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Home Theater Computers > Mfusick's How to build an affordable 30TB Flexraid media server: Information Requested.!
amarshonarbangla's Avatar amarshonarbangla 04:49 PM 01-18-2013
Thanks guys for the information. Bought a 3TB green drive today which will go into a Flexraid Pool with two other drives (2TB+3TB). I should get about 5TB of usable space. Anything I should know before making the FlexRAID pool? The data on those drives will be intact, right? (I know it should, just making sure. I don't want to lose any of my precious data frown.gif)

jim2100's Avatar jim2100 07:25 PM 01-18-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

A optical drive will read at 36Mbps (the upper limit of the Bluray spec)...

No, the upper limit of the spec is 54Mbps (data transfer) or 48Mbps (video+audio) for blu-ray movies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc#Bit_rate
vladd's Avatar vladd 09:14 PM 01-18-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim2100 View Post

No, the upper limit of the spec is 54Mbps (data transfer) or 48Mbps (video+audio) for blu-ray movies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc#Bit_rate
You are correct. 36Mbps is the initial data rate.
macks's Avatar macks 10:31 PM 01-18-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Or if you don't bother with 2.4 GHz band, or manage a dual band router with a dedicated non-broadcast SSID, or don't try to use the dinky built-in laptop wireless one time without ever trying a decent wireless bridge and forever declare that wireless sucks

I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that a 100mbps switch will work anywhere that electronics work. I can not say that for any wireless based technology. There are places that it just won't work very well.

Thank you for jumping to conclusions that I have no idea what I'm talking about... CSMA/CA, half-duplex, wireless sucks.
vladd's Avatar vladd 11:53 PM 01-18-2013
My house is a wireless nightmare.

Some of my walls/ceilings are plaster applied on top of drywall with steel lathing in the corners (working on replacing that over the years).
Steel door frames (now I know the origin of "stand in a doorway during an earthquake").
Hardwood flooring that was top nailed in a 1x6 inch grid pattern.
Foil backed insulation.
Wire run everywhere in the walls (partly my doing).

Every room in my house is almost a faraday cage. About the only thing more wireless signal resistant is the inner ring of the pentagon. Until the last couple of years (after some remodeling) I couldn't even get cell phone signal in parts of my house, and I live in the city.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 10:06 AM 01-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Blurays are usually mastered at 2x these days, but I'm almost certain they all playback 1x

1x Bluray reads at 36 Mbit/s which is 4.5 MB/s

Check the wiki page (right hand table info)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc

Does this include audio too ???
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 10:11 AM 01-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post

Thanks guys for the information. Bought a 3TB green drive today which will go into a Flexraid Pool with two other drives (2TB+3TB). I should get about 5TB of usable space. Anything I should know before making the FlexRAID pool? The data on those drives will be intact, right? (I know it should, just making sure. I don't want to lose any of my precious data frown.gif)

Yes you data will be intact.

Just make sure you remember to delete your recycle bin. You will have to go to folder options and show hidden folders and files and also system files. Once it shows (it normally does not) delete that.

It is ok if it might repopulate. But that will prevent you from getting an error when you initialize the flexraid pool.

If your drives are full it is going to take you a while--- basically as long as it takes to read 5TB. That's not going to be that quick.

Once it is done with the initiation- you can start the pool and you should see your drives as one large 5TB drive. Just label it and your good.

If you stop the service or remove the drive you will still have your data on each drive as long as the drive works.

Make sure you don't set your data drives that have data on them to PPU (parity) because that will erase them. DRU = Data. Good luck.
amarshonarbangla's Avatar amarshonarbangla 10:21 AM 01-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Just make sure you remember to delete your recycle bin. You will have to go to folder options and show hidden folders and files and also system files. Once it shows (it normally does not) delete that.

It is ok if it might repopulate. But that will prevent you from getting an error when you initialize the flexraid pool.

