Two newbie questions about Zyxel NAS542

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downwithload
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:22 am

Two newbie questions about Zyxel NAS542

Post by downwithload » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:24 am

Hello everyone.

I'm about to purchase a Zyxel NAS542 and have the following questions, for those in the know.

1. Is it possible to configure the device to allow indepedent access to each of the four disks?
I believe this is called a "Basic" or "Standard" array and is different to JBOD in that storage space is not unified across disks, but split in relative volumes.
So does NAS542 allow this setup, so that each disk would be a different volume and can therefore be taken out of the NAS, without affecting the rest of the array?

2. Is it possible to expand a "Basic" or JBOD array, by adding new hard disk(s) without the need to format existing disks?
In other words I want to start with one or two disks, fill them with content and then at a later date add one or two more new disks without losing existing data on the previous disks.

I have searched for answers on the downloadable manual and this forum, but couldn't find any.

Any answers are greatly appreciated!

jarfasattila
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:36 am

Re: Two newbie questions about Zyxel NAS542

Post by jarfasattila » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:54 am

I am also looking for the same answers!

Mijzelf
Posts: 6197
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:45 am

Re: Two newbie questions about Zyxel NAS542

Post by Mijzelf » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:56 pm

1. Yes you can. It is possible to create one volume per disk.
2. You mean adding extra volumes? That is also possible, although I would remove the old disks temporary, as I don't know what caused this problem.
If you mean enlarging the volumes by 'glueing' an extra disk, I don't know. It would involve enlarging the filesystem, which is not impossible, but not recommended without backing up your data.

downwithload
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:22 am

Re: Two newbie questions about Zyxel NAS542

Post by downwithload » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:40 am

Thank you very much for your answer.

So, I suppose I will get the option on the NAS interface, for single (one volume for all disks) or multiple volumes (one per disk) when configuring the array as JBOD?

On the second subject, I want to start with two disks configured as one volume each, then add one or two more disks (again one volume each) without losing any content present on the previous volumes.
Would this procedure cause any problems?

Mijzelf
Posts: 6197
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:45 am

Re: Two newbie questions about Zyxel NAS542

Post by Mijzelf » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:26 am

I think it should be 'Basic disks', but I'm not very good in marketing names.

Anyway, you can simply try it. If you can create 2 disk-size volumes having only two disks, you've chosen an appropriate layout. If it doesn't work, simply delete the volume and try another layout.
Under the hood it's all the same. ZyXEL always uses some raid setup. For a single disk volume you have the choice between a single disk linear array (disks can be glued after each other. Sometimes this is called JBOD, but not always. Sometimes JBOD means 'one volume per disk') or a single disk raid1 (in which case you can add redundancy later, but that's not mandatory). Both are usable as a 'one disk per volume' setup. There is no difference in performance. Theoretically you can change from one to the other without touching the embedded filesystem, but I don't know if the firmware supports that.
Would this procedure cause any problems?
It shouldn't. But as said, I advice to remove the existing disks before setting up new volumes. After that you can put the disks back, and they will be recognized. (Maybe you'll have to re-enable the shares). Better safe than sorry.

downwithload
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:22 am

Re: Two newbie questions about Zyxel NAS542

Post by downwithload » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:20 am

Again, many thanks for the interest and time spent replying to my newbie questions!

I will try to find any old, useless SATA disks I may have in the "stock room", to conduct some tests.

All this trouble is because I'm out of blank hard disks of sufficient capacity, actually I only have one disk I can format and use as blank in the NAS.
So I planned on using this disk as starting point, move content to it (thus emptying another disk), then using this now empty disk in the NAS next to the first one and so on...

Anyway, I will post here results of my tests and final setup, as future reference for others.
Greetings.

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