 WD5001ABYS (Western Digital Enterprise 500GB)

     

    Like I mentioned, Im no expert. I've been out of the System world for close to 12 years and lots has changed. I make due by researching when I can.

     


     

    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 7:38 PM
  • Ken,

    Well, I am certainly not an MVP, but my department has a good working relationship with MS as we try to get them to fix the bugs in WFP (Windows Filtering Platform), another 1.0 product with severe flaws that most people will see in Vista SP1.

    Also, I know the bug is with WHS and have looked at the problem and stems from the way OneNote access and locks its files for update. 

    As I said, it is very noisy, try any sync program, Groove if you will, and try syncing it with another directory and you will see the problem any program will have trying to differentiate a "changed" file.  You will see that OneNote will updates files even when nothing has changed, just visiting a file changes the modified record.  OneNote uses an internal mechinism for determining file changes, one that works very well as it allows multiple people to work concurrently on the same page.

    WHS probably uses the OS to determine file change status as most sync programs do.  This means that when DE detects a change in a file, it waits copies it to a backup directory.  There are two problems that can arise.

    1. OneNote does not fully release the lock to files preventing external access.  Much like trying to copy your .pst file while you have outlook opened.  There are ways around this, but so far it looks like DE cannot manage locked files effectively.

    2. OneNote is noisy, meaning that you can have hundreds of updated files in directory try under normal browsing, one file being updated before the copy can be made. This is all dependent on file locks being updated and released properly and those of us familiar with Windows knows that from an OS level, file locks can get messed up.  On a normal desktop, it is not uncommon to have to reboot to clear a locked file.

    The reason I bring this up is that any program that uses the OS to determine file status on regular files is fine for Word and Excel, even .mp3, but it can't be used for programs like OneNote.

    This leaves a very limited options for fixing it. 

    1. I am sure MS is going to try and hack together a fix. It is what everyone does, the only problem with MS doing is that others build applications on top of their "hacks."  They will probably try and play with the timings try and find a delay structure to works for the most part. 

    2. A harder way to fix this is to create "snapshots" of the data for copy. While this approach is not a perfect mirror, it can be used to create an archive history of the files which in many cases could be a good thing. 

    3. Create a software raid solution that can mirrors the directories using simultanious writes. I have not looked into Drobo, but I think they use something similar, but I am not sure.  In my opinion, while the most difficult option, it provides the safest storage medium.

    As I said, I have my doubts about MS fixing KB946676 quickly.  If they do, it will no doubt be a hacked solution and you can bet I will not be the first to try it out.  DE is not built to handle the way OneNote works or any other file based database structure.

    Still, I am debating which way to go.  I would like to be able to rely on DE, but I have my dobuts about its fundemental design.  Its base methodology seems flawed to me, but I can see why it was adobted for home use.  For most of my files, I am sure it will be fine, still if the system volume dies, you are SOL.

    With PP1 still a long ways off (first half of 2008 and since when has MS ever delivered on time?) I think a RAID subsystem is the safest approach and if you create a single large volume, the simpilest since DE does not come in to play.  Besides, there is a lot more experience on the RAID side than on the DE side.






    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 11:00 PM
  •  Roger Huston wrote:
    Ken,

    1. I am sure MS is going to try and hack together a fix. It is what everyone does, the only problem with MS doing is that others build applications on top of their "hacks."  They will probably try and play with the timings try and find a delay structure to works for the most part. 

    2. A harder way to fix this is to create "snapshots" of the data for copy. While this approach is not a perfect mirror, it can be used to create an archive history of the files which in many cases could be a good thing. 

    3. Create a software raid solution that can mirrors the directories using simultanious writes. I have not looked into Drobo, but I think they use something similar, but I am not sure.  In my opinion, while the most difficult option, it provides the safest storage medium.

    As I said, I have my doubts about MS fixing KB946676 quickly.  If they do, it will no doubt be a hacked solution and you can bet I will not be the first to try it out.  DE is not built to handle the way OneNote works or any other file based database structure.

    Still, I am debating which way to go.  I would like to be able to rely on DE, but I have my dobuts about its fundemental design.  Its base methodology seems flawed to me, but I can see why it was adobted for home use.  For most of my files, I am sure it will be fine, still if the system volume dies, you are SOL.

    With PP1 still a long ways off (first half of 2008 and since when has MS ever delivered on time?) I think a RAID subsystem is the safest approach and if you create a single large volume, the simpilest since DE does not come in to play.  Besides, there is a lot more experience on the RAID side than on the DE side.



    Roger,

    Given the amount of time between the actual finding of the data corruption issue and the fix I would venture to guess that the fix amounts to something more than a hack.  I'm willing to bet that MS is attempting multiple solutions to the problem, of which some are hack(ish) and some are not.

