RAID is an abbreviation for CHEAPedundant Aray of Independent EASYisks. Initial, RAID is used as a hedging solution because it allows data to be written to multiple hard disks at the same time. Later, RAID has had many variations that allow not only to ensure data safety but also to significantly increase the speed of accessing data from the hard disk. Here are five commonly used RAID types:
In the past few years, from being a “luxury” component only on mainframe systems, workstations, servers, RAID has been introduced into desktop computers as simple integration. However, it is possible that a buyer knows his motherboard (BMC) has RAID technology, but not everyone knows how to use it effectively. This article introduces basic information about RAID as well as some experiences to use to increase PC power.
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WHAT IS RAID?
RAID is an abbreviation for CHEAPedundant Aray of Independent EASYisks. Initially, RAID was used as a hedge because it allowed data to be written to multiple hard disks at the same time. Later, RAID has had many variations that allow not only to ensure data safety but also to significantly increase the speed of accessing data from the hard disk. Here are five commonly used RAID types:
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RAID can be quickly understood through the information below:– RAID should only work with hard drives of equal capacity.- Using RAID will consume more drives than usual, but in return, data will be more secure.- RAID can be used for any system which operator, from Window 98, window 2000, window XP, Window 10, window server 2016, MAC OS X, Linux…etc– RAID 0 is equal to the total capacity of the drives combined.- RAID 1 only maintains the capacity of 1 drive.- RAID 5 will have less than 1 drive capacity (5 drives using raid 5 will have a capacity of 4 drives).- RAID 6 will have a capacity of less than 2 drives (5 drives using raid 6 will have a capacity of 3 drives).- RAID 10 will only be created when the number of drives is even, there must be a minimum of drive cells or more. The capacity is equal to the total number of drives divided in half (10 drives, the usable space is 5 drives). For example, with 1 type of 1TB drive:- If you have 2 hard drives: You can choose RAID 0 (If 1 drive is damaged, data will be lost), the total capacity when installing Windows will be 1 drive 2TB. Test: Unplug 1 drive => Report error immediately.- If you have 2 hard drives: You can choose RAID 1 (broken 1 data drive is still safe), the total capacity when installing Windows will be 1 drive 1TB. Test: Unplug 1 hard drive => No errors.- If you have 3 hard drives: You can choose RAID 1 (broken 2 data drives are still safe), the total capacity when installing Windows will be 1 drive 1TB. Test: Unplug 2 hard drives => No errors.- If you have 3 hard drives: You can choose RAID 5 (broken 1 data drive is still safe), the total capacity when installing Windows will be 1 drive 2TB. Test: Unplug 1 hard drive => No errors.- If you have 4 hard drives: You can choose RAID 5 (broken 1 data drive is still safe), the total capacity when installing Windows will be 1 3TB . drive. Test: Unplug 1 hard drive => No errors.- If you have 4 hard drives: You can choose RAID 6 (broken 2 data drives are still safe), the total capacity when installing Windows will be 1 drive 2TB. Test: Unplug 2 hard drives => No errors.- If you have 4 hard drives: You can choose RAID 10 (broken 2 drives belonging to 2 different RAID pairs are still safe), the total capacity when installing Windows will be 1 drive 2TB. Test: Unplug 1 hard drive => No errors.- If you have 5 hard drives: You can choose RAID 5 (broken 1 data drive is still safe), the total capacity when installing Windows will be 1 drive 4TB. Test: Unplug 1 hard drive => No errors.- If you have 5 hard drives: You can choose RAID 6 (broken 2 data drives are still safe), the total capacity when installing Windows will be 1 3TB . drive. Test: Unplug 1 hard drive => No errors.- If you have 6 hard drives: You can choose RAID 5 (broken 1 data drive is still safe), the total capacity when installing Windows will be 1 drive 5TB. Test: Unplug 2 hard drives => No errors.- If you have 6 hard drives: You can choose RAID 6 (broken 2 data drives are still safe), the total capacity when installing Windows will be 1 drive 4TB. Test: Unplug 2 hard drives => No errors.- If you have 6 hard drives: You can choose RAID 10 (broken 2 drives belonging to 2 different RAID pairs are still safe), the total capacity when installing Windows will be 1 3TB . drive. Test: Unplug 1 hard drive => No errors….vvMore information about testing: You can try by installing RAID, installing Windows (or Linux) operating system to run. Then take out a hard drive and check if the Windows (or Linux) operating system is still working or reporting an error.
