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Friends don’t let friends RAID-0

Every time I see an article like this; it makes me sigh and pity the poor fool who decides that the performance increase given by RAID-0 is worth it. And with four 3 terabyte drives no less, a single drive failure would cause up to 12 terabytes of data loss.

Please, friends don’t let friends use RAID-0 unless said friend really knows what they are doing and has a rigorous back-up routine. Running 3 terabyte drives in a RAID-5 configuration is risky enough with rebuild times going be horrible….but RAID-0, you’ve got to be nuts!

If you rely on the data to do your job, you’ve got to be doubly nuts! Buy yourself an SSD or two and archive files to large properly protected disks when you’ve finished working with them. Don’t kid yourself that you are only storing ‘working files’ on your RAID-0; those working files, the time you really need them…is when you are working on them.

One Comment

  1. Alan says:

    I recently had a RAID disaster, started off with 2 250G barracudas in AID0. When new, based on the published MTBF of the drives it was theoretically more reliable than many single drives, just like every non techie in the world gets in their off the shelf PC. So I wasn’t concerned and as before, continued the monthly backup of my documents and photos.

    It was when you started tweeting about AID0 last month I realised this array was now 4.5 years old I decided to throw another drive in and migrate to RAID5 while upgrading the machine for Portal 2, this is where the cock up occurred.

    When I plugged in the new drive I didn’t seat the power cable for one of the old drives fully. The machine boots and says the array is offline, and apparently when I went into the Intel RAID config dealie it writes config data, and prevents the array working when I plug the drive back in. So without any hard disk failure the array has been blown away, all because of a glitchy controller software.

    Turns out I didn’t need the backup thus time because I was able to use some RAID recovery tools, which saved me copying my music back to the machine and loosing a lot of TV series and films.

    I don’t think any RAID with the cheap controllers you get in PCs can be considered safe. The backups on my new RAID 5 array shall continue.

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