Guide To Building A Media Storage Server - Page 11 - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #301 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 01:35 PM
AVS Special Member
 
MiBz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Edit:
For the same money (or less) than 2 Ciprico 8 port cards, you can get one of these 16 port cards that will do everything you need including Online Expansion, array spin down, staggered spin up and so on.

grazie
MiBz is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #302 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 01:57 PM
Advanced Member
 
garycase2001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 548
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Edit:
For the same money (or less) than 2 Ciprico 8 port cards, you can get one of these 16 port cards that will do everything you need including Online Expansion, array spin down, staggered spin up and so on.

The Highpoint cards are relatively low-end cards ... and while they do support staggered spin-up, there's no indication in any reviews, specs, or in the manual [http://www.highpoint-tech.com/PDF/RR...anual_v1.0.pdf ] that they support array spin-down. For a few hundred more the Areca cards, with RAID-6, faster XOR engines, and spindown support are far better hardware controller options IMHO

... When you start building arrays with a large number of drives, RAID-6 is FAR preferable to RAID-5 ... especially with large drives where the bit-error rate specs make a 2nd failure during rebuild much more likely (the 2nd drive may not actually fail ... but if a hard error is encountered it will cause a rebuild failure with RAID-5, but work fine with RAID-6).
garycase2001 is offline  
post #303 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 02:29 PM
AVS Special Member
 
ilovejedd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,650
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

The Highpoint cards are relatively low-end cards ... and while they do support staggered spin-up, there's no indication in any reviews, specs, or in the manual [http://www.highpoint-tech.com/PDF/RR...anual_v1.0.pdf ] that they support array spin-down. For a few hundred more the Areca cards, with RAID-6, faster XOR engines, and spindown support are far better hardware controller options IMHO

... When you start building arrays with a large number of drives, RAID-6 is FAR preferable to RAID-5 ... especially with large drives where the bit-error rate specs make a 2nd failure during rebuild much more likely (the 2nd drive may not actually fail ... but if a hard error is encountered it will cause a rebuild failure with RAID-5, but work fine with RAID-6).

Lol, I wasn't recommending the Highpoint cards. Indeed, that would be presumptuous of me considering I've never used a Highpoint card before and have no idea as to their reliability. I just corrected MiBz' original post since it linked me to Merriam-Webster's definition of "these".

For myself, I'm considering RAIDCore, and failing availability of those cards at reasonable prices, an Areca, since people here seem to sing those cards praises. Alas, I can't afford to test $1000 RAID cards myself so I have to rely on reviews from people such as odditory, kapone, kenshin-san, etc.
ilovejedd is offline  
post #304 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 02:35 PM
AVS Special Member
 
MiBz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
It's really sad to see people reapeatedly giving enterprise solutions as advice for home user applications. Not everyone wants or can spend $1k on a hardware raid card.

It's not a few hundred dollars. An Areca 16 port card is close to $800 and you still need to buy the battery module and cache ram to get the speeds your buying the XOR card for. So it ends up being a $1000 solution.

Here's some facts;

Raid 5 allows you to create large arrays with or without a hardware raid card.

Raid 5 or 6 is not a backup with either a software or hardware card.

There is no point in running Raid 6 in a home environment - you still need to backup your data.

You do not need read/write 800MB/s Disc IO for home media purposes.
MiBz is offline  
post #305 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 02:41 PM
AVS Special Member
 
MiBz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

The Highpoint cards are relatively low-end cards ... and while they do support staggered spin-up, there's no indication in any reviews, specs, or in the manual [http://www.highpoint-tech.com/PDF/RR...anual_v1.0.pdf ] that they support array spin-down. For a few hundred more the Areca cards, with RAID-6, faster XOR engines, and spindown support are far better hardware controller options IMHO

I guess at this point we should also suggest that you ONLY use the more expensive ENTERPRISE grade raid drives with your $1K raid controller as desktop versions are not intended or approved for raid usage and will not be supported by the raid manufacturer.


FYI
The Highpoint 2340 supports array spin down...it's called MAID.
Google ' Highpoint 2340 MAID '
MiBz is offline  
post #306 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 03:05 PM
AVS Special Member
 
lifespeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I noticed a few Highpoint comments, so, as a Highpoint 3520 8-port owner I will step in.

First, the 2340 referenced above does not have an Intel IOP341 processor, and is indeed a lower end card. It is not the one I use, so I can't comment from experience, but will guess it is slower than a 'real' RAID card. Is it too slow? Don't know.

