Nextcloud Raid always breaks down after a few months (nextcloud PI)


I running nextcloud now since 3 years and I love it. I have just a small nextcloud on a raspberry PI with nextcloudPI with maximum 50 GB. nextcloud works fine but my raid always breaks down.

Let me explain my setup to create an external Raid with MDADM:

Alternative 1 in 2021
But I want to use a raid 1 with 2 external hard drives. So I used first 12 Months two typical USB-Harddrive with 500GB like: - Mostly it broke down when I did the sync. So one external plate always crashed down when the raid want to sync. It works when I sync it with no data but also breaks down when I sync a folder with high speed like 5 GB. So every 2 Months I did something and the raid broke down. It was super unstable. I also dont know how to debug this. If I did an new format and sync the raid again it worked.

Alternative 2 in 2022
2022 I was a bit in a time rush so I just used it 1 year with 1 external USB drive and it worked the whole year fine! So it looks like that the raid is too much for this small disks.

Alternative 3 in 2023
Since this year I run the same with 2 SSD Plates like: in some icy boxes that I can connect it to my raspberry.
I create my raid and it works fine - I also sync my 30GB in one step and all works fine. But now 5 months alter the first plate broke down and the first one broke after 1 month. So I can again buy a new plate. The plate is just down - so no format and sync possible. It is just dead. I also dont know why.

What I want to ask?

  • Do you have similar problems with raids?
  • Do you know why this always breaks down? Is this not made for it?
  • Should I buy other hardware like hardware RAID?
  • Should I try other external hard drives?
  • How you managed your nextcloud with a raid?

I love this nextcloud and I am also willing to invest just want to let it work. Thanks guys for your help and recommendations!

I have internal RAID on normal computer hardware (no external disks via USB) and there is no problem.

I would guess that this is a problem with USB and external drives. But I have no experience if you can manage to get this operating well.

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Thanks! Can you tell me what you use? I have no problem to just use normal computer hardware - with normal computer hardware you understand what exactly? I am thankful for every help and I have no problem to invest in something which works.

I have used MDADM in combination with LVM. If you have a lot of RAM, you might be able to use ZFS directly (not sure where BTRFS is in terms of stability now).
Nevertheless, you still need a backup…

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Fully agree with tflidd, disk array running over USB is probably the problem; also agree that RAID1 is not an alternative to backups.

I am also running mdadm RAID1 with 2 HDDs on a normal computer without issue. 4th gen i5; 1x 8Gb RAM; 2x Seagate barracuda (3Tb)

Yes I agree with you all. I also do an extra backup - but I still would like to have a raid 1.
But you both think that it is because of the USB of the raspberry? So you recommend me to use a normal computer like Intel NUC with 2 disks internal?

I just ask my self why I see so much recommendation with nextcloud PI - many people there use just external drives and it works. That’s why I am asking.

RaspberryPis are great for beginners because there are huge communities and projects based around supporting that piece of hardware in particular. So its generally a lot easier to get support.

However on the flip side you are limited to the capabilities, features of the board. The lack of SATA connections is imo the biggest downside of using Pis in NAS/Nextcloud builds. If I had to build a server on an ARM SBCs I would use something like an Odroid HC4 or a BananaPI-M2.

With a RaspberryPi, or any other low-cost setup I also wouldnt be too obsessed with getting RAID1 to work. Its nice that if one of your drives breaks you can keep the system running, and you just need to replace the broken unit. But with proper off-site backups you can also easily restore your system if something goes wrong.

With an Intel NUC I dont think you can fit 2 HDDs on any of the stock cases.

If we are just talking about a home-server I would honestly just use an old PC build. With a bigger case you should have more than enough bays for storage, a small one will still usually still fit 2-4. You can then throw in an older CPU and 8-16gb RAM for not very much money.

So the Solution if I want to keep the raspberry is to put on a real HDD or an USB HDD?

But I am interested: Are no here using raspberry with nextcloud PI and some external hard drives?

On the long term and for performance, this is certainly better.

Perhaps the Raspberry Pi 5 might be a nice solution, you get PCI-E.

There are a few. But most with a single hard drive, USB, power consumption over USB that all can be a bit unstable and the fewer things you put on it the better. So personally, I wouldn’t do RAID on a raspberry pi. Keep a backup of the system the data and you can easily spin up a new system or hardware in case something breaks. And if I need a fail over, perhaps keep a second system stand-by?
For the raid part, I’d check a bit other Linux/Raspberry community about their experiences.

I implemented now a Solution. I have an SSD with IcyBox via USB and active USB Hub at the raspberry and another HDD plate. Everyday I do a rsync with a python script to sync the disks. Works currently fine since 2 days. I will keep you updates in 3-6 Months if it breaks down again. If you read nothing it works!

My setup is 2 external HDDs with their oen power supply. I partioned both HDD to keep ncdata in one btrfs partition using snapshots and backups onto the second HDD using ext4. The btrfs snapshots are synced to the ncdara partition on the second HDD. The backup is being rsynced to the first HDD. I keep an additional offline copy of the backups in case both HDD would fail.
I’m running borg backup to do backups on a daily basis. The setup works pretty well for months.