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Old 10-19-2011, 11:35 PM
Diego Xirinachs
 
Default Hardware vs software raid

Hi list,


We are about to implement open bravo on our organization and need a new server.


I decided to get a dell r310 but I dont know if I should get the hardware raid or just configure software raid on the server.


I have been reading about this but still I am undecided.


What do you think?


Cheers

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Old 10-20-2011, 07:41 AM
Alex Muntada
 
Default Hardware vs software raid

+ Diego Xirinachs <dxiri343@gmail.com>:

> I decided to get a dell r310 but I dont know if I should get the hardware
> raid or just configure software raid on the server.

In my experience, hardware RAID is great for great hardware that comes
with great support. On the other hand, software RAID is good enough in
most cases and it has the plus that it doesn't depend on the hardware
(i.e. you can switch to a new physical or virtual server preserving
the RAID setup).

YMMV

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Old 10-20-2011, 07:49 AM
Soren Hansen
 
Default Hardware vs software raid

2011/10/20 Diego Xirinachs <dxiri343@gmail.com>:
> I decided to get a dell r310 but I dont know if I should get the hardware
> raid or just configure software raid on the server.
>
> I have been reading about this but still I am undecided.
>
> What do you think?

I never use hardware raid. If performance is a major concern, I might
get a decent controller (which may or may not do RAID) to offload some
of the processing there, but I'd use software RAID nonetheless. If the
RAID controller dies, I don't want to be forced to go out and buy an
identical one in order to be able to access my data. Besides, this is
2011. Servers have multiple cores, each running at several GHz. I
doubt the extra processing required to do software RAID is going to be
significant.

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Old 10-20-2011, 08:11 AM
Avi Greenbury
 
Default Hardware vs software raid

Diego Xirinachs wrote:
> I decided to get a dell r310 but I dont know if I should get the
> hardware raid or just configure software raid on the server.

I much prefer software raid. The mild performance benefit of hardware
raid is outweighed by the hassle benefit of software raid - it's so
much easier to swap out failed hardware, and you're more guaranteed to
get it doing what you want it to do, since md is something of a
standard. I also prefer to trust as few opaque black boxes with my data
as possible

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Old 10-20-2011, 08:47 AM
Diego Xirinachs
 
Default Hardware vs software raid

Well, in my experience Dell has very good support, and also they told me that the raid controller inside the r310 is certified to run on red hat and suse, I checked the ubuntu hcl and also found the server model listed there.



Avi, what hassle are you refering to? Software raid requires more configuration than hardware raid, am I wrong?


A little more info, the ubuntu installation I am going to setup here will have critical company info so it needs to be fault tolerant, which raid array type should I go with? I have used raid 0 in the past but people tell me thats not good practice because if a drive fails I am screwed. Is this true?



Thanks so far for the help :-)


On Oct 20, 2011 2:11 AM, "Avi Greenbury" <lists@avi.co> wrote:

>

> Diego Xirinachs wrote:

> > I decided to get a dell r310 but I dont know if I should get the

> > hardware raid or just configure software raid on the server.

>

> I much prefer software raid. The mild performance benefit of hardware

> raid is outweighed by the hassle benefit of software raid - it's so

> much easier to swap out failed hardware, and you're more guaranteed to

> get it doing what you want it to do, since md is something of a

> standard. I also prefer to trust as few opaque black boxes with my data

> as possible

>

> --

> Avi

>

> --

> ubuntu-server mailing list

> ubuntu-server@lists.ubuntu.com

> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-server

> More info: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ServerTeam



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Old 10-20-2011, 08:50 AM
Michael Zoet
 
Default Hardware vs software raid

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Diego Xirinachs wrote:
>> I decided to get a dell r310 but I dont know if I should get the
>> hardware raid or just configure software raid on the server.

It really depends what you want to achieve. If good performance is an
issue for you, you should (or better must) use a good hardware raid.

I administer several Dell Servers (R200, R410 and R510) for 3
companies. Some of them have good hardware Raid controllers (H700 or
up) others not. The servers with the cheap ones I use MD Software
RAID, because the controller performs so poor in the Hardware RAID
setup, that this is no good. On the other hand where the servers have
a good Hardware RAID, it would be a shame not to use it. The
performance improvements are big.

Several weeks ago I had to go in production use for an new online
browser game. The setup (for 2 to 3 gaing instances) consist of a Dell
R410 with Linux software RAID running a web server and as the backend
a R510 with hardware RAID as the database server. Even when we have
1500 simultaneous users the R410 perfoms very good. If we use software
raid on the R510, the performance drops down badly.

On the other hand I have 2 Dells as firewall servers where I use
software raid and it works like a charm. The 2 firewall server are
mission critical for the involved companies and it is much more
important to have the possibilty to change quickly the corresponding
hardware. So software raid is a must ;-).

By the way there is a really good Linux Dell mailinglist from Dell! If
you have a Dell Server with Linux on it, this is a great source of
information. (Hardware and Software related.)

