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What should my storage size be with my RAID 5 configuration?

I have a basic understating of how various levels of RAID's work.  I have a server that has 3 HD's, 36GB Each and they are configured in a RAID 5 Array.  My question is, in my computer how come the available space is 69GB?  I was under the impression my available storage ability should be the size of my smallest drive.  Thanks in advance.
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GTKINC
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GTKINC
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Christopher McKayMicrosoft Network AdministratorCommented:
RAID 5 stripes the data across the drives, and uses  one of the drives for a parity.

This means that with the 3 drives you are using, 1 of them is used for the parity bit, and the other two make up the size of the available space, so 36GB X 2 = 72GB. (Formatted etc, would be around 69GB, as your shows.

To learn more about RAID 5, read here:

http://www.acnc.com/04_01_05.html

Hope this helps!

:o)

Bartender_1
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GTKINCAuthor Commented:
Keeping the above in mind though if one fails then i'm still up and running, correct?  Obviously it would need to be replaced ASAP.
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Christopher McKayMicrosoft Network AdministratorCommented:
That's correct, the RAID will continue to function, and once the drive is replaced, the RAID should automatically rebuild it. Keep in mind that you will have to replace the drive with the same size or larger drive.
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GTKINCAuthor Commented:
Makes perfect sense.  What if I have 7 drives in my Array, would my storage capability add up to the combined capacity of 6 drives?
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Christopher McKayMicrosoft Network AdministratorCommented:
Yes, that's the idea, the volume size would be (The size of the smallest drive)* (the total number drives -1)
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GTKINCAuthor Commented:
Thanks a bunch.
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Christopher McKayMicrosoft Network AdministratorCommented:
Thanks for the points!

Glad I was able to help.

Cheers!

:o)

Bartender_1
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