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I have a dedicated server, which has the following:

2 x 146GB drives in RAID1 - configured
3 x 600GB drives in RAID5 - unconfigured

The 2 x 146GB drives are currently dealing with everything, such as the OS, Apache, MySQL.

The 3 x 600GB drives, should be configured, but the server providers are trying to charge me through the roof to configure the RAID5 array.

I have been looking into configuring the server via LVM, but since I've never done this before, i was wondering if there was anything I needed to worry about/look out for as I don't want to mess up the current server.

I'd like the 3 x 600GB drives to be where my apache web root is. Would I need to create a symlink to a folder on here as my 'www' directory?

Has anyone come across any good tutorials that I could follow?


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The Arch Linux wiki has a phenomenal guide for RAID/LVM

If you don't have a hardware or firmware (fake RAID) solution for creating the RAID 5, I would make a software raid with mdadm then set the drive to mount as your www folder

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If you have fake raid, you should still go with mdadm as it is much better supported and actually handles failures. – psusi Oct 25 '11 at 13:47
Most Fake RAID setups come with a pre-boot utility for setting up the drives. In this case, you should use that utility and use dmraid or mdadm to install onto the device, then use mdadm exclusively to manage it. The Arch Linux guide describes using dmraid. – DavidJFelix Oct 30 '11 at 0:53
no, mdadm is for managing mdadm created software raids. dmraid is for fakeraids, and is not very well supported. Unless you need to be able to dual boot with windows, you are better off avoiding the bios fake raid setup and only using mdadm. – psusi Oct 31 '11 at 1:52
Intel rst fakeraids support creation and management via dmraid or mdadm. I agree that dmraid and mdadm is easier if you don't need windows. – DavidJFelix Nov 2 '11 at 8:03
Recently mdadm did add support for intel fakeraids, but that has put it into conflict with dmraid over who owns the array. Switching to mdadm will require changes to blkid so that it identifies the disk as an mdadm component instead of dmraid, as well as fixes to grub, which also still assumes the array is being managed by dmraid. I started a thread a few months ago on the relevant mailing lists to try and sort out how to deal with this but I don't think anything was ever done, so trying to use mdadm to manage an isw fakeraid is just asking for trouble. – psusi Nov 2 '11 at 14:52

I always like taking a look to the Red Hat Documentation, is extended and well explained. In any case, I would recommend you to try RAID (mdadm) together LVM. The RAID softwares provides redundancy or speed if that is what you need.

On the other hand, LVM gives you flexibility in order to manage the storage, you can extend your volumes or you cand add more drives to your VG group.

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