The Highpoint 35XX series does include an Intel IOP341 processor, does RAID 5, 6 and all the others, and in my system with 4 enterprise Seagate 1 TB performs at 330/290 MB/sec read/write. Pretty darn good, and far faster than Gig-ethernet or a single drive that would be on the other end.

It supports array spin-down, OCE, SMART monitoring, and emailing on error. I have pulled a drive in my RAID5 and it still works. I have rebuilt the array from a degraded condition.

I am unaware of what the 'weird things' are that Highpoint does, but, IMO, their 35XX series cards are just fine. The 8-port version is just over $400, but the 16-port version is around $800 so they are not cheap either.

As to the enterprise solutions being proposed for home users, I agree somewhat. My compromise was to build an array with 'only' an 8-port card. I don't think it is that likely that I'll need 20+ TB of storage. The 3520 card will get you 8 or 12 TB for a decent price, perhaps something for the home user to consider?

I do like the Seagate enterprise drives, however, even for home use. Their firmware upgrade capability allowed me to fix a Seagate bug causing mild incompatibility issues with some Intel RAID chips.

Lifespeed
lifespeed is offline  
post #307 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 03:05 PM
AVS Special Member
 
ilovejedd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,650
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

You do not need read/write 800MB/s Disc IO for home media purposes.

So true. *sigh*

If we could only get software RAID implementations similar to Linux in Windows. Heck, I reckon for most people, an unRAID system sitting on top of Windows would work great. For most, the only thing that's really needed is a large contiguous storage space. I'd use simple spanning using Dynamic Disks in Windows but I can't find enough literature regarding its behavior. For example, what happens if a drive fails? Does each disk contain its own file system so files in other hard drives are still accessible after a drive failure?
ilovejedd is offline  
post #308 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 03:24 PM
AVS Special Member
 
lifespeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
While I agree that 800 MB/sec is not needed by most, some of the SW RAID implementations are pitifully slow. I think it is common for unRAID to not even make 20 MB/sec.

I would say that an acceptable minimum for home RAID is single hard drive and gig ethernet speeds, say, 120 MB/sec or better.

Lifespeed
lifespeed is offline  
post #309 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 03:36 PM
AVS Special Member
 
ilovejedd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,650
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post

I think it is common for unRAID to not even make 20 MB/sec.

I would say that an acceptable minimum for home RAID is single hard drive and gig ethernet speeds, say, 120 MB/sec or better.

For writes, yes. For reads, you're only limited by single hard drive speed.
ilovejedd is offline  
post #310 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 03:37 PM
 
Vindii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 274
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vindii View Post

I built a pc that I have been using as a server/htpc. The htpc part is just for the kids to watch cartoons on and is only hooked up to a CRT tv. For that reason I run vista ultimate as the os. I have been adding drives to it when I need to so I have a mix of drives in it. My only back-up is a software backup from disk to disk (no raid). I want to see what you think would be the best direction to go and what parts I should get. My storage is full so it is time to add more. Here is what I have:

Main Board GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L
Processor Intel Pentium E2140 Allendale 1.6GHz (OC to 3.0)
Hard Drives Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB (OS drive)
Memory OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (4 x 1GB)
Graphics Card EVGA 256-P2-N741-LR GeForce 8500GT
Sata card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16816124003 (originally bought to add esata to old pc)

My storage drives are
(2) WD IDE 250 gb
(1) WD sata 500 gb (RE)
(1) WD sata 500 gb (SE)
(2) WD sata 750 gb (green)

I have 2 of the drives in external sata cases that I originally bought for backups. This has become kind of hard to manage all the different backups. It is probally time to upgrade to some type of raid set-up with some bigger drives. I don't know much about raid and I dont think my motherboard has any raid support. I would like to either add 2-3 drive at least 1 tb or 1.5 tb each. My case will hold 6 drives and has 3 more 5 1/4 slots open I could use. These are the questions I have.

Had raid number should I run?
How many drives would I need to start it?
Can I add new drives later to expand storage with reformating the whole raid drive?
Would I be better off selling the drives I have and getting bigger ones or use what I have and add to it?
Do they all need to be the same size and type of drive?
Is the sata card i have useful for raid or anything else?

