RAD of the RAID

LunarMist

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Can I RAID a RAID or is that too much, for example 2TB, 2Tb, and 4TB?
 

Chewy509

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You can**.
Remember RAID10, RAID50 and RAID60 are technically RAID on RAID schemes...
eg RAID10 is RAID 1 of multiple RAID 0 arrays or a RAID 0 of multiple RAID 1 arrays. (depending on your controller/software)
likewise, RAID50 is a RAID 5 of multiple RAID 0 arrays.

Using your example, with 2x TB and a 1x 4TB drive, you could technically create a RAID 0 of the 2x 2TB drives creating a 4TB RAID 0 array, then use that as a member with the other 4TB drive in a RAID1 array.

Or you could create a RAID 5 using the 3 drives, with a spare 2TB on the third drive for something else.

** Disclaimer, it depends entirely on your controller and software setup you are using.
 

LunarMist

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I should have explained that I wanted to have 8TB, but not use the dreaded JBLOD. I have several extra drives and cannot figure out how to use them. I have three 2TB M.2 SSDs, a spare 4TB SATA III SSD and several 2TB SATA III SSDs. There seems to be no way to use the M.2 drives through USB and I will never have enough PCIe lanes to spare on them. This is where the PC totally sucks compared to the MAC Thunderbowls.
 
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Chewy509

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For your M.2's, would something like this be possible? (not recommending this one in particular, just an example of what is out there).


IIRC, I'm not aware of any M.2 NVMe to USB controllers. There are a few Thunderbolt enclosures that have 2-3x PCIe x16 slots (mainly for GPUs), but have seen them loaded with M.2 NVMe's via adapter cards like the one above. Then you just need a Thunderbolt adapter for your PC.


And with a Thunderbolt controller, then you could use one of the many SATAIII external enclosures for your SSDs.
Or just get a SATA III PCIe controller card for your PC if you don't have enough SATA ports available.

ZFS will most likely be the only solution that lets you group a bunch of different sized drives together and span writes/reads across the drives, but it'll still be considered a JBOD type array, as their is no redundancy in it.
 

LunarMist

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Thanks. I'm not sure all that is worth it.
Maybe I can hardware RAID 0 two 2TB SSDs with the SATA controller (same models) and then Windows RAID 0 those with the 4TB SSD (also same model)? Then I will figure out the M.2 drives later.
 

Mercutio

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I use PCIe cards to add support for extra addressable nvme drives. I just dedicate them to different I/O tasks with the idea of spreading out disk writes to improve drive longevity. I do have a 4TB RAID0 of nvme drives but that's honestly just to get a single large volume rather than any specific need for faster I/O.
 

LunarMist

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I did the same with the 2x2TB EVO Plus RAID 0 for the past three years before upgrado to the 2x4TB SN850X last week. The SN850X are great but
I'd like to keep using the EVO Plus somehow, since they were the older faster ones, not the ones they started selling in 2020. They are still at over 98% usage. I also have an SN750, used for a week but I'll probably put that somewhere else.

Unfortunately the stupid limitation of most systems (inlcuding the X670E) that never have enough lanes precludes me from adding any cards without losing something else. The motherboards with more onboard stuff can't use all the PCIe slots or M.2 slots or SATA ports or something all at the same time.

Of course anything I'm doing now is only temporary and realistically a February 2023 new build on X670E will probably have a short lifetime as a main system.
 

ddrueding

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Amazon has a number of external USB 3.2 enclosures for M.2 NVMe drives. You will not get full performance from them, but if they are just laying about it is a reasonable use of them to just be super thumbdrives.
 

LunarMist

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I have a few and none are very reliable or speedy. My old 2TB M.2 860 EVO SATA is as fast or faster, but I don't need a whole pile of 2TB. It's just too small these days. I really want RAID and that is PCIe (Thunderbowls) only.
 

LunarMist

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Is there some way to get more than one M.2 SSD from 4 pcie lanes if speed is not importante?
 

LunarMist

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It is listed as x16 and that it is for a few Asus cards or others with bifurnication. Are you sure that can use only x4 lanes?
 

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If you REALLY don't care, they made little 1x to 4x Physical adapters that just put your slot on the end of a ribbon cable.
You can also get USB 3 to 4 1xPCIe slots, which sounds weird but found a lot of use among the mining community. Remember that PCIe will operate fine with fewer lanes so long as the card fits in the available slot. You'd be talking about making a mess of adapters, though.

