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Home Theater Computers > Mfusick's How to build an affordable 30TB Flexraid media server: Information Requested.!
techmattr's Avatar techmattr 04:11 PM 02-21-2014
You can also copy the config file (which I believe defaults to the C: drive) and just paste it into the C: drive of your new install.
Stop your storage pool.
Copy config file offline somewhere.
Shutdown PC.
Install new Windows.
Install FlexRAID.
Stop FlexRAID.
Copy config file back into C:
Start FlexRAID.
Start pool.

Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 04:28 PM 02-21-2014
Doing some cool real world tests I thought I would share:

Copy from my RAID0 scratch disk to a Seagate 7200.14 an ISO BR movie.








Little bastard actually finished faster than it started. I was impressed. Drive has a few movies on it, but otherwise pretty empty. It's about a year old. Was like a 3 minute process.

Next up, to my RAID 0 Scratch disk.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 04:32 PM 02-21-2014
Copied another ISO to a WD GREEN 3TB: (drive is 60% full)




I did not bother grabbing every percent of the copy cause I am getting lazy already tongue.gif but the process took roughly twice as long as the Seagate.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 04:40 PM 02-21-2014
RAID 0:




Even faster biggrin.gif

I am pretty happy with it so far. It's working really good, and unlike the Seagate it does not get bogged down. The Seagate is fast most of the time but when you beat on it , it slows way down. It hates multiple reads and writes at the same time, whereas the RAID 0 does not seem to slow down that much with a few reads and writes going at the same time. Makes a much better scratch disk real world.
politby's Avatar politby 06:54 AM 02-22-2014

Last eBay raid - not too bad:

 

 

  • Supermicro X7DWN+ motherboard $38
  • 2x Xeon E5440 $26
  • 16GB of 667MHz FB-DIMM RAM $40 (brand new)
  • IPMI card $15

 

So $119 for mostlly unused server grade stuff. Granted it is old skool :) but it's all VT-d supported so should be a nice ESXi machine. 

 

And the brand new Supermicro SC826 with SAS expander backplane case cost me $246.

 

Can't wait to get this built. Unfortunately I am missing 4 motherboard standoffs required for the processor heatsinks so I am stuck until I can find some. Grrr.


politby's Avatar politby 06:54 AM 02-23-2014

Like I said in the previous post, I plan to use this system for an ESXi environment. 

 

The plan is to use a Dell Perc H310 flashed to IT mode to connect to the 12 hotswap bays via the SAS expander built into the backplane. I will also have 2 SSDs connected to motherboard ports, one reserved as datastore for the main media server VM (WSE2012R2) and the other as datastore for other VMs.

 

The WSE2012 VM will be running Flexraid. 

 

What I haven't been able to figure out is how to deal with the Dell HBA. If I pass the card through to ESXi, do I then have to assign all 12 drives to one single VM or will I be able to assign, say, 8 drives to the WSE2012 VM for Flexraid and the remaining 4 to other VMs?

 

Because the backplane is a 2-port SAS expander, the hotswap bays all have to go via the Dell card so the whole idea with ESXi kinda falls if all 12 drives have to go to a single VM.


jbcain's Avatar jbcain 07:35 AM 02-23-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

RAID 0:




Even faster biggrin.gif

I am pretty happy with it so far. It's working really good, and unlike the Seagate it does not get bogged down. The Seagate is fast most of the time but when you beat on it , it slows way down. It hates multiple reads and writes at the same time, whereas the RAID 0 does not seem to slow down that much with a few reads and writes going at the same time. Makes a much better scratch disk real world.

what bearing does copying from the same drive(s) to the same drive(s) prove?
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 08:10 AM 02-23-2014
That's was actually from my SSD^. I used the SSD as the source.

But from and to the same drive would be important in something like winrar (which I do often) where the bottleneck seems to be my storage and not my 4.2ghz 4770k.

Or for ripping and ISO to mkv. I do that a lot too.
jbcain's Avatar jbcain 08:27 AM 02-23-2014
then why wasn't a drive letter present on the destination? while it's been a while, i thought a different destination drive always constituted a drive letter (+ sub folder) being displayed.
Andy_Steb's Avatar Andy_Steb 08:56 PM 02-23-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by politby View Post

Like I said in the previous post, I plan to use this system for an ESXi environment. 

The plan is to use a Dell Perc H310 flashed to IT mode to connect to the 12 hotswap bays via the SAS expander built into the backplane. I will also have 2 SSDs connected to motherboard ports, one reserved as datastore for the main media server VM (WSE2012R2) and the other as datastore for other VMs.

