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Increasing NAS capacity

cdsatpb
Aspirant

Increasing NAS capacity

Question from a non-techy person.

 

I have a RN104 fitted with 4 x 4TB WD RED drives.  Can I fit larger capacity drives (eg 6TB or 8TB)  (as I understand it, the original documentation seemed to indicate that this device could only accept a maximum of 16TB - ie what I have now).

 

If larger capacity drives will work, what is the minimum number of new drives that need to be fitted to increase the overall storage capacity (ie is the capacity limited by the smallest drive in the box - do I need to upgrade all the drives simultaneously)?

 

The NAS is used purely as a backup for computers around the house, not as the main storage, so temporarily losing the data stored on the NAS should not be a problem (providing I don't have simultaneous hard disk failure on one of the computers).

 

Thanks for our help

Model: RN104|ReadyNAS 100 Series 4- Bay
Message 1 of 6

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Sandshark
Sensei

Re: Increasing NAS capacity

The orignal documentation is based on the maximum drive size available at the time.  Larger drives will work in your NAS, and the volume size will expand once you replace two.  You did not mention what types of drives you currently have, but you should avoid those that use SMR, which includes most new desktop drives and the WD Red line.  The Seagate Ironwolf, WD Red Plus or WD Red Pro are good choices.  If the rotation speed does not match that of the existing drives, the NAS will complain, but there are no specifically documented reasons.  With your lower-powered NAS, you won't get an added boost with 7200RPM over 5400RPM, anyway.

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Message 2 of 6

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Sandshark
Sensei

Re: Increasing NAS capacity

The orignal documentation is based on the maximum drive size available at the time.  Larger drives will work in your NAS, and the volume size will expand once you replace two.  You did not mention what types of drives you currently have, but you should avoid those that use SMR, which includes most new desktop drives and the WD Red line.  The Seagate Ironwolf, WD Red Plus or WD Red Pro are good choices.  If the rotation speed does not match that of the existing drives, the NAS will complain, but there are no specifically documented reasons.  With your lower-powered NAS, you won't get an added boost with 7200RPM over 5400RPM, anyway.

Message 2 of 6
cdsatpb
Aspirant

Re: Increasing NAS capacity

Thank you. I shall search for two larger capacity disks to start off with.

 

My current disks are labelled "WD RED" but the product number, WD40EFRX, corresponds to WD RED PLUS on the WD web site which is CMR.  The product shown currently on the WD web site as WD RED is product number WD40EFAX, which is SMR (although, confusingly, Amazon claim to offer a RED PLUS CMR disk with that same product number WD40EFAX).

 

I wasn't previously aware of the difference between CMR and SMR:  is the difference mainly write speed?  Given the confusion over product numbering I am not sure how to ensure I get the right technology if I stick with WD (which I am minded to do).

Message 3 of 6
StephenB
Guru

Re: Increasing NAS capacity


@cdsatpb wrote:

(as I understand it, the original documentation seemed to indicate that this device could only accept a maximum of 16TB - ie what I have now).

Some very early firmware was limited to 16 TiB.  The firmware was updated to handle any size volume back in 2015 (release 6.4.0). 

 

Though as @Sandshark says, the data sheets use the biggest drives that are available when they are published, and Netgear doesn't revise them as newer drives com onto the market.

 

The current HCL for the RN104 has 16 TB drives on it.

 


@cdsatpb wrote:

My current disks are labelled "WD RED" but the product number, WD40EFRX, corresponds to WD RED PLUS on the WD web site which is CMR.  The product shown currently on the WD web site as WD RED is product number WD40EFAX, which is SMR (although, confusingly, Amazon claim to offer a RED PLUS CMR disk with that same product number WD40EFAX).


Go by the model information here: https://shop.westerndigital.com/products/internal-drives/wd-red-plus-sata-3-5-hdd#WD20EFRX The WD40EFAX is a Red model, not a Red Plus.

 

The split between Red and Red Plus happened earlier this year - in response to the customer backlash when the SMR tech in the drives was uncovered.

 


@cdsatpb wrote:

is the difference mainly write speed?


Sort of.

 

SMR packs the tracks so close together that when you write a track, the next track is erased.  So the drive needs to do a lot of tricks to maintain data integrity.  It has a very large on-drive cache (and needs to put the track that will be erased in there before it does the write).  If you do sustained writes, the cache gets full, and writes have to be paused until the drive catches up.

 

 

Message 4 of 6
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: Increasing NAS capacity

Before the SMR substitution was uncovered, I replaced an EFRX (old CMR Red) with a EFAX (new SMR red) and my scrub time not only went through the roof, but the process was holding off others that could not write to the array, and this was with a NAS with far more processing power than yours.  Had I not manually paused the scrub to allow the other processes to complete, I suspect the NAS would have crashed due to the task backlog   I replaced the drive with an 8TB EFAX (CMR Red because >6TB) because the Red Plus had not yet been released and the problem went away, so that confirmed it was the SMR drive.

Message 5 of 6
cdsatpb
Aspirant

Re: Increasing NAS capacity

Thank you so much for the information.  That helps me a lot.

Message 6 of 6
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