Thanks

Can anyone offer some help here? My post got lost a page back.
Vindii is offline  
post #311 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 03:51 PM
Senior Member
 
jagojago's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 451
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Since FlexRAID is still in its infancy, I would say VST Pro 2008. Just check the list of supported chipsets on the motherboard compatibility guide. Alas, the online store seems to be currently unavailable and I'm not sure if it's just a glitch or if it's long term.

That does sound nice, too bad it's not available

So at this point, there is no way to get an expandable raid 5 on windows server?
jagojago is offline  
post #312 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 03:57 PM
Member
 
WeeboTech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 57
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vindii View Post

Can anyone offer some help here? My post got lost a page back.

Are you committed to only a windows platform?
unRAID excels at allowing you to use a bunch of drives in a protected manner.
As long as your parity drive is amoung the largest, the rest of the drives can be of any size. It's perfect for a read mostly media server.
WeeboTech is offline  
post #313 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 04:02 PM
AVS Special Member
 
kapone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jagojago View Post

That does sound nice, too bad it's not available

So at this point, there is no way to get an expandable raid 5 on windows server?

Intel Matrix RAID on ICH10 (as far as I know), can expand a RAID-5 volume. If you get a motherboard with ICH10, you should be able to do it.
kapone is online now  
post #314 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 04:11 PM
AVS Special Member
 
HappyFunBoater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,992
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vindii View Post

Can anyone offer some help here? My post got lost a page back.

Had raid number should I run?
That depends. Do you want RAID for (a) 24/7 redundancy, (b) performance, or (c) drive letter consolidation? And how much money do you want to spend?

If (a), and money isn't an issue, then go with RAID-10. It has no performance degredation on writes compared to other RAID levels. If money is an issue, then you want RAID-5 or 6, but you will have lower write performance. Depending on what you're using the server for, this probably isn't an issue. If you have more than about eight large drives then consider RAID-6 - unless you're running software RAID, in which case RAID-6 write performance will suck.

If (b) then RAID-0.

If (c) then simple concatentation.

How many drives would I need to start it?
Depends on the RAID level. RAID-0 or 1 needs 2. RAID-5 needs 3. RAID-6 needs 4, but you don't need RAID-6 until you have 8 or so drives.

Can I add new drives later to expand storage with reformating the whole raid drive?
The depends on the RAID stack.

Would I be better off selling the drives I have and getting bigger ones or use what I have and add to it?
Depends on what you can afford. A good RAID stack will be able to use dissimilar drives. But you might end up with different RAID levels and more logical drives, which might defeat your purpose of using RAID.

Do they all need to be the same size and type of drive?
Typically no, but it depends on the RAID stack.

Is the sata card i have useful for raid or anything else?
It's useful if you plan on using software RAID. Hardware RAID will be a dedicated card with it's own SATA ports. Note that software RAID typically isn't bootable. But often folks don't boot from RAID. It really depends on what this server will be used for.

My simple answers left out a TON of important info, but it would help if you could tell us why you want RAID and we could go from there.

Also, I have to say it: RAID is not a replacement for backup.
HappyFunBoater is offline  
post #315 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 04:16 PM
Senior Member
 
jagojago's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 451
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Intel Matrix RAID on ICH10 (as far as I know), can expand a RAID-5 volume. If you get a motherboard with ICH10, you should be able to do it.

I have an AMD mobo unfortunately. Any other options or is this impossible with my motherboard? It's a Foxconn A74MX-K
jagojago is offline  
post #316 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 04:42 PM
Advanced Member
 
garycase2001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 548
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Agree with lifespeed that if you get a 35xx Highpoint card with the IOP341 chip they're fine. Good to know that series also supports spindown.

But with the 35xx series the price point is right up there with the Arecas unless you limit yourself to an 8-port card. Of course with 1.5TB drives, an 8 port card may be just fine -- you can build a 9TB RAID-6 array or a 10.5TB RAID-5.

As for folks not being able to afford the expensive RAID cards ... certainly they're pricey => but anyone thinking of building a system with 16-20 large hard drives is spending some pretty significant $$ already ... in terms of the overall system cost a $1000 card is only adding perhaps 20-25%, while adding significant additional performance and some very nice features.

I agree it would be nice to avoid that expense ... I'd like to do the same ... but it's not likely to be a deal-breaker if you're building a 16TB or larger array !!
garycase2001 is offline  
post #317 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 04:44 PM
Member
 
alamone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
In my experience, the 2XXX series cards can get about 200MB/s max sustained rate, which is not bad considering its fakeraid. I believe that most of the processing is done on the host but there might be hardware assist for certain aspects of the XOR operations.

