rozel

Building a SATA (150) Raid System

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Hi - I am new to this forum but came here following my research into RAID Systems.

I am about to purchase an Asus P4C800 Deluxe Motherboard, which has an onboard Promise, 4 Port RAID Controller. In it's specifications, under Storage is listed the following: -

South Bridge:

2 x UltraDMA 100

2 x Serial ATA

Promise 20378 RAID controller:

1 x UltraDMA 133 support two hard drives

2 x Serial ATA

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, Multiple RAID

Other than the ABIT !C7-MAX3, which doesn't have as good an onboard sound chip, I have not found such a versatile Motherboard satisfying what I think to be are my needs. These are: -

Running XP Pro (SP1)

Encoding large Video Files

NTFS Partitions

The advantages of RAID 0 together with RAID 1 - presumably RAID 0+1 ?

However I am confused how to set up such a system. I presume I will need 4 HDD's - I am looking at the Maxtor Diamond Max 9+'s (160gb SATA 150) or the SeaGate Barracuda's (160gb SATA 150). I would welcome any other recommendations by the way.

This will give me a total capacity of 320gb storage with a mirroring system to aide recovery in the event of a disk failure. Given the Promise's specifications, I assume however that I will need to buy 2x SATA drives and 2x UltraDMA 133 drives - am I right here?

If I am correct, then which pair should I configure as RAID 0 - presumably the SATA's for performance? and the UDMA's for the Mirroring RAID 1 pair, again am I right?

I also don't know where to put the OS and how to partition this lot - I obviously want to configure my system for performance - The proceesor will be an Intel P4 3.0ghz (800 fsb) and if I am right so far, then the OS will reside on the same "volume" as the folder where I save the encoded video files. For performance it is recommended that the OS and Save folder reside on different volumes (discs) - I will be using software encoding, via the new Adobe Premiere Pro product so I am building a system for speed/performance. So how can I aceive this and by not achieving this, will the drop in performance, when encoding, counteract the benefits of a RAID 0 system?

Maybe I need to forget redundancy - I think I am getting paranoid about one of the RAID 0 discs failing and loosing everything - I have never had a disc fail on me yet but I am thinking that in a RAID 0 system, failure is perhaps more common. So maybe I should set up a pair of SATA drives in a RAID 0 system and use the other two UDMA drives for staorage?

So could someone help me please with recommendations for a suitable RAID system and subsequent partitioning - performance being the no. 1 priority with some redundancy built in. I am tying myself into knots at the moment wondering how to go about things.

TIA

PAUL

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I had hoped for a little more help than this - I have read the faq, but it gives me really no advice as to how to build a RAID system in relation to my proposed "Promise Controller" and advice as to how to "partition" a striped, redundant array.

Anyone?

TIA

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the creation is done in the adapter's bios - just select both drives and stripe them. partitioning is a matter of preference - not a signifigant performance change.

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Yes but can you partition a striped set? - I wasn't asking about the benefits of partitioning, I know these already. I am asking about partitioning in conjunction with RAID systems. AFAIK Partition Magic does not support RAID, so how do I go about, say partitioning a pair of drives in a RAID 0 set. If I set up as well a set of Mirror drives, in a multiple RAID (0+1) system, again is it straight forward to partition - if so how?

My original question also centred around the Promise Controller, so far I still need an answer on how to set up my drives with this controller.

RAID is very complicated and therefore I must assume no one out there has specific knowledge? The faq does not give information for beginners. It seems to concentrate on the theory. I am ok about this, it is just how does one start to build the system and set it up?

Some starightforward answers would not go amiss folks, please

Paul

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actually, RAID 0 and RAID 1 are very simple concepts to understand and are performed very similarly on almost any controller. The RAID controller presents the system a single virtual disk (much like a normal controller would present the system with a single disk). You should be able to use almost any partitioning software with the RAID array as if it were a single disk. The one that would probably work best is the built in win2k(SP4)/XP (SP1) disk management tool.

The FAQ, alond with the reference completely explains RAID 0 (along with other RAID levels and this applies to your situation. As already stated, if you're only having 2 disks in the system it is usually faster to use them seperately than in a single set.

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There are 2 RAID controllers on this motherboard:

1. Promise

2. Intel ICH5R

Personally I prefer the ICH5R since it is not bandwidth limited by the PCI bus and it has better upgradability (migration from single drive to RAID 0).

The downside of the Intel RAID is that it is SATA only.

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There are 2 RAID controllers on this motherboard:

1. Promise

2. Intel ICH5R

wrong!