The WSE2012 VM will be running Flexraid. 

What I haven't been able to figure out is how to deal with the Dell HBA. If I pass the card through to ESXi, do I then have to assign all 12 drives to one single VM or will I be able to assign, say, 8 drives to the WSE2012 VM for Flexraid and the remaining 4 to other VMs?

Because the backplane is a 2-port SAS expander, the hotswap bays all have to go via the Dell card so the whole idea with ESXi kinda falls if all 12 drives have to go to a single VM.

The card and all connected drives will go the WSE2012 VM

What kind of VM are you planning were it needs it own data drive? The virtual machines will all be connected by a 10 Gb/s virtual network, so you can use network shares. Or you can leave a drive out of the pool and connect to it using iSCSI
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 08:04 AM 02-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcain View Post

then why wasn't a drive letter present on the destination? while it's been a while, i thought a different destination drive always constituted a drive letter (+ sub folder) being displayed.

Good question. I have no clue actually. I'll test it again tonight when I get home and try to do it on top of "my computer" screen see if I can make it make sense. I never paid attention. I am pretty sure I just copied from my 256GB SSD to my RAID0 scratch disk (the same I did for all the others) and vice versa. My thinking was the SSD should allow the HDD's to show what they can do, but actually in the situation of from the RAID0 to the SSD the SSD write speed seems to be the limiting factor. Either way a HDD scratch disk besting a 256GB SSD seems plenty fast enough. Winrar is so much faster! So is MakMKV on ISO's.

I started keeping a collection of ISO's since they allow easily for the menu and special features and also since they are the best option I have found for 3D. The trouble is that it creates duplicates of the same movie, since I have an MKV movie only and then a FULL ISO in a another library. My front end shows both, but it's hard to tell which is which sometimes. Anyone have a good solution or suggestion for that ? Anyone run into the same problem ?

The best I can come up with is to create a profile for ISO and 3D and only include those libraries. Then create another profile excluding them, so if I want or don't want them I just log on with the applicable profile. It's not at all ideal, but I guess it's better than nothing. 90% of the time I don't bother with 3D or ISO, but when I want to do it- I want to do it easily.
politby's Avatar politby 08:18 AM 02-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_Steb View Post


The card and all connected drives will go the WSE2012 VM

What kind of VM are you planning were it needs it own data drive? The virtual machines will all be connected by a 10 Gb/s virtual network, so you can use network shares. Or you can leave a drive out of the pool and connect to it using iSCSI

 

Thanks. Come to think of it any other VMs I run can most likely make do with network shares. They will just be for tinkering anyway.


mark_anderson_u's Avatar mark_anderson_u 08:25 AM 02-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post


I started keeping a collection of ISO's since they allow easily for the menu and special features and also since they are the best option I have found for 3D. The trouble is that it creates duplicates of the same movie, since I have an MKV movie only and then a FULL ISO in a another library. My front end shows both, but it's hard to tell which is which sometimes. Anyone have a good solution or suggestion for that ? Anyone run into the same problem ?

The best I can come up with is to create a profile for ISO and 3D and only include those libraries. Then create another profile excluding them, so if I want or don't want them I just log on with the applicable profile. It's not at all ideal, but I guess it's better than nothing. 90% of the time I don't bother with 3D or ISO, but when I want to do it- I want to do it easily.
Most media libraries show the file type or icon for the file type

I have separate lib for ISO and MKV though
leebo's Avatar leebo 11:42 AM 02-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post

Bookmarked the post. Excellent guide. It'll come in handy when I get my M1015. One question however. For the last step after the flashing is done, is it necessary to boot into the USB? I can just boot into Windows right?

When you have some "spare" time (I'm certain you have tons 🚼), if you can edit your opening post, maybe you can add some links to relevant posts in this thread? Like your guide on flashing that IBM card (post 736).

I'm reading through this thread, but it's difficult keeping track of the relevant stuff, especially when a "discussion" starts and goes on for pages. Things like disagreements on hard drive speeds that, a year later, may not even be relevant anymore!

I don't know how many people have the time (like I do) or patience to read every page, wading through all the other stuff. The title of this thread claims this to be a guide. It would be great if someone could come here and easily find the relevant info.

There is actually a sticky with a title, something to the effect of, "How to build a media server", that I had started to read, but the first several pages are nothing more than a bunch of guys discussing what a great idea that was for a guide! I mean, I think I got to page four or five, and still no info on building a server!

