Quote from Svartalf on August 31, 2011, 22:31
Heh... Most users think this stuff's magic- and they'd not realize that if they had a disk failure that it would be an imperative to get that disk replaced. They're as likely as not to ignore it until the next failure and lose everything anyway. And they can't just use any disk, willy-nilly, to replace it- it has to be the same model if at all possible and if not, it must be exactly the same size or larger. If you replace with a larger disk, you must replace the next failed disk with the same story, and so forth. You do realise that within the 500Mb size class there's at least 4 or 5 differing actual sizes within that space, all claimed to be 500Mb. Can you grab a box and tell me that one disk is the same size or larger? What about the 1Tb disks? What about 3Tb disks?
If you can't map a consistent safe path without a bunch of research and discipline through that minefield, then this isn't an answer to that problem you refer to.
I'm working on something, though, that might make the cut.
It's true setting up a RAID array takes a bit of intelligence (like replacing a drive when it goes bad, I have to admit I've run into people who who didn't replace the bad drive and then were indeed shocked when a second disk went bad some time later and all data was lost
). You slap a couple drives together and then get surprised when it actually reduces the life of the drive (which is what RAID 0 does by the way), but if you research the drive a little before buying it (maybe even look at the tech document from the manufacture) you can find out what they define a byte as and make sure to get the right sized drive.
Worst case scenario though, when a disk goes bad in RAID 5 (or dare I even say RAID 6) I replace it with a larger disk. By the time a disk goes bad it's usually time for a space upgrade anyways. Yes the additional space will be lost at first, but once all the disks are replaced, the size will increase. It's a very nice way to progressively increase your RAID size.
@obarthelemy - Yeah, I came to the same conclusion. I only have 1 drive right now, so the whole thing is slightly moot