Server Rebuild, yould need advise in Software and Hardware

Hey guys,

Sorry if this isn't the right category, but there are questions about software, that affect the hardware and vice versa.

Ok let's begin. I got a centos Server that is totally hacky and ugly and i want to rebuild it.

ATM Specs: MB: C2750D4I ()
HDD:s 3 3 TB WD RED, 1 2 TB WD RED
Case: capable of 6 HotSwap HDD's and 2 2,5" HDD's

My plan is to use 5 3 TB WD RED's in RaidZ2 for Storage and two 2,5" 750 GB WD REDS in Raid 1 for the OS.
Another 3 TB WD red should be a HotSpare for the big pool.
Later, i want to add 6 more HotSwapBays for another pool (also 5 HDD's) and the last bay will hold a Backup HDD.

So to the questions:
1. Is this idea in it's core a good one?
2. Should i try using the onboard hardware Raid for the OS pool or go with software raid (and is this even possible without having the bootpoint on another hdd)?
3. Should i try striping the big pool over all of the memory controllers or should i try to connect the HDD's to as less controllers possible?
4. Is it possible to use one HotSpare HDD for 2 Raidpools?
5. Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance for the answers!

greetings from germany

Zee Captain

Those onboard Marvell controllers are software raid chips not hardware raid chips. Which slot you plug them into won't matter since they will act as simple sata controllers if you don't use the software.

ZFS is a good software raid solution you can use it for all your drives. Mirrored vdev for 2x750 disks for the OS, RaidZ2 for your storage disks.

Z2 allows for 2 drive failures before collapse so you shouldn't bother with a hot spare. Just backup your OS with something like Acronis and backup your storage to an external location.

What will this be used for if i may ask ?

Thank you for your help!

So i will use a Softwareraid for the mirrored OS HDD's.

With spreading the HDD's over multiple Controllers not all will be faulty if the controller dies, but i would think this is very unlikely.

Well, i want to use this server for data storage (Backups, Videos, Music) with samba, as a minecraft server, mumble server, owncloud,PXE, a home automation controll centre and every other thing that i can think of.

The server is 24/7 on and i don't want any data to be lost, due to the fact that i can't buy enough HDD's for a full backup of a of my data. So i will just backup the most important files and try to keep the others as secure as possible without backing them up properly. I know, that is dump but most of the data can easily be downloaded again.

I was wondering how a mirrored OS HDD could work if the pc have to boot from one plate even before the software raid could be initialised and keep up the sync with the other...

However. Is there any other (OpenSource) alternative to acronis you would recommend?

greetings from germany and thanks to you again

Zee Captain

Controller chips have a far lower failure rate than HDD's so i wouldn't worry about it. Be sure to check the health of your array periodically so you can replace drives when needed. Many times i have seen an array collapse because the user forgot to or didn't bother to change a failed drive.

Clonezilla and Macrium Reflect are good free disk cloning software. Don't know if they are opensource though. Search for disk cloning software.

The PC will boot from the drive you chose in BIOS. Once you build the array it won't matter which since both will have identical data.

Happy to help.