Software and Hardware Raid



  • Ok it will be obvious I am a bit out of the loop on this but I had a couple questions if anyone had input they would like to share.

    1. How good is software raid today?
    2. Is there much of a difference between Windows and Linux software raid?
    3. Is there a consensus on hardware controllers?
    4. If you did not mind buying hardware then would you just do that every time and not worry about software?

    I do not have a particular use case here and I do not have a build in mind. I am just looking for info and thoughts in a general sense so i will take whatever you got. Thanks in advance!



  • @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    1. How good is software raid today?

    Software RAID has always been the primary enterprise choice. Hardware RAID is still software RAID locally to the card.



  • @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    1. Is there much of a difference between Windows and Linux software raid?

    Huge. One is enterprise ready and the other is so bad that it creates the need for the hardware RAID industry.



  • @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    1. Is there a consensus on hardware controllers?

    Adaptec and LSI are pretty much the only enterprise makers.



  • @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    1. If you did not mind buying hardware then would you just do that every time and not worry about software?

    Most of the time but not always. Software has more options and power, hardware is easier.





  • ok thanks. i will check out post of yours.



  • @scottalanmiller I bet I can guess which is which



  • @scottalanmiller this is a little confusing. Are you saying I would get better performance from software raid? I would have thought performance would be better with hardware raid.



  • @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @scottalanmiller this is a little confusing. Are you saying I would get better performance from software raid? I would have thought performance would be better with hardware raid.

    This is Scott's claim - Surprises me, I would have figured that the ASICs on the RAID controllers would be tuned specifically to be as fast as the pipes could allow.



  • @scottalanmiller interesting post, thanks. So in the enterprise which is mostly Linux then it's mostly software raid?

    If your on a desktop then hardware if your using windows and personal preference if your on a Linux desktop?



  • @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @scottalanmiller interesting post, thanks. So in the enterprise which is mostly Linux then it's mostly software raid?

    If your on a desktop then hardware if your using windows and personal preference if your on a Linux desktop?

    Do you know those using RAID on desktops? It's pretty rare.



  • @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @scottalanmiller interesting post, thanks. So in the enterprise which is mostly Linux then it's mostly software raid?

    Well, not necessarily. Remember that enterprises "never" run operating systems on bare metal, so the OS should "never" be discussed when talking about RAID because the hypervisor, not the OS, should be talking to the storage 99.9999% of the time. So while Linux has great RAID and Windows has crap RAID, that alone tells us nothing. These are only useful for providing historical context as to market trends or to provide underlying insight into some hypervisors.

    What actually matters is what hypervisor or storage server is being used. This is way more important. With Xen and KVM, software RAID is great. With Hyper-V and ESXi, hardware RAID is needed.

    However, in the enterprise, RAID is essentially dead. So talking about RAID at all tends to mean that we are discussing the SMB space.



  • @dashrender said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @scottalanmiller interesting post, thanks. So in the enterprise which is mostly Linux then it's mostly software raid?

    If your on a desktop then hardware if your using windows and personal preference if your on a Linux desktop?

    Do you know those using RAID on desktops? It's pretty rare.

    I do know some, and yes, very rare.



  • @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    If your on a desktop then hardware if your using windows and personal preference if your on a Linux desktop?

    If you are using Windows on a desktop, typically you just suck it up and use something crappy. If you are using Linux on your desktop, then software RAID would nearly always be the answer.



  • @dashrender not too much. I got 1 workstation at work that someone else setup a long time ago



  • @dashrender said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @scottalanmiller interesting post, thanks. So in the enterprise which is mostly Linux then it's mostly software raid?

    If your on a desktop then hardware if your using windows and personal preference if your on a Linux desktop?

    Do you know those using RAID on desktops? It's pretty rare.

    I am on my home machine, but I know I'm the exception that proves the rule in this case.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    1. Is there much of a difference between Windows and Linux software raid?

    Huge. One is enterprise ready and the other is so bad that it creates the need for the hardware RAID industry.

