RAID 1 question

Michael L Torrie torriem at
Thu Nov 8 13:33:51 MST 2007

Andres Gonzalez wrote:
> As a follow up to my question on file server distros, I have a
> question about RAID 1 (mirror or redundant drives).
> I am think of having this file server use RAID 1 because the
> motherboards these days have support for it in the chipset.  But I am
> a bit leery of this approach. So, with RAID 1, does RAID do anything
> different to the mirrored drives--anything nonstandard?  In other
> words, if I took one of those RAID drives (one that had been used in a
> RAID 1 set, that is mirrored, and took one of those drives and put it
> into a single drive, non-RAID box, could I mount it as usual and have
> a conventional drive and see all of the previously mirrored data?  Or
> can I only recover the data using the same chipset-based mirrored
> configuration?

Don't use built-in support for RAID unless you are talking about a
standard RAID controller card, like Adaptec MegaRAID or something else
that is a true hardware raid.  These motherboard chipset things are
really just soft raid.

Use Linux software raid.  It's reliable, it's fast, and works
independent of some hardware chipset that may or may not be present on
other machines.

> It seems to me that RAID 1 is perfect in the event of a disk failure,
> but what happens in the event of a motherboard failure? I would want
> to be able to have access to the data using a non-RAID system if need
> be.

With Linux software RAID-1, the answer is definitely yes.  You could
mount the individual mirrors as ext3 filesystems (or whatever), or bring
it up in a degraded software RAID.

> Thanks,
> -Andres
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Michael Torrie
Assistant CSR, System Administrator
Chemistry and Biochemistry Department
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

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