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Configuring a RAID with Disk Utility

From: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Beyond the Basics

Video: Configuring a RAID with Disk Utility

Disk Utility includes Mac OS X's tools for working with multiple drives so that they appear to the Mac to be a single unit. This is called RAID or Redundant Array of Independent or Inexpensive Disks. The Mac supports two kinds of RAID plus a kind of sort of RAID type. The 2 official RAID types are mirrored RAID, this is a type 1 RAID, and striped RAID, a type 0 RAID. This kind of sort of thing is called a Concatenated Disk Set and it is known informally as JBOD or Just a Bunch Of Disks and no, I am not kidding, that's really what the acronym stands for and they work this way.

Configuring a RAID with Disk Utility

Disk Utility includes Mac OS X's tools for working with multiple drives so that they appear to the Mac to be a single unit. This is called RAID or Redundant Array of Independent or Inexpensive Disks. The Mac supports two kinds of RAID plus a kind of sort of RAID type. The 2 official RAID types are mirrored RAID, this is a type 1 RAID, and striped RAID, a type 0 RAID. This kind of sort of thing is called a Concatenated Disk Set and it is known informally as JBOD or Just a Bunch Of Disks and no, I am not kidding, that's really what the acronym stands for and they work this way.

A mirrored RAID set writes your data to 2 or more disks, each drive contains the exact same data. If one drive dies or is pulled from the RAID, another will take its place. You would use a mirrored RAID, it is kind of the ultimate backup. For example, if you are running a server from your Mac and you can't afford for it to go down for a second because of the drive giving up the ghost, this is the way to go. Note that the size of the RAID is limited to the size of the smallest volume, so if you have a 500 GB drive and a 300 GB drive, the RAID can only hold 300 gigabytes because obviously the 300 GB member of the set can't mirror more data than it can hold.

A striped RAID splits data among the drives in a set. So for example, half a file may be written to drive A while the other half maybe written to drive B. The advantage of a striped RAID is that it is fast when you are writing and reading really large files, huge databases or video files for example. The danger is that if one drive dies, you have lost access to all your data because it has been split up. A Concatenated Disk Set lets you take your Mac's drives and combine them so that the storage is available in one virtual drive.

For example, you can take 3 to 150 gigabyte hard drives and combine their storage in a concatenated set so that you wind up with the drive that appears to the Mac to be 750 gigabytes. To create a RAID just select drives in the left side of Disk Utility and drag them into the main window. Choose the kind of RAID you want from the RAID Type pop-up menu and click the Create button. In this case, we have chosen a mirrored RAID, it tells us what the storage is because the smallest disk we have here is a 320 gigabyte drive which appears to be 298.1 gigabytes, so that will be the largest that this RAID can go.

We do have a larger hard drive over here, but again it's the smallest hard drive that will determine the size of the RAID. A striped RAID. We have more storage available to us because it's going to split the data up between the 2 drives. And finally a concatenated set is where it combines the storage so we end up with a much larger RAID set. So for example, we will create a mirrored RAID set, and we simply click Create to create the RAID. Note that all the data on the drives will be erased when you create a mirrored or a striped RAID, however, when you create a concatenated set, you don't lose any of your data, the drives just appear to be a much larger drive to the Mac.

And there's our RAID, it appears as a single volume on a Mac and the storage is available to us. And to take a portion of the RAID offline, click the Minus button. If you would like to get rid of that volume altogether, simply click Delete. You will be told that the RAID is going to be deleted, and you end up with 2 separate hard drives again. And just for fun, let's make a concatenated set. Click Create, want to combine those, and here is our concatenated drive on the right and you notice that we have much more storage here because the storage capacity of both drives has been combined.

And we are going to check the RAID, and we are ready to move on to creating disk images in Disk Utility.