This part is not clear to me. Could you kindly reword these sentences? Which Recycle Bin should I delete? If I delete the Recycle bin, wouldn't that mean files from the pool will be deleted permanently when I delete them? Thanks btw for your help thus far.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 10:45 AM 01-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post

This part is not clear to me. Could you kindly reword these sentences? Which Recycle Bin should I delete? If I delete the Recycle bin, wouldn't that mean files from the pool will be deleted permanently when I delete them? Thanks btw for your help thus far.

you might want to consider Assassin server guide. It explains this very well and illustrated step by step. Otherwise visit the WIKI page for Flexraid.

You need to delete the recycle bin from each drive before you add it to the pool. Do this- then you can open your flexraid and add them as DRU and initialize. If you don't you can get a failed error due to the recycle bin.

Don't worry if it repopulates. Also- Even if you delete them- you will still have a recycle bin on your flexraid pool. No worries there.

Don't worry about not having a recycle bin as it will still be there once you start the pool.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 10:51 AM 01-19-2013
To do it you must go into CONTROL PANEL -> FOLDER OPTIONS. set it so that is shows hidden files and folders and also protected operating system folders.



NOTE: I am on my desktop so my settings are not the right ones you need. Change both arrows to show.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 10:58 AM 01-19-2013
There is a little more to this... as you can change the properties of your recycle bin too.

If you want a full illustrated guide Assassin took the time to illustrate step by step the full flexraid set up process.
He has server guides here:

http://www.assassinserver.com/

You can probably fumble through- and find most of what you want piece by piece. But if you want it all right in front of you and clearly explained with screen shots- it's worth $25 to some people.

I bought them myself back when I first starting building my first server (actually he was building the goliath and doing the server guides as the same time I was building mine the first time.)
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 11:01 AM 01-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by duff99 View Post

Looks like the right ones. There are forward and reverse breakout cables. You need the reverse breakout cables since you are effectively reversing the breakout by combining four SATA ports into one SAS cable. I unfortunately need the forward breakout cables to convert the SAS port on my card to hook up to four SATA ports on my Norco 4020. It's pretty confusing. They look identical, they aren't interchangeable though. If you use the wrong one it won't work. This has bitten many a server builder in the past. It's usually one of the first trouble shooting questions you see when people can't connect to their drives.

So did you buy the wrong one ??

Wanna trade?

I have two intel brand forwards that I no longer need. (I did in my old case)

Trade you a forward for a reverse ?
amarshonarbangla's Avatar amarshonarbangla 04:05 PM 01-19-2013
Thanks! That's a great tip. The FlexRAID wiki talks about adding a reg key, not deleting the Recycle Bin from each drive if I am looking at the right thing. Great information. Thanks again. Any other cool tips?
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 08:52 AM 01-20-2013
I've actually not read the wiki .. Lol. I just set mine up per forum posts.

The Flexraid forum has all you need. It's not that hard. Even if you get a fail error you can back track and correct the issue. Your never in danger if losing data or causing damage aside from setting a data drive as a PRU. That will for sure lose your data.
duff99's Avatar duff99 10:01 AM 01-20-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

So did you buy the wrong one ??

Wanna trade?

I have two intel brand forwards that I no longer need. (I did in my old case)

Trade you a forward for a reverse ?

I never bought the wrong ones. When I said unfortunately I meant that I have an older case. I bought my Norco before they had the models with SAS connections. You haven't lived until you try to run 20 individual SATA cables through the fan wall, keep it neat, and get them plugged into the right place. The SAS cables are so much more convenient.

On some of the server forums I hang out at I seen the difference between the cables come up a lot. Usually it's people checking if they've got the right parts. Sometimes it's troubleshooting after the fact. I just don't see it come up here very often so I thought I'd make sure I'd point it out. Check out the build a server thread here. Before it got out of control this came up a lot.
bomberjim's Avatar bomberjim 10:03 AM 01-20-2013
While everything (pretty much) is in the Wiki, it's not particularly well organized. If (and only if) you're planning on running a snapshot raid you should turn on Flexraid's internal (not Windows) proprietary recylce bin. The explanation for this is here: http://wiki.flexraid.com/2011/10/18/understanding-the-limitations-of-snapshot-raid/, but it's somewhat confusing. Basically, things that can corrupt your parity (ability to restore) are:

1. Deletions. Unless Flexraids recycle bin is turned on (it's off by default).
2. Any changes to an existing data file prior to running an update. Only way to avoid this is don't allow programs such as metadata scrapers to update existing data.

