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Hi, I have a setup with two 1TB drives which I would like to run in RAID1. I would also like to to have Ubuntu Server and Windows Server in ...
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  1. #1
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    Question Ubuntu Server + Windows Server in VM on RAID1


    Hi,
    I have a setup with two 1TB drives which I would like to run in RAID1. I would also like to to have Ubuntu Server and Windows Server in a VM on this box all residing on this 1TB array.

    Is this possible and reliable? Is making Ubuntu Server run on "hardware RAID" (on-board controller) reasonable? Or does dmraid, LVM take care of the array better making it a software RAID?

    I setup the array using the controller BIOS and just added both drives to one single RAID1 array, then partitioned approximately as follows:
    sda1 200gb ntfs (unused atm)
    sda2 32gb swap
    sda3 1gb /boot
    sda5 767gb logical, rest of linux ext4
    --various sizes for / /home /usr etc.

    At the moment I can't seem to get Ubuntu to boot following installation.

    What do you think? Hard of soft raid?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer Segfault's Avatar
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    I don't think you have hardware RAID, onboard controllers are usually just SATA controllers with RAID setup in BIOS which will configure software RAID at boot.

  3. #3
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    Sorry, that's why I put it in quotes, it's fakeRAID really, no dedicated controller card. In retrospect I should have invested in a dedicated card...

  4. #4
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
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    those onboard fakeraid chips have pretty lousy support

    software raid would be fine, but you are running windows and i don't think it works with a linux software raid

    though, i'm not really understanding what you are trying to do

    are you trying to run windows VM?

  5. #5
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    Using the onboard "fakeraid" controller would be a bad idea. If the machine fails and you move the HDD to another machine, it won't necessarily be able to read the disks. Software RAID in Linux via the md driver would allow the HDD to be put in any system and accessed.

    The "LiveCD" install of Ubuntu doesn't have md support during the installation process. If you want to use Ubuntu, you'll likely need to install using the Ubuntu "alternative" install CD.

    A common config I use:

    - Linux OS (usually SLES) installed on striped HDD's (md driver)
    - VMware Server
    - Guest OS'es as needed in VM's (Windows, Linux, Solaris)

    A stripe of 3 current SAS drives produces 450-480MB/sec throughput. For data protection or light-usage VM's, a mirror will work fine.

    Edit: Re: Partitioning
    - If Windows is in a VM, why the NTFS partition?
    - No need for a 32GB swap - just wasted space. 1-2GB is plenty.
    - For max performance, I have found reiserfs for / and xfs for the VM data's mount point to be best.

  6. #6
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    I've roughly followed this guide at

    http :// advosys.ca/viewpoints/2007/04/setting-up-software-raid-in-ubuntu-server


    to setup the following using the Ubuntu Server software raid setup:
    1gb /boot
    199gb /usr
    200gb /var
    600gb /

    home directories are NFS mounted so I haven't made a separate partition for those.

    you recommend reiserfs for the linux partitions and xfs for windows vm mount points, what is this based on? i havent followed reiserfs development since mr reiser's ?conviction?, but anyway, the /usr and /var mount points are flexible and im willing to make one (or part of either) the windows vm data mount point.

    any further advice is greatly appreciated.

  7. #7
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
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    you're going to have a lot of wasted space, unless you are putting a lot more stuff under /usr and /var than what will normally go in there

    honestly, you should be fine with only 2 partitions + swap partition, since you have such a large disk 50gb should be plenty for /, then create some other partition for your VMs using rest of space and 1-2gb swap unless for some reason you need more

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