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Rebuilding RAID 5 with bigger disks?

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Scott Fisher
Rebuilding RAID 5 with bigger disks?
on Sep 28, 2010 at 3:14:31 pm

I have an OWC Qx2 4-bay RAID5 enclosure that has 1.5TB drives in it. Can I take one drive out, and swap in a 2GB? Let the RAID rebuild and then do it with the next drive and so on until all 4 are swapped out with 2GB disks? Once all 4 are swapped would the RAID be recognized as 6TB instead of 4.5TB?

It seems like this would work, but I don't want to go mucking around with something potentially dangerous to my storage as all the media in this enclosure is vitally important to my business.

Thanks!


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Jordan Woods
Re: Rebuilding RAID 5 with bigger disks?
on Sep 28, 2010 at 6:06:34 pm

That would be awesome, but alas... that is not the way typical RAIDs work. I mean, you can certainly do this, but you will notice your 2TB drives quickly become chopped to 1.5TB drives. Or, your system will just not accept the difference, I'm not familiar with the OWC RAID, but in general if your box is using "normal" RAID methods you will see your drives get chopped. The only other way this could work would be if your RAID employed some "virtualization" type redundancy like the Drobo. But even with that your total space will not increase.

But I could be wrong, maybe OWC has some secret sauce. It might be worth contacting them, (but I would be very very surprised if they had the ability to dynamically grow like how you want)

Oh, and even if the RAID did grow, HFS+ (if you are on a mac) does not support dynamic growth, so you'll still be limited by your filesystem.

-jw


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Scott Fisher
Re: Rebuilding RAID 5 with bigger disks?
on Sep 28, 2010 at 6:39:01 pm

Thanks for the reply!

I was afraid this would be the answer. Why can't everything just work the way I want them too?!? haha.

So I guess I will just have to wait until work slows down, dupe all assets to multiple FW800 drives then swap out for bigger disks and dupe back. Bummer...


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Jordan Woods
Re: Rebuilding RAID 5 with bigger disks?
on Sep 28, 2010 at 7:35:24 pm

but this is probably for the best anyway, as you will now have the chance to properly defrag your volume :)


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Bob Zelin
Re: Rebuilding RAID 5 with bigger disks?
on Sep 29, 2010 at 2:04:05 am

Other World Computing (whose name should not even be mentioned on Creative Cow) has no secret sauce. They have a third party manufacturer (not even as good as Highpoint, who I consider the bottom of the barrel "professional" company) making their "RAID" card.

Creative Cow has the cream of the crop manufacturers for the professional video and graphics industry advertise here. These companies are IN YOUR FACE with the banner ads, yet you not only ask about a low end piece of crap from Other World Computing here, but you are TOO DAMN LAZY to backup your media to cheapo FW800 drives (which you can do this weekend), and pop in crappy seagate 2TB drives and rebuild your raid group, and restore from your FW800 drive backup. Excuse me, but is the bowling league this weekend ? Too busy to do this, so that you can have more storage, for almost no money ?

Jordan Woods, who is one of the top shared storage engineers in our industry has wasted his time responding to this rediculous post. You know what you have to do. STAY UP ALL NIGHT if you have to - replace ALL your drives (not one at a time), and you will accomplish exactly what you want. I don't appreciate your post, and neither do the PROFESSIONAL advertisers who spend their hard earned money here, to lure PROFESSIONALs in our industry.

This is the 8 TB solution from Other World Computing -
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/MEQX2T8.0S/
it's $949 for 8 Terabytes. Are you telling me that you can't make this back on a job that you do in a couple of days ? Are you working on a student film ?

Here is the 2TB Seagate drive from OWC
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Seagate/ST32000542AS/
It's $117 each. So for $468, you have your 8TB drive with "dangerous" drives, which is all you deserve. That, and a few hours of your time will give you what you have originally asked for.


Bob Zelin



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Scott Fisher
Re: Rebuilding RAID 5 with bigger disks?
on Sep 29, 2010 at 4:13:00 am

OK... umm.. wow.