Now the port multiplier cards are a little different, I was never able to get more than about 100-120MB/s performance from them, but I think that's due to the multiplexing the multiple disks across a single port (i.e. port multiplier), or a driver issue. Granted, Highpoint just released some updated drivers this year, so maybe the performance increased, I don't know. I'm speaking from my experience when I had the card in 2007.

I was having some issues with the Highpoint card and Seagate 750gbs causing ridiculously low read rates on certain portions of the raid, which is why I ended up tossing it. As mentioned above, the 3XXX series is based on an Intel IOP chip, but if you're going to spend as much as the 3XXX series goes for retail, you're better off spending a few more bucks and getting an established brand like LSI, 3ware, Adaptec, Areca, etc. I had a 3XXX series card, but again, there was compatibility problems (IO stuttering) in my particular configuration so it didn't work out. It may have been motherboard compatibility issue.

Also, one big caveat is the Highpoint cards might mess up your Western Digital drives, if you turn on staggered spinup. Certain AAKS drives don't actually support staggered spinup and will be rendered useless outside of the Highpoint card - i.e. they won't spinup on a normal motherboard SATA port.

The Highpoint cards do support spindown, as mentioned, they call it MAID or whatever. The management interface, as some people mentioned, is a bit kludgy, but its servicable. You do get temperature and smart readings, at least, unlike my $1000 adaptec card...

I'd personally steer away from Highpoint unless you buy it locally or have an opportunity to test it out first to see if it works for you and your drives / configuration before having to go through the potential hassle of RMAs, restocking fees, etc. Of course the same could be said of basically any raid card, as there's so many variables and compatibility issues that could make things go wrong, as a lot of people might have noticed on this thread.
alamone is offline  
post #318 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 04:59 PM
Advanced Member
 
garycase2001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 548
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by alamone View Post

... the same could be said of basically any raid card, as there's so many variables and compatibility issues that could make things go wrong, as a lot of people might have noticed on this thread.

Amen. That's the primary reason I don't already have an Areca 1280 !!

(And I would have bought a 1680 instead if it wasn't for the issues exposed on this thread and the 48TB server thread)

... Anxiously awaiting kenshin-san's report on 1280 compatibility with the Seagate 1.5TB drives !!
garycase2001 is offline  
post #319 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 05:04 PM
AVS Special Member
 
ilovejedd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,650
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

As for folks not being able to afford the expensive RAID cards ... certainly they're pricey => but anyone thinking of building a system with 16-20 large hard drives is spending some pretty significant $$ already ... in terms of the overall system cost a $1000 card is only adding perhaps 20-25%, while adding significant additional performance and some very nice features.

I agree it would be nice to avoid that expense ... I'd like to do the same ... but it's not likely to be a deal-breaker if you're building a 16TB or larger array !!

Even if you build a system that's capable of 16~20 hard drives, that doesn't mean you'll be buying 16~20 hard drives all at once. With costs of hard drives dropping every few months, it's prudent to buy hard drives as needed (keeping a couple of spares, of course). That's likely one of the reasons why people are so concerned about capability for expansion. For those who plan on starting out with, say 6 drives, the cost of the RAID card will increase their initial outlay considerably, and in people's minds, that amount would probably be better spent on additional drives.

For me, that's one of the reasons the VST Pro 2008 software looked attractive. You can start out with $50 for software and just use the motherboard's onboard SATA ports. All things considered, that's a very inexpensive initial investment. It's just too bad Ciprico had to file for bankruptcy.
ilovejedd is offline  
post #320 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 05:28 PM
Advanced Member
 
garycase2001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 548
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
As I've already noted, I agree. VST is very attractive -- it would be even more so if the 8-port cards were more in line cost-wise with the 8-port Supermicro's (< $100), or if it worked with the Supermicro cards.

I suspect most of us, while perhaps hoping to avoid the expense, can afford the outlay for an Areca if we want to .
(Although if the market continues its trend that may be less true !!)
garycase2001 is offline  
post #321 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 05:45 PM
AVS Special Member
 
kapone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

As I've already noted, I agree. VST is very attractive -- it would be even more so if the 8-port cards were more in line cost-wise with the 8-port Supermicro's (< $100), or if it worked with the Supermicro cards.

