QNAP NAS – How to Expand or Migrate your RAID Volumes

Adding Storage to a QNAP NAS Drive

Can you tell me the best way of adding two more WD 4TB Red drives to a qnap TS-453Be that already has two of the same drives configured as RAID 1. Looking at possibly changing to RAID5/6. Also do you add drives with the qnap already running, or must it be turned off before adding the drives.


Changing the RAID Configuration on a QNAP NAS

For modern businesses and home NAS users, one of the greatest challenges is to select and set up a reliable network-attached storage server to secure and share important data to increase work efficiency. Meanwhile, the necessity to reduce the risk of data loss by backing up data increases. As your storage grows, it may become necessary to adapt the data backup policies to meet the changing demands of the data generated. The QNAP NAS series provides a high-performance and low-TCO (total cost of ownership) solution for the modern server user. In addition to best hardware specifications and growing list of applications, the QNAP NAS series also offers innovative features such as Online RAID Capacity Upgrade (for example, replace three 500GB hard drives with three 1TB hard drives) and Online RAID Level Migration (for example, RAID level migration from RAID 1 to RAID 5). These advanced features used to be exclusive to corporations with large budgets, but QNAP implements an intuitive way to allow more businesses to enjoy these powerful technologies.

The scenarios below will demonstrate how businesses can benefit from Online RAID Level Migration and Online RAID Capacity Upgrade. Remember, that as long as yoru NAS Drive supports Hot Swapping (which your TS-453Be does), then you will not need to power down your QNAP NAS when introducing the new HDD media, jsut remember that you will likely need to upgrade your NAS gradually, from RAID 1 to RAID 5 to RAID 6.

Additionally, you should ALWAYS have a backup in place when conducting any kind of NAS RAID migration, as even if a brand 100% confirms that the data will be safe, you cannot rely on any number of interrupting factors that can happen (major things such as incorrect drive selection, to simply the power in your home is cut out and it happening mid RAID change). So, always have a backup of your data in another location.

Example of the need to Upgrade your RAID and Storage

Online RAID Level Migration allows users to migrate to different RAID configurations via the web browser over the network or internet. The migration process can be done without turning off the NAS and without losing any data. However, you will need to ensure you upgrade in the right order. So, Online RAID Level Migration supports the following RAID migrations:

  • Single drive to RAID 1
  • RAID 1 to RAID 5
  • RAID 5 to RAID 6

User Case Example

  • Jeffrey invested back in 2015 in two 500GB drives for the initial setup of a TS-453A and used a RAID 1 configuration with the two drives. The TS-453A is used as a file server for data sharing among the department in his company and data is constantly being generated
  • After 4 years, the storage needs of his department had sharply increased. The current storage capacity of the TS-453A is no longer enough. Jeffrey planned to upgrade the storage capacity without losing data redundancy by adding disks to the RAID group and migrating the RAID 1 configuration to RAID 5.

To do this, the following is required:

  • Prepare hard drives of at least the same capacity as existing drives in the current RAID array.
  • Execute RAID Migration (Migrate the system from RAID 1 mode to RAID 5 by adding a drive), then adding an additional drive afterwards if requiring a RAID 6 and repeating the process

Go to “Storage Manager” > “Storage Space“. Select the storage pool that will be upgraded and click “Manage“. The “Storage Pool Management” window will launch. The current disk volume configuration displayed on the page is RAID 1 and the RAID capacity is 500GB.

Insert the new 500GB hard drives into the NAS.

In the “Storage Pool Management” window, click “Manage” > “Migrate“.

Select an available hard drive to add to the array. The RAID migration type and drive capacity after migration will be shown. Click “Apply” to continue.

Please note: The RAID migration sequence must be Single > RAID 1 > RAID 5 > RAID 6

All the data on the selected drive will be cleared. Click “OK” to confirm.

The migration progress is shown under “Status”.

Please note: The storage pool will be in “read only” mode when the migration process is in between 11% to 49%.

After migration completes, the new drive configuration will be RAID 5 and the status will be “Ready”. You can now start to use the new drive configuration.

Depending on the drive sizes, the process may take anywhere from a few hours to tens of hours to complete. Please wait patiently for the process to finish. DO NOT turn off the NAS.

What is the Best NAS hard drive of 2019

When choosing your first NAS device, as important as it seems to get the right network attached storage device, even more important is making sure you get the right hard drive or SSD Media to store your files on. Technically any hard drive (HDD) these days can be installed inside a network attached storage device. On the one hand, this is a good thing for those that like choice, but it is also a bloody awful thing for the indecisive or those that just want to know what the best hard drive to buy is right now. In order to use any hard drive in your NAS, you will need to make sure it is the following:
  • SATA connectivity (so some Enterprise drives will also support SAS)
  • At least 5400rpm or higher otherwise you there will be lag during access which only gets worse, the more drives you add.
  • at least 120GB and above in capacity, as often applications and NAS operating systems, plus updates, will be well over 50-80GB alone over the years
  • At least 64MB cache
  • Yep..that just above covers it!

Recommended NAS Hard Drives?

We highly recommend WD Red and Seagate Ironwlf for the best NAS Hard Drives, as they provide the best balance between price, warranty, support and capacity in 2019 – though in a pinch, you can use the Toshiba NAS Hard Drive range, though they can be noisy at the larger capacities.

wd red range for NAS hard drives disks seagate ironwold nas hard drive disk

For NAS Use

See the rest of the rest of the ahrd drive range series to buy

Seagate Ironwolf HDD

For NAS Use

See the rest of the rest of the ahrd drive range series to buy

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