[lug] RAID 5 Question

Zan Lynx zlynx at acm.org
Fri May 25 15:28:57 MDT 2007

On Fri, 2007-05-25 at 15:37 -0400, steve at badcheese.com wrote: 
> If the RAID5 was layed-out like:
> RAW RAW RAW PARITY, then you can lose one drive.
> RAW RAW PARITY HOTSWAP, then you can lose two drives.

You can lose two drives *if* the hot spare (I think you meant spare not
swap) has time to sync before the second drive goes down.  This is
mostly the case, so hot spare is a good thing, especially if it idles
down instead of spinning all the time.

Speaking of software RAID and hot spares, one cool thing that you can do
with software RAID is to use an external USB drive as the hot spare (or
the cold spare really).  Plug one in and inform the RAID that it is now
the hot spare.  It should sync it up with the rest of the array and
you're now safe if anything happens to another drive before you can
replace it.

Downside is that the array slows down to the speed of USB-2.
Zan Lynx <zlynx at acm.org>
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