I suspect most of us, while perhaps hoping to avoid the expense, can afford the outlay for an Areca if we want to .
(Although if the market continues its trend that may be less true !!)

While we'd all love to see cheap cards.. there's some fairly significant differences between the Supermicro card and Ciprico cards. For one, the Supermicro card, basically has a bridge chip to go from PCI-X to the SATA connectors. That's pretty much it. (The card is actually quite bare in terms of components on it). And it has no boot support, INT 13, or persistence.

The Ciprico cards while being "fakeraid", are probably more like Highpoint in nature/design, where they have a bridge chip, BIOS support, and I suspect something onboard that assists XOR calculations (not a full IOP chip, but probably a calculator chip or similar. I have never seen the kind of performance I'm seeing with the Ciprico cards, with other "fakeraid" cards). In addition, the RAIDCore console is WAY more polished than a lot of other management GUIs and trust me, I have used quite a few. I'm not saying it's the best, but it ranks up there.

So, if the SUpermicro card retails for $97 or so, I fully expect the Ciprico cards to be more expensive, but their current retail price point, is way too high. They are not worth that much. I'd say, around $150 would be a fair price point for the CIprico cards, at that price, you could probably sell a boatload.

(Hell, when I listed some of the left over cards on fleabay, they sold like hotcakes. I had a major inventory excess of them, and sold 60 cards in less than a month. The average selling price of the PCI-X versions was around $125, and for the PCI-E versions, it was around $190. That tells you what the market prices these cards at).
kapone is online now  
post #322 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 05:47 PM
AVS Special Member
 
ilovejedd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,650
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

As I've already noted, I agree. VST is very attractive -- it would be even more so if the 8-port cards were more in line cost-wise with the 8-port Supermicro's (< $100), or if it worked with the Supermicro cards.

That's true. Heck, considering the cheapest 4-port PCI express SATA controller I've found is $100, I'd consider even $200 reasonable. For those willing to take a chance, though, and wish to complete the groundwork for their servers now, the RC5252-08 is currently available on eBay from an Australian seller for $180 + $30 S&H. Also found it for $250 shipped from nowdirect.com but they're not listed in BBB and I couldn't find any reviews so I'm somewhat leary about ordering from them. Still keeping hope that we might see a release of the 5400 series cards for reasonable prices.
ilovejedd is offline  
post #323 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 06:59 PM
Senior Member
 
jason4207's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Concord, NC
Posts: 252
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

It's really sad to see people reapeatedly giving enterprise solutions as advice for home user applications. Not everyone wants or can spend $1k on a hardware raid card.
...

You do not need read/write 800MB/s Disc IO for home media purposes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

So true. *sigh*

It all depends on your needs/wants/desires/funding. Some guys love absolute performance, and I'm that way about my gaming performance, but I still keep a very tight budget. I use volt mods, and overclocking to push that to the limit on cheaper hardware.

For me, the media server only drives my PC's & Home Theater...a 95" projector & Paradigm speaker system. That is in the living room and our main screen. The only other TV is a little 13" in my sons room. Then we have me & my wife's PC's. I do plan on getting a TV for our bedroom eventually, but we really don't need it. My point is I'll never be serving more than 3 devices at a time. The transfer rate of 1 drive is plenty for that. And these WD 640GB drives I have can move data pretty quick. unRAID is perfect for me in this regard. The drives will do 100MB/s for the most part...that's 800Mb/s and enough to pretty much efficiently use a cheap Gb ethernet setup.

I love bang:buck. For $400 I have an excellent solution that serves my needs well. As-is I can add up to 8 drives, and w/ a cheap 8-port RAID card i can max out my unRAID setup. I doubt I'll ever have to go above 8 drives...I think HDD capacity will increase fast enough to keep up w/ my storage needs.





Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post

While I agree that 800 MB/sec is not needed by most, some of the SW RAID implementations are pitifully slow. I think it is common for unRAID to not even make 20 MB/sec.

I would say that an acceptable minimum for home RAID is single hard drive and gig ethernet speeds, say, 120 MB/sec or better.

The 20MB/s is write only, and due to parity calculation. You can alleviate this by using a cache drive which limits write speeds to the speed of 1 HDD.