    That said there are workarounds - the simplest being keeping your OneNote data on a volume outside of DEM's control.  Other more complex ones are using RAID as you suggest, however I don't see the benefit in doing this over putting the data in a volume outside of DEM's control.  The demigrator will treat the RAID as one volume so you don't benefit from duplication (but you do benefit from lack of balancing Smile ).


    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 11:25 PM

  • To answer one of your original questions.  If I were to buy hardware for a WHS today I'd get the following motherboard:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131237

    with this cpu

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116052

    (eh, if I can ever get the link function to work correctly...)


    The motherboard supports 6xsata ports giving you the oportunity to test out the matrix raid stuff that Intel supports.  The motherboard has Intel's newest south bridge chip.

    In addition if you need to add a raid controller you could add it to the PCI-Ex16 slot.
    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 11:37 PM
  • I am looking at this motherboard:

    INFINITY P965-S

    and this processor:

    Core 2 Duo E6550

    I run a Core 2 Duo in my laptop and love it.

    The processor you recommend probably makes more sense for a WHS system though and I may end up doing that.
    Thursday, February 21, 2008 1:45 AM
  • Given the amount of time between the actual finding of the data corruption issue and the fix I would venture to guess that the fix amounts to something more than a hack.  I'm willing to bet that MS is attempting multiple solutions to the problem, of which some are hack(ish) and some are not.

     

    Ok, I do not know the history. From reading here, it seems like a big issue and I am suprised that the software was released with that bug.  A decade ago I worked at Symantec and helped create Norton Utilities.  I remember one incident in particular in which QA certified a build for shipping, there were already 50k boxes made and then one stress test machine out of one hundred had corruption.  And that machine only showed the error after 24 hours of continious Norton Disk Doctor running.

     

    There were a lot of heated discussions, I remember hearing tempers escallating from the QA bullpen but in the end, they pulled the product from shipping until a fix could be made.  I have worked for a lot of companies since then, and several in the same industry, and none would go that far to protect customer data.

     

    In my opinion, this error is far too serious to recommend WHS to the causual home user (WHS target audience).  Imagine someone buying one of those HP servers, taking it home plugging it in and putting their family photo albums on it. How many of casual users do you think stop by here before they loose files?  With filesharing having been in windows since the early days, many people use it at home on a casual basis. I fully expect the causal home user to write directly to these shares.

     

    Thursday, February 21, 2008 3:09 AM
  • A couple more questions.  Over the past couple of days I have read quite a bit on WHS, what it can and cannot do.  I am pretty much decided to go with a RAID but I have a couple of questions.

     

    I am trying to decide between a coproc version or Mobo RAID 5.  Since I have a system built around Ken's ExtremeTech article, I am limited to MicroATX Mobo's and I can get a good RAID card for about $200.

     

    1. How can I find out a MoBo's RAID speed in a RAID 5 configuraiton.  I personally thought MoBo Raid was good for Mirroring or stripping not RAID 5, but since a WHS puts no strain on a system then I think I should be fine. 

     

    However, I have seen lots of number thrown about here, something like MoBo Raid is 2MB/s and RAID card can be 230MB/s.  Really?

     

    2. I am also considering going to Gigabite network for home.  Is that 1000MBytes or Mbits?  By expanding my network bandwidth, I am trying to compare that to throughput to the RAID speed as you might have guessed.

     

    Thursday, February 21, 2008 3:49 AM

  • Roger,

    Ken posted an article showing Intel's matrix raid performing extremely well in raid 5 (~200 mb/s) for writes.  This did result in an increase in CPU usage, but if you have a multi core CPU it's probably not that noticeable.  The motherboard I listed is a micro-atx board with the newest version of Intel's southbridge (Intel ICH9R) that performs the matrix raid.  John listed an atx board with the exact Intel southbridge that was shown to perform well (it's the previous generation - Intel ICH8R).

    If I were you I'd get the micro atx board I listed, and a dual/quad core processor that you think you'd be happy with.  Test out the raid on the motherboard.  If you don't think it suites your needs you can buy a hardware raid controller and install it in the x16 slot and migrate your data over to the controller.  PCI-E raid controllers will come in pci-e x4 & pci-e x8 variants.  You want to make sure that whatever mobo you buy has the correct pci-e slots.  Do not buy a PCI raid controller.

    You may want to check out John's WHS RAID group on yahoo's groups if you have more questions about RAID. (or just PM him)
    Thursday, February 21, 2008 5:35 AM
  •  Roger Huston wrote:
    1. How can I find out a MoBo's RAID speed in a RAID 5 configuraiton.  I personally thought MoBo Raid was good for Mirroring or stripping not RAID 5, but since a WHS puts no strain on a system then I think I should be fine.


    I can't find any numbers and I have LOOKED HARD.  Nobody seems to want to do the tests.

    However, I have seen lots of number thrown about here, something like MoBo Raid is 2MB/s and RAID card can be 230MB/s.  Really?