Types of RAID
In terms of classification, there are now quite a few types of Raid in use such as Raid 0, Raid 1, Raid 3, Raid 4, Raid 5, Raid 10.vv… In today’s article about Raid we would like to introduce Introducing to you the top main types of Raid that are popular and often used by customers.
For more details, you can see below:1. RAID 0
This is the type of RAID that is being preferred by users due to its ability to improve the data exchange performance of the hard disk. Requiring at least two hard disks, RAID 0 allows computers to write data to them in a special method known as Striping. For example, you have 8 data segments numbered from 1 to 8, the odd numbered segments (1,3,5,7) will be written to the hard disk first and the even numbered segments (2,4,6). ,8) will be written to the second disc. To make it simpler, you can imagine you have 100MB of data and instead of putting 100MB on a single hard disk, RAID 0 will help to put 50MB on each separate hard disk, reducing the theoretical working time in half. From that you can easily deduce if there are 4, 8 or more hard disks, the higher the speed will be. Although it sounds attractive, in reality, RAID 0 still contains the risk of data loss. The main reason lies in the way the information is written separately because so the data is not completely located on a single hard disk and every time it needs to retrieve information (for example a certain file), the computer will have to synthesize from hard disks. If a hard disk fails, the information (file) is considered unreadable and lost. Fortunately, with modern technology, hardware products are quite durable, so such cases of data loss do not happen much.
It can be seen that RAID 0 is really suitable for users who need to quickly access large volumes of data, for example gamers or those who specialize in digital graphics and video.
2. RAID 1
This is the most basic form of RAID capable of ensuring data security. Just like RAID 0, RAID 1 requires at least two hard disks to work. Data is written to 2 identical drives (Mirroring). In the event that one drive fails, the other will continue to function normally. You can replace the damaged drive without worrying about lost information. As for RAID 1, performance isn’t a top factor, so it’s not surprising that it’s not the number one choice for speed enthusiasts. However, for network administrators or those who have to manage a lot of important information, a RAID 1 system is indispensable. The final capacity of a RAID 1 system is equal to the capacity of a single drive (two 80GB drives running RAID 1 will show the system only one 80GB RAID drive).
3. RAID 0+1
Have you ever wished for a storage system as agile as RAID 0, as secure as RAID 1? It certainly is, and of course it’s not just your wish. That is why the RAID system combining 0 + 1 was born, summarizing the advantages of both “elders”. However, the cost for a system of this type is quite expensive, you will need at least 4 hard disks to run RAID 0 + 1. Data will be written to 4 hard disks simultaneously with 2 accelerated Striping drives and 2 backup Mirroring drives. These 4 drives must be identical and when put into a RAID 0+1 system, the final capacity will be of the total capacity of 4 drives, for example, if you run 4 80GB drives, the amount of “visible” data is (4 *80)/2 = 160GB.
4. RAID 5
What is Raid 5? Basically, Raid 5 is similar to the two traditional storage raid types mentioned above, Raid 1 and Raid 0. That is, it is also possible to separate and store separate hard drives and still have a backup plan when there is a problem. An error occurs for any one hard drive in the cluster.