120MB/s (960Mb/s) is enough to saturate Gb ethernet, and might be appropriate if you have enough simultaneous users. For me 90-100MB/s is more than enough.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WeeboTech View Post

Are you committed to only a windows platform?
unRAID excels at allowing you to use a bunch of drives in a protected manner.
As long as your parity drive is amoung the largest, the rest of the drives can be of any size. It's perfect for a read mostly media server.

Yep, it fit my needs as well. I do want extra features, and it looks like it will be difficult to implement some of the extra features I want to have, but I've read its possible. I want print server functionality, and it is possible, but it will take some time to figure out. Also, I want to get the VMware running w/ Windows virtual so I can torrent ( I guess I could get the print server through the virtual machine to kill 2 birds w/ 1 stone). Agian, it will take some time to figure out.

I like a challenge, so this has become a project. Any advice you guys can give (I'm looking at you WeeboTech ) would be greatly appreciated.



Quote:
Originally Posted by butters2006 View Post

I don't know the best options, but intel's onboard raid w/ the ICH10R south bridge supports RAID5 expansion.

Really? I didn't know that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jagojago View Post

That does sound nice, too bad it's not available

So at this point, there is no way to get an expandable raid 5 on windows server?

I didn't think so...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Intel Matrix RAID on ICH10 (as far as I know), can expand a RAID-5 volume. If you get a motherboard with ICH10, you should be able to do it.

Wow! Butters was right. I didn't know that and I've been playing w/ Matrix for a while. If I had known this earlier I might have given it a whirl. My experience w/ RAID5 and RAID10 on ICH9R was overall positive, but I did have a quite few rebuilds that kind of annoyed me. At the time the drives were all in my gaming/HTPC/storage rig, and it wasn't an ideal setup having it all-in-one. The extra drives created a lot of extra heat I didn't need, and they were spun-up all the time drawing more power. Plus, having a machine running near the ragged edge of performance is not ideal for RAID stability.

On a dedicated machine, though, this could be a pretty viable solution. I still don't like the reliability of the Matrix RAID 5, though. Don't get me wrong, it is decent, especially if you have a dedicated PC [CPU], but I just don't feel the speed advantages outweigh the added redundancy that unRAID provides. On the other hand, you can run a Windows platform, and implement additional features more easily...it really depends o your level of tweakism.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jagojago View Post

I have an AMD mobo unfortunately. Any other options or is this impossible with my motherboard? It's a Foxconn A74MX-K

Getting an intel motherboard, Intel CPU, and selling your current equipment would still be much cheaper than an expensive RAID card.
jason4207 is offline  
post #324 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 07:02 PM
Member
 
kenshin-san's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

... I just ordered a couple of 1.5TB Seagates to "tide me over" with a bit more storage until our friendly local "guinea pig" finishes testing the Areca compatibility with these drives [Thanks kenshin-san ]. I suspect that's what I'll buy as long as there are no issues with the 1.5TB Seagates.

I'm workin' on it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

... but if the VST software would work with a simple Supermicro 8-port card I'd be very tempted to use it with 2 of the Supermicro cards and a few onboard ports to save $1000 !!

I was thinking about scouring the web for a copy of the software myself and combining it with the Supermicro to replace my Unraid backup server. Sigh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

It's really sad to see people reapeatedly giving enterprise solutions as advice for home user applications. Not everyone wants or can spend $1k on a hardware raid card.

It's not a few hundred dollars. An Areca 16 port card is close to $800 and you still need to buy the battery module and cache ram to get the speeds your buying the XOR card for. So it ends up being a $1000 solution.

I recommended WHS, Unraid, and Flexraid! Then we got into a discussion about Flex-raids lack of history, and the poster's need for Vista compatibility. Things have a way of spiraling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

Amen. That's the primary reason I don't already have an Areca 1280 !!

(And I would have bought a 1680 instead if it wasn't for the issues exposed on this thread and the 48TB server thread)

... Anxiously awaiting kenshin-san's report on 1280 compatibility with the Seagate 1.5TB drives !!

Raid 5 Initialization at 80%.. She canna handle much more cappin!
kenshin-san is offline  
post #325 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 08:01 PM
 
Vindii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 274
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFunBoater View Post

Had raid number should I run?
That depends. Do you want RAID for (a) 24/7 redundancy, (b) performance, or (c) drive letter consolidation? And how much money do you want to spend?

