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Adding drives to storage capacity.

Posted on 2014-10-17
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Last Modified: 2014-10-17
We have always had traditional RAID 5 configurations for out data storage with the same drive types and sizes.
We are trying to find out if there is a way to add new drives to an existing array that can add more size to the original array without breaking it up or having to redo it? Some type of storage like RAID 5 that we can add new drives and not loose the configuration?

Any assistance offered would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:regsamp
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Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 40386491
Because RAID5 spreads data across all disks, there is no way to expand a RAID5 set without rebuilding it to rebalance the free space. Some high end controllers automatically rebuild, but there is still an interruption in service as the rebuild occurs. It is inherent to how RAID5 works. Other RAId choices have similar limitations.

The only way to truly avoid this is to use a system that isn't RAID based. Drobo's platform, Oracle's ZFS, Microsoft's Storage Spaces, etc.
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by:regsamp
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What other technology would you suggest that would be like RAID that you can add other drives too and build upon something similar to array type scenario?
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by:Cliff Galiher
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I did ZFS for years. But when Oracle bought Sun, the Solaris platform has been suffering since. So now I'm firmly in the Storage Spaces camp. Once 2012 R2 added tier support, it became a high performance option.
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by:regsamp
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Okay, what part of the Microsoft Storage Spaces would you recommend an old school user of RAID 5 should start with? And this can work with traditional hardware platforms?
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by:Cliff Galiher
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Read up on it. The. "what part" question doesn't realm make sense. But I'm not going to reinvent the wheel by copying entire articles or book chapters here. Yes, it can work with existing hardware, although not all RAID controllers offer a JBOD mode so in some rare cases a new adapter is required.
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by:regsamp
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Thanks for the clarification.
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