Should I use raid system?

I have a question regarding raid. I have been reading a lot and people have lost data due to raid system failing. I see that some post prefer to have a JBOD system and then just copy between drives and just sync that to Back blaze and some documents to Dropbox or iCloud Drive for quick access of the documents. Please, let me know what you think is the prefer way to go. I only have a NAS 218+ (2 Drives) running Plex directly from the NAS and running my TimeMachine of my MacBook Pro and iMac. Space is not a problem.

It’s always worth remembering that RAID is not a backup, personally I would go with a JBOD, but really i personally don’t recommend ether as a solution unless you really know what you are doing, I have had a lot of success scaling Plex by just throwing more external drives at it

Thank you for your response. My question comes because since my Movies are on my WD Red Drives and my Plex Server is the NAS, I am worried to be adding more work to the drives that I should. I want to make sure to use it on a way that I enjoy the use of the NAS without adding extra suffering to the drive.

P.D. English is my second language, please bare with me if I made a mistake on my writing). :slight_smile:

The people who have lost data due to a RAID failure aren’t using it right. You always need to have an independent backup of any critical info separate from the RAID device. My personal policy is to have 3 copies of all data: one on the primary device, one on RAID and one offsite.

If you have treasured movies, photos etc you should not store them on a single device (no matter whether that is your NAS or a laptop or etc). If you have the originals on a computer and the NAS is a backup your in the “probably ok” zone. Same applies if the NAS is the primary device (due to Plex) and you have a copy of the content on a computer or elsewhere. Not exactly sure what your use case is - what I’ve described here isn’t an exhaustive set of options/approaches. Hopefully it helps you think it through.

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The problem is you have a 2 drive NAS;-) You should have picked a 4 bay unit, which would have given you the Synology Hybrid RAID option so you have the best of both worlds. This is useful if you have at least 3 drives, ideally of the same storage capacity but you’re not limited to that with SHR. You can always add a 4th drive, which will add to the storage capacity and still keep everything “safe”. As Ben said though, it’s not because you are using a RAID or SHR that you don’t backup your data on the NAS. It will help if you have a hard drive failure though, but if you’re stuff gets robed, or god forbid, your house burns, you’d be out of luck. So think of having your data in the cloud, or if the data on your NAS doesn’t change often, backup on a external drive and put that drive at work, or at a relative’s place. I guess I’m not answering your question though. If you need the space, go with JBOD, if you need redundancy use RAID 1 (mirroring), if you need faster speed, use RAID 0 (stripping). Since you can’t add more than two drive with your NAS, it would be between RAID 0 or RAID 1 in my opinion. HTH.


IMHO RAID has two primary uses, depending on the type of RAID exclusive or inclusive: first is improving the performance (sequential data access) over a single drive, second is to provide redundancy so that drive failure means little or no downtime. The first is useful for high data rate applications and the second is useful for banks. In no case is RAID a backup solution not only because of RAID system failure but also accidental file deletion, theft, or natural disaster, for which RAID is useless.

Using RAID for PLEX, streaming, is actually a low data rate, and is non-critical as far as down-time is concerned, so RAID is a waste. I would argue the same is true for using a RAID drive for TimeMachine. Hopefully TimeMachine is not the only means of backup and it is known to fail as well!

Thank you all for the information. Working to re-plan my backup workflow. Will share once I start so I can get the most of it.

As already mentioned, they misunderstood RAID and backup. RAID is never a replacement for a backup strategy. That said:

  • I use several RAIDs. The main reason: aggregation of drive space, data throughput and no hassle (or less hassle) when a drive fails.
  • just last week one of the drives failed. Data was never in danger, since everything is backed up. But: just had to replaced that single drive and that’s it. The RAID rebuilt and everything is golden. Took my 30sec (work is done by the RAID). If a single drive fails, of course I can copy everything back from a backup, that’s just going to take longer (hook up both drives, start recovery, wait, etc.). RAID allows me to be lazy. :slight_smile:
  • Plex: for me, nothing critical there. If the whole library goes down the drain, I won’t spare a tear. The library lives on a RAID, is still backed up to another one over the network. No Backblaze, for me not worth the bandwidth. And if my appartment burns down, the stuff is gone. Don’t care about it that much.
  • EXCEPT: my music collection. Too much work went into that. That goes also to Backblaze. So, in the event of a fire or meteor strike, I can pull it from Backblaze.
  • important stuff: documents, personal photos/videos, mails, etc. RAID is just one part of a backup strategy which considers every possible risk: deletion, theft, fire, … Also here: RAID to keep the whole thing running if a single (or 2) drives fail.

And again, even if I am repeating myself and other posters: RAID is NOT a backup or 100% safe.

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KISS if you can use JBOD and the drive duplication / back-up of your choise.

RAID will only start giving you benefits if you need to be able to expand drive space beyond the capacity of what a single drive can offer you.

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