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SSD-HDD RAID?

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David Ellis View Drop Down
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  Quote David Ellis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: SSD-HDD RAID?
    Posted: 06 Oct 2010 at 2:16pm
I'm looking into a system configuration with an SSD for system drive and an HDD for user data drive.

I back up the user data to an external drive, but I'm more concerned with how to recover in case the system drive would go belly up.

Would it make sense to configure an additional HDD to run in a hardware RAID-1 with the SSD?  Is that feasible?
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Griffin Ralston View Drop Down
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  Quote Griffin Ralston Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2010 at 4:30pm
Hey David,

I have a similar setup and dilemma, and so far I haven't heard a simple raid-1 ssd-hdd solution. Most raid arrays require very similar if not exact the same model drives to function correctly.

While it may be possible to somehow get beyond the dissimilarites of the ssd and hdd in this theoretical setup, I'm pretty sure the parity requirements of raid 1 would limit such an array to the lowest common "I/O denominator" meaning you'd be getting hdd performance for ssd+ prices.

While ssd's are still susceptible to the kind of fluke unrecoverable errors that make raid-1 so appealing, the data I've seen suggests these occurrences are orders of magnitude less likely. They do fail, but most of the time its not the catastrophic failure of a hdd, but a slow, controlled failure that can be foreseen using drive utilities and SMART data.

That being said, if you'd still like the peace of mind of traditional raid-1, I think two identical ssd's is going to be your only option.


Hope this helps,

Griffin
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David Ellis View Drop Down
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  Quote David Ellis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2010 at 4:49pm
That's very useful to know, confirming my hunch that yoking SSD-HDD in RAID-1 would negate the SSD's performance advantages.  Given today's prices, going with a second SSD doesn't look terribly attractive.   Installing a disk imaging software product like Acronis TrueImage would seem to be a better choice.
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Griffin Ralston View Drop Down
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  Quote Griffin Ralston Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2010 at 5:23pm
Yeah, if you're comfortable with non-hardware redundancy, and losing a day's worth of data isn't life and death, raid-1 ssd's seem like overkill.
Having a software mirror of the drive updated every 24 hours is a nice compromise.

Edited by Griffin Ralston - 06 Oct 2010 at 5:24pm
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