This is probably the most powerful RAID form for home and office users with 3 or 5 separate hard disks. Data and backups are shared across all hard drives. This rule is quite confusing. We go back to the example of 8 data segments (1-8) and now 3 hard drives. Fragments 1 and 2 will be written to drives 1 and 2 separately, their backup segments are written to hard drive 3. Segments 3 and 4 are written to drives 1 and 3 with backup segments respectively writes to drive 2. Fragments 5, 6 are written to drives 2 and 3, and backups are written to drive 1 and then this sequence repeats, segments 7,8 are written to drives 1, 2 and the backup is written to drive 3 like the original. Thus, RAID 5 both ensures improved speed and high safety. The final hard disk space is equal to the total disk space used minus one drive. That is, if you use 3 80GB drives, the final capacity will be 160GB.
JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) is not actually a mainstream RAID, but has some characteristics related to RAID and is supported by most RAID controller devices. JBOD allows you to attach as many drives as you want to your RAID controller (within port limits, of course). They are then “aggregated” into a larger hard disk for the system to use. For example, if you plug in 10GB, 20GB, 30GB drives, through a RAID controller that supports JBOD, the computer will recognize a 60GB drive. However, note that JBOD does not provide any other additional value: no performance improvement, no data security solution, just connection and capacity aggregation.
6. Some other types of RAID
In addition to the types mentioned above, you can also come across many other types of RAID, but they are not widely used but are limited to computer systems for specific purposes, such as: Level 2 (Error-Correcting Coding), Level 3 (Bit-Interleaved Parity), Level 4 (Dedicated Parity Drive), Level 6 (Independent Data Disks with Double Parity), Level 10 (Stripe of Mirrors, as opposed to RAID 0+1) , Level 7 (Storage Computer corporation’s trademark, allowing additional caching for RAID 3 and 4), RAID S (invented by EMC corporation and used in their Symmetrix storage systems). Besides, there are some other variants, such as Intel Matrix Storage which allows running RAID 0 + 1 with only 2 hard drives or RAID 1.5 of DFI on BMC 865, 875 systems. Although they have many differences, but most are improved versions of traditional RAID methods.
Raid lines such as Raid 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 are all called common Raid standards. And the non-standard Raid lines are Raid 10, Raid 0 + 1, Raid 50…
For Raid 10 data will be saved simultaneously to 4 hard drives, of which 2 are Striping (Raid 0) and 2 (Mirroring) Raid drives. In essence, Raid 10 is a combination of two popular raid types and Raid 1 and Raid 0. When comparing Raid 5 with Raid 10, we can see that they both help improve performance and data safety. However, Raid 5 hosting is more cost-effective than Raid 10 hosting.
And Raid 50 is a perfect combination of Raid 5 and Raid 0, the data is written for the first time according to the Raid 0 mechanism but is divided according to the Raid 5 mechanism in the second write. Thanks to that, this type of raid still ensures very good query speed similar to RAID 10 but makes better use of hard drive capacity than Raid 10.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO RUN RAID?
To run RAID, you need at least one controller card and two hard drives of the same capacity. Hard disk can be in any standard, from ATA, Serial ATA or SCSI, it is best to have them completely the same because a simple principle is that when operating in a synchronous mode like RAID, the overall performance of the whole system. The system will be pulled down to the lowest drive if available. For example, when you force a 160GB drive to run RAID with a 40GB drive (regardless of 0 or 1), you’ve wasted 120GB in vain because the control system only treats them as a pair of two 40GB hard drives (except for the JBOD as mentioned). What determines the number of drives is the type of RAID you plan to run. The communication standard is not very important, especially between SATA and ATA. Some newer BMCs allow RAID in a way that mixes both of these interfaces. Typically MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum or DFI Lanparty NForce4 series.
The RAID Controller (RAID Controller) is the place where the data cables connect the hard disks in the RAID system and it handles all the data going through there. This controller comes in many different forms, from discrete cards to integrated chips on the BMC.
What is Card Raid for PC? Card Raid can be Onboard or Discrete Card. RAID card with RAID support function can operate in the machine, where the data cables connect the hard disks in the RAID system and it handles all the data passing through it. For PC systems, although not yet popular, choosing to buy a BMC with integrated RAID is a good thing to do because in general this is one of the most obvious and cheapest solutions to improve system performance, not to mention. their data security value. In case the BMC does not have RAID, you can still buy a PCI controller card in the market for a not very high price.