    This statement no longer has any value, and hasn't for a long time now. It's based off of ancient data, yet you still say the same thing every time it's mentioned.

    Don't confuse the lack of technical skill regarding a specific technology, with the tech itself being bad. I agree with your statement over 10 years ago, but this is no longer the case.

    Personal experience of a tech in SMB does not reflect an entire industry or enterprise industry.

    That said, I have used both almost equally in a number of scenarios, and in every case, I would say the opposite of you.



  • @tim_g said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @scottalanmiller said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    1. Is there much of a difference between Windows and Linux software raid?

    Huge. One is enterprise ready and the other is so bad that it creates the need for the hardware RAID industry.

    This statement no longer has any value, and hasn't for a long time now. It's based off of ancient data, yet you still say the same thing every time it's mentioned.

    Don't confuse the lack of technical skill regarding a specific technology, with the tech itself being bad. I agree with your statement over 10 years ago, but this is no longer the case.

    Personal experience of a tech in SMB does not reflect an entire industry or enterprise industry.

    That said, I have used both almost equally in a number of scenarios, and in every case, I would say the opposite of you.

    I think what it comes down to being "enterprise ready" is a proper GUI tool to manage it... but the tech itself, definitely enterprise ready.



  • @tim_g said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @tim_g said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @scottalanmiller said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    1. Is there much of a difference between Windows and Linux software raid?

    Huge. One is enterprise ready and the other is so bad that it creates the need for the hardware RAID industry.

    This statement no longer has any value, and hasn't for a long time now. It's based off of ancient data, yet you still say the same thing every time it's mentioned.

    Don't confuse the lack of technical skill regarding a specific technology, with the tech itself being bad. I agree with your statement over 10 years ago, but this is no longer the case.

    Personal experience of a tech in SMB does not reflect an entire industry or enterprise industry.

    That said, I have used both almost equally in a number of scenarios, and in every case, I would say the opposite of you.

    I think what it comes down to being "enterprise ready" is a proper GUI tool to manage it... but the tech itself, definitely enterprise ready.

    A proper GUI makes something enterprise ready, really?

    We've had GUI tools to manage LVM and drive partitions on Ubuntu/Red Hat/Etc for decades. Doesn't mean any sane person would run a GUI on one of those servers!



  • @dashrender I think I will setup a desktop and do some testing myself. I was originally curious if there was a consensus but I think it's pretty obvious there is not.

    I think I will now setup raid on a desktop



  • @scottalanmiller why is raid dead in the enterprise?

    Why do hyper-v and esxi need hardware controllers?



  • @tim_g said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @scottalanmiller said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    1. Is there much of a difference between Windows and Linux software raid?

    Huge. One is enterprise ready and the other is so bad that it creates the need for the hardware RAID industry.

    This statement no longer has any value, and hasn't for a long time now. It's based off of ancient data, yet you still say the same thing every time it's mentioned.

    Nothing has really changed. Windows Software RAID is still the same as it has always been. I say the same thing every time and no one has brought to light any new info on this to me to date. It's not ancient data, it is current data.



  • @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    Why do hyper-v and esxi need hardware controllers?

    Because Hyper-V has no production level RAID option, and ESXi has no software RAID whatsoever.



  • @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @scottalanmiller why is raid dead in the enterprise?

    Enterprise is going to be using network level raid utilizing some sort of erasure coding. So instead of having a single server responsible for storing data, you have many servers storing data with however much parity is needed to maintain data. Example: https://www.backblaze.com/blog/reed-solomon/

    Why do hyper-v and esxi need hardware controllers?

    Windows, because nobody really trusts Windows to manage lots of drives. Seriously, the RAID may be rock solid now, but when drives randomly disappear and reappear it's insane to let it manage a RAID.

    ESXi, because that's what they say, and how the system was designed.



  • @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @scottalanmiller why is raid dead in the enterprise?

