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Should I RAID? SSD + 4 HDDs - also need backup solution

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Daniel Jenkins
Should I RAID? SSD + 4 HDDs - also need backup solution
on Dec 6, 2014 at 1:29:15 pm

Hello community!

I am configuring a used Dell T7500 Workstation for my son who will be using it primarily as a computational/modeling system. I have installed a 512GB SSD card and loaded Windows 7 and a few programs that came with the used system onto it.

Now for RAID. I installed a 512GB SSD for the OS and applications. There are four Hitachi 2TB drives in the 4 internal drive bays (the previous owner used it for video storage). There is also a LCI 9690SA-81 RAID card in there - but no cables.

I am open to all of your suggestions! I am a TOTAL Noob, but enjoying the puzzle of the best way to set this up for my son. I do need to figure out the best backup solution, as well.

SETUP: My initial thought was to get the SFF-8087 cable to connect the four HDDs and use a RAID 10 configuration. I would then need a backup solution, I know. (I would love your ideas for this!) Alternatively, might I use three drives for RAID and preserve one for backup...?

As far as formatting and setting up the disks: I wiped the HDD where the OS and programs used to live (after cloning them to the SSD). How best to format or prepare the disks? Or does this happen itself when using the 3Ware tool setting up the RAID?

Cooling: Do I need a fan for this RAID card bugger? Any suggestions? Is a PCI slot fan worth a shot?

With many thanks in advance for your help!


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Sorin Nicu
Re: Should I RAID? SSD + 4 HDDs - also need backup solution
on Jan 4, 2015 at 3:42:31 pm
Last Edited By Sorin Nicu on Jan 4, 2015 at 3:46:01 pm

On a similar T3500: I am using now a SSD as OS drive and a RAID5 array created from three identical drives to store the bulk of my files (video, photo, games). RAID5 offers a good redundancy level, but it takes an odd number of drives. For your case a RAID10 will offer a better solution (at just 2TB capacity, but double the redundancy and double the speed).
Personally I use the Intel RAID embedded on motherboard, a dedicated RAID theoretically can add some performance.

As a back-up I have an external 4TB eSATA connected drive.




A review about your RAID card:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/3ware-9690sa.html


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