× NETGEAR will be terminating ReadyCLOUD service by July 1st, 2023. For more details click here.
Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973
Reply

RN424 swap out all 4 drives - best method

jimk1963
Luminary

RN424 swap out all 4 drives - best method

RN424 with 4 HDD's, all are 4TB Seagate Barracuda SMR drives (inherited). Want to swap them out for higher-capacity CMR drives (Irownwolf Pro 12TB or 20TB, mulling the pricing).

 

Read through various posts asking similar questions, not sure if I have the best approach in mind. Am thinking:

 

1) Copy entire image to secondary NAS drive (RN528 or RN212)

2) Power down

3) Remove all 4 existing SMR drives

4) Install 4 new unformatted CMR drives

5) Power up, allow system to format drives

  - Will system remember baseline settings like Network adapter, RSync, etc.?

  - Will system automatically apply "default" shares (Documents, Pictures, etc)?

 

Another option is to swap one drive at a time, let system rebuild/resync each time. Unclear how that's any better, seems like a longer process and with not a lot of benefit.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Message 1 of 5

Accepted Solutions
StephenB
Guru

Re: RN424 swap out all 4 drives - best method


@jimk1963 wrote:

 

Re: installing only 2 or 3 drives for now - currently the setup is RAID 5. If I remove old drives, then only install, say, 2 new drives, won't I lose all RAID protection? Or will the system automatically change to RAID 1 and mirror the two drives. Then when adding the 3rd drive it will automatically change to RAID 5.... then later add the 4th drive and again it keeps RAID 5, reimaging everything...  ?  If that's how it works, I see your point about putting them all in at the same time.

 


@Sandshark  is suggesting backing up the NAS, and then starting over with only the new disks in place.  Since they are CMR they will sync much faster, and you'd only need 2x12 TB to match your existing capacity.

 

Initially you would have RAID-1, but when you add the third 12 TB disk when you need it, the NAS will convert the volume to RAID-5 and expand the volume.from 12 TB to 24.  When you add the fourth, the NAS will expand it to 36 TB.

 


@jimk1963 wrote:

 

Thought about swapping out the 4TB SMR's with 4TB SSD's, just to see if reads/writes improve. But with a 1GbE limitation, I'm guessing I'd see negligible improvement, other than maybe when copying thousands of tiny files (which does happen). 


I agree the speed increase would mostly be with seen when browsing folders (and copying/moving a lot of small files).

 

One option is to use FlexRAID and put a couple of shares on it that have those characteristics.  Then use backup jobs to back them up to the main volume on schedule.

 

There is also a ReadyTier feature you could use (letting you use an SSD as a cache for the main volume).  But there aren't many folks who use it, and I'd be concerned that it isn't completely stable.

 

FWIW, I've also pondered this, and decided just to leave well enough alone for now.  My RN526x main NAS is already fast enough for my needs.

 

View solution in original post

Message 4 of 5

All Replies
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: RN424 swap out all 4 drives - best method

Given the existing drives are SMR, the multiple required re-syncs will take a long time.  And making a full backup before you do it is also recommended.  A full backup, factory default with the new drives, and restore will  be much faster.  In addition, you'll still have the original volume intact on the original drives and can re-insert them if it turns out you forgot to back something up.

 

I suggest you review your plan of putting in four very large drives.  Unless you have a lot of data you want to add to the NAS now, I suggest you only put in two or three drives and wait to add other(s) as you need them.  Doing so will mean not all drives are the same age, possibly failing at nearly the same time (which would be especially bad if it was when you were re-syncing after replacing one failed drive).

 

Of course, with Netgear dropping the ReadyNAS line, maybe you have no intention of keeping the NAS running until a drive fails, so it's not so important to you.

Message 2 of 5
jimk1963
Luminary

Re: RN424 swap out all 4 drives - best method

Thanks much @Sandshark , very helpful.

 

Re: installing only 2 or 3 drives for now - currently the setup is RAID 5. If I remove old drives, then only install, say, 2 new drives, won't I lose all RAID protection? Or will the system automatically change to RAID 1 and mirror the two drives. Then when adding the 3rd drive it will automatically change to RAID 5.... then later add the 4th drive and again it keeps RAID 5, reimaging everything...  ?  If that's how it works, I see your point about putting them all in at the same time.

 

Re: ReadyNAS support, expecting these boxes should be good for a while. As long as the software is stable, I'm not in a hurry to upgrade them. My RN212 and RN314 are 9 and 10 years old, still going strong. Biggest gripe, by far, is the 1 Gbps ETH limitation on those and also on my RN424. My RN528X w/ 10GbE is a way better box to work with, so that's the one that gets all the use while the others serve mainly backup duties.

 

Thought about swapping out the 4TB SMR's with 4TB SSD's, just to see if reads/writes improve. But with a 1GbE limitation, I'm guessing I'd see negligible improvement, other than maybe when copying thousands of tiny files (which does happen). Dunno, has been hard to find good review info out there comparing HDD to SATA SSD drives.

Message 3 of 5
StephenB
Guru

Re: RN424 swap out all 4 drives - best method


@jimk1963 wrote:

 

Re: installing only 2 or 3 drives for now - currently the setup is RAID 5. If I remove old drives, then only install, say, 2 new drives, won't I lose all RAID protection? Or will the system automatically change to RAID 1 and mirror the two drives. Then when adding the 3rd drive it will automatically change to RAID 5.... then later add the 4th drive and again it keeps RAID 5, reimaging everything...  ?  If that's how it works, I see your point about putting them all in at the same time.

 


@Sandshark  is suggesting backing up the NAS, and then starting over with only the new disks in place.  Since they are CMR they will sync much faster, and you'd only need 2x12 TB to match your existing capacity.

 

Initially you would have RAID-1, but when you add the third 12 TB disk when you need it, the NAS will convert the volume to RAID-5 and expand the volume.from 12 TB to 24.  When you add the fourth, the NAS will expand it to 36 TB.

 


@jimk1963 wrote:

 

Thought about swapping out the 4TB SMR's with 4TB SSD's, just to see if reads/writes improve. But with a 1GbE limitation, I'm guessing I'd see negligible improvement, other than maybe when copying thousands of tiny files (which does happen). 


I agree the speed increase would mostly be with seen when browsing folders (and copying/moving a lot of small files).

 

One option is to use FlexRAID and put a couple of shares on it that have those characteristics.  Then use backup jobs to back them up to the main volume on schedule.

 

There is also a ReadyTier feature you could use (letting you use an SSD as a cache for the main volume).  But there aren't many folks who use it, and I'd be concerned that it isn't completely stable.

 

FWIW, I've also pondered this, and decided just to leave well enough alone for now.  My RN526x main NAS is already fast enough for my needs.

 

Message 4 of 5
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: RN424 swap out all 4 drives - best method

The biggest improvement (and it will be huge) with CMR vs. SMR drives are on RAID sync and Balance (which also does a RAID re-sync).  It'll also reduce the time it takes to restore all your files, since you'll be doing constant writes, but you may have no experience doing that with the SMR drives to gauge it against.

 

As @StephenB expanded on:  Yes, what you describe about how expansion works is correct.  You retain RAID protection with just two drives and throughout the expansion steps (except during a re-sync).  That's the "magic" of XRAID.

Message 5 of 5
Discussion stats
  • 4 replies
  • 1912 views
  • 2 kudos
  • 3 in conversation
Announcements