    Because it doesn't scale well, not vertically or horizontally. Enterprises don't deal with onesy, twosy servers and need systems like RAIN to deal with storage at scale. RAID is about "single node" storage. RAIN is not.



  • @travisdh1 said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @tim_g said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @tim_g said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @scottalanmiller said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    1. Is there much of a difference between Windows and Linux software raid?

    Huge. One is enterprise ready and the other is so bad that it creates the need for the hardware RAID industry.

    This statement no longer has any value, and hasn't for a long time now. It's based off of ancient data, yet you still say the same thing every time it's mentioned.

    Don't confuse the lack of technical skill regarding a specific technology, with the tech itself being bad. I agree with your statement over 10 years ago, but this is no longer the case.

    Personal experience of a tech in SMB does not reflect an entire industry or enterprise industry.

    That said, I have used both almost equally in a number of scenarios, and in every case, I would say the opposite of you.

    I think what it comes down to being "enterprise ready" is a proper GUI tool to manage it... but the tech itself, definitely enterprise ready.

    A proper GUI makes something enterprise ready, really?

    We've had GUI tools to manage LVM and drive partitions on Ubuntu/Red Hat/Etc for decades. Doesn't mean any sane person would run a GUI on one of those servers!

    That's why nobody seems to use it... because lack of PS ability to manage the tech.



  • @tim_g said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @tim_g said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @scottalanmiller said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    1. Is there much of a difference between Windows and Linux software raid?

    Huge. One is enterprise ready and the other is so bad that it creates the need for the hardware RAID industry.

    This statement no longer has any value, and hasn't for a long time now. It's based off of ancient data, yet you still say the same thing every time it's mentioned.

    Don't confuse the lack of technical skill regarding a specific technology, with the tech itself being bad. I agree with your statement over 10 years ago, but this is no longer the case.

    Personal experience of a tech in SMB does not reflect an entire industry or enterprise industry.

    That said, I have used both almost equally in a number of scenarios, and in every case, I would say the opposite of you.

    I think what it comes down to being "enterprise ready" is a proper GUI tool to manage it... but the tech itself, definitely enterprise ready.

    What does having a GUI have to do with being enterprise ready? Most of the best enterprise stuff has always been GUIless, especially in areas like RAID where there is no value to a GUI.



  • @tim_g that's interesting and guess it means my question was more complex than I knew



  • @tim_g said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @travisdh1 said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @tim_g said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @tim_g said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @scottalanmiller said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    @jmoore said in Software and Hardware Raid:

    1. Is there much of a difference between Windows and Linux software raid?

    Huge. One is enterprise ready and the other is so bad that it creates the need for the hardware RAID industry.

    This statement no longer has any value, and hasn't for a long time now. It's based off of ancient data, yet you still say the same thing every time it's mentioned.

    Don't confuse the lack of technical skill regarding a specific technology, with the tech itself being bad. I agree with your statement over 10 years ago, but this is no longer the case.

    Personal experience of a tech in SMB does not reflect an entire industry or enterprise industry.

    That said, I have used both almost equally in a number of scenarios, and in every case, I would say the opposite of you.

    I think what it comes down to being "enterprise ready" is a proper GUI tool to manage it... but the tech itself, definitely enterprise ready.

    A proper GUI makes something enterprise ready, really?

    We've had GUI tools to manage LVM and drive partitions on Ubuntu/Red Hat/Etc for decades. Doesn't mean any sane person would run a GUI on one of those servers!

    That's why nobody seems to use it... because lack of PS ability to manage the tech.

    Ah, see there is the gap... it's used EVERYWHERE. It's super common. So that is the disconnect. It's insanely broadly used, without a GUI. Sure GUIs are available, but using one would be silly and non-enterprise. You are approaching this from a basic bit of misinformation - believing that some of the most common storage tools in teh world are not commonly used, and then making a logical mistep in trying to explain that misinformation connecting it to a lack of a GUI when there isn't even a lack, nor a need.