I have been quite busy lately, but I managed to buy myself a RAID 6 system. I used to have a RAID 5 with 4 harddrives but I guess that’s just not secure enough. I am a lazy person, so I am sure that I won’t replace a broken hard disk immediately. With RAID 5, I would run into the problem of losing all my data as soon as a second hard disk fails. That’s why I decided to upgrade to an RAID 6, where 2 hard disk can fail.
Instead of using a software-raid-controller like my old Highpoint RocketRaid 454, I used a hardware-raid-controller this time, the Promise Supertrak EX8350. It was the cheapest on the market with 8 SATA 2 ports. (RAID 6 with 4 harddrives is pretty stupid…) It has a little heat problem and should be cooled active, not passive. I used 6 harddrives from Samsung with 400 GB each. They’d be really fast with their 16 MB Cache in a RAID 5 setup (~200MB/s), but data safety is more important to me. So in the RAID 6 setup, I have an 1.6 TB array. I turned off the cache, again for data safety reasons. 6 * 16MB = 96 MB, which is a lot of data to loose if the power fails. So I pretty much disabled all performance boosters. Now I wanted to know how the performance was. I expected something around 15 MB/s, so I was quite stunned when I got over 30 MB/s. The EX8350 uses Intel’s IOP333 Xscale processor, which seems to be very powerful. Now I have a pretty safe setup and I hope that I will never loose any data.