Or you could stick one of the Jmicron nvme to 5x SATA I linked to in another thread and just do everything that way.
 

ddrueding

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It is listed as x16 and that it is for a few Asus cards or others with bifurnication. Are you sure that can use only x4 lanes?
Nope, my mistake for not reading your question well enough. That card does need 16x and gives 4x 4x. Please disregard. It will work in non-ASUS boards though; I ran one in a supermicro for a while.
 

LunarMist

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Which is better for the SATA III SSDs, n=3 in RAID 0 or n=4 in RAID 5? I read that there is some kind of RAID 5 in Windows, but I'm not seeing the Dymanic Disk. I would be using random 4TB WD or Sandisk or Samsung SSDs, not all the same model if that matters.
 
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Mercutio

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Raid 5 will always be slower for writes than raid 0. You need Windows Server to get Raid 5/6 from Storage Spaces although you can it from fancy HBAs if the original owner paid the license fee for that capability.
 

LunarMist

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I gave up on the MS storages. Do you think it is mental to have 3x4TB WD SN850X in RAID 0 and then 3x4TB RANDOM SATA SSDs in RAID 0 as the backup so to speak?
 

ddrueding

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I've run 4x RAID0 as my OS drive on a number of occasions. So long as any data is quickly getting duplicated someplace else I considered it a viable option. These days I just run a single M.2 as the performance is more than enough.
 

LunarMist

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The OS drive will be a good old 970 PRO. RAID 0 is for capacity of course. The usage of the 3x4 SATA SSD array would be as a manual, but frequent filesync "backup" from the main 3x4TB NVMe WD Black array, each array being 12TB nominal. The data will be treated mostly as WIP and copied to/from NAS<->SSD arrays at regular intervals. Ideally it will not often be necessary for all three or even any NAS to be running. I don't enjoy working off NASes anymore since the performance is so much slower than the NVMe SSDs. I also don't want all the NAS heat this summer.
 

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IMO RAID0 for capacity is the most valid reason to RAID0 anything at this point. The usage you are describing pretty closely mirrors how I handle things as well.

Has anyone ever turned off the weird RAID0-with-an-Optane drive and found that SSD performance is absolutely trash thereafter? I've run into that a couple times now. Both times were on Dell PCs with 8th gen Intel CPUs, but it's weird to have seen it twice, especially when the Optane module got pulled in favor of a PCIe 3 nvme drive both times. I'm talking about an i7 system that still takes over 60 seconds to show a Windows desktop on something like a Samsung 970 Evo. I might blame the Intel Storage manager but you have to disable it and delete the Storage Spaces device in Windows to turn Optane off anyway.
 

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It worked for cheapskate Dell and HP consumer desktops that were still shipping with HDDs in 2019. Kind of.
 

LunarMist

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I got the 7 SSDs (24.5TB) working reasonably. The 3x NVMes are ~14000/10000 MB/sec. and the 3x SATAs are 1600/1500 MB/sec.
 

LunarMist

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I still have those 3x2TB M.2 drives. What are thoughts on using the MS Botlocker for protection? When I put the drives in USB 3.2 enclosures, the 'crypt tools suck the STDs out of them. :(
 

Mercutio

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You can absolutely turn bitlocker off. It's handy on the primary drive of computers in a business or laptops that go on trips outside the house but whether you use it for anything else is up to you. I don't use it on desktops at home.
 

LunarMist

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No, that's no it. I want to use Bitlocker on external M.2 SSDs in case any are lost or stolen. Many years ago, perhaps a decade or more, people here were not in favor so I used something else.
 

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There's no reason you CAN'T turn it on for those drives, so long as you're using the same Microsoft ID to carry the decryption key.
 

LunarMist

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I just want to use a password since the encryption would be on a desktop machine, not the laptops. MS asked for three kinds of recovery, but I chose the text file and deleted it 7x. Is that what you mean, or what is the MS ID? I'm using Windows 10, if that matters.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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If you log in with a Microsoft ID, the decryption key is stored as part of your Microsoft account instead of a text file. Your MS credential is enough to unlock encrypted drives. The keys are in theory short enough that you could memorize them but they're long enough to be painful to type out, although Microsoft will prompt users to enter the key manually if no decryption key is present in either the TPM or on an attached USB drive.

If you want to set a password for drive-level access, it sounds like you want to use a different encryption process.
 

LunarMist

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I'm not logging into anything as that implies that there would be some internet access or that the computer that creates the crypt would the same as the one that is being used in the field.

I'm trying to do someting like what I found on the webs below. If some cretin steals my luggage or intercepts the UPS delivery, will a person with very good IT skills (like you guys here) be able to access my data? I know the feds, big data companies, etc. can probably crack it, but that is an acceptable risk since the data is my personal work product (mostly landscape/wildlife).

 
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