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With the current price and size of SSDs it will be cheap and easy to back up, and then when they get cheaper and larger in the future (as they invariably will) I'd buy more :) I'd also suggest looking at the MTBF of SSDs and hard disks, and calculating the chances of a failure (and the types of failure -- they may not be as catastrophic with SSDs, as a single sector breaking may not be a sign that the whole drive is dying as it can be with HDDs) and work out if the SSD has a higher or lower chance of failing than a set of RAIDed hard disks...
Edit : The official server fault blog says that this very site is going with RAID-ed SSDs now : @Colen Some magic that $OS knows how to do.
I'm considering switching to an SSD next year when the prices have come done a bit. It seems like the major cause of mehanical failure will have been eliminated by using the SSD, so you're basically trading "Chance of SSD failure" for "chance of cheapo motherboard raid controller failure". Personally, I wouldn't bother with RAID on the current generation of SSDs.
Basically, one of my drives is now stuffed full of my photos and music so I need to reorganise but I want to ensure that I'm moving this valuable data to a RAID drive. I'm running Forgive me if I'm using any incorrect terminology - I'm a web developer not an IT guy - to me my computer is a box full of wires and spinning things!
:-) However, I'm fairly savvy and capable if I'm given good instructions... What I mean is I can see that my Disk 0 has been partitioned into C and E.
This additional parity calculation adversely affects write performance. Some benchmarks have shown that a RAID controller can suffer more than a 30% drop in overall write performance in RAID 6 compared to a RAID 5 implementation while read performance remains unaffected. I'm just not sure its necessary in the scenario described above. you have a hand-me-down server and (presumably) want to experiment and play with it as if it was a production server. I would recommend you MIRROR those two and put the six drives in either RAID 5 or RAID 6.
The choice is totally up to you as to whether you want the extra parity drive or not. :-) Good call on the "depends", but RAID 5 is tried and slowly being disproven. It's more a problem with larger disks, but smaller older disks (like these) is tempting fate as well. He's not dealing with six 500GB or 1TB drives here. If he'd have said he's hosting in a production environment with a brand new server and huge drives my answer would have been different.