In regards to #2, if you change (or update) 1GB of existing files and you encounter a drive failure before running an update, there will be 1GB of corruption in your parity data. You can see if this undesirable activity is occurring by running a quick validate and seeing if files are changed. If so, you will have at least some corruption in your parity data should you need to restore a drive.
amarshonarbangla's Avatar amarshonarbangla 01:10 PM 01-20-2013
Got my FlexRAID pool up and running, thanks to Mfusick and the others here. I am now facing this weird anomaly though. Could someone explain why I am getting speeds like this in benchmarks?


Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 02:44 PM 01-20-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by duff99 View Post

I never bought the wrong ones. When I said unfortunately I meant that I have an older case. I bought my Norco before they had the models with SAS connections. You haven't lived until you try to run 20 individual SATA cables through the fan wall, keep it neat, and get them plugged into the right place. The SAS cables are so much more convenient.

On some of the server forums I hang out at I seen the difference between the cables come up a lot. Usually it's people checking if they've got the right parts. Sometimes it's troubleshooting after the fact. I just don't see it come up here very often so I thought I'd make sure I'd point it out. Check out the build a server thread here. Before it got out of control this came up a lot.

What other sites ???
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 02:47 PM 01-20-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by bomberjim View Post

While everything (pretty much) is in the Wiki, it's not particularly well organized. If (and only if) you're planning on running a snapshot raid you should turn on Flexraid's internal (not Windows) proprietary recylce bin. The explanation for this is here: http://wiki.flexraid.com/2011/10/18/understanding-the-limitations-of-snapshot-raid/, but it's somewhat confusing. Basically, things that can corrupt your parity (ability to restore) are:

1. Deletions. Unless Flexraids recycle bin is turned on (it's off by default).
2. Any changes to an existing data file prior to running an update. Only way to avoid this is don't allow programs such as metadata scrapers to update existing data.

In regards to #2, if you change (or update) 1GB of existing files and you encounter a drive failure before running an update, there will be 1GB of corruption in your parity data. You can see if this undesirable activity is occurring by running a quick validate and seeing if files are changed. If so, you will have at least some corruption in your parity data should you need to restore a drive.

What's generally better ??

Real time or snap shot??? What do you do and why ?
bomberjim's Avatar bomberjim 04:00 PM 01-20-2013
Depends on what kind of data you have. Since I use it for Pictures, Music and Video, I use snapshot. I make sure things are stable and that the only changes to the pool are additional material and occasional deletions. I make sure that my scrapers aren't constantly changing my metadata. Media Center Master can be bad about this. Real-time still has some limitations to it such as a single PPU at least at the moment and requiring all drives to be spun up. Over on the forum, I see people getting into a lot of trouble trying to restore their data. In ascertaining why, turns out they're doing stuff like including live buffer from a tuner card into the pool. Snapshot isn't made to support data that is constantly changed.

Here's a link to some discussions: http://forum.flexraid.com/index.php/topic,1251.msg9745.html#msg9745 and here: http://forum.flexraid.com/index.php/topic,1342.msg11319.html#msg11319, the second post. There are many others.

Part of the problem is the wiki DOES NOT have a clear, concise, step-by-step setup guide discussing setting up Flexraid. Most of the info is there, but spread over a hundred different articles. I can't find any reference to turning off the Windows recycle bin for pool drives in the wiki, I only know about it from forum discussions. Even Assassin's guides, which are quite good, makes no mention of the Flexraid recycle bin.