Asus P4P800

Asus P4P800 Deluxe

Asus P4C800

Asus P4C800-E Deluxe

All these come with ICH5R, but not Asus P4C800 Deluxe which comes with just ICH5, it's damn lame from asus to do that as the promise controller isn't nearly as fast...

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Thanks for these responses, I think I'm getting there slowly!

makkaramuumi or someone - could you please clarify the difference between the two Motherboards, namely the ASUS P4C800 Deluxe and the P4C800_E Deluxe given my original question.

Am I to assume that the Deluxe model can only support 2 x SATA (150) HDD's and 2 x UDMA (133) HDD's, whereas the E Deluxe can support up to 4 x SATA (150) HDD's?

Can both boards support a RAID (0+1) setup? - I would ideally like to buy 4 HDD's, pair two of them in a striping system and pair two to mirror - am I on the right track?

TIA again

Paul

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Am I to assume that the Deluxe model can only support 2 x SATA (150) HDD's and 2 x UDMA (133) HDD's, whereas the E Deluxe can support up to 4 x SATA (150) HDD's?

They both can support 4 SATA drives. Since they both have two controllers.

The Intel Controller supports 2 SATA drives.

The promise controller supports 2 SATA & 2 PATA drives.

Can both boards support a RAID (0+1) setup?

Since both boards have the same promis controller which is the one that can support the RAID 0+1 setup, yes.

I would ideally like to buy 4 HDD's, pair two of them in a striping system and pair two to mirror - am I on the right track?

I'm unclear how many arrays you want. Do you want one 0+1 array that will mirror and stripe the data. This requires 4 identical size disks on the promise controller.

Or do you want one raid 0 array that will stripe the data and one raid 1 array that will mirror data. These will be two independent arrays or 2 disks each. I think you can do this with the promise controller (what ASUS calls Multi-RAID?).

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I'm making some progress here but only slowly. Thanks again for your help but I'm now a little confused.

1. Taking the two mobo's (the Deluxe and the E-Deluxe) - they both have the Promise Controller right? - is that what is termed the ICH5? but the E-Deluxe comes with the ICH5R as well, which is the Intel controller?

2. Am I right then to assume that the Intel (ICH5R) supports 2 SATA Drives only and the Promise controller (ICH5) supports 2 SATA and 2 PATA (or UDMA 133) Drives?

3. Am I right to assume that the Intel (ICH5R) controller is the faster of the two controllers?

4. Having thought about things a little bit more, given that my system will be built around a NLE Video setup, would it not make sense for me to aquire 2 X Western Digital Raptor 36Gb drives, which I believe spin @ 10,000 rpm and are SATA (150) rated - fix these up as a RAID 0 setup, on which I install my OS (Windows XP - SP1) and programs. This RAID 0 setup to be installed on the Intel (ICH5R) controller. This will give me a Volume of about 72Gb to play with?

5. Install two further drives on the Promise (ICH5) controller, larger capacity - say 2 x 160Gb Seagate Barracuda 7's, also SATA (150) rated and again set these up in a RAID 0 setup for storage, particularly large video clips, which will have been encoded.

6. I appreciate that this will not give me any redundancy, but when funds allow, I could then think about installing 2 x UDMA (133) drives in a RAID 1 setup, to mirror the two Barracuda's?

7. I would appreciate peoples' comments regarding this, it's practicalities and performance - given my questions 4 and 5 above. I presume that initially installing two SATA Barracuda's would be preferable to installing 2 UDMA drives for storage for performance?

Sorry to have to ask some more questions, but I really would like to get to the bottom of all this before the week end, so that I can place my order.

Thanks again folks

Paul

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First I got most of the information from the manual which is available here:

Asus Downloads for P4C800 Deluze

1.  Taking the two mobo's (the Deluxe and the E-Deluxe) - they both have the Promise Controller right? - is that what is termed the ICH5? but the E-Deluxe comes with the ICH5R as well, which is the Intel controller?

Yes they both have the same promise controller built-in based on the specifications on the asus website. The E-Deluxe comes with the Intel ICH5R which has raid functionality. The Deluxe comes with the Intel ICH5 which does not have raid functionality, just two sata ports.

2.  Am I right then to assume that the Intel (ICH5R) supports 2 SATA Drives only and the Promise controller (ICH5) supports 2 SATA and 2 PATA (or UDMA 133) Drives?

Remember these boards have two Controllers on them. One built-in from intel and one added onboard by asus (promise controller). Aside from confusing the ICH5 with the promise controller you have it correct. The Intel controller supports two sata ports, thus 2 drives. It also supports 2 pata ports, thus 4 pata devices. The promise controller supports two sata ports and 1 pata ports, thus 2 sata drives and 2 pata drives.

