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Here is my situation:

  • I have a server with 8 hot swappable 3,5" bays
  • I want to buy 2x 6 TB drives and set up a redundant storage pool
  • I want to grow this pool 1 disk at a time until I have filled all 8 bays
  • When all bays are filled, I want to have 2 drives of redundancy
  • All files on the disks must be maintained through upgrades

From the research I have done so far, this appears to be impossible using ZFS. If I could start out with all 8 drives it would be simple, but for some reason it's impossible to add disks to a Raidz2 array after it's created (which baffles me.)

I am currently looking into using GlusterFS, but so far it's not looking good.

"X-RAID", which is used on ReadyNAS devices, will work with 1 disk, then enable redundancy when you add a second disk, then grow as you add more disks. Is this not possible using ZFS, GlusterFS or some other free Linux software?

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RAID6 offers 2 disk redundancy, but requires at least 3 or 4 drives minimum. When you add the next disk you first need to resize the array. The array will then take a long time to rebuild the parity data across all of the drives.

After this is done, you need to unmount the RAID 6, and use software tools to resize the file system to include the newly added space.

I believe linux supports a software RAID 6, but you will take a performance hit as it uses the CPU to calculate the parity data.

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