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Re: Install and RAID

Software RAID gives you better data protection:

Software RAID can be done with totally commodity equipment that is
available everywhere.  The hardware is built (primarily) by major
established players and is available everywhere.

Hardware RAID uses a rare non-standard controller card that is a single
point of failure.

Do a failure analysis on each system:

Software RAID:
Controllers are available everywhere.  If you have the good sense to use
IDE, you can "borrow" a controller card from any workstation.  Also "all"
IDE controllers are compatible with each other.  Sure there are
enhancements such that some are faster or whatever, but all of them will at
least work together.

Hardware RAID:
Controllers made by small companies, not stocked in your state.  If the
controller blows you're probably down until the post office delievers.
Even better, I've heard stories of incompatible controllers.  So if a ABC
brand controller fries,  and you install a XYZ brand hardware RAID
controller, you get to repartition, restore your backups, and start over.

If you have the cash to keep spare HW RAID controllers onsite, then you've
probably got the cash to setup duplicate servers.  If you have duplicate
servers, you don't need RAID because you already have overall system layer
redundancy, so you don't need RAID.  A solution in search of a problem.

So in summary using hardware raid is unreliable unless you have a hot
backup system, in which case you don't need RAID after all because you have
the hot backup system.

Now there might be are other reasons for RAID, but hardware raid is a
reliabilty loss not gain.

The only attempts to explain why HW RAID is better revolve around nonsense
like "its not important unless you spend extra money" or something.

----- Forwarded by Vince Mulhollon/Brookfield/Norlight on 01/26/2001 10:12
AM -----
                    Akkerman             To:     debian-devel@lists.debian.org                                      
                    <wichert@vali        cc:     (bcc: Vince Mulhollon/Brookfield/Norlight)                         
                    nux.com>             Fax to:                                                                    
                                         Subject:     Re: Install and RAID                                          
                    09:41 AM                                                                                        

Previously Adam McKenna wrote:
> This is a ridiculous discussion, IMHO.  Anyone who is serious about
> protecting their data buys a hardware RAID controller.

The real argument for hardware RAID is uptime: hotswap with software
RAID is not common at all, and it's standard for hardware RAID. For
most setups the speed difference is also minimal.

If your only concern is data protection both software and hardware RAID
will give you the same protection.


 /       Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool     \
| wichert@cistron.nl                  http://www.liacs.nl/~wichert/ |
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