I am setting up FC8 (64bit) with Sun's VirtualBox to create a server where I can can create VM's for testing and for my family to use via RDP. The server we built has an intel Quad 6600 processor, 8Gb RAM and 4 320Gb drives.
My intent is to use the software RAID capabilities of Linux and I'm looking for feedback on this initial proposal:
1Gb swap partition on each of the 4 drives
100MB /boot partition on the first disk
200Gb RAID0 / partition striped across all 4 drives (50Gb on each)
Remaining space (~1Tb total ~750Gb accessible) /data partition RAID5 striped accross 4 drives for my virtual machines, home directories etc.
- I'm not really concerned about data redundancy for the root partition. Installing only takes a few hours and this is a home server; 24/7 operation isn't an issue.
- I would like to try to protect the data partition with redundancy, hence the RAID5 proposal.
1. If I lose a drive with this configuration and have to reinstall the / and or /boot partitions, what is the risk to the /data partition?
2. I've read the partitioning howto documents. Do I really care that the / partition contains /tmp or /var etc. if I give it enough space? I'd rather waste a bit of disk space than have to resize partitions in 6 months or a year because I created a bunch of separate partitions and estimated incorrecty on the expected space requirements.
3. It appears that the RAID5 allows me to recover just a bit quicker because I won't have to restore a few hundred GB of virtual machine files etc, and it does hedge my bets against losing data between backups. Would it make more sense to just create one huge RAID5 / partition and create a directory for the data on that? Is the performance cost of calculating parity on everything going to be noticeable?
So many options.