Author Topic: Boosting FlexRaid Performance with Windows Raid  (Read 1122 times)

Offline af22

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Boosting FlexRaid Performance with Windows Raid
« on: November 29, 2013, 10:30:27 pm »
Hi, I have been using FlexRaid happily for about an year with 4x 2TB hard drives in snap shot cruise control mode (3 DRU, 1 PPU).

I have been missing the performance IOPS of having all 4 drives spin together from a traditional RAID setup and recently thought of a clever way to regain this with FlexRaid I want to share and make sure I'm not doing something stupid.

What I have done today is create Windows Software Raid Arrays.  What I mean is I have converted 4x 2TB drives into windows dynamic disks, and created two striped arrays in raid 0.  Additionally, I added 2x 4TB drives to the mix as PPU's.

My FlexRaid setup now looks like this:
DRU1 - 4TB (2x2TB Windows Raid0)
DRU2 - 4TB (2x2TB Windows Raid0)
PPU1 - 4TB (1x4TB)
PPU2 - 4TB (1x4TB)
- 6 Hard drives total

What this gives me is a nice performance boost when i'm writing and reading data to the DRU's.  Instead of only having 1 drive spin up, I have 2 drives spin up and get a bit more IOPS.  Because having striped array creates more risk of drive failure, i've added 2 PPU's into the mix.  The PPU drives are single drives, so I only get "normal speed" when doing a PPU update.

If one of my raid0 2TB drives fail.  I can replace that DRU with a single 4TB, and keep the left over 2TB as a spare for the other array.

For those people with colorful comments regarding the use of Windows Raid, I have used it successfully for quite a few years before going to FlexRaid.  I have gotten great performance with Windows Raid, and I still use it on all my computers today.  The biggest lacking feature of Windows Raid for a file server is the lack of notification if a drive fails and you no longer have parity.  Also having windows randomly "resync" on 4 hard drives gets annoying.  Both of these problems get manageable when FlexRaid is used in addition to Windows Raid. 

I guess the only thing i'm worried about now is the potential for silent data rot?

Offline Brahim

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Re: Boosting FlexRaid Performance with Windows Raid
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 09:28:08 am »
That's one form of spanning a DRU. The only catch is the resiliency of the RAID 0.