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24 drive raid configuration question

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sporktar

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2010
I'm configuring a 24 drive 4u backup server for client servers at work. The server currently has 1tb drives spinning in all bays, but we plan on upgrading to 2 and 3 TB drives, as they become available to us. I've been doing some research into what type of configuration to run, and i still haven't found an ideal solution.

so far I'm between 4x 6 drive raid 10 arrays, and 3x 8 drive raid6 arrays.

The raid 10 seems more reliable and fast, but sacrifices half of the total disk space available. This can be problematic as we are already working with small capacity drives, and upgrading drive capacity in raid 10 is quite difficult. My largest concern however is that from what I've read read, you can't increase the virtual drive size without completely re-initializing the array. This is a problem, since I'm banking heavily on upgrading drive capacity in the future as we bring down older backup servers.

My other idea was 3x raid 6 arrays. This would add a bit more capacity at the cost of rebuild speed, and disk failure odds. The main drawback i can see is write speeds, as the server is going to be writing significantly more than they are reading. I see a lot of people both for and against raid 6 arrays in my research, so I'm interested to see what you guys have to say. Redundancy is also a concern, but i think double parity would provide enough protection for us to deal with a failure, the arrays are small enough that the likelihood of failure during rebuilds is small, and we have access to on-site replacement drives 24/7 through our parent company. It also has the advantage of being able to increase the size of the virtual drive after all the disks in the array have been upgraded.
Edit: Just talked to my coworker, apparently you cannot increase the size of the virtual drive after it has been initialized, so raid 6 and 10 are even in that regard

What do you guys think? I've done my fair share of configuring raid's for customers, but nothing on this scale. I'm treating this project as a learning experience, so any help finding the best solution would be much appreciated.
 
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