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I bought 2 x 2TB disks for a NAS server, (linux debian). I want to make both drives appear as one big 4TB disk on the LAN. This can be done with software RAID (JBOD) or LVM I suppose.

There are other options?. One big plus would be knowing what happens when one drive fails in each option (I lose all the data or I still can access those on the working drive? Even for JBOD and LVM I still don't know what happens if a drive fails).

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2 Answers 2

If not the slightest amount of reliability is required, RAID0 or JBOD get the job done.

Please be advised to not pick one of those if reliability is a concern. As you already found out, one drive failing would suffice to kill your entire array, doubling the chance of hardware failure when compared to a single drive.

Instead, you should look into RAID1 or RAID5 instead and buy one or two additional HDDs. Be warned though, RAID5 becomes more error-prone with harddrives as big as the ones you're using.

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Thanks for the advice. I really wanted some redundancy on the data (the idea originally was to set the two drives in RAID1 with mdraid) but then I noticed that the "important" (i.e. non-replaceable data: personal photos, projects, etc) is about 300 gb, and the rest can be recovered (although with a lot of time and bandwidth). So I settled up for a smaller drive (1 TB) for weekly backups of the important data, and the two big drives for storage. The issue is that I want to use them as a big drive without losing all if one drive fails. I settled for mhddfs, as it does exactly what I want. –  Diego Mar 12 '13 at 16:20
up vote -2 down vote accepted

More or less I found answers for my questions:

Alternatives to LVM and JBOD (check "OS/software"):

http://blog.superuser.com/2011/09/14/building-a-nas-server-2/

EDIT: Other software option: http://snapraid.sourceforge.net/

EDIT2: Pooling only software option: http://romanrm.ru/en/mhddfs

JBOD and LVM volumes fail completely in case of a disk failure:

http://forum.elitebastards.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=16838

http://serverfault.com/questions/338517/what-happens-when-a-disk-fails-in-lvm

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Somebody can explain the downvotes? –  Diego Mar 13 '13 at 21:46
1  
Well, I didn't downvoted, but I guess I can help you: this is not an answer--even if you are the OP!--. This is just a list of links. At least, summarize what you are linking to, just in case the links are not available anymore in a few months. Even better, actually answer your own questions here and explain the answers. –  Alberto Mar 15 '13 at 23:03

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