    Those numbers (5 mbytes / sec for software raid 5) are based on my personal experience with NVidia chipsets and AMD Processors, 3-5 years ago.  I have seen similar numbers published however, but nothing I can point to.

    My corresponding WRITE times for a hardware controller were roughly the same speed as a raw disk, in my case about 60 mbytes / second.  Reads are FAST, in my case 60 mbytes / sec * 8 drives.  But reads are fast in software RAID as well, though not as fast as with a hardware RAID.



     

    2. I am also considering going to Gigabite network for home.  Is that 1000MBytes or Mbits?  By expanding my network bandwidth, I am trying to compare that to throughput to the RAID speed as you might have guessed.

     



    Networks are measured in BITS per second, so that would be 1 gig bit / second.  I have a gigbit switch in my LAN and have never seen more than 50% bandwidth used so you will likely never even approach saturation.
    Thursday, February 21, 2008 12:12 PM
  •  Lliam wrote:

    Roger,

    Ken posted an article showing Intel's matrix raid performing extremely well in raid 5 (~200 mb/s) for writes.  This did result in an increase in CPU usage, but if you have a multi core CPU it's probably not that noticeable.


    In fact I was reading up on Matrix RAID last night and it is a technique for having a RAID 1 and RAID 0 on a single pair of drives.  Pretty cool for what it is, but it is not RAID 5.

    If I were you I'd get the micro atx board I listed, and a dual/quad core processor that you think you'd be happy with.  Test out the raid on the motherboard.  If you don't think it suites your needs you can buy a hardware raid controller and install it in the x16 slot and migrate your data over to the controller.  PCI-E raid controllers will come in pci-e x4 & pci-e x8 variants.  You want to make sure that whatever mobo you buy has the correct pci-e slots.  Do not buy a PCI raid controller.

    You may want to check out John's WHS RAID group on yahoo's groups if you have more questions about RAID. (or just PM him)


    Agreed on all that stuff.  Try it and see how it works and join me over on Yahoo.
    Thursday, February 21, 2008 12:46 PM
  • As a point of reference, I have a 3 disk RAID 5 array on an ICH8R controller (in my desktop system). I get a real world write performance of 25 MB/s (=250 mb/s) sustained for a large file write (>2 GB). That was with < 10% CPU utilization, and other processes running (and accessing the array) at the same time.
    Thursday, February 21, 2008 3:28 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken,

    Have you noticed whether the write transfer speed changes with the number of disks in the array?  I would expect the write speed to drop as you add disks to the array.  Also what kind of processor do you use?  single / dual core / mhz or model number?

    Those are very usable numbers IMO for use in a WHS system.

    In the next few weeks I will likely be buying a new mb and processor to dedicate to my WHS system, and I will likely go Intel this time.

    Thanks for the info.
    Thursday, February 21, 2008 3:44 PM
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    As a point of reference, I have a 3 disk RAID 5 array on an ICH8R controller (in my desktop system). I get a real world write performance of 25 MB/s (=250 mb/s) sustained for a large file write (>2 GB). That was with < 10% CPU utilization, and other processes running (and accessing the array) at the same time.


    I created a raid 5 the other night with my nforce 590 board & 4 seagate 320gb disks.  Reads were 229MB/s (hdtach).  I couldn't find an adequate test for writing speeds.  Although real world tests were ~20 MB/s writes & 110MB/s reads.  The reads were probably limitted by the destination drive (two disk RAID 0).

    Interestingly enough, I didn't notice any extraordinary CPU usage in the writes.  I'd assume the priority is set very low - made me think about the pre-DMA days...

    Thursday, February 21, 2008 5:58 PM
  • John, I expect write speed to be more or less a wash with 4 disks versus 3, but I just have the three 320 GB disks. I haven't tested it to be sure. My processor is an E6600. My testing wasn't "clean" by any stretch of the imagination; I didn't bother to shut any processes down, kept right on chugging in email, etc. And I still saw ~25 MB/s on large file copies, with low CPU usage.

    Frankly I think an E2140 would keep up just fine. Smile
    Thursday, February 21, 2008 6:54 PM
    Moderator
  • Lliam,

     

    Yes, I checked out the motherboard you listed, thank you.  I am not an expert on newegg so when I searched on them for raid mobo's that one did not show up for me the first time.

     

    I think I will go with the Mobo approach first, mainly because the RAID controllers I was looking at on NewEgg are gone.  I wanted the open box version, but I was too slow to react.  Since that Mobo is $70 more than the one I have, it meant that the effective cost of the controller vs the mobo was only $140 more, which was a good deal.

     

    As long as the Mobo Raid 5 is decent I will be happy, I just wanted to make sure the card wasn't a couple orders of magnitude faster.

     

    Thursday, February 21, 2008 7:16 PM