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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is RAID 5?
2.1.
Why RAID 5?
2.2.
Pre-requisites for Setting Up RAID 5 on Linux
3.
Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a RAID 5 Array
3.1.
Testing the RAID Array
4.
Frequently Asked Questions
4.1.
Is RAID 5 suitable for all kinds of data storage needs?
4.2.
Can I create a RAID 5 array with just two disks?
4.3.
Do I lose data if one disk fails in a RAID 5 setup?
5.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Creating RAID 5 (Striping with Distributed Parity) in Linux

Author Sinki Kumari
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Anubhav Sinha
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25 Jun, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

In the era of big data, ensuring both performance and data reliability is crucial. One technology that strikes this balance is RAID, specifically RAID 5. RAID 5 combines disk striping with distributed parity, providing fault tolerance without sacrificing too much storage space. If you're a Linux user and want to set up a RAID 5 configuration, you've landed on the perfect guide. 

Creating RAID 5 (Striping with Distributed Parity) in Linux

In this article, we'll walk you through every step, from understanding RAID 5 to actually implementing it on a Linux system.

What is RAID 5?

RAID 5 stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, Level 5. It combines three or more disks in a way that protects data against a single disk failure, while also offering improved read and write speeds.

Why RAID 5?

Data Redundancy: Distributes parity information across all disks.

Improved Performance: Read and write operations are performed simultaneously across multiple disks.

Efficient Use of Space: Unlike mirroring, RAID 5 doesn't require doubling your disk space.

Pre-requisites for Setting Up RAID 5 on Linux

Before you embark on this journey, you need:

A Linux system.

Three or more unpartitioned disks.

Basic command-line knowledge.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a RAID 5 Array

Step 1: Install Required Packages

Firstly, you need to install the mdadm package, which contains the necessary utilities for managing software RAID arrays. Open your terminal and run:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mdadm

Step 2: Identify Disks

Use the fdisk -l command to list all available disks:

sudo fdisk -l

Take note of the disks you want to use, usually designated as /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, etc.

Step 3: Create the RAID Array

To create a RAID 5 array, execute:

sudo mdadm --create --verbose /dev/md0 --level=5 --raid-devices=3 /dev/sda /dev/sdb /dev/sdc

/dev/md0 is the name of the new RAID device.

--level=5 specifies that we're creating a RAID 5 array.

--raid-devices=3 indicates the number of devices.

Step 4: Verify RAID Creation

After the RAID array is created, you can check its status by:

cat /proc/mdstat

Step 5: Save RAID Configuration

Finally, save the RAID configuration to ensure it survives reboots:

sudo mdadm --detail --scan | sudo tee -a /etc/mdadm/mdadm.conf

Testing the RAID Array

Once your RAID 5 array is set up, it's essential to test it. You can simulate a disk failure and recovery to ensure that your data remains safe.

Simulate Disk Failure: sudo mdadm --manage /dev/md0 --fail /dev/sda

Remove the Failed Disk: sudo mdadm --manage /dev/md0 --remove /dev/sda

Add a New Disk: sudo mdadm --manage /dev/md0 --add /dev/sdx

Frequently Asked Questions

Is RAID 5 suitable for all kinds of data storage needs?

RAID 5 is best suited for environments that require a balance between data protection and system performance. It's not ideal for write-intensive applications.

Can I create a RAID 5 array with just two disks?

No, you need a minimum of three disks to create a RAID 5 array.

Do I lose data if one disk fails in a RAID 5 setup?

RAID 5 can tolerate the failure of one disk without any data loss, thanks to distributed parity.

Conclusion

Setting up a RAID 5 array on a Linux system might seem like a daunting task, but it's entirely doable with a bit of guidance. RAID 5 offers a robust solution for those looking to improve their system's data reliability and performance simultaneously. Whether you're setting up a home server or managing an enterprise-grade data center, RAID 5 could be the perfect fit for you. Happy RAIDing!

Also read :  Features of linux operating system

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