Another component of a RAID system that is not required, but is sometimes useful, is the drive hot-swap trays. It allows you to replace malfunctioning hard disks while the system is running without having to shutdown (simply unlock, unplug and plug in a new drive). This device is often used with SCSI hard drives and is quite important for server systems that require continuous operation.
In terms of software, it is quite simple because most modern operating systems support RAID very well, especially Microsoft Windows. If you use Windows XP then adding RAID is quite easy. The most important are the drivers, but it’s nice that they’re already included with the device. Installing RAID can cause some problems if you are inexperienced, but there are solutions later in the article.
There are two cases that will happen when users upgrade RAID for the system. If the additional RAID system is only used for storage purposes or as a place for high-speed information exchange, the installation is very simple. However, if you plan to use it as a place to install the operating system and software, it will be very troublesome and have to reinstall the whole thing from scratch.
1. Select RAID type
So you’ve decided to take your system to the next level. But choosing the right RAID type is not as simple as you think. With conditions in Vietnam, you can choose a number of RAID solutions including 0, 1, 0+1 and 5. In which RAID 0, 1 is the most economical and is usually available on most current BMC lines. RAID types 0+1 and 5 are usually only available on high-end, expensive models.
RAID 0 is definitely the option that offers the highest speed but is also the most fragile. For example, you use 4 hard disks in RAID 0, the data transfer speed can be up to more than 100MB/s. This is a very attractive number for any PC user. However, the possibility of data loss also increases the rate by 4 times. The computer hard disk is a mechanical product that moves and will gradually “age” after a long time of use (fortunately, the hard disk aging time is quite long). In addition, mains failure or failure of the control part can also lead to disaster. Therefore, RAID 0 should not be used for long-term data storage, but it is the number one choice for temporary drives that need high speed, for example web database storage. And if you’re going to use it for a long time, add a few hard drives and switch to a RAID 0+1 system. That’s really ideal if you have ample financial resources.
RAID 1 if run alone will have no effect other than creating another drive that is exactly like the main drive. The average user may not be interested in RAID 1, except for those who have to store and manage really important documents like the servers that store customer or account information. If using RAID 1, you should consider adding hot-swap trays because it will help data recovery faster (you can disassemble the drive and proceed to make a copy of the additional new drive while the system is running). work as usual).
RAID 5 is currently the number 1 choice for all types of computers thanks to its ability to both correct errors and speed up. If you plan to build a RAID system with 4 or more hard disks, RAID 5 is definitely the optimal solution.
Hybrid RAID types, such as RAID 0+1 or RAID 50 (5+0) often have the characteristics of component RAID types, but you should consider them and only use them if necessary because of the cost of flexibility. case is quite high. We can summarize as in the table:
2. Hardware Selection
The first thing is to choose the right components. Regarding the RAID controller chipset, you don’t have many options because they are basically integrated on the BMC. However, you should pay attention to the following points.
Currently, integrated RAID controllers usually include two main types: control chips mounted on BMC or built-in support from chipsets. Common uses include:
+ Intel ICH5R, ICH6, ICH7. These southbridge chipsets come with the i865/875/915/925/945/955 series.
+ nVIDIA nForce2-RAID (AMD), nForce 3 Series (AMD A64), nForce 4 Series (AMD A64/ Intel 775).
External control chip: There are many types of different brands such as Promise Technology, Silicon Image, Adaptec, but the most common are the two Silicon Image Sil3112 and 3114 lines.
