Originally Posted by jbcain
if you were me, would you set the 4tb as parity (duh) and then set up the 4 new 3tbs into the pool and then put the 3 full 3tbs into the server, but not into the pool, and copy all the data into the existing drive pool, then wipe the drives clean, and then add them to the pool? (super dooper run on sentences suck). or would you just add the 3 full dries to the pool as is (i'm scared to lose data)
You won't lose the data.
But I probably would copy then add empty into pool after I wiped them. Because I usually copy into specific locations and want specific organization. If adding the folder exactly has it is won't screw up the top level organization of your pool (can you tell I am a bit anal here) then sure go ahead. I find it easier to add empty drives and not suffer the parity calculation time (even though copy paste takes nearly as long first) - adding empty drives is nearly instant. I just feel more in control, but I am weird. I have added full drives many times to my pool. It's easy and you will not lose any data. Do whatever is easier.
No reason you can't add to the pool if you want to do it.
Originally Posted by jbcain
So, my 3 3tbs each have folders on the first layer, blurays, dvds, music, then subsequent folders in those. If I make the flex pool with the other drives then copy these drives to that pool, how does flex decide what info goes on what drive?
Basically everything that is on all your hard drives in your pool shows up on your pool. That is why it can get messy. For this reason I like to keep the top level of my pool organized.
I have folders like: HD MOVIES, TV SHOWS, DVD RIPS, BR RIPS, DISNEY, CHRISTMAS, MUSIC, ... etc...
Inside each of those folder would be that media. Example: All my TV shows are inside the "TV shows" folder. With flexraid it's possible (and likely) that some of your media collections will span multiple HDD's, especially if your collection is larger than any of your hard drives. This means you might have a "TV SHOWS" folder on several of your hard drives. The folder name is exactly the same on all of your hard drives that contain it. If you unpool your drives you would see a "TV SHOWS" folder on many different hard drives- but when you pool them you only see one folder on your FLEXRAID drive.
So answering your question - if you have multiple folders on those hard drives you add and the folders are named the same (or any hard drives contain folders named the same on the top level) then the contents would be pooled. If they are named different then all the folders would show on your pool and nothing would be pooled.
Flexraid doesn't move your data so it won't decide anything. If it's on a hard drive then it stays on that hard drive. The only time flexraid decided where stuff goes is when you are copying new data from outside your pool into your pool. In this case there is two settings in the set up- most times people like consolidated. Meaning Flexraid tries to keep everything together. If you already had a folder named "TV SHOWS" and you added more shows into that folder flexraid would put the new shows inside the folder on the drives that already contain a folder called "TV SHOWS" starting with the one with the most space first. If they all fill up flexraid then makes another "TV SHOWS" folder on a HDD that has the most available space and keeps going. It basically tries to limit the number of same folders you have by keeping it all together.
If you have drive balancing selected as an option it would not behave this way. It would try to balance how much data is stored on all your drives and fill them up together. This means anything new added always gets added to the drive with the most available space.
Lets use this example:
You have 4 hard drives in your pool. Only two of them have a folder called "MOVIES" The first hard drive with the folder "movies" is nearly full and only has about 100GB of free space out of 3TB. The second hard drive that has a movies folder is nearly full but has about 300GB of free space. The other two hard drives in your pool are both empty and contain nothing as you just added them to your pool. When pooled - You only see one "MOVIES" folder and the contents of both hard drives all show inside that folder (all your movies). Now lets say you copy and paste into your movies folder new movies and the copy paste is 500GB large. Flexraid would first start adding movies to the second drive which has 300GB of usable space- then if it fills it would begin to fill up the other movies folder until that drive was full (100GB more) and then if you still had more and both drives were filled it would make a new folder named exactly the same on the hard drive with the most available free space and begin filling that up.
Hope that makes sense.