All-in-all, Flexraid is perfect for HTPC use, but it's not real-time raid and the documentation could be a lot better.
aliaskary77's Avatar aliaskary77 04:06 PM 01-20-2013
I think its not that big of a deal regarding making changes to data in a pool with snapshot. from the link posted, one of the final things it mentions is:

  • You should always sync the RAID immediately after massive data edits


I guess main thing will be change scrapers to manual, and then run a sync on the raid after an editing session.

i still have not setup my flexraid yet...still setting up drives and doing an initial organization, but that will be a work in progress so even after setting up my pool and snapshot raid, i will be doing a lot or renaming and moving around and updating metadata.

and i agree, while a lot of info is there on the flexraid wiki, you have to look around for the correct articles. not the most user friendly for a starter.
assassin's Avatar assassin 06:01 PM 01-20-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by bomberjim View Post

Even Assassin's guides, which are quite good, makes no mention of the Flexraid recycle bin.

All-in-all, Flexraid is perfect for HTPC use

What a coincidence --- I have actually been finishing a few changes to the guides including the Recycle Bin settings and issues. I also have been trying out a few new settings some of which I posted in the last few weeks.

I finished the Recycle Bin changes earlier today.

Agree with you about FlexRaid being perfect for HTPC.
amarshonarbangla's Avatar amarshonarbangla 06:16 PM 01-20-2013
Does Plex act weird with FlexRAID for anyone else? I am getting multiple copies of the same movie. It's also mixing up one movie poster with another. Any solutions?

Look at the second row

assassin's Avatar assassin 06:36 PM 01-20-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post

Does Plex act weird with FlexRAID for anyone else? I am getting multiple copies of the same movie. It's also mixing up one movie poster with another. Any solutions?

Look at the second row

Are you sure it has something to do with FlexRaid? I bet it has more to do with how those movies are named. Look at the info from inside Plex and see what's listed.

I just did a quick look at my movies and saw a few duplicates but most were on obscure movies or TV shows that I wasn't able to find even with a manual search from within Plex.
amarshonarbangla's Avatar amarshonarbangla 06:41 PM 01-20-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Are you sure it has something to do with FlexRaid? I bet it has more to do with how those movies are named. Look at the info from inside Plex and see what's listed.

I just did a quick look at my movies and saw a few duplicates but most were on obscure movies or TV shows that I wasn't able to find even with a manual search from within Plex.

Yea I am sure it's FlexRAID, because I didn't have this problem before making a pool. Everything looks fine in Windows Media Center though.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 08:04 AM 01-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Are you sure it has something to do with FlexRaid? I bet it has more to do with how those movies are named. Look at the info from inside Plex and see what's listed.

I just did a quick look at my movies and saw a few duplicates but most were on obscure movies or TV shows that I wasn't able to find even with a manual search from within Plex.
+1

Same problem. Same advice here.

It's not Flexraid. It's just plex and your particular media.

Flexraid has nothing to do with that. You'd have same problem on W7 without it.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 08:06 AM 01-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post

Yea I am sure it's FlexRAID, because I didn't have this problem before making a pool. Everything looks fine in Windows Media Center though.
In windows media center that's not plex


Your plex is just confused with particular files its seeing and making mistakes.

You can edit and sort that out but its a pita
amarshonarbangla's Avatar amarshonarbangla 09:10 PM 01-21-2013
I didn't have this problem before installing FlexRAID though, which would mean my media is named perfectly. What's the solution now?
duff99's Avatar duff99 09:25 PM 01-21-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

What other sites ???

[H]ardforum, and the Unraid forums.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 06:50 AM 01-22-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post

I didn't have this problem before installing FlexRAID though, which would mean my media is named perfectly. What's the solution now?

Well it's seeing doubles for some reason so go check out those movies and location and folder contents and see what's up ??

Possibly pick a problem movie and move it outside your library. Update. Move it back. See if you still have problem ???

The problem is plex is reading something... Possibly a trailer ?? Or some other files in that movie folder ??? Delete all that stuff but just the movie and rest test.
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