Solaris Volume Manager Administration Guide
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Using Solaris Volume Manager With Networked Storage Devices

Solaris Volume Manager works well with networked storage devices, particularly those devices that provide configurable RAID levels and flexible options. Usually, the combination of Solaris Volume Manager and such devices can result in performance and flexibility that is superior to either product alone.

Generally, do not establish Solaris Volume Manager's RAID-5 volumes on any hardware storage devices that provide redundancy (for example, RAID-1 and RAID-5 volumes). Unless you have a very unusual situation, performance suffers. Also, you will gain very little in terms of redundancy or higher availability.

Configuring underlying hardware storage devices with RAID-5 volumes, on the other hand, is very effective. Doing so provides a good foundation for Solaris Volume Manager volumes. Hardware RAID-5 provides additional redundancy for Solaris Volume Manager's RAID-1 volumes, soft partitions, or other volumes.

Note - Do not configure similar software and hardware devices. For example, do not build software RAID-1 volumes on top of hardware RAID-1 devices. Configuring similar devices in hardware and software results in performance penalties without offsetting any gains in reliability.

Solaris Volume Manager's RAID-1 volumes that are built on underlying hardware storage devices are not RAID-1+0. Solaris Volume Manager cannot understand the underlying storage well enough to offer RAID-1+0 capabilities.

Configuring soft partitions on top of Solaris Volume Manager RAID-1 volume, built in turn on a hardware RAID-5 device, is a very flexible and resilient configuration.

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