What are the different widely used RAID levels and when should I consider them?
My team at work uses a pair of servers each with a 2.7TB RAID 10 array composed of 8x 750GB hard drives. They are set up in different physical locations; one is kept purely as a disaster recovery / software testing environment, and the other handles all our modelling and simulation workload.
We've got to the point where we're regularly running out of space, and we're exploring our options for adding more. Only about 10 people regularly use the server, and usually no more than 4-5 are working on it at any one time. The workload is read rather than write-heavy; our larger database files tend to be read many times but only written to when first created.
The host has asked our team what we'd like to do about this. None of us has any practical experience with this sort of thing, so I thought I'd post here.
The cheapest option seems to be to take a full backup of the production server, rebuild the raid array as RAID 5/6 and then restore the backup. If I understand correctly, this should give us 50-75% extra capacity. I'm not sure whether we currently use hot spares.
- Assuming that we have a decent hardware RAID controller, what sort of change to read and write speeds should we expect to see if we switch our 8 drives from RAID 10 over to RAID 5/6? Anything dramatic?
- Am I correct in thinking that RAID 5 on each server is sufficient to avoid any major inconvenience or total loss of data, given that we have a backup, or should we definitely go for RAID 6?