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Managing RAID on Linux

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 2.86

Customer Rating: 3
Summary: Great intro to RAID
Comment: "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.

Customer Rating: 2
Summary: Don't count on this to help you recover!
Comment: I agree with all of the other reviews except the one that gave this book 5 stars! One of the most important topics that this book should have covered is how to recover from a disaster! How to replace a hard drive and re-sync the data to the new hard drive.

GURB is now an important boot loader and it doesn't even talk about it! Did you know that if you mirror (RAID 1) your drives during install and use GRUB as your boot loader your second disk won't boot if the first disk fails?

GURB doesn't copy the boot sector to the second (mirrored) disk during the RAID setup! You will be laboring under the mistaken thought that you will be ready *when* your system fails. What you don't know is that it is VERY hard to find out how to copy the boot sector to drive #2 using GURB. I still haven't found out after weeks of searching and posting in newsgroups.

If you can't recover from a failed drive, then you may as well NOT have a RAIDed system cause it wont do you any good. I can't believe that this book would leave a topic like that out! Just my two cents.

Customer Rating: 2
Summary: For RAID beginners that don't want to dig too deep
Comment: I was pretty diappointed by the content of that book.
The graphs and the explanations on what is RAID are nice, but there are only a few lines about what to do if something goes wrong, which is the kind of situation you would like to have a strong reference on how to save your data.

I would rate this book as ok for beginners, but when you want to know more, you don't have much help, so a bad mark for advanced users.
I expected a more advanced work like on the O'Reilly book 'Using Samba' which is very nice, especially the Troubleshooting section.