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How many Drive bays are really needed?


itGeeks
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With the size of hard drives these days are more then a 2-bay NAS really needed? How do you all decide how many drive bays are needed??

 

Thanks in advance.

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I'd say at least 3 bays, then, using Drivepool, you can have your important date duplicated over at least 3 drives.

Yes, I know duplication isn't a replacement for a backup, but its good enough for most home users, and in my case where my old external My Book used for backups, yesterday chucked up some errors I don't have to rush to replace it.

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I’d go further and say a basic user has no need of drive bays at all ! For example, a family with each member using less than 1TB will be well served by a 1TB NVME drive in each device backed up and protected from ransomware using OneDrive in a MSFT 365 family subscription.

 

All the way up to 16TB (the maximum disk size say, for the sake of argument) 2 bays: a RAID 1 array (or similar) for availability and an external USB3 drive as off-site backup. A shared file system obviates the need for a NAS or storage server.

 

I can think of 3 scenarios where bays come into consideration:

- total storage volume exceeds the maximum available disk size

- usage requires a high-performance, high-volume file system e.g. video editing

- perhaps the time to recover from a drive failure for 16TB sounds uncomfortably long (videos at 100MBs, 160,000/(60x60) hours or 1.85 days … and considerably longer for small files.

 

Absent the need for a high-performance file system, something like a modified G8 Microserver comes into its own. Freeing up all 4 bays for data gives 32TB in RAID 10, 2 USB3 ports for 2 external backup drives and 2 Ethernet ports for double-speed bandwidth via Windows SMB multichannel or port teaming.

 

Needing 64TB; either 2 Microservers … or an 8-bay storage server … or an 8-bay NAS (convenient but expensive?). Consolidation to 8 bays opens up the possibility of improving file system performance by RAID variants or Storage Spaces (pure SSD and NVME being still too costly), and with that usage of 5Gb Ethernet ports or teaming of 4x1GbE ports.

 

This is my favourite case at present 😊

Define 7 XL — Fractal Design (fractal-design.com)

Perhaps file system performance will allow a 10GbE port to be saturated.

 

Unfortunately, two considerations always seem to get in the way of any analysis. As one wag on this forum put it, “How much storage do you need? Always twice what you have now.”

And then there is available finance

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Ooooh I do like Fractal cases, my old server build was in a Node 804 as recommended on here and has now been shrunk to a 304, next case for my desktop build will most likely be an Era or Nano S...

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How much data do you have?

Is it original content?

How quickly can you recover from a drive failure?

Are you using 3-2-1 as a back up strategy.

 

I think drive capacity has grown faster than original content has been created. Large drives in a RAID1 mirror is enough space for most people. Even a 16TB RAID1 rebuild/copy can happen fairly quickly, if you have a spare drive available. A second local copy and a remote copy are still important for disaster recovery. 

I do see people thinking more about what they are storing and determining what is replaceable and what is not, defining different strategies for each. 

I also see an emerging group of younger people that have grown up with all of their data being in the cloud, facing issues of cloud services ending or not being free or limitations being applied that require them to consider local storage.

 

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With the size of hard drives these days are more then a 2-bay NAS really needed? How do you all decide how many drive bays are needed??
 
Thanks in advance.

On a side note: more drives in a RAID5 boost read performance (most data access is read access (80/20 r/w typically).

So a 4 Bay RAID 5 array boost read performance with a factor 3 whereas a 2 bay RAID1 array boost read performance with a factor of 2.


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Thank you all for taking the time, great info. I think a am leaning to a 4 bay NAS with smaller 4TB drives in a RAID 5. I have a larg movie collection. I also am using it for cloud access for documents and pictures, PC backup. 

Edited by itGeeks
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Is it worth looking at NAS devices that use some sort of JBOD rather than RAID, if you have the NAS itself die, or multiple failures you want to be able to at least take a drive out and plug it into something else and recover your data, RAID isn't going to help there.

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Good question, I do practice 3-2-1 backup. I have a 2nd Synology "J" series in house that I backup to and I also backup off-site to Synology C2 as such I would rather have the redundancy using RAID.

Edited by itGeeks
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15 hours ago, TheGuru said:


On a side note: more drives in a RAID5 boost read performance (most data access is read access (80/20 r/w typically).

So a 4 Bay RAID 5 array boost read performance with a factor 3 whereas a 2 bay RAID1 array boost read performance with a factor of 2.


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Thanks for taking the time. That's what I am thinking, go with a 4 bay NAS and use RAID 5, It's a nice balance. I also have trouble convincing myself of going with large drives so thinking going with 3 4TB Drives over two 8-12TB drives in RAID 1, If nothing else better performance 

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