[Gluster-users] RAID 0 with Cache v/s NO-RAID

Brian Candler B.Candler at pobox.com
Thu Sep 27 19:31:54 UTC 2012

On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 10:08:12PM +0530, Indivar Nair wrote:
>    We were trying to define our storage spec for Gluster and was wondering
>    which would be better purely from a performance perspective.
>    1. Use a simple 24 Disk JBOD with SAS Controller and export each hard
>    disk as an individual volume
>    OR
>    2. Use the 24 Disk JBOD with Flash Based Cache enabled RAID Controller,
>        create 12 RAID 0 Arrays of 2 Disks each,
>        and take advantage of the caching, especially for writing.

I'm not sure why your controller would do caching for pairs of disks in
RAID0, but not for single disks??

>    Just FYI, we will be creating a 'Striped Replicated' Volume for H/A.

Where each server has a bunch of RAID0 disk sets? IMO this is a really,
really bad idea.

Consider the following:

A. One disk in your RAID0 fails entirely. The whole volume is toast. You
insert a new disk, do mkfs, and then you have to sync the whole filesystem's
worth of data from the other server.  You hope that a disk doesn't fail in
the corresponding volume on the other server during this period.

But it's worse than this. Consider:

B. You have a single unrecoverable read error on a single sector.

In a RAID1 or RAID5 or RAID6, the controller will be able to recover the
data from a different disk, write the data back to the failed disk, which
will remap the bad sector to another part of the disk, and everything will
continue fine just as if nothing happened. (Side note: you need to have
drives which support ERC/TLER for this to work)

With a RAID0, your entire brick will go down; Gluster cannot do this sort of
sector-level repair.  You are then back in the situation (A) above, except
that you will end up needlessly replacing a drive.

Or you can dd the affected drive with zeros to force any bad sectors to be
remapped; this will take hours, meanwhile you cross your fingers that you
don't have any read error from the RAID0 on your other server.

This is not a good recipe for data safety. If you care about capacity over
speed, then use RAID6 in your bricks.  If you care about speed over
capacity, then use RAID10.

Of course, if you are just using this for scratch space (lots of temporary
files) then RAID0 is probably fine - but your talk of HA suggests that your
data is more important than that.



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