I've read about the different types of RAID configurations, but I'm still having trouble on deciding which is best for me.
I have a 4-bay NAS disk station with a max capacity of 16TB, along with 2x4TB hard drives.
I wish to set it up as a media server for home use. I'll mainly be streaming my movies from the NAS to my Apple TV.
I know RAID is not a replacement for backups. However, my main focus when setting up the media server is data security. Also, in the future I would like to buy 2 more 4TB hard drives, so I need a configuration which makes me able to add 2 new drives later without wiping the data on the 2 older drives.
With these criteria in mind, which RAID configuration will be best?
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You should not have to wipe your data. A lot of NAS support RAID migration or what they sometime call dynamic RAID (I have seen xRAID or flexRAID used). These allow you start with 1 disk (no RAID), the 2 disks (RAID1), then 3 disks (RAID5), etc. Check with your NAS manufacture to see what they support.
If your NAS does not support RAID migration, then this is still possible if it supports creating multiple RAID volumes (ie, have two or more separate RAID setup).