RAID SAS Controller for Parity in a growing Unraid.

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I am new to Unraid and super excited about its capabilities.

I've been cobbling together bits and pieces I have and can find on eBay.

I started with 3 500GB sata hdd, One 2TB sata hdd (for parity) and a pcie riser with nvme for cache. Great.

I understand to add larger storage, the parity drive has be same or larger.

I replaced the 2TB hdd for a 4 TB hdd, rebuilt, and replaced a 500 gb with 2TB. I increased storage by 1.5TB.


If I want to add a 8 TB drive for data, I also have to replace the 4TB hdd parity with a 8TB hdd.


So, it can be expensive to add larger drives as I have to keep upping the parity drive to handle it.

What about hw raid for parity drive? (I've read the posts, not a good idea, no smart info and other Armageddon issues).

Assuming I can 'easily' add drives (or destroy, rebuild) to a raid5 array used solely for parity and this would give me a more cost effective way to absorb drives to make a large enough parity disk to support larger single hdd used for data. (I know h/w raid wants identical size drives, or at least the array will be based on smallest drive size).

My thought is that building an h/w raid for parity would give me a lot of flexibility while I grow my storage


I bought HP D2700 (2.5" 24 bay) for a song, BUT the drives are not most cost effective AND max raw storage is about 24 ish TB.
I want to get D2600 (12 bay 3.5" enclosure), but they are like 10x the cost of the D2700 BUT the drives are cheaper and I can add mix of SAS and SATA.

Looking to start with LSI MegaRaid 9286CV-8e 8Port 6Gbs PCIE3.0 1GB. Create a raid for party, data drives will be normal single drives.

So, will a raid drive work, but just not ideally? 
I look to use this approach while I find/afford higher capacity drives. 
Also, this is bit of a work bench/geek out to use enterprise stuff that I thought I never would have in my possession. 


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7 hours ago, Robc390 said:

So, will a raid drive work, but just not ideally? 

It will work, but it's not recommended, and keep in mind that for example two 4TB drives in raid0 will be slightly smaller than one 8TB drive, so parity will always need to be larger than the data drives you intend to use.

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