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post #1 of 164 Old 12-03-2012, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks in advance for any input following my questions

My storage array is growing, and I have no parity protection. Flexraid looks very suited to my needs, but I'm not completely sold on it yet. I really like the idea, but I was looking for advice from others before diving headfirst so . . .

A few questions for those that use storage pooling
  1. Where do you mount your drives to prevent UAC headaches for network sharing? http://wiki.flexraid.com/2011/09/29/tips-mounting-your-drives-as-folders-on-windows/
  2. I'm starting with a couple full drives, and I'd like to keep the quasi-organization I have. Is this possible (i.e. HDMovies, Movies, Music)
  3. I'd like the folders I create within the pool to span drives of my choosing only, is this how you do it or is it easier just to flatten everything then pool it up and re-organize?
  4. This may seem silly, trivial but how do you create folder in the pool and give it permissions to which drives it can write to?

I guess it seems like I'm trying to work around the pooling, but I'd prefer to do it this way to minimize unknowns. I just like the idea of having several drives for HD movies, a single drive for movies and tv shows, and a different drive for pictures/music/docs. What I was hoping to benefit from was less mappings on the network, health monitoring, and some level of data loss protection
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post #2 of 164 Old 12-03-2012, 04:18 PM
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I'll try to help you but some of your questions are confusing.

First- Yes I really like FLEXRAID and I would recommend it. It's great for both pooling and also parity back up. In contrast SnapRaid or Unraid or whatever usually either offers snapshot parity, or real time- and often not pooling. Flexraid offers snapshot, Realtime and drive pooling so this makes it worth the cost. I also like that is has a pretty big following so there is lots of information and support revolved around it.

So cliffs Notes: FlexRaid is good. Get it.

Now... your questions:

I pool my drives into a single drive. You can do this with empty or full drives. You can remove a drive or add a drive without losing any data on that drive. IMO this is awesome. Lets say you have 5 HDD's of 2TB each. You can pool them into a single 10TB HDD. It would show as a single 10TB drive and you can assign a drive letter to that. Everything that is on all your drives already just appears on that single drive how it was. Folders or files or whatever... it's still there. Once you create your pool you can create folders or move stuff around how you wish. I assign the drive letter X to my flexraid pool to keep it simple.



Edit: I guess I changed it to Z drive letter.

Then you just map the network drive on your machines so it shows up like a locally installed HDD.

This is a snapshot from my desktop. You can see my HTPC, and my Server on my network. But you will notice the FLEXRAID drive appears like it's locally installed. It functions like it is too. This is great for storage on machines with only SSD on them, or laptops and things in the home.




Mapping the flexraid pool is pretty easy. Once you pool it with flexraid and assign a drive letter just edit the properties and enable sharing. Once you do that you can map the network drive. Just right click "MY COMPUTER" and "MAP NETWORK DRIVE"



bring up this...



Just navigate to the flexraid pool and choose that. DONE.

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post #3 of 164 Old 12-03-2012, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
I'm starting with a couple full drives, and I'd like to keep the quasi-organization I have. Is this possible (i.e. HDMovies, Movies, Music)


Answer = YES
Whatever you have will appear as you have. If you have a folder that says "music" with music inside after you pool your drives you will have one drive. But you will have a folder on that drive called "music" with all your music inside. You just have everything from all your drives on that one flexraid drive. But your folders and files will remain.


Quote:
I'd like the folders I create within the pool to span drives of my choosing only, is this how you do it or is it easier just to flatten everything then pool it up and re-organize?


Best is too just pool everything. Then organize it after. That's what I did. I have a folder right on the drive called "ALL FINALIZED MEDIA" inside that folder I have folders like "HD MOVIES" "NON HDMOVIES" "TV SHOWS" "BLURAY RIPS" "DISNEY" and "GAMES" etc... Those are the main folders and categories I point my Mediabrowser or XBMC to include as my libraries. When I add new content I usually add it via my desktop- But since the libraries are set up on my mediabrowser on my HTPC that content is automatically added and updated. It's pretty cool. Since it's all in a single folder on my FLEXRAID drive- I only take up one folder to do this and everything else is inside that folder organized.