Those integrated in the southbridge are usually low latency, easy to use. However, the features are often not many and the software is limited, sometimes “abusing” system resources for read/write tasks. Using third-party chips, the latency is often higher (negligible), the software and features are richer, using minimal resources; removable cards are easy to change and disassemble when necessary. However, it is extremely important to note that Silicon Image Sil3112 has relatively poor compatibility, so when switching to other RAID systems, data may be lost. Sil3114 and higher have fixed this error. The nForce and ICH5,6,7 systems can swap hard drives back and forth, their BIOS RAID is also smarter and often able to recognize groups of preformatted RAID hard drives.
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Some of the latest BMCs such as the DFI Lanparty NF4 SLI-DR have support for RAID 5 as well. In terms of desktop interfaces, you’ll usually only find PATA or SATA types, and since multiple cables are required, SATA would be the wiser choice even without taking into account the faster speeds and numerous technological improvements. If you have enough money, you can keep an eye on some relatively professional products that allow you to plug in more RAM to use as a huge cache to increase speed significantly.
Regarding the hard drive, you should choose the type capable of transferring large data and having fast access speed. Access Time specifies the time it takes for the hard disk to find the data it needs and is as small as possible. In addition, the hard drive should also have a large cache (8MB or more), some new models have a cache capacity of 16MB and technologies that allow significant performance increases (such as Seagate NCQ). Ideally, the hard drives should be the same because the RAID will be affected if there is a slow drive or a small capacity according to the “worm makes the soup pot” criterion.
3. Install RAID
The installation of RAID in general mainly relies on the BIOS of the mainboard, RAID Controller and is almost not difficult.
After you have plugged the hard drive into the correct RAID location on the board (refer to the product documentation), go to the BIOS of the BMC to enable the RAID controller and specify the relevant ports (usually in the Integrated Peripherals section). .
After this operation, you will save the parameters and then restart the computer. Pay close attention to the notification screen and press the correct key combination when the computer asks (it can be Ctrl + F or F4 depending on the RAID controller) to enter BIOS RAID.
For BIOS RAID, although each has a different interface (refer to the accompanying documentation), you basically have to do the following:
+ Specify the hard drives to join the RAID.
+ Select RAID type (0/1/0+1/5).
+ Specify Block Size: This is the key that greatly affects the performance of the RAID hard drive rig. For Striping RAID, Block size also means Stripe Size. If this parameter is not set properly, it will waste memory and reduce performance. For example, if the Block Size is 64KB, then at least 64KB will be written to the drive in all cases, even if it is a 2KB text file. So this value should approximate the average size of the files you use. If the hard drive contains many small files, for example Word documents, you should keep the block size small, if it contains a lot of movies or music, the large block size will give better performance (especially with a RAID 0 system).
Besides, Block size also has another function that determines where the file will be written. Going back to the Block Size 64KB example, if the file is smaller than 64KB, it will only be written to one hard drive in the RAID system and so there won’t be any performance improvement. In another case, a file with size 150KB will be written to 3 drives with 64KB + 64KB + 22KB chunks and the controller can read information from three drives at the same time allowing for significant speedup. If you choose a block size of 128KB, the file will only be written to two 128KB + 22KB drives. In fact, you should choose a Block Size of 128KB for desktop computers unless you have specific needs.
After the controller has perfectly recognized the new hard disk system, you proceed to install the operating system as well as format the RAID drive. Windows XP is a wise choice.
The installation of Windows is generally the same as usual, but you need to prepare a floppy drive and floppy disk containing the driver for the RAID controller. Immediately after pressing the keyboard to enter the settings, you must pay attention to the text at the bottom of the Windows installation screen to press F6 in time. Then wait a moment and when asked, press S to install the RAID driver.
The remaining steps, you operate exactly as with the installation on a normal hard disk.
After you have stabilized the system, you should pay attention to install additional RAID system control utilities to take advantage of extended features and sometimes even performance. Can list some programs such as Intel Application Acceleration RAID Edition or nVIDIA RAID Manager…
If you have a drive full of data and want to set up RAID 0, you have to format the drive and redo everything. So find yourself a suitable backup plan. If using RAID 1, this is not necessary.
