[CentOS] Central file server advice please

John Bowden j-alan at btconnect.com
Fri Sep 21 20:38:01 UTC 2007

On Friday 21 September 2007 12:40:56 Ted Miller wrote:
> John Bowden wrote:
> > I have a Gygabyte GA-7N400 PRO2 with a 2.6 mHz Athlon cpu. I want to set
> > up a central file storage for 2/3 users using 6/7 machines. A mixture of
> > win2k, XP and various Linux distros (my home network). It will be used to
> > store files, (docs, music and DVD ) for all of these machines, print
> > server, (two ink-jets), mail server and later on  a myth tv set up. Would
> > SAMBA be the best option for the file and print serving ?
> Probably
> > The mother board has 2 X IDE channels, 2 X IDE channels with raid and 2 X
> > SATA raid channels, that's up to 10 hard drive devices. The IDE raid chip
> > is a GigaRaid IT8212F chipset. It supports raid 0 or raid 1 and raid 0 +
> > 1 and JBOD. The SATA raid is a Silicon Image Sil3512. It supports Raid 0
> > or 1. Would I get better speed performance using the chips to manage the
> > raid or using software raid?
> Some digging on Google seems to show that the IT8212F chipset is a
> "halfway" hardware RAID that offers some performance improvement over
> software RAID.  The Sil3512 chipset appears to be pure "fakeraid", in which
> case you are better off putting it in non-RAID mode (in your BIOS) and
> using software RAID.
I have two 250Mb ide drives and I'm going to ad another two. Set up with 
hardware raid, stripped for speed, to write the myth recordings to and the 
central file storage for the network. Then may be two (depending on finances) 
750 Gb SATA drives software raided, mirrored for security to be used for a 
back up server for the network
> > Oh and I will be using the CentOS 5 install dvd. Any advice from the list
> > would be appreciated.
> > Thanks in advance, John
> The other consideration is migration.  If your motherboard dies some night,
> you can take Linux software RAID disks, transplant them onto another
> motherboard, jump through the setup hoops, and be back in business (because
> the RAID is tied to Linux, not the motherboard).
> If you use the  
> motherboard chips for RAID at all, that will not transfer to another
> motherboard (except possibly if you get another motherboard with the same
> chipset and BIOS).  Even if you migrate in a non-failure situation, you
> will not be able to move the drives to another motherboard (mobo) until you
> either
> 1. copy the data to another drive somewhere
>     install old drives on new mobo
>     set up drives on new mobo in new RAID array
>     re-sync drives
>     copy data from temporary drive back onto array
> or
> 2. Set up new mobo with new drives
>     Do initial setup/sync on new array
>     copy entire drive contents from old machine to new machine over network
> Compared to connecting drives to a new mobo and having a new install of
> Linux recognize the array and set it up for you, there is quite a bit of
> difference in convenience.
> My cursory Google search did not give me any data about how much
> performance improvement you would get from the hardware in the ITF8212F
> chipset, as opposed to an all software solution.  If mass throughput is not
> your primary goal (e.g. serving multiple video streams at once without any
> glitches), software RAID may take a little longer to set up at first
> (though I believe you can do it as part of your install, if you answer the
> questions right), it may be easier to live with later on.
I have seen this option when installing Mandriva at the partitioning stage. 
This is my first CentOS install, (played with FC6 & F7). Not too clued up on 
LVM though, will be having a read of the LVM man pages.
> Ted Miller
> Indiana, USA
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