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Setting up as Raid


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Currently awaiting delivery of my Gen 8 and have been looking into ACHI vs Raid on these forums. One question I haven't seem to be able to find the answer to as well as setting up the whole thing in general is am I able to add HDD's that already have data on without loosing said data?


At the moment I have a a 3TB drive with around 2TB as well as a secondary  with another 3TB of data on both are WD red's. My plan is to purchase a SSD, install ubuntu server on it as a single Raid 0 array in the ODD slot and then set the two HDD's with data on as single Raid0 arrays as well and then use a software option to allow it to be viewed as one continuous volume. 


I have what I consider the most important of the data on these two volumes backed up but do not currently have a lot of it as do not have enough free storage until I purchase a new device. I know there are obvious risks with doing anything so assume that I can afford the data to be destroyed and it not be the end of the world as I can reacuelimate  it but I would rather this not the case. If what I am proposing will 100% erase the two drives data or render it unusable I will not set them up until I purchase a new drive and backup everything first or if not creating a Raid and leaving them as ACHI will preserve data I will do that.

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Hi Wormvortex and welcome to the Forums.


There are a lot of useful informational threads on RAID & AHCI at http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5639-proliant-microserver-gen8-links/


and you can find a lot too at http://homeservershow.com/tag/gen-8 and   http://homeservershow.com/tag/microserver


I think you first step should be to back up all of your data no matter which path you pursue  -- a 3-2-1 plan http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4551-how-do-you-back-up-your-hp-microserver/?p=49671


You should assume that initializing a drive to go into a RAID will destroy everything on it -- always plan for the worse


I would only keep data on a RAID0 that has been backed up 3-2-1 -- putting multiple large HDD's in RAID0 is asking for data loss down the road -- The best arrangement for adding resiliency to a RAID for data is RAID1 or RAID10 -- IMO -- check the discussion on RAID at http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5190-microserver-hardware-links/

Edited by Joe_Miner
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Indeed setting up a raid array will wipe the disks, it has to because of the way in which raid arrays spread the data across the disks.


Something to consider, raid 0 is generally very fast for reading data back from, but if any one of the disks in the array fails then you will lose all of the data on all of the disks. Arguably raid 0 shouldn't be considered as a raid level at all as there is no redundancy in the system (which is what the 'r' stands for').


A system with raid 0 does have it's uses, very fast disk access for video editing for example, but I wouldn't like to trust any important data to it long term. Proper disk redundancy has a cost associated with it, raid 1 (or disk mirroring) means you only have 50% of your total storage capacity as usable but even if one disk fails, you will still have all of your data - it also give a performance boost for disk read operations. Raid 10 requires a minimum of four disks and again you lose 50% of the total capacity but it gives an even better performance increase and you can lose one (and maybe two) of the disks and still have all your data intact.


Bottom line is don't go for raid 0 for data storage, it's ok for the boot volume though, but really as Joe rightly says make sure that everything is properly backed up and don't trust that it has been backed up until you have successfully done a few test restores.

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