Can i create a FREE or low cost frankenstein NAS server with all these spare disks

I have several server cases with multiple bays. (one is a 12 bay tower) multiple hard disks from IDE to SATA to SAS. I even have raid cards from 4 port, 8, and 16 port laying around unused.

Can i create some sort of frankenstein NAS but not lose disk space because of mismatched raid? Or if I do mismatch drives like having a 200GB with a 250GB in raid 1 = 200Gb, can I combine several raid 1 sets to look like one big drive?

I have several pairs of drives 2-150GB Pair from a raid 1, 2- 40GB Pair from a raid 1, 4 80GB Pairs from a raid 10, 2 60Gb Drives from another raid 1.

I heard of DYNAMIC DISK POOLING or Software that allows you to combine raid sets to look like one big drive. So instead of 3 Raid 1 sets at 100GB each it would just look like one 300GB Drive.

My goal is to recycle a lot of the stuff laying around but I need redundancy. I want to make sure I don't lose any of the files on this should a drive fail. But I don't want a bunch of small raid sets. I want to make one or two big partitions out of all the drives. I hope this makes sense.

Any suggestions?
MEATBALLHEROAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Steven HarrisPresidentCommented:
I want to make sure I don't lose any of the files on this should a drive fail.

Personally, I wouldn't risk my files to a 'Frankenstein' anything:  Old drives are not reliable, mismatching read/write speeds are never a good combination, mixing brands is not normally advised...

With JBOD you can pool a bunch of disks together to act like one large drive; however, there is no redundancy.

With RAID, you will be limited to the size of your smallest drive, and performance will be severely affected.

If you are truly wanting to continue, create multiple mirror pairs (RAID1) and monitor the server like your life depended on it.
0
AlexProfiletCommented:
I agree that putting any important data on a Frankenstein setup is not a good idea. With that said, you may want to look into Windows8/Windows Server 2012 storage spaces as a possible solution. I haven't used it but the feature does sound potentially very useful. Here's a link to Microsoft with some info on it: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/storage-spaces-pools
0
nerdcavCommented:
You can't mix the disk types - IDE, SATA, SAS.  Furthermore, you if you mix sizes or speeds you'll end up with the lowest common denominator.
0
10 Tips to Protect Your Business from Ransomware

Did you know that ransomware is the most widespread, destructive malware in the world today? It accounts for 39% of all security breaches, with ransomware gangsters projected to make $11.5B in profits from online extortion by 2019.

DavidPresidentCommented:
You can mix IDE, SAS, SATA, Fibre channel, even USB sticks all day long (even in the same RAID set) if you run Solaris and use the ZFS file system.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
MEATBALLHEROAuthor Commented:
None of the answers had a FREE solution but were very helpful for educational and good to know.
0
DavidPresidentCommented:
OpenSolaris and the variations ARE free.  Just not the Oracle Solaris.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Server Hardware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.