Thursday, February 16, 2023

Building a DIY Cloud Platform with a Raspberry Pi and the Argon EON: How to Use Ubuntu's Logical Volume Management System for Maximum Storage Efficiency

In a previous post, I talked about the Argon EON, which is a device that allows you to connect four hard drives (two 3.5" drives and two 2.5" drives) to a Raspberry Pi. I've been using this device as a network-attached storage (NAS) to back up our main NAS at home, using Open Media Vault (OMV) for management.

OMV is a package that enables you to quickly set up and manage a home server. One of the benefits of OMV is that it offers plugins that allow you to customize the features of the server installation. I found the MergerFS plugin helpful to create a virtual file system that spans the different drives. However, I wasn't able to create a RAID, as the 3.5" drives were significantly larger than the 2.5" drives.

Since I wanted to use the Raspberry Pi in the Argon EON to try out some locally hosted cloud platforms, I wanted to make sure that I could use the collection of drives in the case for this installation. Unfortunately, I didn't find similar plugins to span multiple file systems in Nextcloud or OwnCloud. So I decided to manually create a logical volume with Ubuntu's Logical Volume Management (LVM) system.

Creating the logical volume was pretty easy with a clean install of Ubuntu Server 22.04.1 LTS. The first thing I did was use fdisk to delete the existing partitions and create new ones on the drives. Then I used pvcreate to create physical volumes in LVM for each of the drives:

sudo pvcreate /dev/sda1
sudo pvcreate /dev/sdb1
sudo pvcreate /dev/sdd1
sudo pvcreate /dev/sde1

Next, I used vgcreate to create a volume group across the drives:

sudo vgcreate StorageVG /dev/sda1 /dev/sdb1 /dev/sdd1 /dev/sde1

Then I used lvcreate to create a logical volume for the volume group:

sudo lvcreate -l 100%FREE -n StorageLV StorageVG

Finally, I edited the fstab to mount the volume automatically on boot. This allowed me to use the collection of drives in the Argon EON for my locally hosted cloud platform installation.

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