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This video is part of

Image for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Beyond the Basics
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Beyond the Basics

76 video lessons · 26664 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
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  1. 2m 34s
    1. Welcome
      2m 34s
  2. 7m 20s
    1. Getting settled into the interface
      3m 47s
    2. Moving more quickly on your Mac
      3m 33s
  3. 18m 44s
    1. Changing languages with the International system preference
      7m 28s
    2. Adding security with the Security system preference
      5m 30s
    3. Configuring a firewall with the Security system preference
      5m 46s
  4. 28m 26s
    1. Adding a Bluetooth device with the Bluetooth system preference
      4m 6s
    2. Configuring your display with the Displays system preference
      6m 46s
    3. Configuring your input devices with the Keyboard & Mouse system preference
      5m 43s
    4. Printing and faxing with the Print & Fax system preference
      8m 15s
    5. Setting the Sound system preference
      3m 36s
  5. 35m 18s
    1. Setting up your MobileMe account with the system preference pane
      8m 36s
    2. Configuring your network connection with the Network system preference
      15m 46s
    3. Sharing your computer with the Sharing system preference
      10m 56s
  6. 41m 33s
    1. Understanding the Accounts system preference
      5m 46s
    2. Creating a new account with the Accounts system preference
      5m 31s
    3. Limiting access with the Parental Controls system preference
      10m 18s
    4. Updating your Mac with the Software Update system preference
      3m 54s
    5. Using Speech
      4m 19s
    6. Changing your startup disk with the Startup Disk system preference
      3m 17s
    7. The Universal Access system preference: The basics
      5m 44s
    8. The Universal Access system preference: VoiceOver
      2m 44s
  7. 33m 14s
    1. Tweaking your account settings
      6m 53s
    2. Organizing and viewing messages
      3m 30s
    3. Filtering mail with Rules
      11m 45s
    4. Importing and exporting mail
      3m 52s
    5. Mail tips
      7m 14s
  8. 14m 2s
    1. Creating complex iCal events
      4m 17s
    2. Publishing and subscribing to calendars
      4m 39s
    3. Importing and exporting calendars
      1m 47s
    4. Expanding iCal
      3m 19s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Creating complex contacts
      4m 22s
    2. Importing, exporting, and sharing contacts
      5m 10s
    3. Organizing with Groups and Smart Groups
      7m 15s
    4. Printing from your Address Book
      2m 8s
  10. 17m 17s
    1. Doing more with Bookmarks
      3m 27s
    2. Covering your tracks
      3m 26s
    3. Working locally
      3m 54s
    4. Expanding Safari with Saft and PithHelmet
      6m 30s
  11. 54m 3s
    1. Monitoring your computer with Activity Monitor
      8m 31s
    2. Configuring an airport base station with Airport Utility
      4m 10s
    3. Configuring manual settings on an airport base station
      6m 16s
    4. Copying files with Bluetooth File Exchange
      2m 36s
    5. Setting up a partition with Boot Camp Assistant
      2m 36s
    6. Console
      5m 40s
    7. Storing your passwords with Keychain Assistant
      3m 45s
    8. Using keychain access for more than just passwords
      4m 22s
    9. Transferring user accounts with Migration Assistant
      4m 0s
    10. Monitoring your network with Network Utility
      6m 43s
    11. Using System Profiler
      5m 24s
  12. 23m 3s
    1. Understanding Disk Utility
      2m 18s
    2. Verify and repairing with Disk Utility
      3m 14s
    3. Formatting and partitioning with Disk Utility
      4m 28s
    4. Configuring a RAID with Disk Utility
      4m 13s
    5. Creating disk images with Disk Utility
      5m 34s
    6. Burning CDs with Disk Utility
      3m 16s
  13. 18m 18s
    1. Introducing the Terminal
      1m 36s
    2. Essential Terminal commands
      9m 58s
    3. Using the manuals
      1m 20s
    4. More useful Terminal commands
      5m 24s
  14. 7m 9s
    1. Changing permissions
      4m 27s
    2. Enabling the root user
      2m 42s
  15. 19m 18s
    1. Automator essentials
      1m 18s
    2. Creating an Automator workflow
      6m 52s
    3. Mailing images easily
      2m 42s
    4. Creating a timed backup system
      3m 10s
    5. Playing songs randomly from iTunes
      2m 27s
    6. Recording automation
      2m 49s
  16. 16m 13s
    1. Using the Calculator
      3m 16s
    2. Using Font Book
      3m 25s
    3. Importing and managing fonts in Font Book
      5m 1s
    4. Syncing your devices with iSync
      4m 31s
  17. 20m 13s
    1. Keeping your computer healthy
      8m 15s
    2. Using Disk Warrior
      3m 41s
    3. Using Onyx
      8m 17s
  18. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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