If (a), and money isn't an issue, then go with RAID-10. It has no performance degredation on writes compared to other RAID levels. If money is an issue, then you want RAID-5 or 6, but you will have lower write performance. Depending on what you're using the server for, this probably isn't an issue. If you have more than about eight large drives then consider RAID-6 - unless you're running software RAID, in which case RAID-6 write performance will suck.

If (b) then RAID-0.

If (c) then simple concatentation.

How many drives would I need to start it?
Depends on the RAID level. RAID-0 or 1 needs 2. RAID-5 needs 3. RAID-6 needs 4, but you don't need RAID-6 until you have 8 or so drives.

Can I add new drives later to expand storage with reformating the whole raid drive?
The depends on the RAID stack.

Would I be better off selling the drives I have and getting bigger ones or use what I have and add to it?
Depends on what you can afford. A good RAID stack will be able to use dissimilar drives. But you might end up with different RAID levels and more logical drives, which might defeat your purpose of using RAID.

Do they all need to be the same size and type of drive?
Typically no, but it depends on the RAID stack.

Is the sata card i have useful for raid or anything else?
It's useful if you plan on using software RAID. Hardware RAID will be a dedicated card with it's own SATA ports. Note that software RAID typically isn't bootable. But often folks don't boot from RAID. It really depends on what this server will be used for.

My simple answers left out a TON of important info, but it would help if you could tell us why you want RAID and we could go from there.

Also, I have to say it: RAID is not a replacement for backup.

Thanks for the reply. I was looking at using some type of raid so I could avoid what I am doing now. I am backing up 1 drive to another. I assumed that with a raid set-up I would not have to do that. I'm not sure what you mean by raid is not a replacment for a backup. I thought that if a drive failed that you can repalce it and it will rebuild your data. Tahts all I'm looking for. To have the most usable storage possible with the protection of losing all my data if a drive fails.

Sounds like raid 5 would be what I need. Can you tell me the difference between software and hardware raid? Whats the best way to get this set-up using as much of the existing stuff that I have?
Vindii is offline  
post #326 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 08:42 PM
Senior Member
 
jagojago's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 451
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
It's not a backup as in if there was a fire that destroyed all the drives, your data would be lost. True backup involves putting the data in multiple places, whether it be at different hard drives at different houses, online, or many other ways.
jagojago is offline  
post #327 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 09:03 PM
AVS Special Member
 
kapone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 38
Ok, a light bulb just went on. (It was on my list of things to do, but I never got around to doing it.)

While we'd all love to have RAID (and expandable and growable at that) in "Windows", WITHOUT a hardware RAID card, preferably (given the costs), our choices are fairly limited. It's either the built in software RAID in Windows (which sucks), or a third party RAID stack like VST Pro.

However, the LVM and the partition manager in Windows WAS designed by Microsoft and Veritas (now Symantec) together. Veritas went on to create an enterprise product called Veritas Storage Foundation, and it costs more than the servers it runs on, in certain cases.

HOWEVER, Veritas also has something called the Veritas Storage Foundation Basic for Windows, which is FREE . I had been meaning to play with it at some point, but hey, a guy can only do so many things..

The Basic/free version DOES have some limitations, but it may just work for some folks. The limitations as far as I know are:

- four file systems (applies only to the VFS file systems, so it doesn't really apply)
- four volumes (applies only to the VFS file systems, so it doesn't really apply)
- two processor sockets per system (er...we don't really need more than that, do we? )
- And the free version does not include the Veritas File System (which we probably don't want anyway)
- There's several other small limitations but they should be neglible in a home server scenario.

The BIG change over the built in Windows RAID, is that the VSF supports growing RAID arrays (as far as I know, gotta test it).

Somebody please try it out, this could be a viable option. I'll also test it when I have an opportunity.

http://www.symantec.com/business/the...hemeid=sfbasic
kapone is online now  
post #328 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 09:18 PM
Senior Member
 
jagojago's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 451
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Ok, a light bulb just went on. (It was on my list of things to do, but I never got around to doing it.)

While we'd all love to have RAID (and expandable and growable at that) in "Windows", WITHOUT a hardware RAID card, preferably (given the costs), our choices are fairly limited. It's either the built in software RAID in Windows (which sucks), or a third party RAID stack like VST Pro.

However, the LVM and the partition manager in Windows WAS designed by Microsoft and Veritas (now Symantec) together. Veritas went on to create an enterprise product called Veritas Storage Foundation, and it costs more than the servers it runs on, in certain cases.

