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Internal RAID controller with 2.5" disks ?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 17th 04, 03:57 AM
Mark Smith
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Default Internal RAID controller with 2.5" disks ?

Hi there,

Ages and ages ago I saw a hardware RAID product that fitted in a 5.25"
drive bay and used 2.5" hard disks.

Does anyone here with a better memory than me know who makes such a
product ?

I basically want to make use of fast and quiet notebook drives and
stripe them for performance on my desktop PC .. want speed and silence
which isn't the easiest to have together :-)

Also are there any good IDE controllers about with a good lump of
cache on them ?

Thanks.

Mark
  #3  
Old August 20th 04, 12:02 AM
Dorothy Bradbury
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There was a product which took "caddy'd" 2.5" disks in a RAID-1
mirrored system, LCD display. Didn't take off too well and they also
had trouble with the powered eject and so dropped that I recall.

As for RAID'd laptop drives for performance
o RAID-0 will give you performance with 2 drives
---- at the expensive of any RAID (hence the Zero)
---- so if a drive fails, you better have a recent backup
o RAID-10 will give you performance & mirroring with 4 drives
---- this has been done with 2.5" drives, review on the web

The problem is the fastest 2.5" disk whilst 7200rpm has slow seeks.
o For some desktop applications/data-sets notebook drives will be slow
o RAID-0 will help with the "maximum SDTR" by striping
o However striping doesn't help constant thrashing around with small files
---- rotational latency benefits from the 7200rpm drive
---- however access & seek times are laptop v desktop orientated

MS-IE breeds small files - from cookies to jpgs, gifs, history, etc etc.

So it comes down to your application-set & data-set:
o If you find them very slow on a laptop, ie, heavily I/O bound
o Then you are likely to find that a similar bottleneck on the desktop

RAID-0 will make a difference, but there *are* some very quiet 7200rpm
drives out there - Barracuda, Samsung and others are noted for low noise.
o If you can, increase the distance between your ears & the drive
---- siting the drive in the bottom rear of a case can be beneficial
---- moving the PC further away & using a USB linked optical drive
o Using soundproofing is treating the effect, not the cause, so less effective
---- noise leaks very effectively through any holes, which a PC is full of
o Despite this, some soundproofing approaches can be very effective
---- mounting the drive on acoustic isolators - bits of rubber or soft material
---- typically these are a rubber or, better, a visco-elastic material
---- these stop the case, the substrate, being excited into resonance

So I would not give up on the 3.5" desktop solution.
Also worth verifying what your noise source is - re seek or CPU fan or such.

For RAID, if the data is critical, the vendor matters:
o 3ware do some very reliable cards - but for RAID-0 benefits are lesser
---- so the money might be better spent on an offline daily backup hard-drive
o 3ware for RAID-10, ie, 4-port are a viable solution
---- that would give you RAID-0 striped performance, with mirroring
---- additionally the RAID array has automatic rebuild on drive failure

RAID-0 solutions lose all data if a single drive fails.
Laptop drives are also somewhat more expensive than desktop - 50-90% more.

You could always use Firewire 800 (more reliable it seems than USB) with a single
WD Raptor 10,000rpm to get your performance, then stick it a LONG way away.
Yes it will need decent cooling (use a larger enclosure), but also use a low noise fan.

Just some other solutions to think of - but prioritise around the key noise creators.
Modern quiet drives are notably quieter than even quite recent ball-bearing drives,
or even formerly "quiet" models - mounting & siting of the drive is also an issue too.

Think carefully, a RAID-0 2-notebook-drive solution is an expensive one.
Laptop drives are not silent during seeking - sound like faint ball-bearings bouncing.

I use a laptop to thin-client to several noisy PCs, to be quiet.
That is until the laptop drive starts playing pinball with itself or background I/O :-)
--
Dorothy Bradbury
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/dorothy...ry/panaflo.htm (Free Delivery)


 




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