RAID or JBOD?


#1

Hey guys… never used a NAS before, or setup a RAID etc… basically I have now an old PC running as a media server with a 3TB drive for movies, and a 3TB drive for TV Series. I also have a pair of external 3TB drives and I do a mirror backup of each drive every other month, then keep the backups on a shelf away from the PC (not plugged in) to avoid anything like power surges, viruses, etc…

Decided to downsize, get Android boxes for the TVs (replace the old desktop PCs). I have a 10/100/1000 router with Cat6e lines running to all media players (minus phones/tablets) and bought the My Cloud EX2 for sharing the files with.

Just got it last night, and before I touch anything, was looking for some direction/feedback.

I would like for each drive to read as an individual drive, like it is now. Both shared, but both showing as a separate drive, one named Movies, and one named TV_Series. My thinking is that this will make things easier for sharing and for plugging my external drives in for backup. I’m looking to create 2 shares, one for GUEST with read only access, and one for ADMIN for my access from my PC for adding/deleting files. Right now I have them linked in MY COMPUTER as network drives X:\ and Y:.

Is this a JBOD setup? or a certain kind of RAID?

Is there anything I should know or be aware of before I get started?

I have 2x3TB drives, both SATA but if I recall, I think one is a WD and the other a Seagate, both 7200rpm. From what I’ve read, I’m assuming when installed they’ll get formatted. Does it pick the format or do I choose which format? (FAT/FAT32/NTSF/etc)… they’ll be access by my PC (Win10) and CoreElec (Linux) and Android devices.

Just looking for some guidance/feedback before I start on it, avoid some mistakes and headaches if possible. Given the time it’ll take to restore 6TB of data, I’d like to get it all done correct the first time. :smiley:


#2

My WD NAS came out of box setup as RAID1. If I knew then what I know now that most individual home users do not need RAID, whereas most businesses do, I would have set my NAS up as JBOD, but I didn’t. Because:
I would have double the storage space because all data on my NAS is replaceable media files that are on their original storage disks so everything on NAS is a copy of that data.

Be sure to get the complete user manual from Support at wdc.com
https://support.wdc.com/

Good luck.


#3

Thought, hmm, maybe I’ll print that manual off, I kinda like that stuff on paper vs flipping between screens. Nope, not 129pgs. :smiley:

So… JBOD is what I’m after from what the manual is saying… and do I set that up before I put in the drives? and do I do one drive first then the next? bit vague on that part. Also, 129 pages, doing a search for JBOD, only appears 5 times, and 3 are just passing mentions. Hopefully it’s simple and easy.

I remember when I first made the HTPC, the one issue was choosing which format to use, which when I later switched from Win7 to LibreElec, I had a bunch of once hidden folders and files pop up.


#4

Correct - what you want is JBOD.

It’s how I have my own NAS (a MyCloud Mirror) set up and it’s exactly as you describe it. Both disks available seperately and individually accessible. You can set up shares on them individually.

As noted above the Mirror (and the EX2 - they’re basically the same device) ship by default in RAID1 mode. You can change it over via the dashboard, but doing so reconfigures everything and will wipe both drives so any data you want to keep will need to be backed up somewhere else and then restored afterwards.

If it’s helpful, these are the four modes you can choose:

RAID1 (default) - same data is automatically written to both drives in parallel. Gives protection against individual drive failure (but not total NAS failure), but all data takes twice as much space as it’s written twice. A NAS with 2x4TB drives will appear on your network as a single 4TB drive. Drives are not accessible individually.

RAID0 - data is striped across both disks, which appear as one single drive. A NAS with 2x4TB drives will appear as a single 8TB drive. Some read/write performance boost due to two sets of drive heads being available to read/write data. But if one of the drive fails, all data is lost on both drives.

Spanning - very similar to RAID0, except files are not stiped (so no performance boost). A NAS with 2x4TB drives will appear as a single 8TB drive. One drive failure will usually mean all data on both is lost.

JBOD (“Just a Bunch of Disks”) - drives operate independently, and are independently accessible. No automatic mirroring/duplication, but a NAS with 2x4TB drives will appear with 8TB capacity. Shares can be created on either drive, and it’s perfect possible to fill up one drive whilst leaving the other one empty if all shares are on the first drive only. If one drive fails then data on it is lost, but data on the other drive is unaffected and is fully accessible still.


#5

Configure with all drives in NAS box, Setup will sequence thru automatically,


#7

“RAID is a disaster waiting to happen, especially when used by those who do not have a technical background”.

True words. I agree completely.

I understand Mike’s sentiment regarding Raid Redundancy not being appropriate for most home users for simple Media files.

My view: A NAS box like the EX2 is COOL. I am protected from HD failure; and the box does act as a decent media and file server. I see why you want decent RAM and processor in the box.

The EX2 (and it’s cousins) is definitely not a fool proof backup. A motherboard failure would be a major problem in terms of data recovery (they say it can be done). Unlike a PC, you can’t just pop the drives into any USB enclosure to get at the data. A power surge or FIRE is common mode failure for the whole NAS concept.

Having said that. . .I like the NAS Raid 1 easy home data backup (Drag and drop). For security, I maintain a doomsday backup (refreshed monthly) in my office desk away from the house. No excuses for not having an offsite backup.


#8

Ya… my backup isn’t offsite, but is external and on a shelf. Away from electrical surges and computer viruses. Easier to grab if a fire than the entire computer. :wink:

Problem I had though, both 3TB drives worked fine in my HTPC. A Hitachi 5400rpm and a Seagate 7200rpm. When installed into the EX2 Ultra, I clicked to switch to JBOD and the Seagate says BAD. SMART Error 3.

I shut down, switched the drives around, just to make sure it was seated properly and also not an issue with Bay1… and says the Seagate is bad, error 3 again.

I started another thread, no replies yet… poked around all over and could not find a single disk utility in the WD software at all. I know Windows had a scan/repair and sometimes worked. Had a drive with an error once that Win7 was able to repair and never had an error on that drive again for years until I upgraded.

Is there no repair option on this? or doesn’t matter… SMART error 3 and that’s that, buy another drive?

… in which case, WD 3TB NAS “red” drive the way to go?


#9

Sorry for your troubles.

I am a bit of a WD Fanboy, so I would lean towards RED drives. They are rated for the continuous duty like NAS boxes. I am interested to hear how your “fix” of the 3TB drive works out. It would be interesting if that actually fixes the problem.

If you do buy a pair of new drives, I would consider 4TB - -> the price delta between 3 and 4 is too close. I wouldn’t think it would break your backup scheme to 3TB drives; depending how you do it.

If I had to do it over again. . .not sure what I would do (Raid1 vs JBOD). My EX2 (with Raid1) is starting to get “full”. I am likely to fill up later this year. . .so that will force me to pursue options. (Probably a junk file purge).


#10

Can’t do 4tb sadly… I have 2x3tb HDDs for the NAS, plus 2x3tb external WD drives for mirror backups.

If I get 4tb then I have to buy 4 of them. Even selling the old external drives to offset price, it’ll still cost too much.

That said, windows found a bad cluster and repaired it, so put the drive back in the NAS and it let me switch to JBOD and format.

So… I dunno… May be ok? May not? But I think WD dropped the ball not having any sorta option to run a scandisk and repair. Used the drive literally every day without issues.