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Online RAID Level Migration

"No server downtime when you need to expand or migrate your RAID volumes"

A New Challenge for Modern Businesses

For modern businesses, one of the greatest challenges is to select and set up a reliable network-attached storage server to secure and share important data to increase work efficiency. Meanwhile, the necessity to reduce the risk of data loss by backing up data increases. As a business grows, it may become necessary to adapt the data backup policies to meet the changing demands of the business.

The QNAP Turbo NAS series provides a high-performance and low-TCO (total cost of ownership) solution for modern businesses. In addition to best-in-class hardware specifications and easy-to-use applications, the QNAP Turbo NAS series also offers innovative features such as Online RAID Capacity Upgrade (for example, replace three 500GB hard drives with three 1TB hard drives) and Online RAID Level Migration (for example, RAID level migration from RAID 1 to RAID 5). These advanced features used to be exclusive to corporations with large budgets, but QNAP implements an intuitive way to allow more businesses to enjoy these powerful technologies.

The scenarios below will demonstrate how businesses can benefit from Online RAID Level Migration and Online RAID Capacity Upgrade.

Use Case

Online RAID Level Migration allows users to migrate to different RAID configurations. The migration process can be done without turning off the NAS and without losing any data.

Online RAID Level Migration supports the following RAID migrations:

  • Single drive to RAID 1
  • RAID 1 to RAID 5
  • RAID 5 to RAID 6

Use Case

  • Jeffrey invested in two 500GB drives for the initial setup of a TVS-882 and used a RAID 1 configuration with the two drives. The TVS-882 is used as a file server for data sharing among the department.
  • After six months, the storage needs of his department had sharply increased. The current storage capacity of the TVS-882 was no longer enough. Jeffrey planned to upgrade the storage capacity without losing data redundancy by adding disks to the RAID group and migrating the RAID configuration to RAID 5.

To do this, the following is required:

  • Prepare hard drives of at least the same capacity as existing drives in the current RAID array.
  • Execute RAID Migration (Migrate the system from RAID 1 mode to RAID 5 by adding a drive)

Go to "Storage Manager" > "Storage Space". Select the storage pool that will be upgraded and click "Manage". The "Storage Pool Management" window will launch. The current disk volume configuration displayed on the page is RAID 1 and the RAID capacity is 500GB.

Insert the new 500GB hard drives into the NAS.

In the "Storage Pool Management" window, click "Manage" > "Migrate".

Select an available hard drive to add to the array. The RAID migration type and drive capacity after migration will be shown. Click "Apply" to continue.

Please note: The RAID migration sequence must be Single > RAID 1 > RAID 5 > RAID 6

All the data on the selected drive will be cleared. Click "OK" to confirm.

The migration progress is shown under "Status".

Please note: The storage pool will be in "read only" mode when the migration process is in between 11% to 49%.

After migration completes, the new drive configuration will be RAID 5 and the status will be "Ready". You can now start to use the new drive configuration.

Depending on the drive sizes, the process may take anywhere from a few hours to tens of hours to complete. Please wait patiently for the process to finish. DO NOT turn off the NAS.

Use Online RAID Level Migration and RAID Capacity Expansion Together

Case scenario

  • Jeffrey wants to set up an FTP and file server as soon as possible.
  • The original plan was to set up a 3TB storage capacity RAID 5 network data center with a TVS-882.
  • Jeffrey only had one 250GB hard drive and could only set up the TVS-882 with a Single Disk configuration.
  • Jeffrey now plans to upgrade the disk configuration of the TVS-882 to RAID 5 and expand the total storage capacity to 3TB without downtime and without any data loss.

Jeffrey purchases four 1TB drives and inserts three of the drives into the NAS. He runs Online RAID Level Migration to migrate the system from Single Disk to RAID 1. One of the newly installed 1TB drives is added to the RAID in the migration. The total storage capacity of the mirrored RAID is still 250GB, but now with redundancy (the RAID size is restricted by the smallest capacity drive in the array).

Jeffrey then runs Online RAID Level Migration to migrate the system from RAID 1 to RAID 5. The second 1TB drive in the NAS is added to the RAID. The total storage capacity of the RAID is now 500GB (250GB x 3 minus 250GB for redundancy).

The third 1TB drive in the NAS is added to the RAID group using the Add Disk feature. The RAID storage capacity is now 750GB.

Jeffrey runs Online RAID Capacity Expansion and hot swaps the 250GB hard drive with a 1TB one. The final RAID storage capacity is 3TB (1TB x 4 minus 1TB for redundancy).

Release date: 2013-04-22
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