Best way to set up a large RAID volume
I currently have a 6TB RAID5 array set up using a 3Ware raid card under Linux, formatted with XFS on it. I never really used XFS before that, but was told it should be good for good volumes, so I gave it a shot. It gets terribly slow and sometimes (rarely though) would freeze up completely. At times re-mounting the volume fixes it up, sometimes the issues reoccur right after remount, it's just kind of unstable. I might need to expand the capacity soon and was considering changing the set up at the same time to make it better.
It's hard for me to judge if the issues I'm having are due to the card, the file system, the hard disks, or the phases of the moon. Some people say that software RAID may be an even better choice than hardware, as is eliminates the potential for a buggy card messing stuff up. What would you recommend?
Keep in mind, I am looking to keep it running Linux.
I'm experienced in linux, but am not a nix "head" so take my post with a grain of salt.
I see more large volume arrays formatted with EXT3 (seems popular?). I don't see why XFS would have a major impact on your performance tho...
RAID performance on a hardware card will be less than optimal until the card has had a chance to perform a FULL initialization on the array.
I'm afraid that anyone who has recommended a software raid solution has not experienced a quality $500 raid card =(
The card was set up over a year ago, so it definitely has fully initialized ages ago. The raid utility claims that everything should be fine and dandy, but somehow I'm a little skeptical of that. Will see if using a different file system will help, the problem of course is finding temporary storage to offload the content of that volume to be able to reformat it :(.
Issue with XFS is that its RAM hungry if you EVER need to do a disk check or fsck. A XFS system can easily use 6gb or more of ram where EXT3/4 file systems do not.
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