Managing RAID on Linux
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2002
Pages: 262

Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) technology is becoming a standard feature of computer systems that support mission-critical services like file sharing, mail exchange, or Web servers. RAID offers two benefits to these essential systems: improved I/O performance and fail-safe data storage.Although bandwidth problems on networks are well documented, the internal data transfer bottleneck that exists at the hardware level in each system can also leave you with perplexing performance issues. RAID is a cost-effective and easy-to-manage way to alleviate this bandwidth problem by distributing the I/O load seamlessly across multiple disks and controllers.RAID also provides uninterrupted data access through disk mirroring and parity algorithms. That means systems can remain online even during a disk or controller failure. RAID is scalable, making it robust enough for large, high-traffic sites and small, critical systems. By using RAID, system administrators can combine single disks into terabytes worth of data storage.Managing RAID on Linux covers everything system administrators need to know to put together a system that can support RAID. You will learn about the different types of RAID, along with associated technologies and issues, and how to choose the best RAID system for your needs. With a step-by-step, hands-on approach, the author guides you through the installation of either Linux software RAID or a hardware RAID card. The book shows how to build an array and optionally install a high-performance file system. Contents include:

  • An introduction to RAID and Linux
  • Planning and architecture of your RAID system
  • Building a software RAID
  • Software RAID tools and references
  • Building a hardware RAID
  • Performance and tuning of your RAID system
RAID has become the low-cost solution of choice to deal with the ever-increasing demand for data storage space. Written for system administrators, power users, tech managers, and anyone who wants to learn about RAID technology, Managing RAID on Linux sidesteps the often-confusing vendor-specific approach you'll find elsewhere to give you the straight story on RAID. Even non-Linux users will find this book full of valuable material.
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RAID on Linux Review

By claude felizardo

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Managing RAID on Linux:

"Managing RAID on Linux" by Derek Vadala is a great intro and reference for understanding and setting up your own Linux RAID system at home or at work. The book does a great job of defining the terminology, covering the various RAID levels and explaining the technology. It covers both software as well as hardware RAID solutions, planning and tuning. The chapter on file systems was informative and the chapter on performance, tuning and maintenance was very useful.

This book would have been perfect a few years ago when I was setting up my current home file server which uses a pair of 40 GB drives in a software RAID-1 (mirroring) configuration. Since then, some of my partitions are now nearly full while others have plenty of free space. Rather than repartition, I've decided to build a replacement server with a RAID-5 configuration using three 120 GB drives.

While you can try and search the Internet for articles, I prefer reading from hard copy so I value books that do a good job of covering the material. This book came pretty darn close to addressing all of my questions except for one area.

At the time I ordered the book, a few people had mentioned "Linux Volume Management" which sounded very interesting. The copy I received was the first edition, dated December 2002, a time when LVM was itself relatively new. As such, there is no mention of LVM in this edition. Granted you'd almost need another book just to cover all of the details of LVM but since it is almost always used in concert with some kind of RAID, I felt the book should have had a section devoted to this important topic. Perhaps a chapter or two on this topic as well as a troubleshooting section could be added in a future edition.

The biggest difficulty with producing any book on Linux is that because it is constantly evolving, anything you write about can quickly become dated. I'd recommend this book as a good starting point for anyone interesting in learning about RAID on Linux especially if they come out with a 2nd edition with more info on LVM.

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