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Old 09-20-2011, 04:02 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: Italy
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian, OS X
Posts: 71

Rep: Reputation: 16
Software RAID-5 expandability

Hi guys,
I am currently running my homeserver with 2 TB disks in RAID-0. I am running out of space and I will soon migrate it to a RAID-5, throwing in an additional 2 TB drive (all the data on the current drives will be transferred somewhere else, so basically I'll be creating a RAID-5 array from scratch).

Eventually I will run out of space once again, and I'll have to expand the array.
I have found this guide that explains a simple way to expand a RAID-5 array, but I have a question about that: if I add another drive in such way, will I lose redundancy? If I understand correctly, RAID-5 calculates parity data that will allow it to run even if one of the 3 drives is broken, but what happens if you have more than 3 drives?

I experimented a little in a VM and it seems that it works fine, even disconnecting one (virtual) drive from the VM.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Old 09-20-2011, 06:25 PM   #2
Registered: Oct 2010
Location: Cleveland
Distribution: Slackware, Fedora, RHEL (4,5), LFS 6.7, CentOS
Posts: 258

Rep: Reputation: 29
it does not matter how many drives you have in a raid 5, you can only lose 1 with the ability to recover and use that array in a degraded state... anything else and you done for...

Last edited by zer0signal; 09-20-2011 at 06:26 PM.


mdadm, raid, raid5, software raid

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