Raid 5 (was: Mounting of Linux volumes)

Jeff Schroeder jeff at
Thu Dec 1 18:16:40 MST 2005

I've been following the RAID discussion with interest.  These are good 
comments, and fairly consistent with HOWTO's you'll find regarding 
RAID.  There are good and bad things about it, just as with any 
technology where you have several ways to do something.

> Maybe we should just have a quick poll of those who use RAID ...
> 1) Which RAID level do you use, and in hardware or software?

I use both RAID-1 and RAID-5.  Both are Linux kernel (software).  I have 
clients-- whose servers I manage-- using hardware RAID-5.

> 2) Why do you use RAID?
>    a) In case a drive fails
>    b) Performance benefits
>    c) Mistaken idea that RAID is the same as doing backups
>    d) Other?

Mostly it's in case a drive fails.  I've had that happen on occasion-- 
the more drives you have, and the longer you run RAID servers, the 
higher the probability something will go awry.  However, I've never 
lost data.

> 3) If you use RAID 5, what's the biggest reason you'd use it over
> RAID 1?

Bang for the buck.  I'm using 300GB+ drives, and having to buy 33% more 
drives for the redundancy (is my math right?) can get expensive across 
many servers.

All in all, I strongly agree with the comments that RAID is no 
substitute for regular backups.  It's nice to have an extra level of 
comfort (peace of mind, if nothing else) but it's foolish to think 
that's all you'll ever need.

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