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Implementing RAID 1

RAID 1 requires two disks and is often referred to as mirroring (if these disks are on different drive controllers, it is called duplexing). Mirror sets can be very useful for protecting the boot and system volume of your server. You can mirror this volume using unallocated space on another dynamic disk. Then, if the primary boot drive on the server goes down, you can reconfigure the boot.ini file so that the server boots from the mirror.

The volumes used in the mirror must have an equal amount of free space, or there must be more space on the volume that will be used to create the mirror (meaning that you need another drive on the server that has an equal amount of free space or more free space than the volume that you will mirror).

To create a mirror set, follow these steps:

1. In the Disk Management Details area, right-click the dynamic volume that you want to mirror. Select Add Mirror from the shortcut menu. If the option is unavailable, there is no unallocated drive that can be selected as a target for the mirror.

2. The Add Mirror dialog box appears (see Figure 6.10). Select the drive that will supply the mirror volume.

Figure 6.10. Select the drive that will supply the mirror volume.

The mirror volume is created and formatted, and the data on the original drive is mirrored onto it. Depending on the size of the original drive and the number of files on the drive, it may take a while for the two drives to synchronize (see Figure 6.11).

Figure 6.11. The drives in the mirror set will synchronize.

[View full size image]

The two drives in the mirror set share the same drive letter and always contain the same files; data is synchronized between the original volume and the mirror partner. Mirror sets are designated in the Disk Management utility by a dark red color.

Breaking a Mirror Set

You can break a mirror if it doesn’t fit into your overall fault-tolerance scheme. Follow these steps:

1. Right-click either volume in the mirror set and select Remove Mirror.

2. You are asked to specify which of the volumes in the mirror you want to remove. Select the volume that served as the mirror (not your original disk, or your server might not boot). Then click Remove Mirror.

3. You are asked to verify the process; click Yes.

The specified disk is removed from the mirror set. The drive is specified as unallocated space and can be used for some other purpose.

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