From the manual for the Deluxe:

Supported by South Bridge (ICH5)

- 2 X UltraDMA 100 connectors

- 2 X Serial ATA connectors

Supported by Promise PDC20378 controller (optional)

- 1 X Ultra DMA 133 connector

- 2 X Serial ATA connectors

RAID0, RAID1, Raid0+1, Multi-RAID configurations

Looking at the board layout you can see the two sets of sata connectors.

The angled ata connector is the raid ata connection from the promise controller. The other two ata connectors are regular non-raid connections on the deluxe.

3.  Am I right to assume that the Intel (ICH5R) controller is the faster of the two controllers?

It is not faster as far as I know, just has added raid functionality.

4.  Having thought about things a little bit more, given that my system will be built around a NLE Video setup, would it not make sense for me to aquire 2 X Western Digital Raptor 36Gb drives, which I believe spin @ 10,000 rpm and are SATA (150) rated - fix these up as a RAID 0 setup, on which I install my OS (Windows XP - SP1) and programs.  This RAID 0 setup to be installed on the Intel (ICH5R) controller. This will give me a Volume of about 72Gb to play with?

Sure that should work well assuming you get the E Deluxe which has the ICH5R.

5.  Install two further drives on the Promise (ICH5) controller, larger capacity - say 2 x 160Gb Seagate Barracuda 7's, also SATA (150) rated and again set these up in a RAID 0 setup for storage, particularly large video clips, which will have been encoded.

Sure sounds good but no redundancy.

6.  I appreciate that this will not give me any redundancy, but when funds allow, I could then think about installing 2 x UDMA (133) drives in a RAID 1 setup, to mirror the two Barracuda's?

Here is where I am not sure. I think you can convert the existing RAID0 array to a RAID 0+1 to get mirroring and striping but this will be one big array. The alternative which I'm not sure about is that you create another just RAID1 array that has the two new drives. This will be three raid arrays in your system, one on the ICH5R with the raptors. One for the RAID0 on the promise and one for the RAID1 on the promise. You then copy from the RAID0 to the RAID1 when you want to backup the video. I'm not sure the promise can run two separate raid arrays. You should be able to confirm or deny this with asus support.

7.  I would appreciate peoples' comments regarding this, it's practicalities and performance - given my questions 4 and 5 above.  I presume that initially installing two SATA Barracuda's would be preferable to installing 2 UDMA drives for storage for performance?

SATA is not inherently faster than PATA other than max transfer speed. And then you have the issue of the promise possibly going through the PCI bus, so 150MB/sec is never reached. You would need like 4 drives in RAID0 to possibly get close to the max transfer speed and then that is only in burst transfers.

I'm not sure you need two raptors in RAID0. If you are just running OS and programs off that volume, a single drive should suffice. If you are working with the video on that drive than that is another story.

Consider the NLE guide at radified.com

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Brilliant - Will Rickards WT - that was an extremely helpful response - whilst looking through Asus's site about an hour ago, I came across the Manual and have just completed the download. Last week when I tried to get, their download site seemed down.

It's 149 pages though but as you say it gives me some guidance to my questions, but you seemed to have sorted them, many thanks indeed.

My E-Deluxe is being ordered right now. I aim to put this with a P4 3.0 (800fsb) cpu, 1Gb Dual DDR ram, two wd Raptors - I have heard many good things about putting the os and programs on a pair of these in a RAID setup - have plumpt for 2 x SATA Seagate Barracuda's - again I have heard these kick ass - and for good measure a Maxtor 120Gb for backup purposes. I intend to build all this in a Thermaltake case with their water cooler and a dual fan 550 watt psu. This is going to be my "dream system" based on my research over the past few weeks - I am sure there's better, so don't mock guys lol! :P Can't wait to unpack it all next week and get stuck in.

Thanks everybody for your help

Paul

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IF this is for purely backup... consider a Super DLT tape drive? 360 gig on a single tape... drives can be had for just under a $1000 and tapes $30 each. If you need to access your data often than this would be a very slow option.

Andrew

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Thanks for this Thread,

I have been assembling a video editing workstation for the last couple weeks and have had these exact same questions and have obviously been looking hard for answers to find this thread!

Goals

My goal is speed for video rendering! And lots of storage, will BU with tape or firewire drives.

Plan to use a Raptor for programs (single SATA) and the 2- 250 gig drives (Raid 0 SATA) for storage (all SATA). I will purchase another Raptor if that will improve speed to use in a Raid 0 config.

