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Expanding a RAID 1 array to RAID 10

A couple years back, I moved from a full tower for my file server to a small HP Proliant MicroServer (I’ve been very happy with this move). When I made that move, I went from 4x750GB in a RAID 10 configuration to only 2x750GB in a RAID 1 configuration. However, I keep taking photos and I noticed I was running out of space. Since I had the extra Hard Drives just sitting around, I decided to put them back into use. the hardest part was that there are only four HDD slots in the server, and I was using one of them for the boot drive.

However, I had long noticed that there was a 5.25 inch drive bay in the server that was conspicuously unused. All I needed was an adapter. It took me two years to finally get around to this project, but today was the day! I found a drive bay adapater and SATA power and data cables, then got to work. From a physical perspective, it was fairly straightforward once I had all the parts; the hardest part ended up being finding the extra SATA port on the motherboard.

I was a bit wary when I booted the thing — the hard drives I used had previously been a part of the 1.5TB array that the other two came from. Fortunately, everything went smoothly. It was then a rather simple matter of finding this excellent guide on ServerFault to rebuild the array into RAID 10 once again.

Yay technology; internet FTW!

One Response to “Expanding a RAID 1 array to RAID 10”

  1. Daniel Marsh Says:

    Hi Ryan,

    You might be interested in looking at dedicated NAS boxes from a company like Readynas, Synology or QNAP. Many of these support on the fly raid expansion that lets you move to progressively larger disks as your storage needs change. Using the XRAID2 mode on my Readynas Ultra 4 I went from a 3TB volume (4x1TB) to a 9 TB volume (4x3TB) very easily. There are some limits to how large a volume you can expand to (think it is around 15TB) and a lifetime expansion limit of ~8TB with the older models, but I think the new models like the Readynas 516 aren’t limited in this way. Synology also has a 8 disk model for less than the cost of the Readynas 6 disk model. This lets you achieve similar volume sizes using much less expensive 3 and 4 TB drives, while maintain dual simultaneous drive failure levels of fault tolerance. I really like Synology’s UI and Android/IOS integration and would probably go with a Synology box if I was buying today.


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