Question Raid 10 on ICH10R?

jbprewitt

Commendable
Feb 2, 2017
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Hey :) I am running quite an old system, i7 920, Asus P6T WS Pro. I upgraded to an SSD years ago - it's getting too small now. Now I was considering to use the full functionality of the ICH10R Controller (I do not see much use for the Marvell SAS controller) and with SSD prices low just use a RAID instead of a single disc. My original thought was to do 1 to prevent data loss when the SSD dies, but have since read that mostly same drives fail at similar times. I was thinking about RAID 0 to overcome the limitations of 3gb/s SATA as available on the board. Does that even make sense? Points to discuss
  1. I would need to use different brand drives to prevent data loss at the same time. I was thinking about crucial MX500/samsung evo - but how do I know which drive is stripped and which is mirrored? I wouldnt make sense if both crucials are mirrored....
  2. I did see an performance read increase in RAID 10 with reads in Cystal DiskMark (SEQQ32T1 about 550 instead of 280, granted sequential is of little use; 4KiBQ8T8 330 to 200, 4KiBQ32T1 130 to 90 - no improvatement 4KiBQ1T1, around 20 on both). Do you think that significant difference for every day work? Also need to consider that the ssds used for this are - afaik - uncached, and the above are?
As for what I do: I do a lot of data analysis with smaller files (5-15mb, 50 files per analysis) middle sizes files (20-50mb, 10 files per analysis) and larger videos (1GB per file, one file per analysis). I dont think its relevant for windows per se. Even though my CPU is old it does not really seem to be the bottleneck ...yet.

I tried all this with patriot p200s 1TB (which are, as far as I know uncached as mentioned above), but those i will have to RMA for their high pitched seqeaking noise in acation - i cannot stand that, not one bit. Now the above points got me thinking if it makes any sense to do this at all or just go with one ssd. or maybe 2 in raid 0. Even more so since I realized that shutting down the computer sometimes didnt not work any more and I had to shut it down manually ;) little glitches like that do bother me.

On a side note: am I correct that the marvell sas is no good for anything? buying sas hdds makes no sense as far as I can see, and the controller does not seem to recognize my old ssd or my old hdd or my sata cd rom drive. I read that it should be backward compatible with sata - but that does not seem to be the case? So: useless? I was hoping to get stuff off the southbridge that I dont use that much (all of the above).

One could also argue to just get a new mainboard that supports 6gb/s sata for not too much money. Which I might do, but right now everything is running fine and these new starts usually come with quite a period of troubleshooting which I am not at all in the mood for right now. This storageoverhaul was the most I could get myself to do...where are the good old times where assembling a system was fun to me....today: dont have the time dont have the patience. but that's another story ;)

Thanks in advance!
 
If you SSD is too small, a Crucial MX500 1 TB runs about $100 these days....; you can carry it with you to the next rig for the inevitable upgrade...SSDs are not slow 'real world', even if/when capped at an older mainboard's SATA2 speeds...

RAID 10 is a waste of space....; requires 4 drives, minimum, with the capacity of two effectively wasted. (Heck, for $199, one can buy a 2 TB Crucial MX500)

If you need data security, use frequent partial/full backups to less expensive drives...
 
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USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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RAID 1 is not a backup. It does not prevent data loss, it only (maybe) aids actual uptime, until you can replace a failed drive.
Actual backups are a second/third actual copy on a different physical media. Not a mirror in the same array.

RAID 0 instead of upgrading to something that can actually utilize a SATA III SSD?
Don't.
 
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jbprewitt

Commendable
Feb 2, 2017
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thanks for the replies.

i wonder what triggered the "raid1 is not a backup" comments. I never said that I intend to use the raid 1 component as a back up. not sure why this is assumed. it's just a way to rebuild the system when one ssd dies. I do do data back ups regularly but i do not back up the complete system that frequently, kudos to anyone that does, but, that would in fact require quite some live resources to pull live back ups from the whole system all the time. i dont think that's practical. when i am on the system i want to use the system and need the resources for my work. so the thing that comes closest to that (not equal!) and is less resource intensive would be a raid 1. however, in my experience, a complete system death gets you when the last back up is the furthest away, the most crucial thing since then has just not been included. it does appear to be the bottom line of everyone here that a raid 1 will not offer too much additional security - i assume because of the different deaths ssds die compared to conventional ssds. which i have to admit, i havent even personally seen yet.

