RAID 0 and SSD

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Re: RAID 0 and SSD

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:40 pm

cynan wrote:First of all, TRIM function with some of the newer SSD controllers isn't exactly mandatory as they feature pretty aggressive garbage collection. Worst case scenario, if you do notice performance degradation, it's not that much of an issue to simply secure erase the drives (reset all the sectors to "0"), which basically resets performance. Particularly if you are making regular image backups of your RAID array anyway (recommended). I've done this myself with the onbaord X79 Intel storage controller using a Linux bootable version of Parted Magic (free) and Windows 7 backup image with a pair of Corsair Performance Pros in RAID 0 and it takes about half an hour. The process goes something like:

1) Make sure you have your recent RAID 0 array image backed up to a known location (ie, secondary mechanical drive) using Windows Backup
2) Reboot into BIOS and change Intel RAID mode to IDE
3) Save BIOS settings and reboot with Parted Magic boot disk/USB
4)Secure erase drives with Parted Magic (takes a couple of minutes tops). Sometimes there are issues with the SSDs being locked. The easiest way around this is if you have a secondary SATA controller. Connecting the drives to this controller for the secure erase will get around this. There are also other workarounds if you encounter this.
5)Reboot into BIOS, change storage controller back to RAID mode.
6)Reconfigure RAID 0 array to exact same size that it was initially.
7) Boot into Windows Recovery. (Load RAID controller if you need it - ie, X79 chipset). Reload Windows Backup image.

Sure TRIM is easier, but you shouldn't have to do this very often, if at all, with the newer SSD controllers (like once, maaaybe twice a year with heavier usage and perhaps even less frequently). It doesn't take too long, and you can do it with freely available software. I wasn't noticing performance degradation with my array, but I ended up having to reload my backed up image anyway so I thought I'd give it a try.



Thanks this is extremely helpful.
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Re: RAID 0 and SSD

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:06 pm

kamikaziechameleon wrote:

Thanks this is extremely helpful.


FYI, here's a youtube tutorial on how to use Parted Magic to secure erase an SSD. There are also tutorials in other forums outlining the entire process in a bit more detail. The only issue I ran into other than having to connect my SSDs to my auxillary onbaord SATA controller for the secure erase was that I had to boot Linux using one of the "failsafe" modes from the boot menu in order for the desktop to load. I assume this is because the Linux build wasn't compatible with HD 7900 cards.
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Re: RAID 0 and SSD

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:32 pm

If that's the only goal...go buy a fast 64 GB SSD and pair it up with a 1 or 2 TB 7200 RPM HDD. You'll save a huge amount of money and it'll still be blazing fast.
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Re: RAID 0 and SSD

Postposted on Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:49 pm

Waco wrote:If that's the only goal...go buy a fast 64 GB SSD and pair it up with a 1 or 2 TB 7200 RPM HDD. You'll save a huge amount of money and it'll still be blazing fast.
???

I think you missed what I said/typed, I have over only 150 gb of media, and 600 gb of software licenses and plugins I want to retain.
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Re: RAID 0 and SSD

Postposted on Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:51 pm

kamikaziechameleon wrote:
Waco wrote:If that's the only goal...go buy a fast 64 GB SSD and pair it up with a 1 or 2 TB 7200 RPM HDD. You'll save a huge amount of money and it'll still be blazing fast.
???

I think you missed what I said/typed, I have over only 150 gb of media, and 600 gb of software licenses and plugins I want to retain.


I think his solution matches your problem perfectly. Unless you can afford one large SSD, or are willing to run multiple SSDs separately, using a caching setup is the next best thing. SSD RAID 0 is not ready for prime-time as a boot/applications drive, and won't be until Trim commands are appropriately implemented across the board.

Hell, many of us, myself included across two systems currently, just use a <200GB SSD alongside a larger HDD without caching. Just use symbolic links to move things needing a speedup from the HDD to the SSD.
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Re: RAID 0 and SSD

Postposted on Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:00 pm

kamikaziechameleon wrote:
Waco wrote:If that's the only goal...go buy a fast 64 GB SSD and pair it up with a 1 or 2 TB 7200 RPM HDD. You'll save a huge amount of money and it'll still be blazing fast.
???

I think you missed what I said/typed, I have over only 150 gb of media, and 600 gb of software licenses and plugins I want to retain.

Which you could do using Intel Smart Response or any of the other caching products you can buy now (Corsair, OCZ, etc).

