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Non SCSI, mega storage device?

So there I was, thinking that I had heard/read somewhere that it was possible to hook up many regular hard drives (IDE, EIDE) together to make up one logical partition that was dynamically expandable. I might be off my rocker, but I think I heard of it somewhere. An example is.. your company is upgrading it's computers, and intends to throw away old hard drives (i.e. 4GB, 20GB hard drives...) If you got your hands on them, you could hook them all together and make an expandable external storage. This would mean that if you have 3 20GB hard drives, you'd have a logical 60GB partition. Your buddy wants to throw away his old 10GB hard drive.. so you get that one and add it. Now you've got a 70GB hard drive. Has anybody ever heard of this idea before? No idea how to make it work, but I think in theory it would be neat.

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NachoMahma8 years ago
The Dark Ninja (author)  NachoMahma8 years ago
Well that would be it! I knew I wasnt crazy! Now, JBOD provides no redundancy... have you heard of a way to provide just a bit of redundancy? Like mirroring or some sort of striping? I know RAID does those, but according to the wiki it wont work with JBOD.
. The two most popular redundant schemes are RAID1 (mirroring) and RAID5 (distributed with parity). Either way, the smallest drive in the array sets the size of the rest of the drives. Eg, if you had 200GB + 250GB +400GB, they would turn into three 200GB drives.
The Dark Ninja (author)  NachoMahma8 years ago
Not a bad idea, but I've potentially got access to a bunch of *small* drives.. ie. in the 20gb to 40gb drives. I wish I could have a 200gb drive!
at some point (and not very far from the starting line), you wind up paying more to house, power, and control "many" small drives than you would pay for a brand new larger hard drive; it may not be worth it.

I usually end up breaking up large hard drives into partitions in the 20-40GB range anyway, except on the computer that has lots of photos and video. Why do you want it to appear as a single larger drive?

Partitions:
  • C: windows and official SW. Back up occasionally to a disk image for easy system restores
  • D: "bin": less official programs. Don't backup; reinstall if needed.
  • E: "games": game software. don't back up reinstall if needed.
  • F: "user": documents and user data (email, etc) Back up frequently to multiple media and multiple methods.
PKM NachoMahma8 years ago
Isn't there a RAID scheme that stripes by block level and doesn't necessarily need the striped bits to be on one disk? (I thought RAID4 was distributed with parity on one disk, RAID5 was distributed with the parity round-robin between physical drives). That way the physical size of the disks doesn't matter ebcause they are all one homogeneous "blob" anyway. Perhaps RAID6?