I am planning on setting up a RAID 5 array on my data storage drives using Windows Server 2008 software RAID. I currently have a 500 GB drive for the server OS and two 1 TB drives for data storage. The problem I have now is that the drives are not one giant disk so I have to duplicate shares on each volume (i.e. D:\Share1, E:\Share1, etc.).
Apparently extending a volume across multiple disks in Server 2008 is dangerous in that if one disk fails, the entire volume is done for. So it seems that RAID 5 could be a good solution to this problem. Furthermore, I would like to keep transfer speeds as fast as possible since the data on these disks is often streaming to another device, etc.
My questions are the following:
What is the "optimal" number of drives to have in a RAID 5 array? Should I just buy one more 1TB drive? What if I have 4 1TB drives?
Does the number of drives in the RAID5 array affect the transfer speed? I'm assuming that RAID 5 is still faster than my current configuration (single volumes)
With a RAID 5 array, does it matter how many partitions you create on the array?
Thanks in advance for your advice!
P.S. all data is backed up to another device.