[SATLUG] Filesystem/RAID advice

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Wed Oct 13 15:57:19 CDT 2010

On Oct 13, 2010, at 10:02 AM, Nate wrote:

> 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.

Booting from the RAID is not that much more difficult from just being able to access it.  If it's a true hardware RAID device that is invisible to the OSes in question, then you should be able to boot from it just as easily as any regular disk device.

> 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?

You could use a DROBO, but there are some issues with that idea.  Although you can get a more modern DROBO that attaches via eSATA and has higher performance, there is still the issue that they play all sorts of weird and whacky games underneath the filesystem to get their thin provisioning system to work.  And you'd still have to find some way to get that filesystem mounted and useable on both Windows and Linux.

People I know who are deeply familiar with the base filesystems that are supported by DROBO and are therefore at least reasonably knowledgeable with what DROBO is doing under the hood, tell me that they would never trust their important data to such a spit-and-bailing-wire device.  I wish they had told me that *BEFORE* I bought one of the damn things.

DROBO also has a network version available, which could serve data via NFS and SMB.  But that is not what it was designed to do, and it does not do that job as well as devices that were designed to do it -- like the Infrant ReadyNAS devices I was talking about earlier.  Infrant got bought by Netgear, and new hardware has come out in this line, so if you're seriously willing to consider buying a DROBO, then I'd strongly encourage you to look at buying a ReadyNAS device first.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>

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