Your guide to flagging that IBM are was great. I'm not sure I will ever need it, but I had to copy that post to my Evernote be sure I know I will never find it again. These threads sometimes become a haystack!

736

Sent from my generic not my computer device.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 12:31 PM 02-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by leebo View Post

When you have some "spare" time (I'm certain you have tons 🚼), if you can edit your opening post, maybe you can add some links to relevant posts in this thread? Like your guide on flashing that IBM card (post 736).

I'm reading through this thread, but it's difficult keeping track of the relevant stuff, especially when a "discussion" starts and goes on for pages. Things like disagreements on hard drive speeds that, a year later, may not even be relevant anymore!

I don't know how many people have the time (like I do) or patience to read every page, wading through all the other stuff. The title of this thread claims this to be a guide. It would be great if someone could come here and easily find the relevant info.

There is actually a sticky with a title, something to the effect of, "How to build a media server", that I had started to read, but the first several pages are nothing more than a bunch of guys discussing what a great idea that was for a guide! I mean, I think I got to page four or five, and still no info on building a server!

Your guide to flagging that IBM are was great. I'm not sure I will ever need it, but I had to copy that post to my Evernote be sure I know I will never find it again. These threads sometimes become a haystack!

736

Sent from my generic not my computer device.


This is a good idea. I will see what I can do. biggrin.gif
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 11:35 AM 02-27-2014
My project today is to finish a full performance build for a friend today:




I have been working hard the last couple weeks decided to stay home today and take the day off work biggrin.gif
wiley165's Avatar wiley165 12:10 PM 02-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

My project today is to finish a full performance build for a friend today:




I have been working hard the last couple weeks decided to stay home today and take the day off work biggrin.gif

Thanks! You shouldn't have! biggrin.gif
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 01:53 PM 02-27-2014
Anyone know how to fix the pictures on W7 x64 so they show thumnails again ?

I had Picasa installed and it seems to have broken this upon uninstall. mad.gif


Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 02:22 PM 02-27-2014
Some pics:
Build Pile: Grandia project:



Grandia front:


Grandia Front
[IMG ALT=""]http://www.avsforum.com/content/type/61/id/383571/width/1000/height/1000 Grandia Empty:

Silversone GD Build pile:


Intel CPU fan:


back of the Grandia


Drive tray:


Drives Installed:


Drives to be installed:




CPU:


Mobo

PSU


GPU installed:


Had to use OCZ plate on Samsung because the 840 PRO did not come with it.








MILO case:


Back of MILO build:

Milo front

Milo Emtpty


Milo top







Boneyard behind treadmill about to get some more boxes:



The Grandia project is a full performance build for a friend. The MILO project is also a build for a friend, but I used some left over stuff I had to make it ultra cheap. I sold it to a buddy for $230, which I must say is a pretty good deal for a full build HTPC set up and configured, with SSD and Silverstone case.

It's older stuff, G630 pentium from my original Flexraid server, with the H61 mobo and a single 4GB stick of DDR1600. I used a total crap 400 watt PSU I took out of a case that came with PSU and only cost $29 for the case and the PSU!!! I am sure it's total **** but I doubt he cares. Surprisingly it's not loud at all. Who knows.. the little bastard might out last my $200 PSU in my desktop... tongue.gif
mark_anderson_u's Avatar mark_anderson_u 05:34 PM 02-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Anyone know how to fix the pictures on W7 x64 so they show thumnails again ?

I had Picasa installed and it seems to have broken this upon uninstall. mad.gif


Go into folder / view options and uncheck "Never Show thumbnails"
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 05:38 PM 02-27-2014
You are talking about this:



???
sebberry's Avatar sebberry 05:55 PM 02-27-2014
Ok, I'm looking at maybe buying Flexraid, but I'm not sure where to turn from here.

I want the ability to add a drive and have it automatically added to the storage pool
I'd like some sort of redundancy - if a drive dies I'd like to be able to easily rebuild the data on it
I'd like to get away from mirroring drives for redundancy. It's a waste of drives.

Performance isn't a big concern. I have one computer I use to fiddle with my media on and copy it to the server. Only one PC playing back content at any one time.

I'm thinking Unlimited T RAID ($99) but it looks like Combo (Data Protection + Storage Pooling) for $59 might work well for what I need.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.

PS, I'd like to be able to set up the storage pool without deleting any data from the drives.
chrapladm's Avatar chrapladm 06:05 PM 02-27-2014
Mfusick what type of price was the Grandia setup?

