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So I'm looking to build something for storing files, and my question is how many hdd's a raid can hold? can I have a raid with a capacity of 100.000 TB or so? I don't know how you would connect so many wires :))) , but I'm new to this, so I'm trying to understand RAID storage.

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closed as not a real question by Hennes, Brad Patton, sblair, nerdwaller, Canadian Luke Apr 10 '13 at 19:44

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2… – Hennes Apr 10 '13 at 18:24
That's a good read for the night, thank you! – Uffo Apr 10 '13 at 18:30
That doesn't answer the question of limits for number of disks; mainly just talks about the different RAID levels. – ernie Apr 10 '13 at 18:35
Than maybe someone can answer it! – Uffo Apr 10 '13 at 18:44
up vote 6 down vote accepted

In theory, there's no limit. In practical terms, the limitation will either be in hardware or software. In hardware, the limits will be set by how many disks you can attach, and limits in your RAID controller if you're using hardware RAID.

Software limits might also exist, i.e. if you're using software RAID, the drivers and implementation may only allow for a fixed number of drives.

Generally, once you move beyond 4 drives or so, you're looking at full hardware RAIDs, and often getting into external enclosures, and more exotic technologies like FibreChannel and iSCSI.

Practical limitations are such that as the number of drives increases, the risk of any one drive failing at any given time increases dramatically. Eventually, with enough disks, you'll have a RAID that's always got a failed drive, and is constantly rebuilding, with a high likelihood of failure.

Oh, and that doesn't address the issue of whether your OS and/or file system is capable of addressing 100 TB . . .


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