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I have a Promise Technology J610S. This is a JBOD subsystem. Is it possible for me to buy a SAS hardware RAID controller and provide some type of redundancy for these drives?

I am unsure whether I will use Linux or Windows yet so an answer with enumeration for both would be highly appreciated.

One solution that I thought of was: if my J610s can export each drive as a target, my server will simply see 16 drives. The RAID controller can then perform the RAID5/RAID6 if I want.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, you can purchase a RAID card and connect the Promise unit to the RAID card and do RAID 1, 5, 6, 10, etc depending on what your needs are. Some of these units will do RAID themselves but I couldn't find if these units do.

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If you can make each drive available separately to the OS, then you could easily run software RAID on top of them. With Linux this can be done with mdadm. I'm sure Windows has something similar.

I don't know exactly how your hardware works, but you could split it into two JBODs visible to the OS as two separate drives. Then you could use mdadm to configure that as a simple RAID-1 setup, mirroring the two drives. Then if one of the component drives in one of the jbod failed, you could rebuild it from the other jbod.

However, this all does add an extra layer of complexity to your setup, and lots of potential extra failure modes. I would advise you to think about turning off all disk-spanning via jbod on the device, and just use mdadm (and possibly lvm) to combine the individual drives from your device. Ideally the device does make this possible by exposing all the individual drive devices.

So to recap, keep things simple on the device and expose individual drives to the OS if possible. Then use software raid and logical disks to partition it up and provide redundancy.

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