They work amazingly well and cost a HUGE amount less than massive SSDs that will go to waste 99% of the time.
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Re: RAID 0 and SSD

Postposted on Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:16 am

If you're running Windows, I think you can use disk manager to make them into a JBOD (no RAID, but that means TRIM functions correctly), and that won't increase your odds of data loss as much as RAID 0. If you really want 1 TB of ssd space, they do make terabyte ssds (they're expensive!) TBH, you'd probably be just as happy with a single smaller ssd for the OS and some frequently used or disk-intensive programs, and two hard drives (one for files/programs, one for backups).

One area where the ssd would be much faster, besides booting up, is in the backup process. Another option would be to get a relatively small ssd for your OS, another for programs, and a hard drive for data. It's more complicated, but would probably accomplish 90% of what you wanted for a lot less money and you'd get functional TRIM support. It's your dough. Do what you want.
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Re: RAID 0 and SSD

Postposted on Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:56 am

I'm doing 3xr0 Samsung 830 128s I got off a Newegg sale. I couldn't be happier quite honestly. One thing I noted was my perc 6i which was powering my SAS drives wasn't fast enough (sadly) for the SSDs and were limiting their performance.

Otherwise as someone else noted, do backups and trim doesn't really matter. I don't think Intel has went mainstream with their implementation yet, but I'm sure we'll see it in other OSs after they do. Garbage collection on modern SSDs is pretty good so as long as it sits idle for a bit it'll do it's own internal trim. Raid away if you feel the need.
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Re: RAID 0 and SSD

Postposted on Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:31 am

Just make sure you get a drive with garbage collection; not all of them do.
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Re: RAID 0 and SSD

Postposted on Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:14 pm

Ok, I know I posted last December that my RAID 0 setup was doing awesome and all that. Well, now it is a different story. The system was bogging down and running at HDD speeds. Not acceptable! :) So, I backed up the system, formatted one of the X25 g2, put it back in and restored the system. Bam! Back to original speeds. To be on the safe side, I did the same with the other SSD and got the same result. So, now I know TRIM does work. So, I'm going to experiment with JBOD cuz as my son's system, he doesn't care to know that data would need to go to a secondary drive. 160gb is plenty for him.

Anyway, I guess it just takes time to notice a degradation. I know this is not an answer, but I'll chalk it up as a FYI.
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Re: RAID 0 and SSD

Postposted on Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:35 pm

SomeOtherGeek wrote:Ok, I know I posted last December that my RAID 0 setup was doing awesome and all that. Well, now it is a different story. The system was bogging down and running at HDD speeds. Not acceptable! :) So, I backed up the system, formatted one of the X25 g2, put it back in and restored the system. Bam! Back to original speeds. To be on the safe side, I did the same with the other SSD and got the same result. So, now I know TRIM does work. So, I'm going to experiment with JBOD cuz as my son's system, he doesn't care to know that data would need to go to a secondary drive. 160gb is plenty for him.

Anyway, I guess it just takes time to notice a degradation. I know this is not an answer, but I'll chalk it up as a FYI.


That's essentially exactly what one would expect to happen. Even the X25's were good at garbage collection, but the real pain comes from running the system itself off of an SSD RAID; it will eventually just bog itself down.

So SSD RAID is great for a 'workspace' storage solution but not so much as a primary storage solution, and you're really better off just using a single drive that supports Trim.
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Re: RAID 0 and SSD

Postposted on Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:10 am

As of the end of August both Intel RST and RSTe have been updated and support TRIM with Raid 0.

Just an FYI for others using various raid configurations. In an earlier post on this thread you mentioned using Acronis for backups. Acronis restores to most hardware raid types but to only a few types of software raid (simple, spanned, and striped). It does not support restoring to software implementations of mirrored or Raid 5 arrays. See FAQ: http://kb.acronis.com/content/11681
Last edited by SleepingBear on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RAID 0 and SSD

Postposted on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:48 am

A more complete list of requirements to successfully enable TRIM with Raid 0 goes beyond the ones just mentioned in my previous post:
1) Sandforce controller based SSDs need at least firmware version 5.03.
See article:
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/4870/ ... ndex1.html
2) The RAID option ROM packaged in a BIOS update must be at least version 11.5.0.1582
3) The Intel RST must be at least version 11.5.2.1001
For items 2 and 3 see article:
http://www.rwlabs.com/article.php?cat=& ... genumber=1
Testing performed by rwlabs in the above link also demonstrates that both Windows 7 and Windows 8 support TRIM on RAID 0 if the above requirements are met.
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