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I am interested in purchasing a NAS array as a home server, and I am looking at currently 4x2TB drives in a 4-bay Netgear ReadyNAS array.

I understand that RAID is not a backup and am will be backing up to other locations, however the current NAS that I have contains only one internal hard drive and I was looking to get one with more capacity and redundancy (so in case one of the drives fails I don't have to restore everything from backups and it is more reliable than just having 1 drive, etc).

Is there a recommended RAID mode for a small 4-bay NAS? I was looking into RAID 5 because I wanted to have more storage for a cheaper price than using RAID 1 and having to purchase double the capacity. Is this an okay solution? Or is there another mode for this scenario considered better?

migrated from serverfault.com Dec 21 '15 at 23:32

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  • RAID 5 is ok for this purpose. Just make sure you know about failed drives - e.g. feel free to test that you receive an email when you pull out some drive. – Yarik Dot Dec 21 '15 at 23:31
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RAID-5 is a good candidate for this purpose, given that you care more about capacity than read performance. RAID-10 gives better read performance ( especially sequential, read only ) but at the expense of more capacity and sequential write performance. Personally I run a 3 drive array on my desktop, and so for the OS partition, the performance is more important to me than storage, and so I divide the array into a partition for the OS using RAID-10, and the rest allocated to a RAID-5 array to hold bulk media data, where I care less about performance and more about storage efficiency.

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RAID-5 is the cheapest, but worst type of RAID. It sounds like a reasonable choice for your purpose here, as it gives you maximum amount of usable disk space. RAId-10 would give higher performance and reliability, but at the cost of "wasting"2 of your 4 disks for redundancy, instead of just one. If this is just for a home NAS for media files etc, I think I would go for the cheap RAID-5 option.

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