Quote:
This may seem silly, trivial but how do you create folder in the pool and give it permissions to which drives it can write to?


No. I just edit the entire flexraid drive to share max permission. READ AND WRITE. That way I can save directly onto the drive itself.. add a folder or delete from my desktop the same as if it was a local installed HDD and I am adminstrator.

Quote:
I guess it seems like I'm trying to work around the pooling, but I'd prefer to do it this way to minimize unknowns. I just like the idea of having several drives for HD movies, a single drive for movies and tv shows, and a different drive for
pictures/music/docs. What I was hoping to benefit from was less mappings on the network, health monitoring, and some level of data loss protection


You do not have to pool. You can also unpool anytime. You can stop the service or stop pooling anytime and your drives all show up independently again. You can delete or remove a single drive from the pool. You can add a new drive to the pool. You can even remove a drive and add a blank replacement and rebuild it- meaning you can put on the new drive what was on the old drive. This is good if your drive fails and you need to buy and add a replacement. You can certainly get around pooling but I don't know why you would want to do that. I find having one drive with folders on it for whatever is just simple and easy.

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post #4 of 164 Old 12-03-2012, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post


.

You can see why I am currently building a new server and bought 4 more 3TB drives to replace some smaller ones and add storage.

Once you start down this path.. it seems to grow and grow.

it took me three months to add my 10+ years of DVD collection. For years I used to do new release Tuesdays every week, especially when I was a store manager for Circuit City. I do Blurays only now and they take up tons of space. Like 5 times more than DVD.

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post #5 of 164 Old 12-03-2012, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Thanks in advance for any input following my questions
  1. Where do you mount your drives to prevent UAC headaches for network sharing? http://wiki.flexraid.com/2011/09/29/tips-mounting-your-drives-as-folders-on-windows/

As to this.. I checked out the link but is seems extra work and hassle.

I am not sure why you would want to do this on a small personal network. Unless you have multiple clients editing the same files at the same time I don't think you need this.

I did not bother. I just pooled my drives and mapped the network drive. It's been working great for 6 months. I think that is for using more than 26 drives- or if you want to put certain things on certain drives.
I just pool them and use them as storage. I did not even know about that when I did it- but I can't say I see it as necessary or a problem either.

I think you'll be fine without doing that.

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post #6 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 07:36 AM
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Question about pooling and parity.

Using your example, if you pool five 2TB drives into a single 10TB drive, what will you require to also have parity? What I read on flexraid faq was the parity drive has to be as big as the largest drive.

Does that mean i will have to have another 10TB "pool" to parity the 1st pool, or can i have just one 2TB drive to have parity of 1 drive failure?

note: the post above is my opinion. as such, when reading any recommendations from me, please do you research and seek out other recommendations and make up your own mind on your next course of action. i mean, most reasonable adults should know that, but it seems this should be stated anyways.
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post #7 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 08:02 AM
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Pooling and parity are separate things. If you have an array of 5 drives, 1 of them will be a parity drive (must be as big as any other drive) and 4 of them will be data drives. Externally, the data drives will appear as one drive (the pool).
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post #8 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 12:04 PM
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excellent. thanks for the clarification. i thought i would not be able to pool, but seems i can have that as an option then.

note: the post above is my opinion. as such, when reading any recommendations from me, please do you research and seek out other recommendations and make up your own mind on your next course of action. i mean, most reasonable adults should know that, but it seems this should be stated anyways.
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post #9 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Best is too just pool everything. Then organize it after. That's what I did. I have a folder right on the drive called "ALL FINALIZED MEDIA" inside that folder I have folders like "HD MOVIES" "NON HDMOVIES" "TV SHOWS" "BLURAY RIPS" "DISNEY" and "GAMES" etc...