I hate not having enough money to have 2 computer builds. I would like to have a small server build with maybe 10TB of room and a performance machine I can play games on. Which would also be used as a movie browser utilizing the server. Love seeing these builds though. Just takes me a while to try and find similar parts. I was going to do the Ebay server setups but shipping was too dear to Australia. SO it is what it is for now.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 06:24 PM 02-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrapladm View Post

Mfusick what type of price was the Grandia setup?

I hate not having enough money to have 2 computer builds. I would like to have a small server build with maybe 10TB of room and a performance machine I can play games on. Which would also be used as a movie browser utilizing the server. Love seeing these builds though. Just takes me a while to try and find similar parts. I was going to do the Ebay server setups but shipping was too dear to Australia. SO it is what it is for now.

Roughly from top of my head I'd guess:

Grandia GD08 $120
4670k $179
Asrock Mobo $109
Seagate 4TB $155 each
Samsung PRO SSD $120
RAM $80
PSU $70
BR READER $60
GPU Card $150

or something to that effect on sale.. YMMV. I'm just guessing. Add in the windows licenses and other software registrations too. It's definitely over $1000. Even with good prices and sales.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 06:25 PM 02-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebberry View Post

Ok, I'm looking at maybe buying Flexraid, but I'm not sure where to turn from here.

I want the ability to add a drive and have it automatically added to the storage pool
I'd like some sort of redundancy - if a drive dies I'd like to be able to easily rebuild the data on it
I'd like to get away from mirroring drives for redundancy. It's a waste of drives.

Performance isn't a big concern. I have one computer I use to fiddle with my media on and copy it to the server. Only one PC playing back content at any one time.

I'm thinking Unlimited T RAID ($99) but it looks like Combo (Data Protection + Storage Pooling) for $59 might work well for what I need.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.

PS, I'd like to be able to set up the storage pool without deleting any data from the drives.

FLEXRAID will do what you want.

Do you want T raid or RAID F ? I am using RAID F or what you would traditionally call "flexraid" It's older than T raid. T raid is transparent, F raid is snapshot. Different animals, but both are good.
Andy_Steb's Avatar Andy_Steb 06:32 PM 02-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Anyone know how to fix the pictures on W7 x64 so they show thumnails again ?

I had Picasa installed and it seems to have broken this upon uninstall. mad.gif


Try using the Windows Disk Cleanup tool to clear the thumbnail cache
sebberry's Avatar sebberry 06:42 PM 02-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

FLEXRAID will do what you want.

Do you want T raid or RAID F ? I am using RAID F or what you would traditionally call "flexraid" It's older than T raid. T raid is transparent, F raid is snapshot. Different animals, but both are good.

So the $59 combo sounds like the one then if I want RAID-F

Am I correct that snapshot is basically just delaying the parity calculations until a scheduled time vs on the fly as soon as data changes?
A9X-308's Avatar A9X-308 06:53 PM 02-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrapladm View Post

Mfusick what type of price was the Grandia setup?

I hate not having enough money to have 2 computer builds. I would like to have a small server build with maybe 10TB of room and a performance machine I can play games on. Which would also be used as a movie browser utilizing the server. Love seeing these builds though. Just takes me a while to try and find similar parts. I was going to do the Ebay server setups but shipping was too dear to Australia. SO it is what it is for now.
Get on to www.staticice.com.au or www.msy.com.au for good prices in Australia. Rackmount server cases are quite expensive here depending on the number of drives you want, so went s different route. Having a rack cabinet in the garage with lots of space, I picked up an Antec 900 secondhand for $30 and added 3 5 space Norco frames for a total of 16 drives (SSD velcro'd inside). I also have 2 self contained 5 drive chassis' I'll place inside the rack beside the Antec for 26 drives. Not as neat, but total case cost was under $A150.

If you only want 10TB, then you only need 3 x 4TB drives so lots of cases will handle that. Getting above 12 drives becomes expensive but if that's enough, lots of cases will work as server cases with a couple of 5.25 to 3.5 adapters.
dfkimbro's Avatar dfkimbro 08:12 PM 02-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Anyone know how to fix the pictures on W7 x64 so they show thumnails again ?

I had Picasa installed and it seems to have broken this upon uninstall. mad.gif


Two options...if you have an icon at the top right, click it and it scrolls through file view options. Alternatively type "ALT", then "v" to get the view menu and select "large icons" or "tiles".

Is that what you were looking for?
GCS's Avatar GCS 10:49 AM 02-28-2014
Mfusick. Here ya go http://www.frys.com/product/7057131?

4TB Hitachi 7200RPM drive $149
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