As far as I recall, this forum is to help guide others maybe not so fortunate as thou onto the better path. The only reason I included the name of the unit was because I thought that may have a sway on the final answer.

I'm sorry I offended you and your assumption is correct. I can recoup the cost of a couple days rate, but I am not frivolous with money and as a very small entity every dollar counts.

Glad you were born with knowledge of everything and came out of college with a $100K career!


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Dave Klee
Re: Rebuilding RAID 5 with bigger disks?
on Sep 29, 2010 at 8:29:31 pm

This doesn't really have anything to do with anything for this OWC RAID, but I just wanted to make sure people know that it is somewhat possible to expand the capacity of a Drobo over time. Basically, you pick an arbitrary volume size out of the box when you initially format the Drobo (usually 16TB), regardless of how many drives are inside it. Over time, you can replace small drives with larger ones (without data loss or reformatting) as long as you do it one at a time and don't exceed that initial formatted ceiling.

Still, a Drobo is not fast enough for editing, but it's a nice toy. We also have an OWC RAID (Mercury Rack Pro) for some really low priority file sharing (not editing), and it's great for what it is -- cheap. Performance isn't bad, either -- 240 MB/s read through eSATA with a four-disk, hardware RAID5. Nothing wrong with buying cheap stuff so long as you're honest with yourself about what it can do and how long it'll last.

Scott, now that you've been drubbed by Bob, you can officially consider yourself a part of the Creative COW. Congratulations. It's kinda like a fraternity hazing, but instead of bad beer and admission to parties you get free advice from top talent like Jordan and Bob. And you can keep all your clothes.

Take care!



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Scott Fisher
Re: Rebuilding RAID 5 with bigger disks?
on Sep 29, 2010 at 8:44:11 pm

haha,thanks Dave. :)

But I was a part of this community heavily in 2001-2003 when I worked for Boris FX. I spent a lot of my time here helping others out. That was back when we had "handles" and I was advres.

Back in the day, if there was a 'stupid' question we (or at least I) wouldn't go hauling off into a lengthy PMS induced diatribe. As much as he knows and as talented as he is, he comes off as a grumpy old man that needs to get his head OOHA and realize not all people are at the same place in their knowledge and careers.

Makes me not want to be a part of such a community. This place used to rock, but as I have been seeing lately while looking around, the quality and attitude has gone way down hill.

Anyway, for my low-budget post work (mainly HVX, EX-3 and 5dMKII stuff) my little array works fine. Other companies I have worked for have had fiber and huge storage but for me at this point it just isn't cost effective. Hell, my whole edit suite at my house is only $10K.

Thanks to all for the help.

Scott


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Bob Zelin
Re: Rebuilding RAID 5 with bigger disks?
on Sep 29, 2010 at 10:40:08 pm

Hi Scott -

#1 - I gave you links to exact parts that you could get from Other World Computing, to get exactly what you needed.

#2 - you did not ask any stupid questions.

However, it is my stupid opinion that PROFESSIONALS that are in the professional video business should use PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS so that they can produce excellent results, and not have to worry that the next morning that they can't open up their files. Creative Cow is flooded with professional companies that advertise right here - in your face - offering the best tools for people who make their living with this stuff. It troubles me that these wonderful professional companies are not the "right" companies for you, and you simply seek out the solution that is the LEAST EXPENSIVE.

When you worked for Boris, you were tied in with AVID products, which are among the most expensive solutions on the market. Companies like AVID don't give anything away. And they don't answer any questions, unless you pay for a support contract. This policy applies even today. Boris, and your career with them would not exist had it not been for AVID and Media 100.

One day, when you find that your Canon EOS D5 MK II, and Pana HVX camera is just "too expensive", because your competitors are using their iPhone4 or Flip Video cameras to do the exact same job you are doing (not as good quality) but charging $150 for the day for everything - well, you will feel the same way then.


Bob Zelin



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