John Nielsen wrote:

On Friday 14 July 2006 10:37, John Nielsen wrote:
On Thursday 13 July 2006 20:24, stan wrote:
On Thu, Jul 13, 2006 at 04:20:56PM -0400, John Nielsen wrote:
On Thursday 13 July 2006 08:34, stan wrote:
i have a Sun Ultra 40 with 4 500F SATA drives. I plan on using this
machine primarily for a large data storage requirement.

What I want is one large /data partition. Given all the choices for
doing this in FreeBSD (software) what's the "best" choice here? The
partio will be shared via SAMBA if that affects the thhinking here.
"Best" really depends on what your needs and goals are. Here's a quick
overview of what the choices ARE, based mostly on memory. Corrections
and additions welcome. I'll try to make some notes about pros and cons
as well.
Thanks for the nice summary.

The data will be backed up nightly, so I'll probably use gstirpe to get
the maximum capicty. RAID5 would not work very well with 3 x 500G
(asuuming that I can't use the 500G that I put the system on).
If that's really what you want to do then here are a couple more tips. You
can't boot from a gstripe volume, and when (not if) one of your drives goes
bad you'll be happier if you only lose your data and not your entire OS. So
plan to partition the drives and use gmirror for the base OS (since you can
boot from a gmirror volume). Make a relatively small partition (10GB?) at
the beginning of each drive. Make a gmirror volume using two or three of
them and install the OS to that volume. Use the remaining one or two small
partitions for swap or utility partitions. Then make your giant gstripe
volume out of the large partitions on all four drives.

Or better yet, make a gvinum RAID5 volume with the four large partitions.

I think the only tool in my original list that requires you to use the entire disk is ataraid(4).
Just my two pence to a lot of detailed and good-looking suggestions.

*If* the machine will take two more disks I might get a couple of small SATAs which I would use for the OS (mirroring however you want), leaving the entirety of the all the big disks for your data storage. For me, that would give conceptual simplicity (big disk = data, small disk = OS) and little messing around with slices on the data disks.

If you can boot USB, then perhaps a USB stick or somesuch for the OS? (With duplicates in a fire safe!). Less resilience but again frees up all the disks for data. Might depend on what else you want the machine to do. Reader emptor - I've never done this, just read about it!

And test your backups especially if you stripe!



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