Michael
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:08 AM
Michael Zoet
 
Default Hardware vs software raid

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Am 20.10.2011 10:47, schrieb Diego Xirinachs:
>
> Well, in my experience Dell has very good support, and also they
> told me that the raid controller inside the r310 is certified to run
> on red hat and suse, I checked the ubuntu hcl and also found the
> server model listed there.
>

There is community support for Ubuntu by Dell:
http://linux.dell.com/repo/community/deb/

The provided software by Dell runs on every Dell server as far as my
experience goes.

And it really depends not from the Dell server modell if the raid
controller has good support! It depends from the raid controller
modell you use. You can order several different kinds of raid
controllers for every Dell server!

...
>
> A little more info, the ubuntu installation I am going to setup here
> will have critical company info so it needs to be fault tolerant,
> which raid array type should I go with? I have used raid 0 in the
> past but people tell me thats not good practice because if a drive
> fails I am screwed. Is this true?
>

RAID0 has no raid functionality! It is just a bunch of connected disks
without any redundancy. Never use this if for mission critical data!
Never. What other RAID levels you could use, depends (as alwyas) on
what you want to achieve. If you have only 2 or 3 disk you should only
use RAID1, if you have more than 3 disks you could use RAID10, RAID5,
RAID6 and so on. Every RAID type has it's draw backs.

Michael
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Old 10-20-2011, 02:15 PM
"Peter M. Petrakis"
 
Default Hardware vs software raid

On 10/19/2011 07:35 PM, Diego Xirinachs wrote:
> Hi list,
>
> We are about to implement open bravo on our organization and need a new
> server.
>
> I decided to get a dell r310 but I dont know if I should get the hardware
> raid or just configure software raid on the server.

It really depends on what the load is and how much flexibility you want.
Parity calculations will always be faster using a dedicated controller,
so consider that when you deploy a software RAID 5/6. MD itself is very
reliable, I have no problem trusting it with my data, with the added bonus
that you have the opportunity to fix it yourself. Sometimes vendors can
be slow to address HW RAID firmware bugs. You don't have to worry so
much about the "RAID metadata problem" because you're going with an OEM.

>
> I have been reading about this but still I am undecided.

If you have time do a little benchmarking, expect that the HW RAID will
win out in write intensive loads. The tradeoff then becomes one of management
and instrumentation. Openmanage + SNMP traps and you're basically done with
monitoring your RAID. With MD there will be a little more work involved and
perhaps require integration with something like nagios to get the same effect
as what openmanage offers. Then again, going with an opensource stack offers
all sorts of possibilities.

Peter

> What do you think?
>
> Cheers
>
>

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Old 10-20-2011, 02:46 PM
Dan Trevino
 
Default Hardware vs software raid

Software raid.* The biggest impacts to your performance are going to be outside the hardware/software raid decision (network, DB, etc, etc).


Also, I'm not sure if this applies in your case, but never depend on drivers that are only available from a single source.


Dan

On Oct 19, 2011 7:36 PM, "Diego Xirinachs" <dxiri343@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi list,


We are about to implement open bravo on our organization and need a new server.


I decided to get a dell r310 but I dont know if I should get the hardware raid or just configure software raid on the server.


I have been reading about this but still I am undecided.


What do you think?


Cheers


--

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ubuntu-server@lists.ubuntu.com

https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-server

More info: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ServerTeam

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Old 10-20-2011, 03:00 PM
"Aaron C. de Bruyn"
 
Default Hardware vs software raid

I'n not sure about the whole hardware -vs- software faster/slower
issue--but I do know when we picked hardware RAID, we had issues with
cards failing and the underlying drives being inaccessible without the
card.
You'd think if you have two drives in a RAID1 and the card died you
could simply plug one of the disks directly into the motherboard and
continue on without the card--but that doesn't seem to be the case.

The partition tables are usually offset because the card reserves an
initial chunk of the drive for its data. We would regularly have to
run the linux 'testdisk' command to locate and re-write the partition
table in the correct spot. Then re-RAIDing the drives after the RAID
card came in would be a huge hassle because one drive would have
issues because we re-wrote the partition table.

On the flip-side, I've never had trouble with software RAID in Linux.
It *seems* a little slower to me, but I've never run any tests.

-A

On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 07:46, Dan Trevino <dantrevino@gmail.com> wrote:
> Software raid.* The biggest impacts to your performance are going to be
> outside the hardware/software raid decision (network, DB, etc, etc).
>
> Also, I'm not sure if this applies in your case, but never depend on drivers
> that are only available from a single source.
>
> Dan
>
> On Oct 19, 2011 7:36 PM, "Diego Xirinachs" <dxiri343@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Hi list,
>>
>> We are about to implement open bravo on our organization and need a new
>> server.
>>
>> I decided to get a dell r310 but I dont know if I should get the hardware
>> raid or just configure software raid on the server.
>>
>> I have been reading about this but still I am undecided.
>>
>> What do you think?
>>
>> Cheers
>>
>> --
>> ubuntu-server mailing list
>> ubuntu-server@lists.ubuntu.com
>> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-server
>> More info: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ServerTeam
>
> --
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> ubuntu-server@lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-server
> More info: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ServerTeam
>

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