RAID Storage Done Right In ReadyNAS
We are often spending time on forums trying to convince NAS owners and storage users to ALWAYS implement RAID level 1 or above to protect their data from hard drive failure. (Remember RAID 0 is not “RAID” at all, nothing redundant about it!)
The reason is that, eventually, all hard drives will fail, and it may have NOTHING to do with how NEW the drive is. New drives can and DO FAIL all of the time.
Our blog post recently about two fairly new Seagate Enterprise level (high quality) hard drives failing is case in point.
What this post is about is how well the Netgear ReadyNAS (in this case an Ultra 2 Plus, but all current models behave well this way) allows you to replace a failed hard drive without hassle or losing any data.
Replacing A Failed Hard Drive In A Netgear ReadyNAS
It’s pretty easy to identify which drive is failed in a Netgear ReadyNAS and all of the hard drives in current units are hot swappable.
If you do not have a backup of critical data, backup first!
We covered the actual steps in previous posts, and it is simple. The thing we want to show here are screenshots of the messages the ReadyNAS will give you to let you know what’s going on.
After installing the replacement hard disk, the web control panel (called Frontview in Netgear parlance) will pop up with this status message:
You can see in the background of this image it is still showing Disk 1 to be “dead”. A “refresh” of the page would show differently.
The RAID sync will start on its own, once you insert the new disk and it spins up.
The time it takes for the RAID sync to complete will depend upon:
- Which ReadyNAS you have (processing power)
- How large the hard drives are (size of the volumes)
- Whether or not users continue to access data during the sync process (we recommend you don’t)
Once the resynchronization is complete, the Frontview screen will pop up with a new message:
This is the message we love to see. RAID sync finished; before another drive fails.
It’s not often they fail at the same time, but if you either did not notice the first drive failed and/or did not have email alerts set up, you CAN lose another hard drive before getting the first failed drive replaced and resynchronized.
This is a screenshot of the Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus Frontview status screen during the re-sync process:
If you have email alerts set up, all of this notices will come to you via email as well.
Remember, when buying hard drives for any NAS unit, always choose from the manufacturers hardware compatibility list.
When you do have a hard drive failure in an Netgear ReadyNAS or other NAS device, always follow through until the end to make sure your RAID storage is fully re-synchronized and actively protecting your data.