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Deciding between two storage options: RAID the better choice vs JBOD?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
So I'm expanding my media collection, and rather than deal with 4 separate external HDD's that I have to hook up every time I move from one place to another, I've decided to just stick them all in one enclosure. Problem is, that's where the good stuff becomes possible

I'm thinking about just getting a JBOD enclosure so that the only difference between the one enclosure and 4 is, of course, convenience.

But then apparently there are enclosures with hardware RAID on board allowing you to do things such as, of most interest to me, RAID 5. The enclosure I'm eyeing atm is this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16816111145
However, I've got problems with it.
1) How do I transition my data from my current 2 2tb external HDD's to this? I plan on buying 3x 2TB HDD's along with this enclosure so that I'll be running 5x 2TB in RAID 5 for 8TB effective. However, these two current 2tb HDD's I have are filled to the brim and I have no space elsewhere to dump the data while I set up the RAID 5. Could I set up a 3x 2TB RAID 5 with the new HDD's I buy, then transfer the data over, and then, while keeping the data, add those last two drives to the RAID 5 array?

2) What if the enclosure fails? Is there a way to rebuild the RAID5 (basically, not lose all the data)? Because if there's not, then it seems like I'm gambling whether or not my HDD's will fail before my enclosure.
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post #2 of 16
Hi.

1- Yeah, you can do it BUT i'd go with a secure back up just in case.
2- RAID 5 can be re-build without lost data, so, you should not be worried about that.
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post #3 of 16
I wouldn't go with JBOD, there's no redundancy there.
Therefore, you'll lose random data depending on which drive dies.

RAID 5 is tolerant of one drive failure, however you also lose the space of one drive in your array. (Ex> 4x drives in RAID 5 you will only have the capacity of 3 of them, the other space is used for parity).
Edited by beers - 12/20/10 at 5:52am
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post #4 of 16
Agree with beers, and remember too that Windows can't be installed in HD or array above 2TB.
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post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies.

For the second question though, I was actually wondering if that *enclosure* fails. Like, if for some reason the HDD's are ok but the enclosure stops working. What happens then? Is the RAID still intact and I just transfer it to another working RAID array enclosure? Or am I ****ed?
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post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountChoculaBot View Post
Thanks for the replies.

For the second question though, I was actually wondering if that *enclosure* fails. Like, if for some reason the HDD's are ok but the enclosure stops working. What happens then? Is the RAID still intact and I just transfer it to another working RAID array enclosure? Or am I ****ed?
In that case, you will need the same enclosure specs to recover the RAID.
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post #7 of 16
depends on how the enclosure implements the array. More than likely your data is toast - I wouldn't bet on being able to transfer it to another unit, as even a new revision of the model (or even new firmware on the same hardware) may be unable to read the array properly.

I'd go with software RAID rather than one of those units. That way it's easily transferable.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I think I'll just go with a JBOD so that I don't have to worry about the enclosure crapping out. The entire array is going to be hooked up to several different systems, many of which aren't mine since my friends like to cop some of the stuff on there, which means software RAID is probably impractical.

I'm just making sure, this is pretty much a 4 bay external enclosure right?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817576009
As in, each drive is independent of eachother and I can take one out and put it in a random single bay external enclosure and that HDD would chug along like nothing happened right?
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post #9 of 16
Why not hook the array to one system, and then share it over the network instead?
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post #10 of 16
I can only see 3 bays for HDs, but yeah, you can use the HD independent in RAID or not.
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