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Software RAID 5 or something else?



Hello all,

I had a drive failure a few months back so I decided it was time to rework
my home server's storage.

Now I have 5 750GB SATA dives and now I need some advice on how to set
things up.

My original idea was to put them in a RAID 5 configuration.  This sounded
good until I started researching RAID controller cards.  It looks like it
will cost me $520 to get a good PCI-E card (3Ware 8 port).  I don't think
I want to spend that much if I don't have to.

My goals are two fold.

1) I want to get some redundancy in case of a drive failure.

2) I want to increase my performance.  I have benchmarked my read and
write performance to and from this server.  Using Samba, I seem to be able
to get about 50Mb/sec reads and 40Mb/sec writes.  I am on a gig network
and would like to be able to max out the cards (90Mb/sec is what I get at
work).

So, the question is, what should I do?

1)  Bite the bullet and get the hardware RAID controller.  Will this give
me the performance I want?

2)  Go with a software RAID 5.  Will I lose performance with this
configuration?  If I use this but only get modest performance gains, that
would be acceptable.

3)  Go with some other software RAID level.

Any help would be appreciated.

---
Will Y.



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