[SATLUG] Filesystem/RAID advice

Nate pixelnate at gmail.com
Wed Oct 13 10:02:09 CDT 2010

  On 10/13/10 9:54 AM, John Pappas wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 22:10, Nate<pixelnate at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> Both boards have the ability to run RAID 0, 1, and 10 (The ASUS through one
>> of their PIKE boards). The reason that I want to make use of this is because
>> video editing and compositing requires fast hard drives, and I cannot afford
>> to go fully with SSDs. I care about redundancy, but not at the expense of
>> speed. And I must be able to access this RAID from both Ubuntu 64-bit and
>> Win7 64-bit. Both operating systems will be 64-bit because the machine will
>> be rockin' no less than 8GB of RAM.
> As mentioned, there are 2 layers of complexity here: the RAID and the
> Filesystem.  AFAIK, only Hardware RAID will work under both windows and
> linux (Windows dynamics are not supported under linux and mdadm is not
> supported under windows.

That is good to know. Yes, this will be hardware RAID.

>> The preceding information is the context for these questions:
>> 1) Is it possible to build a RAID that can be accessed by Windows and by
>> Linux when each are used as the boot system?
> Yes.  Presuming the hardware is supported by both:
> /dev/RAIDDISK_Part1 = 128M-256MB Linux /boot
> /dev/RAIDDISK_Part2 = Windows NTFS OS Native Partition
> /dev/RAIDDISK_Part3 = Linux LVM or Native /
> /dev/RAIDDISK_Part4 = Extended
> /dev/RAIDDISK_Part5-9 = Shared Filesystem TBD

I could have been clearer here. I just meant that when each OS is booted 
that it can use the RAID, not that the machine would boot from the RAID. 
While I cannot afford to go all out for SDDs in a RAID, I will probably 
use one as a boot disk.

> 2) Which file system should the drives be formatted with?
> On the file system side, NTFS-3g works OK (not a screamer, nor wholly
> data-stable), and there is an ext2/3 driver for windows, but again, not a
> screamer/production ready.  AFAIK there is no native filesystem that would
> fit the dual boot requirement.  There are clustered file systems (AFS,
> Polyserve, maybe Lustre, OCFS)  that can be shared across systems in a
> shared storage (SAN/ iSCSI) scenario, but not sure how they work in a dual
> boot application.
> This is where I would perform cost benefit.  You are going to incur a
> slowdown in your workflow, regardless of the solution, given the
> requirements.  Whether that is spent up-front with the complex config, or
> while you wait for the dual-boot to reboot; or from the slight overhead of a
> VM, or from transfer of data over the network.  You have to choose where the
> cost is most manageable.
> In a case like this, I have found that if you want native performance for
> both OSs you will need native hardware for both.  You can then use a sync
> methodology during off hours to get the data where you need it (Windows for
> processing and Linux for protection).

I was hoping that wouldn't be the answer that I would here. So, 
basically, if I want to use a RAID that will be available to both OSes 
then I need to have an external box. That stinks. If that is indeed the 
case, is there any reason why I couldn't use a ready made device like a 
Drobo or any of the other various appliances on the market? Or would I 
be better served putting that box together myself?


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