I dont really see why i shouldnt use raid 0. It does give me a measureable speed improvement. and it comes way cheaper than a new system - except for what mdd1963 said. if i won't really feel the speed improvement anyway, then there's no reason to do it.

can anyone help with the marvell sas controller? is it as useless as it appears?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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thanks for the replies.

i wonder what triggered the "raid1 is not a backup" comments. I never said that I intend to use the raid 1 component as a back up.
"My original thought was to do 1 to prevent data loss when the SSD dies "

Yes, a RAID 1 can alleviate loss from a physical drive fail. But for actual data protection, true backups are needed.
Data loss happens from many other circumstances. Physical drive fail is far down the list of possibilities.

A RAID 1 can be good if you actually need 24/7 uninterurpted uptime. Until you can take the system offline and replace the faulty drive.
But any RAID 1 array needs to be supported with a real backup anyway. And if you can withstand 30 minutes or so of recovery time, the RAID is not needed at all.

My current procedure is a Full drive backup, then a series of nightly Incrementals. Each physical drive or system has its own target folder.
That 'nightly' could be every 6 hours. And it literally takes only a minute or two, completely unattended.

If your needs are a true 100% now copy all the time, then a RAID 1 might be the ticket. But it also needs to be supplanted by a real backup routine.

Far too many people operate under the assumption that the RAID 1 IS the backup. It is not.
 

jbprewitt

Commendable
Feb 2, 2017
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As far as the RAID 0....that absolutely needs a real backup. And with SSD's, generally gives no user facing benefit.
Benchmarks look great, though.
That's part of my question - so you think I would not actually "see" or "feel" the difference of these numbers?

My machine is not running 24/7. I do backups every week of the whole system, but to a dedicated time. (usually saturday mornings, in case someone whats to get me postal ;)) - and live backups of my data folders. The RAID1 thing would not serve to preserve my actual data, but to give me a chance to get my system working without reconfiguring, very much like the weekly backup could do, but - should this ever happen - maybe, or at least theoretically, easier? at least i dont really know how to get my system back as it is from the backups and working again, it would involve some tinkering i assume. I can always rebuild....but that'd be a pain.

@DSzymborski: not sure what you are saying here. As I stated, I do data analysis on this computer. That is probably what it's used for 90%+ of the time. While the "anaylsis" part is not CPU intensive, the bottleneck is opening and loading the files, that even more so than writing as most files remain what they are untouched once done. I did not want to go into it that detailed as I can already see folks falling asleep ;)
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
Working with small files like you do, odds are raid10 or 0 would actually hinder your performance slightly. You'd rarely get into the high transfer speeds those raids could provide.

The Marvel Sas ports do work and will support Sata drives but the controller isn't active until Windows loads the drivers, so basically these would be for storage only. Your manual covers it in the 2nd section IIRC.

As for backup, while not live, having an overnight backup run is a whole lot better then having to fresh install. Your loss would only be 1 day of work.
My critical PC is the wifes DVR, it backs up twice a day. 3pm and 3am. Times when she wouldn't be using it. Perhaps you could schedule a mid-day backup for when you take lunch and limit your loss to 1/2 a days work should things go seriously bad.

If you really want raid1 , go for it. It wont hurt anything and will give you a bit of safety if one of the drives dies.
Since you'll need to reinstall everything to go from a single drive to any type of raid, You can experiment with how to receiver from a failed raid before you go live with the system

BTW, I've been running raids on my PC for 20+ years with only 1 failure in all that time and I always buy matching /identical drives.
 

jbprewitt

Commendable
Feb 2, 2017
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Thanks for the info on the SAS. But it should see the drives in the firmware/bios, shouldn't it? Well I will test it a bit further.

100gb files are small? ;) Well that's just about 10% of the work that I do and maybe about up to 20% time wise, the rest is the rest mentioned above, but i agree, not worth just for that.

I have had a couple of drives fail me, but all non-ssd. I used to run things on RAID 10 on those all the time - and with those I could see the difference, it was dramatic. When I switched to ssds the pure thought of it was killed off by ssd prices back then.

I think I am just gonna buy a bigger ssd period. can anyone recomment a 1tb, better 2tb ssd that doesn't squeak?

@USAFRet: I did see those, however that's 6Gb/s SATA.
 

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