[K12OSN] RAID Question

David L. Willson DLWillson at TheGeek.NU
Thu Apr 9 17:23:48 UTC 2009

> raid -- I was always under the impression that hardware was better in
> all circumstances.

If you're willing to become intermediate (or expert) with the mdadm family, software RAID is faster for cheaper, and more capabler.

 - The processor on a RAID controller is usually slower than your main CPU.

 - There is less memory on your RAID controller than on your motherboard.

 - Few RAID controllers support RAID6, still.

Recoverability:  In case of a controller "smoke out", your pretty hosed with hardware RAID, but with software RAID, you drop your drives into any recent Linux box with md tools and enough SATA ports, re-detect the array and get back to work.

The best and highest combination of low cost, features, performance, reliability, manageability, and recoverability might be OpenFiler, in combination with a thorough understanding of mdadm, LVM, and their friends.

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