Quadrupled capacity on my ReadyNAS

by Volker Weber


Over the holidays I replaced the drives in my ReadyNAS going from 4x250GB to 4x1TB and then consolidating other storage onto the same RAID:

Replace one disk at a time with a larger disk, letting it finish initializing and syncing after each replacement (this process can take several hours depending on disk capacity, but you can continue access to the ReadyNAS), and after the last disk has been replaced, reboot the ReadyNAS. The expansion will occur at boot time. The expansion time will depend on your existing volume size, the ending volume size, and the number of files in your volume. Typically, it'll take anywhere from an hour to several hours. You will be notified by email at each step of the process.

Keep in mind that when your replace your disks, with ReadyNAS that supports drive hot-swapping (NV, 1000S), you do not need to shutdown the box before replacing the disks. Simply pull out the disk, wait at least 10 secs, and then add the replacement disk.

It took 4.5 hours per drive to initialize and re-sync. During that time you can continue to work with your storage. I did however perform a full backup before the operation, just to make sure I have a Plan B.

The smallest drive in the X-RAID determines capacity. After you replaced the last drive with a larger one, storage can be expanded. For that you have to take the ReadyNAS offline and wait for a few hours while it performs this expansion. It took 5.5 hours in my case.

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>I did however perform a full backup before the operation,

What's your way doing that? External HD?

Helmut Weiss, 2008-12-27

Yes. Since I could fit all data on one of the new drives, I configured a backup job to copy the volume to one drive attached to a USB port. When the data had synced to three new drives, I used the fourth drive that formerly held the backup. I am going to hold on to the other four drives for now. :-)

Volker Weber, 2008-12-27

Volker, which drives did you put in? Samsung, WD, ...?

Andreas Linde, 2008-12-27

Check the HCL. There is no 1GB WD certified for the ReadyNAS. I bought the Samsung 1TB HD103UJ. It's running at 28...31 Celsius, which is about 7 degrees colder than the Seagate it replaced.

Volker Weber, 2008-12-27

How does it compare to Drobo ?

Gaston Annebicque, 2008-12-30

I don't know. Don't have a Drobo. From their website it does not appear to be a NAS without DroboShare.

Volker Weber, 2008-12-30

I think the major difference with the way Drobo handles the disks is that it attempts to use as much of the available disk space as it can. If Drobo has one 1.5Tb disk and three 500Gb disks, I understand it will give you 1.5Tb total disk space by stacking the 500Gb disks into one volume and running that volume against the 1Tb disk as parity.

You start with your largest disk, then run it with parity against your second largest disk. Then take your next largest disk and stack it on top of the second largest to make one volume. Then take your forth largest disk and stack that onto whichever is the smallest remaining volume. That way you always get redundancy, but you also make the best use of space.

Perhaps ReadyNAS will support ZFS one day, and then could do the same.

Obviously this is aside from the fact that Drobo does not have networking built in.

-- Jason

Jason Judge, 2009-04-20

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