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I'm about to upgrade my 4 hard drive bays. What RAID is best?

Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
I bought 4 TB of hard drive space 8 years ago and how now maxed that out. I've been taking a lot of high res video and photos lately, as well as just working on a lot of projects that require plenty of space. I have the ability to hold 4 hard drives in my system in a RAID. I'm currently doing a RAID 5, but I'm considering changing that up due to concerns of data redundancy.

The following article has me wanting to configure my next four drives as a RAID 1+0 (a.k.a. RAID 10) and essentially have half the space.


Does anybody here have experience using RAID, and if so, what would you recommend I do with the four bays?

As far as actual hard drives, I'm currently debating doing at least 4 x 6TB drives ($165 each) for a total of 24TB and possibly as low as 12 usable TB.

I'd love to go crazy and get four 16TB drives (below), but that would cost me over $2,000. 😵


Realistically I'm probably looking at 6TB or 8TB, but I haven't decided yet.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
@Doc here’s a topic for you.

I’ve been talking to @Mirage a bit about this. I think he’s sold on Seagate Iron Wolf NAS drives (just for extra durability and dependability.)

Probably 2 or 3 of the 8TB models running in raid for full backup and lots of storage. 16TB models if he is feeling adventurous.

I thought since this was going to live on his desk (or in the next room over) going with an Ethernet controlled NAS may be best (possibly a 10 gigabit model). Expensive to be sure but a great way to do this.

Otherwise, for a cheaper but still dependable option, I thought a USB 3.0 (or higher) external raid controller/enclosure may be best.

No matter what, I think getting the spinner drives out of his computer is best. Internal drives deal with a lot more heat, are closer to a lot of other moving components, and block airflow to important things like graphics card cooling and cpu cooling. Just got practice to store important files outside of your main workstation if possible.
 

Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
@dDave, I should add that I've already ruled out running a NAS due to the way my offsite backups are currently configured. It gets pretty tricky (and expensive) when you move into backup services that handle NAS units. I need to stick with what will fit in my PC, and thankfully it's been pretty future-proof with those 4 drive bays.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
@dDave, I should add that I've already ruled out running a NAS due to the way my offsite backups are currently configured. It gets pretty tricky (and expensive) when you move into backup services that handle NAS units. I need to stick with what will fit in my PC, and thankfully it's been pretty future-proof with those 4 drive bays.
That’s super unfortunate but makes sense. Wonder if it would handle a standard external enclosure better over USB.

Something running eSATA would almost for sure work fine with whatever backup service you’re using, may be worth looking into. They would run the drives directly into the same SATA ports you’re currently using on the motherboard anyway. Just had that thought.

Anyway, internal isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just not preferred. Certainly it’s the cheapest route to go, save lots on not buying any type of external interface.
 

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
To be honest? I've never had the need to use RAID. If I were to use a RAID array I would use RAID 0 for the performance since I don't need the data redundancy.
 

Impaired

Registered Member
Yes, I use RAID all the time. I would go with RAID 5 as it gives you the best amount of fast storage, and allows for a drive failure. You can lose a drive and not lose data. Just get a new drive, plug it in and the RAID controller rebuilds what was on it.

RAID 1+0, RAID 6 and that are for people with critical needs and money to burn.
 

Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
@Impaired, I have a RAID5 right now with just three drives. Do you disagree with the opinion in the article in the OP on RAID5 being a bad idea for small arrays?
 

Impaired

Registered Member
@Impaired, I have a RAID5 right now with just three drives. Do you disagree with the opinion in the article in the OP on RAID5 being a bad idea for small arrays?
No, I don't. RAID 5 is the most commonly used RAID configuration in business. I am a network engineer. I build servers and networks for a living.

If money is no object, by all means, use higher levels of RAID that offer more protection.

However, best bang for you buck, most storage with built in loss capacity, RAID 5 for the win.

I have mirrored 3TB drives in a RAID 1 config on my desktop, because I found cheap 3TB drives and that was good enough. My little network storage device has a RAID 5 array of 4 drives. MIrroring is great, but you lose half your storage space. So 2 x 3TB = 3TB of space. You can lose a drive and not lose anything, which is great - bit very expensive.
 

Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
@Impaired, ok awesome. I appreciate your feedback.

Money definitely is an object, haha, otherwise I'd love to max out those 4 drive bays with 16TB drives each and do a RAID 5 like you suggest. Like I said though... $2,000. 😵
 

Impaired

Registered Member
RAID 5 is cheapest way to have redundancy so 1 bad drive doesn't mean you lose data. It is important to replace a failed or failing drive as soon as possible. A second failure could make you lose it all. Having a spare drive is nice.

You're welcome, happy to help.
 
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