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RAID gurus: OS within RAID or on separate HD? MacPro OS X Server (10 .5)

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Hi all,


Wonder if anyone could advise? Sorry, if I am in the wrong part of the forum :)


I've got a newish MacPro Server with 4 HDs: 3 x 2TB, 1 x 1TB.


At the moment the RAID volume is the 3 x 2TB, and the OS sits OUTSIDE on a separate HD. It all backs up onto a Drobo using Time Machine.


Is it better to have the OS 'on' the RAID volume, or outside on a separate HD?


My worry is being software RAID, if the OS HD dies so does my array, irretrievably. And to be honest I don't know of the Drobo mirror gives a bootable clone.


Thanks for any help you can offer – am a newbie to RAID.


All the best,



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RAIDs can be used either:

  • to speed up the system (by increasing read/write speed to/from HDD)
  • to have a reliable backup (read for storing data)
  • for both the above slightly reducing benefits of each

A software RAID is not reliable in any case (besides, it can only be read by OS it was created in). The best RAID is a hardware RAID. By hardware RAID I mean a dedicated PCI-E/X RAID card.


It is up to you do decide which is more important - data, speed or both. Usually in servers the third option is used. For home user a reliable backup is more important (I do my data backups to RAID volume). If you do video editing, then speed is more important.


Anyway, be sure to read this info.

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