RAID/JBOD strategy with existing drives?


macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2013
Berlin, Germany
Hey guys,

I have around 20TB of random external drives in use for my media server/backups on my Mac Mini and want to finally consolidate them (yes I'm not a smart man and just kept buying new drives when I ran out of space 😬). As I don't have any experience whatsoever with JBOD or RAID I thought you guys might be able to help me out with my strategy here:


- I have 4 Toshiba Canvio Basics 2.5" and 5 random 3.5" drives that I would put in a 5 bay enclosure. Everything is odd sized.
- I've only got around 5TB of free space (2TB are actually free, temporarily getting rid of backups would free another 3TB)
- I would want to have data redundancy at some point (right now I'm only mirroring one important 2TB drive)
- I will eventually want to replace older, smaller drives for bigger ones
- My budget only allows for me to get one additional 8TB or 10TB drive right now


- Is there any way to create a RAID/JBOD without formatting all drives at the same time? My thought was to create one with two drives, copy my data over on to that RAID/JBOD and then add disks one by one. Is that possible?
- With which setup would I be able to add additional or replace existing drives without formatting everything again?
- Would it make more sense to create two JBODs and mirror them over RAID1?
- If I would go with JBOD "for now" would I be able to convert it to an actual RAID with data redundancy at a later time
- Am I an idiot for trying to create a half-assed RAID solution?

Any input and/or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a ton.