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5 Tips To Speed Up Linux Software Raid Rebuilding And Re-syncing

It is no secret that I am a pretty big fan of excellent Linux Software RAID. Creating, assembling and rebuilding small array is fine. But, things started to get nasty when you try to rebuild or re-sync large size array. You may get frustrated when you see it is going to take 22 hours to rebuild the array. You can always increase the speed of Linux Software RAID 0/1/5/6 reconstruction using the following five tips.
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Download of the day: OpenBSD 4.6 CD ISO Images

OpenBSD 4.6 has been released and available for download from the official website. OpenBSD is well known for record of more than ten years with only two remote holes in the default install. The OpenBSD is widely known for the quality open source code and documentation, uncompromising position on software licensing, and focus on security and code correctness.
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Software Vs Hardware RAID

A redundant array of inexpensive disks (RAID) allows high levels of storage reliability. RAID is not a backup solution. It is used to improve disk I/O (performance) and reliability of your server or workstation. A RAID can be deployed using both software and hardware. But the real question is whether you should use a hardware RAID solution or a software RAID solution.

In this post I will document my experience with both software and hardware RAID.
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Comparison: Linux Disk Scheduler

I've already written about changing the I/O scheduler for hard disk under Linux and avoiding sudden outburst of disk I/O using ionice utility. I/O schedulers can have many purposes such as:
Minimize time wasted by hard disk seeks.
Prioritize a certain processes' I/O requests.
Give a share of the disk bandwidth to each running process etc

Google has sponsored Gelato@UNSW to take a close look at the disk schedulers in Linux, particularly when combined with RAID. They have now published their findings:

We benchmarked the four standard Linux disk schedulers using several different tools (see our wiki for full details) and lots of different workloads, on single SCSI and SATA disks, and on hardware and software RAID arrays from two to eight spindles (hardware raid) and up to twenty spindles (software raid), trying RAID levels 0 through 6.

We had to fix some of the benchmarking tools (the fixes are now upstream), and we developed a new one: a Markov Chain based replay tool, which allows a workload to be characterised and then a similar workload generated.

=> Selected comparisons of throughput and latency with the different Linux schedulers (via Google open source blog)

Download of the day: Slackware Linux 12.1

The Slackware team announced Slackware 12.1. It is the time to upgrade your slackware server. From the announcement page:

Well folks, it's that time to announce a new stable Slackware release again. So, without further ado, announcing Slackware version 12.1! Since we've moved to supporting the 2.6 kernel series exclusively (and fine-tuned the system to get the most out of it), we feel that Slackware 12.1 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 12.0) and is a must-have upgrade for any Slackware user.

Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements, you'll find better support for RAID, LVM, and cryptsetup; a network capable (FTP and HTTP, not only NFS) installer; and two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.4.2, a fast, lightweight, and visually appealing desktop environment, and KDE 3.5.9, the latest 3.x version of the full-featured K Desktop Environment.

Download Slackware Linux 12.1

Download Slackware via bittorent