Hello! I’ve been trying to consider how to best make use of the FW16 having at least two storage drives, or even more with expansion cards. But finding myself a bit overwhelmed by all the different ways I’ve found to handle data, I’ve decided to reach out here for further guidance. Here’s where I’m at:
Of course, the most straightforward way is to simply use all those storage drives as separate storage drives. But you could also stripe or mirror data across the internal drives with btrfs or zfs. But is striping worth the risk of losing all your data if a single drive fails? Is mirroring worth the loss of a whole drive’s capacity, especially if this is your main, or even only machine?
If a raid array is even worth it on this device, then with additional expansion cards, it should be possible to even go for raid 5, raid 6, or any of the different raid z setups, right? But if you did make a raid array that included expansion cards, would there be a performance hit, and how bad of one? Would it depend on the specific configuration?
And what if the drives are different sizes, such as the expansion cards possibly being smaller than the internal drives, or even the internal drives being different sizes? My understanding is that raid would no longer work. But what if, say, you had 2 TB internal drives and two 1 TB expansion cards? Could you use the two expansion cards as a single logical volume of the same size as the internal drives and then use that to make a raid array with the internal drives?
If expansion cards in a raid array would impact performance, but if they could also be grouped together within that array, could you put the expansion cards in raid 0 array nested within the larger main array to improve performance? Would performance still be worse than simply not having the expansion cards in the array? If a single expansion card failed, would it be possible to identify which one and only replace that one, or would you be forced to replace all the expansion cards used that were grouped together? If such a setup is even possible, would there even be any merit to having such a complex configuration?
What about using expansion cards to backup data? Is that a good idea, or does the fact that it’s still in the laptop make it useless?
I don’t know what all the pros and cons and considerations of all these possible setups are, or if there are other possible setups I’m not even aware of that are worth considering. All of these things are still very new to me, so I apologize if I’m getting basic concepts wrong, but I’m eager to learn! And so I would very much appreciate hearing other people’s thoughts on this and how you all intend to make use of your FW16’s storage!