SoftRAID

Returned from vacation to a struggling XServe (at work, not Birdhouse) — the main boot drive had quietly filled to capacity, and for some reason the email alert system had not kicked in. Fortunately we had recently decided to upgrade the server to a RAID 1 configuration. I had ordered a pair of 500GB Apple Drive Modules before I left, and the delivery dude arrived right as we were in the middle of clearing up space. The universe smiles.

I had done some research on software RAID solutions for OS X Server, and was hearing great things about SoftRAID. Yes, OS X includes built-in RAID software, but this comparison between Apple’s RAID and SoftRAID had me sold.

There are a zillion ways to set things up, but the process turned out to be incredibly smooth. Disabled services to prevent data changing during the upgrade, installed the drives into bays #3 and #4 in the XServe, initialized and grouped them to RAID 1 with SoftRAID, used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the existing drive onto the new volume, set the new RAID volume as the startup disk in system preferences, shut down, ejected the original drive, and brought the system back up. The whole process took two hours, and everything was running like butter. Well worth $129.

Music: Blind Willie McTell :: It’s A Good Little Thing

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