HOWEVER, Veritas also has something called the Veritas Storage Foundation Basic for Windows, which is FREE . I had been meaning to play with it at some point, but hey, a guy can only do so many things..

The Basic/free version DOES have some limitations, but it may just work for some folks. The limitations as far as I know are:

- four file systems (applies only to the VFS file systems, so it doesn't really apply)
- four volumes (applies only to the VFS file systems, so it doesn't really apply)
- two processor sockets per system (er...we don't really need more than that, do we? )
- And the free version does not include the Veritas File System (which we probably don't want anyway)
- There's several other small limitations but they should be neglible in a home server scenario.

The BIG change over the built in Windows RAID, is that the VSF supports growing RAID arrays (as far as I know, gotta test it).

Somebody please try it out, this could be a viable option. I'll also test it when I have an opportunity.

http://www.symantec.com/business/the...hemeid=sfbasic

Sounds interesting, I can try it out early next week if nobody does before then.
jagojago is offline  
post #329 of 7891 Old 10-11-2008, 03:09 AM
Member
 
kenshin-san's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jagojago View Post

It's not a backup as in if there was a fire that destroyed all the drives

Or someone "accidently deletes" a file, or a file becomes corrupted, or a virus destroys your data, etc.

Raid would obviously not protect you against any of the above situations, and many others. That's the purpose of backups/archives.
kenshin-san is offline  
post #330 of 7891 Old 10-11-2008, 06:15 AM
AVS Special Member
 
HappyFunBoater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,992
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vindii View Post

Thanks for the reply. I was looking at using some type of raid so I could avoid what I am doing now. I am backing up 1 drive to another. I assumed that with a raid set-up I would not have to do that. I'm not sure what you mean by raid is not a replacment for a backup. I thought that if a drive failed that you can repalce it and it will rebuild your data. Tahts all I'm looking for. To have the most usable storage possible with the protection of losing all my data if a drive fails.

Sounds like raid 5 would be what I need. Can you tell me the difference between software and hardware raid? Whats the best way to get this set-up using as much of the existing stuff that I have?

You're right that a RAID-1 configuration would be kind of like the backup you're doing now. If one drive failed then you can immediately and automatically access the other drive. But the reason this isn't backup is because you're not protected against virus, user error, app error, etc. If a virus wipes out your data, it will wipe out the data on both drives of a RAID-1. If you accidently delete a directory in your RAID-1, you'll accidently delete it on both drives. If an app or the OS screws up your file structure or a data file, then it will be screwed up on both drives. If you have a lightning strike, or even a fire, both drives could get destroyed. Preferably the backup drive is kept offsite - maybe at a friends house. These are all the reasons you do backup. The reason you do RAID-1 "in addition to" backup is in case you want to access your data 24/7. If a drive fails while you're watching a movie, then you want to continue watching that movie and not worry about replacing the drive until the next day. When you do replace it, the RAID stack will automatically copy data from the good drive to the new drive, all while you're accessing (reading and writing) your data.

The difference in hardware and software RAID is basically which CPU is running the stack - the main CPU or a dedicated CPU on a plug-in hardware card. (The hardware can also be on your motherboard.) The advantage of the host CPU is that it's dual or quad core running at 2-3GHz. A hardware RAID CPU might be as fast as dual core running at 1.2GHz, but it's often much slower. Reads don't require much processing, so a host has plenty of CPU power to spare. RAID-5 writes require 4 times the number of IO and more importantly also requires XOR of every byte of data - sometimes twice. Hardware RAID cards do this in a hardware datamover engine, while software does it in software. Given how fast host CPUs are, they can often be faster than hardware RAID, but can use a lot of CPU power. That may be ok if you've got enough to spare. But RAID-6 requires a very different algorithm than XOR and will absolutely kill a host CPU. You might be able to almost keep up with a low-end hardware RAID card, but you won't have much CPU power left to do anything else on the server. This is where a hardware RAID card shines - RAID-6 check disk processing. There are lots of other differences in hardware and software RAID. The biggest are that software RAID typically isn't bootable, and typically can't do write-backs as well because of the voltility of system memory. However there are some faux-RAID cards where the RAID stack is run in software but a plug-in card allows bootability and optionally better write-back support. There are other differences, but it's frankly a lot to get into. Hopefully this is helping you go in the right direction.
HappyFunBoater is offline  
Reply Home Theater Computers

Tags
Computers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off