snomunke

Loading OS onto RAID 5 array?

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I have a hardware RAID 5 controller... Can I load the OS onto the RAID 5 array along with my data? Or is that a big no-no? Should the array just be used for data? Please advise my novice brain.

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<slang=Australian>Whatever floats your boat.</slang>

There are no reasons not to load your OS onto a RAID5 array, other than noting that write performance (which only effects data and the pagefile) may be lower than operating a single drive. If that's not important, then go for it...

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I depends on your storage goals, if you are looking for redundancy vs performance vs maximizing available space you could configure your array in several different ways.

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On server I would not prefer instaling OS on RAID5 drive, because if something fails and OS has to be reinstaled it can be quite messy to install RAID5 drivers if they are not already supported by OS.

by

TheR

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If you have a hardware RAID controller, installing the OS on the array is perfectly fine. I have a 3ware card and the card does what's needed to make the array simply appear to the OS as a large SCSI drive. I have a linux box and I simply partitioned up the array to /, /tmp, /home and /storage and that's that. I've upgraded the kernal and upgraded to new/different distributions a number of times with zero issues. The array has also saved my bacon through two drive failures.

- Chris

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The main thing is to ensure that the controller is supported by the windows install routine, either natively or using 3rd party drivers on a floppy disk during install (Press F6 to install SCSI or RAID drivers from a floppy disk, when you first boot from the Windows CD).

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I think that loading the OS onto your array is fine provided that, as someone else already stated, Windows supports the hardware directly or with 3rd party drivers that you can use at install time.

I also feel compelled to point out that, if you are using a 3 or 4 drive RAID 5 array, you could use an additional 1 (for 3 drive RAID 5) or 2 (for 4 drive RAID 5) hard drives to configure a RAID 1+0 array instead, which would have much higher overall performance and reliability compared to RAID 5.

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