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slicing a raid array

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xen83

New Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2015
Hi,

for whatever reason that I might have ;-) I'm trying to create a RAID 10 or RAID 0+1 array 'sliced' in 3: from the same disk set I'm trying to create 3 arrays. Each array has a different capacity.

I'm doing this for Microsoft Windows and I'm currently using onboard AMD raid. However, the AMD raid doesn't support creating more than 2 "slices".

To be more concise, what I'd end up with is:

array 1: 1000 GB
array 2: 250 GB
array 3: 750 GB (more or less)

then each array can be partitioned on its own.

Since I can currently only create 2, I end up with either:

array 1: 250 GB
array 2: 1750 GB

or perhaps, which I had before

array 1: 1000 GB
array 2: 1000 GB

But I cannot create a 3rd.

Now I know a thing exists called Dynamic Disks, from MS Windows, but those Dynamic Disks -- you cannot even boot from it it is said. Also, there is no raid 10 or 0+1. And of course the volumes wouldn't be accessible from Linux --- if I were to boot into Linux for rescue purposes.

I also know a thing exists called MDRAID or "mdadm" from Linux distributions. But of course, that suffers the same thing. Moreover, I'd only be able to run Windows in a form of virtual machine, and although I know it is possible to get good (gaming) performance in a virtual machine (such as KVM and then using 2 graphics cards/gpus (onboard + discrete) -- you can "pass through" the discrete GPU to the Windows VM and have it use its own driver on that) ---- this rather much complicates things and I'm not really happy for that.

Both mdraid + virtualisation, and dynamic discs, probably pose gigantic limitations when it comes down to it -- you are forced toward a certain setup.

It's true that I haven't explored and studied the KVM setup yet, but it might take years.

I was really trying to get a firmware RAID either from AMD or some third party that could do this.

Please don't ask me why I need it. Not unless you are genuinely interested, but most people just want to criticise, in my experience.

I've put the question to AMD, they might respond. It is however clear that AMD software raid (motherboard raid) cannot or will not do more than 2 arrays both in the BIOS config and in its RaidXpert software utility. I cannot select a capacity when I create the 2nd array.

But my question here is:

Do any have experience with creating sliced arrays like this?

I asked one supplier of cheap RAID cards : deLock from Germany. They said their (sil3114) card is limited to 1 array with a max of 1.5TB, which is like a ridiculous limitation.

If this is true of all Sil3114 cards, this one falls off. And that's the only PCI-slot card available (chip).

There *are* 64-bit "real" hardware raid cards. Those you can fit into a 32-bit PCI slot. It is an option. Real raid cards are *said* to support slicing the array.

Other than that (my mobo only supports one PCIe*1 slot in addition to PCI and room for a graphics card) there is one PCIe*1 card available, that has Marvell 88SX7042 chipset, which is the Dawicontrol DC-324e. German supplier as well with nonexistent technical support almost.

I'm kinda stuck here. I might go and call their "german" support hotline to ask them the questions (in English). Other than that a 2nd hand real raid controller in PCI-64-bit might be an option.

Any thoughts? (Apart from "why do you want it?").
 

tachi1247

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
What system are you running that your dealing with pci slots and not pcie?

Not sure what is out there that could solve your dilemma other than I have created multiple raid 1 partitions from one drive on an Intel chipset. Never tried raid 10.

I'm thinking that an upgrade of your system might be in order if your are really talking about pci. A newer chipset with an ssd would eliminate the need for raid 0 and you could just partition the rest of the drive as raid 1 which I know Intel allows multiple partitions.
 
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xen83

New Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2015
No, that's not it. It is just a µATX motherboard. As you know.... graphics card is 2 slot and leaves room for 1 low profile card at the far end. At the near end there is always 1 PCIe*1 slot. You need ATX mobo if you want more.

Thanks for the info. It seems that being bound to AMD is then a rather unpleasant thing for me at this point. AMD supports slicing, but only up to two (2). SSD is not really applicable, I would need 2 SSD + 2 HDD, in raid 1, or even 2 SSD in raid 1 + 3 or 4 in raid 10/5 (hdd). And that still wouldn't give me the setup I want.

I gave up yesterday on achieving this and reinstalled my system using 2 slices: one 250GB for my system and the rest for data and backup, so it is now divided 250/1750 GB (billion bytes).

I also called DawiControl: they said that (all) of their cards do not support this, slicing the array. I didn't inquire about individual models, the gist of it was that none of them did it. DeLock also said their card doesn't support it.

There's not many vendors left unless I go hardware raid, but I now doubt any of the cheaper ones support it. So basically Intel supports it. Hmm. And they say proper hardware raid supports it.

I'm not sure what I want to do.

Maybe put hardware raid card in PCI slot after all.