Disk Management - Software Raid
First you select the Disks --> Management
menu item and then you click on the +
sign to add disks to FreeNAS. Without any disks to manage you won't have a need for FreeNAS
On this image you select the drives you want to manage. Make sure that you don't select your OS drive/flash disk as this is never required. I highlighted some of the settings I like. For best results with FreeNAS always
try and use blank disks so that you can select the native file systems of FreeNAS/FreeBSD. Click the Add
button and repeat this step for as many disks that you are going to use. Each time you use a disk it will disappear from the drop down so you can't "link" them to FreeNAS multiple time.
Click the Apply Changes
once you are done.
Now you are ready to format the drives. Click on the Disks --> Format
Here you will select the disks that you have just added for Management. To be able to use the disks in SoftRaid you must format them with the SoftRaid option. This will "mark"
them as SoftRaid drives and will allow you to use them later during the setup. If you want to just add the disks as normal drives you will Format them and skip right to the mount step below. Repeat this step for all the drives.
Now we are ready to configure the SoftRaid drives. Click on the Disks --> Software Raid
Now you will select the type of Software Raid that you want to use:
JBOD --> stands for just a bunch of disks. No data redundancy and you end up with just one big disk of all your drives
Raid 0 --> must use even numbered disk and preferably of the same size. If they are not of the same size the total available space will be 2x the smallest drive's size. No data redundancy and if you loose a drive everything is lost
Raid 1 --> must use even numbered disk and preferably of the same size. If they are not of the same size the total available space will be 1x the smallest drive's size. All your data is mirrored onto the second drive so you can loose 1 drive and still have all of your data.
Raid 5 --> must use at least 3 drives and preferably of the same size. If they are not of the same size the total available space will be (number of drives - 1) * smallest drive's size. Your data is spread over the drives and you can loose 1 drive and still retain data integrity.
In this example I did Raid 1 so I select Raid 1
and clicked the +
sign to start the configuration. I called the drive the DataRaid1
, selected the drives and initialized the raid. Click on the Add
button to complete the step.
On the next screen you can see your Software Raid setup and you can click the Apply Changes
button to make them active.
This now created a Software Raid disk and you have to format this to give it a file system. This is a step that is often missed. Now you are ready to format the drives. Click on the Disks --> Format
Here we will now select the disk called DataRaid1
and format it with the UFS partion which is the native file system for FreeNAS/FreeBSD and is highly recommended. You can format NTFS if you want to.
Now we are ready to mount the drives and this is the final step of the disk management process. Go to Disks --> Mount Point
We will select the +
sign to mount any disks that we require to mount.
On the mount screen we will select the disk called DataRaid1
and we will select GPT Partion/MBR Partion depending on what we used during the format stage. For UFS and Software Raid this is normally GPT and is required for drives in excess of 2TB. We will leave partion 1 select UFS or NTFS depending on what we selected during the format stage and we will provide the mount point of the drive which is in my case mydata
. Click on the Add
button to complete.
Click the Apply Changes
button on the next screen to mount the drive.