Near Future

After the dust settles and this is running well I would also like to add 2- 120 gb WD1200JB drives also, thats for later. Ideas?

Questions and to sum things up

1-The ICH5R does seem to be the fastest so do you think I should put the single Raptor on that? And the 2 250 gb SATA's on the Promise? Or vs. versa? Which would best handle Raid 0?

2-Now from what I understand the ICH5R runs at full SATA speeds and the Promise may only run at 133? Is that correct? And does the Promise controller have full write back capabilities?

I will probably have another question or 2 as I have to leave right now.

What I have:

P4 3.2

P4C800- E Deluxe

1 gb HyperX 3200

1 Raptor SATA

2 - 250 gb Maxtor SATA

2- 120 gb WD1200JB

Thanks cbcarbaj for the Promise bug info! Thanks Will Rickards for really getting to the heart of rozels issues which just happen to be mine as well!

Cheers All, Scott

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IMHO, ICH5R is the best for RAID 0. A single WD Raptor will be fine on promise or ICH5R since it's maximum transfer rate is only ~65MB second which won't saturate the PCI bus.

2 x WD Raptors in RAID 0 however will at ~130MB/sec . . . far outstripping PCI's actual usabale bandwidth which is a little above 100MB/sec.

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2 x WD Raptors in RAID 0 however will at ~130MB/sec . . . far outstripping PCI's actual usabale bandwidth which is a little above 100MB/sec.

Yes but I thought it was the Promise controller on this board that was linked to the PCI bus thus limiting bandwidth? - the Intel is not, which makes it the faster and from my research 2X wd Raptors on a RAID setup linked to the Intel controller, kicks ass - someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Paul

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2 x WD Raptors in RAID 0 however will at ~130MB/sec . . . far outstripping PCI's actual usabale bandwidth which is a little above 100MB/sec.

Yes but I thought it was the Promise controller on this board that was linked to the PCI bus thus limiting bandwidth? - the Intel is not, which makes it the faster and from my research 2X wd Raptors on a RAID setup linked to the Intel controller, kicks ass - someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Start here:

http://www.anandtech.com/chipsets/showdoc.html?i=1811&p=5

Read the next two pages too on the ICH5 and ICH5R.

The ICH is linked to the northbridge via a hub link not through the PCI bus. Thus it is better to use the Intel RAID controller as it is not as limited in maximum throughput.

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[The ICH is linked to the northbridge via a hub link not through the PCI bus. Thus it is better to use the Intel RAID controller as it is not as limited in maximum throughput]

Which in a round a bout sort of way is what I said - connecting the two WD Raptors in a RAID 0 setup on the Intel controller on which is installed Windows XP (SP1) and Programs, is a better option than: -

1. Setting up one WD Raptor

2. Setting up 2 WD Raptors in a RAID 0 setup on the Promise controller

for performance.

Could someone comment on the likelyhood of data loss/corruption based on experience using a RAID 0 setup compared with using a single drive?

Cheers

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Could someone comment on the likelyhood of data loss/corruption based on experience using a RAID 0 setup compared with using a single drive?

the probability of disk failure ruining your data is doubled. corruption is not likely enough to really worry yourself. if this is just a desktop, you won't be able to tell the difference outside of benchmarks. raid0 only affects str, not speed in desktop usage patterns.

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Not even in NLE application? - see earlier part of my thread.

Surely if the OS and applications are on one RAID 0 setup and the storage drives are on a separate RAID 0 setup, then I am really going to see an improvement over single drive setups?

Paul

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Not even in NLE application? - see earlier part of my thread. 

Surely if the OS and applications are on one RAID 0 setup and the storage drives are on a separate RAID 0 setup, then I am really going to see an improvement over single drive setups?

Paul

1) Raid-0, set A for OS/Apps

2) Raid-0, set B for Video [non critical data]

3) WD80GB 8MB HDD for CRITICAL non RAID-0 data, pagefile, etc.

4) for 1Gb or more, Keep OS in memory (registry setting), direct all temp files to FASTEST RAID setup.

5) Ensure you partition both RAID sets. The lower partitions on any RAID setup will be "faster" than the higher partitions.

Keep temp files on Partition 0 on RAID-0 set A.

Keep page file on Partition 0 on RAID-0 set B.

This is what i am planning for a similar thing - Audio/Video manipulation and AV file server over LAN and over Wireless.

This is what i have now:

Dell 400SC server

1GB RAM

- 80GB data drive

- 2x200GB WD special edition Hdds for RAID-0 set A.

Plan to acquire & add:

- 2x200GB HDDs later for RAID-0 set B.

- add 1more GB RAM.

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