Author Topic: New to NAS and RAID - question on replacing and upgrading drives  (Read 1842 times)

winger

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So my 10-yr old Dell converted to fileserver (4  eide drives, totalling approx 800GB space) needs an upgrade.

 

First, the data on the fileserver is very important - family photos and videos, financial data, tons of documents, etc. 

 

A Fry's rep points me out to a possilbe solution, that is Buffalo's LinkStation Quad 4TB.  The config he suggests is RAID 1.  The way he explains, RAID 1 is where system looks like two drives to the world, like drives C and D where in reality data for C is mirrored to C1 and C2, D is mirrored to D1 and D2, all of which are 1 TB's.

 

OK, here are important questions for me purchasing this or not (more on lines of confirmations on what the rep told me based on his own experience with the LS Quad he has at home).  Please keep responses in layman's terms, esp with RAID stuff as I am green as can be on this.

 

1) If one drive goes out, the corresponding LED will 'tell you' something's wrong. At that time, all I do is unplug that drive, buy a 1TB SATA drive that is capable of RAID (I guess some are not?), plug the new drive back in and the system automatically sets itself up meaning it formats, puts in correct RAID configuration/setting, and copies all the data from it's mirrored drive (like if I were replacing C1, system automatically copies data from C2 to C1).  This process takes about a full day.

 

Is it this simple?  or is there alot of manual intervention (from me) required?

 

I have read a few posts  about rebuiding RAIDs and such, but this is 'all Greek' to me.

 

2) If I wanted to upgrade the system's capacity, all I have to do is buy two comparable sized drives (like buy two 1.5 TB's that are RAID compatible) and that is it.  How easy is this upgrade?  Maybe some detailed steps would help me understand.

 

3)  When I upgrade any of the LS's drives, do I need to match up all the four drives' performance specs (spin speed, access speed) ?  Or at least match each "pair" (like match C1 with C2    AND  D1 with D2)  ?

 

Thanks in advance. 


davo

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Re: New to NAS and RAID - question on replacing and upgrading drives
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2009, 09:21:37 am »
   

If you setup the device in raid 1 then you will have 2 raid 1's (because raid1 only uses 2 drives hense you can have two raid1's)

 

If for example a drive in your "C" raid goes faulty then, get any standard sata drive of the same capacity, insert it into the bay, reboot the linkstation, log onto its interface page (using its IP address) you will see a message saying "an error has occured in raid array1" Click on this error, place a tick beside the new drive (the others ones will be greys out anyways) and select restucture raid array.

 

This will then implement the new disk into the existing raid.

 

2) Updating the overall size of the device does void the warranty however it can be done but can be abit complex if your not used to the linkstaiton (if you need specific help then please do ask me)

 

3) If you have two raid1's then i think you would only have to match the pair of drives if you want to upgrade the space on one raid although i would like someone elses opinion on this as i cannot be 100% sure.

PM me for TFTP / Boot Images / Recovery files  LSRecovery.exe file.

winger

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Re: New to NAS and RAID - question on replacing and upgrading drives
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2009, 10:19:27 am »
   

Thanks Davo for the fast response.

 

1) So, process seems pretty straight forward.  As part of "restructure array" on the new drive, say C1, does system also automatically copy all data from it's paired/mirrored raid parter drive C2 ?

 

* By the way, I forget where I read on these forums, but someone mentioned that the "OS is stored on each drive" and this seems like it makes it a headache to replace a drive.  What is this person referring to? or is this only for older Buffalo systems and/or OS's ? 

 

2) I will contact you (or others) when I next run out of space, say maybe 2-5 years

 

3) thanks for being honest. as a newb, I may have easily taken what you said to heart.

 

I look forward to others' input 

 

 

 

On your point about not depending on one device to store all their data.... I am deciding on setting up as RAID1  because I want the convenience of this always keeping a 'backup' feature.  Currently on my fileserver, I try to backup once per week (using Windows' backup application), but in reality it turns out to be once every 3-8 weeks.  

 

If I get a NAS setup in RAID 1 - I will still do the backup to external drive(s), but maybe once every 2-6 months.  

 

Is there something wrong with this approach? 

Message Edited by winger on 07-23-2009 10:28 AM

davo

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Re: New to NAS and RAID - question on replacing and upgrading drives
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2009, 11:42:28 am »
   

OK, ill try and put this as simply as possible. With that linkstation you have 2 main options for raid.

 

Raid1. This only uses 2 drives, since your device will have 4 drives you can have 2 raid1 arrays. If you do go for this option it will be

Raid array1 will use drive 1 and 2. This will mirror the information you put on this array. You will only be able to "see" one drive but the info is actually on both drives.

Raid array2 will use drive 3 and 4. This will mirror the information you put on this array. You will only be able to "see" one drive but the info is actually on both drives.

 

Your main question i suppose is "if one of my drives develops a fault will my info be safe"

Answer: Yes.

 

RAID5 This uses all four drives in the unit and is the option i would go for (but thats my opinion)

 

Bare in mind that raid only protects against a HDD failure. If for example you get a different failure (like a flash/rom error) you will not be able to access your data. It is for this reason that you should alway back it upto a different device on a regular basis.

PM me for TFTP / Boot Images / Recovery files  LSRecovery.exe file.

winger

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Re: New to NAS and RAID - question on replacing and upgrading drives
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2009, 12:02:36 pm »
   

If I understand correctly, Raid 5 in this 4 disk setup is where the same data is stored/mirrored to all four disks.  This basically makes this LS Quad 4TB into a 1TB storage device.

 

If my understanding is accurate, I believe this Raid 5 is overkill since I am assuming in Raid 1 setup, I can catch any one harddrive failure issue early and replace that faulty drive within one week. and assuming within that one week where one raid only runs on one drive, nothing else fails.

 

 

BTW, are you able to answer my followup two items to question 1) above  regarding whether autocopy of C2's data to C1 occurs during a new disk replacement/install   

 

As part of "restructure array" on the new drive, say C1, does system also automatically copy all data from it's paired/mirrored raid parter drive C2 ?

 

* By the way, I forget where I read on these forums, but someone mentioned that the "OS is stored on each drive" and this seems like it makes it a headache to replace a drive.  What is this person referring to? or is this only for older Buffalo systems and/or OS's ?  

 

 

Message Edited by winger on 07-23-2009 12:04 PM
Message Edited by winger on 07-23-2009 12:08 PM
Message Edited by winger on 07-23-2009 12:09 PM