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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm currently looking into setting up an external RAID drive for all my media storage needs. At this moment have I have a wide array of disks: three 2TB internal drives, one 1TB internal drive in an external enclosure, and two 1TB external drives. This gives me a grand total of 9TBs


Can I get some suggestions on how the most efficient and safest way to set these up would be, without losing too much storage space. I understand that if I do a RAID1 setup I will get some redundancy and be able to keep my data safe. But how much storage space will I lose? Could I do this with my three 2TB drives and my one 1TB drive? If not, could I try a different RAID setup like RAID5?


I have read many posts and this is the reason I've decided to go this route. I wasn't familiar with RAID setups before browsing AVSforum posts. But it seems as though it's a must to keep my all my data safe.


Also, if I'm going to invest in an external RAID enclosure I'd like to have the ability of USB 3.0 since I plan on upgrading my PC within the next few months.
 

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You need to use all the same drives, and ideally, enterprise drives. Look at the HCL for each RAID card manufacturer before purchasing drives to make sure they will work.


RAID 0 offers no redundancy. If 1 drive dies then you lose all of your data.


Ever thought of buying a ReadNAS or NAS device instead? They are way easier to use if you have no experience with RAID.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i'm not familiar with an NAS device. I meant RAID1 in my post. And as far as enterprise drives go, from reading customer reviews of the RAID enclosures on Newegg, not one person has mentions any other drive besides the standard 3.5" drives available on Newegg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If i'm understanding RAID5 correctly an enclosure can have 4 2TB drives, with 2TB of lost storage space due to redundancy. So 8TB of actual storage spaces turns into 6 TB of virtual storage space. Is this right?


I also read somewhere that RAID5 accepts drives of different size. Not all drives have to be 2TB, one can be 1TB, 500GB etc. Is this accurate?
 

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Have you considered UNRaid? You can use disks of any size and the only restriction is you need to have your largest disk as the parity drive, the others can be as large or smaller than the parity drive. So in your case you could use one of your 2TB drives as parity, the other two 2TB drives as storage move the 1TB external to internal and then depending on what your other external drives are possibly take those out and put them into the server or keep them seperate. As far as I know you are not able to use external drives in the UNRaid array. There are plenty of threads here on UNRaid if you wish to go that route or learn more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBostn /forum/post/20863888


Raid 0 provides NO redundancy at all. If one drives fails you lose all your data.


Always use identical drives. There are some linux based software products that allow you to use different sized drives to create your own nas.

http://lime-technology.com/

http://www.chicago-data-recovery.com/raid-levels.php

http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...5&q=raid+types

I know that was a typo, I meant to write RAID1. thanks for the info though
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhcf23 /forum/post/20863873


Have you considered UNRaid? You can use disks of any size and the only restriction is you need to have your largest disk as the parity drive, the others can be as large or smaller than the parity drive. So in your case you could use one of your 2TB drives as parity, the other two 2TB drives as storage move the 1TB external to internal and then depending on what your other external drives are possibly take those out and put them into the server or keep them seperate. As far as I know you are not able to use external drives in the UNRaid array. There are plenty of threads here on UNRaid if you wish to go that route or learn more.

I've definitely though about unRAID but the goal is to create one large virtual drive with the safety net of parity. I've been reading and many people are going the RAID5 route with external RAID boxes. Just looking to see if anyone has experience with this setup
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by James_stewart /forum/post/20863902


I've definitely though about unRAID but the goal is to create one large virtual drive with the safety net of parity. I've been reading and many people are going the RAID5 route with external RAID boxes. Just looking to see if anyone has experience with this setup

You can't do RAID5 with different sized drives - well you can, but the array size will be defined by the smallest drive, so you'd lose the additional storage space on the others. Also if your hardware doesn't support spindown, all the drives remain spinning, even when not being used. I also use UnRAID, and as far as your goal "to create one large virtual drive with the safety net of parity" - that's exactly what it does. It also allows for drives of different sizes, connections (IDE, SATA, SCSI, etc), and spins down drives that are idle. Its an excellent product for media storage.
 

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How much redundancy do you need for backup and at what cost.


I just use stripping, I think Raid 0, for speed and maximum space. I have five 1.5 TB in a direct attached storage unit that backs up the four drives in my computer case. I turn it on every Sunday and do a backup using Win7 backup.


Unless a drive in the computer and one in the DAS unit fail at the same time I am OK and that is enough assurance for me.
 
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