Multiple HDD to one Huge HDD

Posted on 2012-03-28
Last Modified: 2012-04-13
I have multiple HDD's with identical files replicated on each. I have 4 3TB HDD's. I want to combine them to one big partition to give me 12TB. What is the best method to do this and also the safest way to keep my data safe? I am sure I will need to buy some sort of case that has multiple bays. Can anyone recommend one?
Question by:IT_Fanatic
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

gmbaxter earned 67 total points
ID: 37777663
You should look at a 4 (or more) bay NAS box. You'll want to create a raid set, rather than a JBOD. I suggest Raid 5 which will allow for a single disk failure, but will require an additional disk to get to the capacity you require: - this is a 5 bay nas  giving you 12TB, plus the 3TB required for parity in raid 5. You need to provide your own disks. - this is a 6 bay unit, allowing you to have a hot spare. If any drive failed, the spare would kick in and rebuild the array automatically.

You should really be using enterprise disks in a raid array, due to them being designed for 24x7 operation, and the TLER setting on enterprise drives which makes them usable in a raid array.

You do need to consider backup however. What if you lost more than one drive? You would be likely to loose the majority, if not all of your data. How will you backup that huge 12TB of data? I suggest an identical nas unit and then use the in-built functionality to replicate the data between the two units.
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

serialband earned 66 total points
ID: 37777688
If you're mainly just using this at home or for a small office, get something like a Netgear ReadyNAS NV+, which holds 4 disks.  They're relatively inexpensive.  You won't be getting 12 TB if you want some redundancy.  If you really need 12 TB, you should go with a ReadyNAS PRO, which holds 6 disks.  You can add the extra 2 disks later and expand the space or have extra redundancy with RAID 6.

There's also Thecus NAS and Drobo which cost around the same and provide similar features.
LVL 96

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 67 total points
ID: 37777998
Wow, THIS is something for Windows 8.  Yes, you could do it with a typical / traditional RAID, but Win8's storage features include the ability to create a disk "logically" that is GREATER than the disk size of the included physical drives.  Then you "assign" physical drives as needed and can do so with redundancy in a RAID 5 or RAID 1 type of configuration, but the drives don't need to be identical in size.

Just mentioning if you don't have an urgent need to do this, you might want to wait for 8 or test it with the available betas.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37844870
Thanks for all your feedback

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