Usually with a RAID 0 system you should have an extra small hard drive to store the most important things in case something goes wrong, although it is very unlikely.
When the computer restarts (especially when it’s booted up abnormally), it can take a long time for the system to stop while the RAID controller recognizes the drives, and there may even be a lot of strange noises playing. out of the hard disk muscle. You don’t have to worry because this is completely normal as the controller has to synchronize the operation of all the drives in the RAID group it manages.
RAID groups of hard disks usually consist of several hard drives operating next to each other, so the heat generated is quite large, which is not beneficial in the long run. Find a solution to cool down if possible to avoid unintended trouble.
What are hot spares?
Through the above items, everyone probably knows what Raid is, but “How to use RAID properly? How secure is using RAID? Troubleshooting RAID?” then you need to know some more information.
Usually when using RAID, users often follow the habit of only using 2 HDDs and think it is safe. However, have you ever thought that when the HDD fails, what will you do? Shouldn’t you run to find a similar HDD to replace the old HDD? There will be 2 cases:
Find the HDD with the same serial after 1 – 6 months or maybe longer. The use is also a problem, 2 HDDs are not identical, the system is not optimal, even cannot be RAID. If you are lucky, you will find the correct HDD serial of the same type. However, the next thing to replace the right HDD die, rebuild the RAID, but there are quite a few users who do not know how to rebuild and edit wildly, causing the loss of RAID which means losing data.
Therefore, we would like to suggest you a safe way to use RAID – that is to use HOT SPARE.
What is Hot Spare Objects? Hot spare (Warm spare/ hot standby) is used as a failover mechanism to provide reliability in system configuration. Hot spare is active and connected as part of the working system. When an important component of the system fails, the hot spare is switched to a state ready for repair. When this mode is set up, if one of the two HDDs dies, immediately the 1HDD in the HOT SPARE state will automatically join and replace the other dead HDD, and automatically rebuild the system raid for you.
Some other concepts you need to know when using Raid
What is Intel Serial IO Driver?
Intel Serial IO Driver helps to connect software between devices and Operating System installed in your PC/MAC/Tablet. It manages the communication between applications and the interface is provided by the drivers that normally run device accessories when you attach them. Without this driver, the Raid cannot function, cannot be activated or accessed for use.
What is stripping?
In the field of data storage, data striping is logically sequential data, similar to a single file, but it is stored on many different physical disks, the purpose is to speed up data access. Data striping involves dividing the bits of each byte across multiple disks in sequence.
Intel Rapid Storage Technology (abbreviated as IRST) is Intel’s new technology that supports hard drive management: protecting your data (limiting data loss in the event of a partial hard drive failure), saving power consumption, increase the write and read speed of the hard drive.
The amount of information that you create more and more (record, share, edit from Videos, images, documents) storage capacity has increased a lot over the years. All this high-quality digital content requires a secure and reliable storage solution.
IRST is integrated on the very popular windows platform today such as: windows 7, 8, 8.1 or the latest is windows 10.
The value that RAID brings to the system is undeniable – safety, higher performance depending on configuration. In fact, RAID 0 and 0+1 are most popular in home environments. RAID 0 is the fastest but also the most dangerous, with just one glitch, everything is over. Meanwhile, RAID 1, although providing the ability to ensure the most information security, often gives users a sense of waste (spending money on 2 hard drives but only 1 in performance and capacity). RAID 5 offers high performance and safety, but the control device is often quite expensive, not to mention the amount of money spent on the hard drive is also more, so few people care unless the work needs it. As a result, some users turn to SCSI drives for performance/security issues, but a good SCSI system can be even more expensive.
If we look more closely, we will see that the IDE standard has many problems, for example the drives are not designed to run continuously (very important for server systems), the current ATA cable is too cumbersome. So when using multiple drives, it will lead to case crowding and in the worst case, the heat will lead to system failure. But with ever-evolving technology and new standards like SATA, RAID certainly has a bright future and becomes the ideal companion for high-end personal computer systems.
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