I am building a NAS/fileserver based around the HP Proliant N54L Microserver. It is going to be used as a central repo for all media (movies, serials, music etc), possibly a dedicated torrent seedbox and any other server-y things I can cook up for it to do.

This server has 4 SATA bays, with two extra SATA ports, one for the boot disk (250GB included) and another for eSATA. It has built in hardware RAID0 and 1, AMD Turion 2.5GHz and 2GB RAM. Pretty beefy for something that cost me the equivalent of $160.

With it I bought 2 Seagate 3TB ST3000DM001 disks, and I have another (already full) 2TB external that I would like to move into the server eventually.

My storage requirements are:

  • One large volume accessible on the network.
  • Maximize storage: Use all/most of the storage available on the disks dedicated for storage. Thus 8TB (3 + 3 + 2) in total.
  • Flexible: 4TB disks are going to become cheaper and I would like to add one or more of them in the near future. I would like to swap out smaller disks for larger ones as well.
  • Somewhat safe: If one disk fails I would like to be able to still recover the data from the other disks with relative ease.

Am I asking for too much? Can an LVM volume recover from a busted drive somehow? The data that is going to be stored on the server is not so critical, I can get it back and the critical stuff will be backed up anyway. I do not care for the data on the failed drive, just the data that sits on the other (working) drives.

Many thanks in advance!

  • LVM can handle RAID volumes. Hence, when using a RAID with redundancy (RAID1/5/6/etc.) it can survive a failing disk without data loss. (However, note that all drives participating in a RAID will be treated as having the same capacity -- that means, mixing 2TB with 4TB drives in a RAID will cause the 4TB drives to be treated as 2TB drives...) Was that your actual question? – user274116 Dec 11 '13 at 12:34
  • The server only supports RAID0 and 1 natively. I want to maximize storage, so RAID1 is out of the question, and if I use RAID0 then I don't really need LVM at all. I am looking for a disk spanning/concatenation solution where the data on the working disks are still accessible if another disk fails. – getack Dec 11 '13 at 12:41
  • From what I've read online, LVM concats all the available disks, but the volume is rendered unreadable in the case of a single drive failure. This is what I want to avoid. – getack Dec 11 '13 at 12:44
  • What kind of software do you need to run on the HP? Would be solutions such as FreeNAS (or similar open-source / free software packages) an alternative? With such a software, RAID would be done entirely in software, not relying on any HW RAID controller. I am not sure about your usage scenario regarding multiple clients accessing the NAS concurrently, though, so i don't know if CPU requirements are of concern for you. – user274116 Dec 11 '13 at 12:44
  • Striping/concatenation without redundancy is out of question. Not only will you loose the data on the failing drive, but recovery of the data stored on the remaining drives will be cumbersome (regarding concatenation) or outright impossible (regarding striping)... – user274116 Dec 11 '13 at 12:46

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