Raid 10 Questions

ICantPickParts

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I'm looking at doing a raid 10 server build and i was wondering if i would take my 6tb hdd which is almost full and add 3 more 6tb drives. So a total of 12tb in raid 10, would it format my hdd when i place it in raid 10 or will it just start the full clone of the hdd?

soo i guess my main question is if when you place drives into a raid do they format?
 

ICantPickParts

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Thanks for the answer, so the best way to transfer it would be from an external or using something like an Ethernet transfer cable?
 
I believe Windows software RAID (available on Win 7 or 8 PRO or above - not Home/Home premium versions) will actually mirror an existing disk without deleting/damaging data. You could then do the following.

1) Add 2 of your 3 new disks to the system and use hardware RAID (in the BIOS) to create a striped, 12TB volume
2) Boot into windows and copy all the data from your single 6TB drive to the 12TB volume - which should appear to windows as a single 12TB "drive"
3) add your final disk, boot into bios and create a second 12TB striped volume out of the old 6TB drive and the 3rd new drive (this will delete the old drive - but all data should be safe on your 1st striped array)
4) Boot back into windows and create mirror from the 1st 12TB volume onto the new one you just created.

You'll have effectively 12TV RAID 10 volume without losing data... It should work. Someone correct me if I'm wrong?

Still, you'll be running a hybrid of hardware and software RAID which isn't ideal. If you have another drive you can temporarirly store your data on that would definitely be a better way of doing it. You also need a PRO/Enterprise/Ultimate version of Win7 or Win8 Pro to create a software mirror.
 

VincentP

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Yes, you should copy your data to another drive. If the data is important, you should be keeping a backup on an external drive anyway.
Note that unless you have a brand name, server grade RAID controller, RAID 10 is not worth it. Unless the controller can be replaced with an identical model, you will lose everything if the RAID controller fails.
RAID 5 is a good solution if you want to protect against the loss of a single disk and want a number of drives to appear as one volume in Windows.
No matter what RAID level you choose though, backup the data somewhere else.
 

VincentP

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This would work, but software RAID is slow.
 

ICantPickParts

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hmm Seems interesting if that would work.. So the new server would need to be running 7+ not home edition or 8/8.1 pro? then make an array, put the data on the array, place the 4 drive in and make it an array with the 3rd drive and have it mirror the 2st array..

It also wouldnt be a Hybrid array because im using the same drives?

And if in the future i was to add 2 more drives i would need to make a new array. by deleting one array adding the drive then making it a new array with 3 drives. Then transfer the data to the new array.. and repeat how you would do the mirror just with the new drive in the other array?

Would a raid controller help with this?
 

ICantPickParts

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The only reason I wasn't looking at RAID 5 is because I'm not sure how it would handle it. Raid 10 seemed like a good idea because i would be able to have full clones of my drives..

Do you have any ideas of a good build that i could look at? My current 6tb hdd in my desktop has about 200gb lefts. I do still have about 3tb left on a different drive in my desktop, But im out of sata ports. (itx build xD)
 

VincentP

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4TB drives are better value per GB than 6TB drives.
I would get something like this:
https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/DS412+

Install 4 x 4TB drives in RAID 5. That gives you 12 TB of storage, the same as 4 6TB drives in RAID 10 (about 10.8 TB formatted space).
 

ICantPickParts

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I guess more of an off reason to doing a build and not buy a synology is because i mostly have media on for it Plex.. and i would want to server to be transcodinng. Somepeople say they synology/Prebuilt boxes can only handle 1 stream.
 

VincentP

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I don't think a server is going to be worth the expense.
I would build a desktop PC with a core i3 in a tower case.
Choose a motherboard and case that will support 6 drives.
Add a 1 TB boot drive to install Windows (by keeping this 2TB or less you can avoid having to use UEFI boot).
Add as many drives as you need for storage.
For every internal storage drive, buy an external to back them up periodically. Don't keep these external drives with the PC.
4TB drives are the best value at the moment. If you have to add a drive later it will likely be a larger capacity for the same price. You can also continue to use drives in your current computer in the same way.
Don't worry about RAID, it will only cause you problems.
 

ICantPickParts

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That was my first plan, but i was wondering what would happen when the drive fails and i lost all of the shows/data.. I was also thinking about using an amd processor because they are on the cheaper line for good transcoding...but they are at the end of the line now.

Also for the externals for back ups do you think buying all of the same types of drives.. Like the same externals as internals because i do have a transfer cable. or do you think it would better to just buy ones in a case?
 

VincentP

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If a drive fails, you lose the current copy of the data on this one drive. You have the external backup though so it is only changes since the last backup that you lose.
If you instead use RAID with no external backup and the motherboard fails, you lose everything.

The AMD FX-6300 is about the same price as a Core i3 and it is faster where an application can use all six cores.
With the Core i3 though, you get Quick Sync.
Have a look at the Handbrake benchmark in this review:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-4770k-haswell-review,3521-2.html

The Core i3 processors I suggested all have the same HD graphics version as the processor in this review.
You won't need a graphics card with this processor.
For a power supply, you could look at the Seasonic G 360.

 

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