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.
Chapter 1 Introduction
The RAID Levels: An Overview
RAID on Linux
Hardware Versus Software
Chapter 2 Planning and Architecture
Hardware or Software?
The RAID Levels: In Depth
RAID Case Studies: What Should I Choose?
Making Sense of It All
Chapter 3 Getting Started: Building a Software RAID
lives in New York City. He works for azurance.com, an open source and security consulting firm that he co-founded. He has been published in SysAdmin Magazine, Linux Journal, The Perl Journal, and The Journal of Linux Technology.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. Claire Cloutier was the production editor and copyeditor for Managing RAID on Linux. Ann Schirmer was the proofreader. Ann Schirmer, Mary Brady, and Jeffrey Holcomb provided quality control. Reginald Aubry wrote the index. Claire Cloutier, Genevieve d'Entremont, and Judy Hoer were the compositors.The image on the cover of Managing RAID on Linux is a logjam. Emma Colby designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Hanna Dyer and Edie Freedman. The cover image is a 19th-century engraving from the Trades and Occupations collection of the Dover Pictorial Archive. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1 using Adobe's ITC Garamond font. David Futato designed the interior layout. The chapter opening images are from the Dover Pictorial Archive, Marvels of the New West: A Vivid Portrayal of the Stupendous Marvels in the Vast Wonderland West of the Missouri River, by William Thayer (The Henry Bill Publishing Co., 1888), and The Pioneer History of America: A Popular Account of the Heroes and Adventures, by Augustus Lynch Mason, A.M. (The Jones Brothers Publishing Company, 1884).The book was converted to FrameMaker 5.5.6 by Joe Wizda, using a format conversion tool created by Erik Ray, Jason McIntosh, Neil Walls, and Mike Sierra that uses Perl and XML technologies. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Jessamyn Read using Macromedia FreeHand 9 and Adobe Photoshop 6. The tip and warning icons were drawn by Christopher Bing.
"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.