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Can I use multiple RAID controllers in a single RAID array?

  • NAS / RAID
  • Hard Drives
  • Storage
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Last response: in Storage
December 15, 2012 9:59:05 PM

I am looking to make a cheap RAID array from 10 or more used 80GB hard drives. I am using used hard drives to save money so I obviously don't want to buy a +$300 RAID controller. So can I use multiple RAID controllers, which each have fewer connections, in a single RAID array? Also could I use different HDDs of the same size? If I did, would it negatively affect performance (I.E. if one HD is marginally faster the other ones would run slower)?

Other info: I intend to use RAID 10, the drives I'm going to use are WD800JD drives, depending on the response, the other drives I'm considering using are Seagate Barracudas (They might not be the exact model linked, but something like that).

More about : multiple raid controllers single raid array

a c 590 G Storage
December 15, 2012 10:12:26 PM

civ77 said:
So can I use multiple RAID controllers, which each have fewer connections, in a single RAID array?

Sorry, but you cannot. When you go into your RAID controller's BIOS to create your array it will only give you an option to select drives that are connected to that particular controller only.

It doesn't "see" ports from any other controllers.

Best solution

a c 108 G Storage
December 15, 2012 10:41:26 PM

With two 4 port controllers you can create two raid10 arrays and use the two raid volumes for a dynamic ntfs volume. But get ready for a very disappointing performance, because these disks are slow and all the cheap raid controllers are software raids. And keep at least one drive of each type as spare, just in case one fails. Ah, and you can use different sizes and speed. The smallest and slowest will limit the raid.
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December 15, 2012 10:54:09 PM

Thanks for the help.
December 15, 2012 10:54:22 PM

Best answer selected by civ77.
a b G Storage
December 15, 2012 11:04:28 PM

Yes you can. You will need identical RAID controllers which support RAID spanning. Different model controllers may support RAID spanning, however they have to have the same processor. You could reduce your build cost by getting a single RAID controller and use expander cards.