[SATLUG] Filesystem/RAID advice

Othniel Graichen othniel at gmail.com
Wed Oct 13 00:26:38 CDT 2010


Thanks for restating the problem.

And no what I've stated doesn't sound reasonable, but I have measured it.
Linux is just a better
resource manager than Windows.  But now onto the problem at hand...

Your ultimate decision is which File System to choose.
Problem #1 If you don't run Virtual Machine technology then you are stuck
with Windows File Systems and associated problems.
Why? because Windows doesn't let you mount the best Linux-only File Systems.

Problem #2 How are you going to upgrade Windows without disturbing the data
or the Linux partition(s)?  The partitioning
scheme used may work for a while but you want to guarantee the integrity of
your data.  Writing to a non-RAID file system
from two different operating systems is dangerous.  This is amplified by
doing it under a RAID solution.

Furthermore, I generally recommend against Dual Boot configurations, but
when you must here's the smart way to do it.
Have a separate drive for Windows.
and a separate drive for Linux.
In your scenario, have separate drives for the RAID array.
I assume all these will be connected via SATA.
Connect the Linux drive on the 1st SATA channel, Windows on the 2nd.
Boot up Linux.
Run update-grub

Then whenever you have to reinstall either OS, first disconnect the other
unassociated drive.
With this configuration, each OS can boot independently and your data also
is safely unaffected.

But that doesn't solve which RAID style to use.

Which is why I suggested using a Virtual Machine and Virtual Networking so
as to avoid the problem of
having to read and write a foreign file system in one OS or the other.

With something like VMware or VirtualBox or Xen, you can choose to use
Windows compatible RAID or
even LVM style RAID and access it in the other environment using the native
drivers of the selected
type of RAID.  This has the added benefit of avoiding compatibility issues
as only one OS 'owns' the
RAID file system and does all reading/writing to and from the set.

This addresses how to choose a RAID that is compatible with both Ubuntu and
Windows 7.  You just
network the virtual machines, leave the data on 1 OS and share the File
System over the virtual network.

You choose which OS will own the RAID array and thus all the critical data.
The other OS becomes
a guest operating system and runs concurrently with the host OS.

If you understand this as a practical solution to a difficult situation I
will go into more detail.  Otherwise...
I also would like to hear how to solve managing a RAID array from a dual
boot configuration.

That will be a neat trick.


On Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 11:10 PM, Nate <pixelnate at gmail.com> wrote:

>  On 10/12/10 9:05 PM, Bruce Dubbs wrote:
>> I'd add that which VM in use makes a difference as well as the VM
>> configuration.
>> I'll also note that Nate seems to have his heart set on a native HW
>> instance of Windows.  I know that friends don't let friends use Windows, but
>> we also have to know when to let go.
> Wow. I didn't mean to start the Great RAID Debate (tm), but I have to admit
> that while the debate on 32-bit vs. 64-bit VMs rages on I am not all that
> much closer to answer to the original question. So I'll submit it again,
> this time with a bit more information to start.
> The workstation I am building will either be based on the ASUS KGPE-D16
> dual G34 motherboard:
> http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=4AUqWniKqYByIAxw
> or the SuperMicro H8QG6-F quad G34 motherboard:
> http://www.supermicro.com/Aplus/motherboard/Opteron6100/SR56x0/H8QG6-F.cfm
> 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.
> I need to use Windows because Photoshop and After Effects do not run under
> linux, not even with WiNE. Unfortunately, there just aren't any open source
> alternatives for those apps. So it will be a dual boot box. All religious
> discussions aside, GIMP is a decent image editor it just cannot replace
> Photoshop's breadth of useful tools or it's workflow, and there is nothing
> in the FOSS world that compares to After Effects. Blender does an admirable
> job as a node-based compositer and the now defunct Jahshaka showed promise,
> but alas, they cannot replace AE.
> And while I appreciate Othniel's experience with virtual machines, that
> just won't cut it for working with After Effects. Interface responsiveness
> is of the utmost importance and AE will make use of all the hardware you can
> throw at it. And honestly, I don't buy that Windows can run faster on a
> virtual machine than on bare hardware.
> 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?
> 2) Which file system should the drives be formatted with?
> Thanks for all the responses thus far, and for any yet to be offered.
> ~Nate
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