NAS arrays are devices that store and share data over a network. They are widely used in businesses and homes for backup, file sharing, and media streaming. However, the reliability of NAS arrays can be compromised due to bad sectors on drives, resulting in data loss or corruption. To prevent this, it is important to improve the reliability of NAS arrays by performing regular self-tests and RAID scrubbing.

Self-Tests

Self-tests are diagnostic checks that monitor the health and performance of the NAS array and its components. They can detect potential problems such as bad sectors, electrical issues, and mechanical issues.

RAID Scrubbing

RAID scrubbing is a process that verifies the integrity and consistency of the data stored on the NAS array. It compares the data blocks across different disks and repairs any discrepancies or errors. RAID scrubbing can also recover data from a failed disk if the NAS array is configured with redundancy.

However, RAID Scrubbing alone may not be enough to fix all the bad sectors in some cases. For example, if there is a Command Timeout (CTO) error, RAID Scrubbing would simply find the location of the CTO error, read the data that is supposed to be there from redundant RAID data, and write the data to the bad sector. Because the bad sector is detected by a CTO, no pending reallocation mark is set, and data written to the bad sector will still be bad. If multiple bad sectors are targeted by a single command, only the first bad sector is marked as pending reallocation, and the remaining bad sectors are not marked. RAID Scrubbing will not be marking them as pending reallocation and therefore will not fix them properly.

Tips to Boost your NAS Array Reliability
  1. Run self-tests regularly so that you can identify and fix issues before they affect your data.
  2. Schedule to run RAID scrubbing frequently to ensure that your data is always accurate and accessible.
  3. Perform a Self-Test with the Complete SMART Test option before running RAID Scrubbing. This way, all the bad sectors can be detected and repaired by using the redundant RAID data.

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QNAP and ULINK Release DA Drive Analyzer, AI-powered Drive Failure Prediction Tool for NAS 

 Photo Credit: yacobchuk

 

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