Thanks for the help. Still curious about a couple things, maybe I can clarify my questions

I currently have several various sized drives. 1x 4TB, 4x 3TB, 1x 2TB, 1x 1.5TB, and 2x 1TB

I really want to isolate all Music, Pictures, and miscellaneous docs to the 1.5 TB drive, but I'd like for it to be included in the pool

I'd like to isolate all of my TV Shows to the 2 TB drive and keep it in the pool

I'd then like to have a folder labeled Movies which spans all the other drives

Preferably when TV Shows or Music and Pictures are added to their folders they would go to their isolated drives. If I was running out of room then I'd be notified (even if I still had a lot more room in the total pool)
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post #10 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliaskary77 View Post

Question about pooling and parity.
Using your example, if you pool five 2TB drives into a single 10TB drive, what will you require to also have parity? What I read on flexraid faq was the parity drive has to be as big as the largest drive.
Does that mean i will have to have another 10TB "pool" to parity the 1st pool, or can i have just one 2TB drive to have parity of 1 drive failure?

You don't have to have parity. Parity and pooling are different things.

You can pool 5 drive into 1 drive pool. I just used 5 2TB into 10TB because it was simple to understand.

If I actually had 5 2TB drives... I'd probably pool 4 of them into 8TB and use the 5th drive as parity back up.

Or you could pool all 5 and add a 3TB as your parity (that's what I did originally)

Your parity must be as large as your largest drive- so for me 3TB made more sense than a 2TB for my parity so that way I could add more 3TB drives in future without changing anything special.

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post #11 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bomberjim View Post

Pooling and parity are separate things. If you have an array of 5 drives, 1 of them will be a parity drive (must be as big as any other drive) and 4 of them will be data drives. Externally, the data drives will appear as one drive (the pool).
Right.


One could be parity.

it does not have to be... but it's smart.

I think you can use 1 parity drive per 8 HDD's.

You can use more HDD's per 1 parity I think- but it's recommended that way.

The chances of simultaneous drive failures is lower like this.

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post #12 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Thanks for the help. Still curious about a couple things, maybe I can clarify my questions
I currently have several various sized drives. 1x 4TB, 4x 3TB, 1x 2TB, 1x 1.5TB, and 2x 1TB
I really want to isolate all Music, Pictures, and miscellaneous docs to the 1.5 TB drive, but I'd like for it to be included in the pool
I'd like to isolate all of my TV Shows to the 2 TB drive and keep it in the pool
I'd then like to have a folder labeled Movies which spans all the other drives
Preferably when TV Shows or Music and Pictures are added to their folders they would go to their isolated drives. If I was running out of room then I'd be notified (even if I still had a lot more room in the total pool)


If it is already set up like that it would remain. What is on your drives now stays. You can add full drives as they are. Or remove a drive from the pool later and the data is still on them.

I am just confused as if you want to control what you put on them after you pool- or if you already have this stuff now.

If you already had all that stuff I would just organize it how you wanted before you pool them. Or stop the service of pooling and do it.

Example:

You want all your music and documents on the 1.5TB drive. Then copy over and move all your Music and Documents onto that 1.5TB drive from all the other drives before you add it to the pool. Once your done then just add it as a DRU drive (DRU is data drive).
If it's on the 1.5TB when you add it to the pool it will stay on that. It's not going to relocate to another drive.

You can stop the pooling or drop a drive from the pool if you really wanted to later. If for some reason you added stuff to your drive pool later and decided you wanted to move it from one drive in the pool to another you can do that.

I hope that helps.

Can I ask the reason why you want that?

I did the same thing and thought the same thing originally. I had 2TB full of HD movies. Another 2TB full of SD movies. A 3TB full of bluray MKV's. Then after I pooled I realized it didn't matter.

I just organized everything into a media folder. Then inside that media folder I had folders for the categories like DVD, Bluray, HD, TV shows... etc... It doesn't really matter what drive it's on because once you fill up your drive (and you will) the newer stuff goes onto a newer drive simply because the original is all filled up. Once I hit this point I realized I was caring about something that did not matter.

I believe if you have a folder on your pool- and the stuff in that folder is spread across multiple drives then when you break up the pool there is that folder on a few different drives. With the actual files that are located on each HDD inside that folder. Starting the storage pool back up causes all those folders across all those HDD's to show as one folder with everything inside it.

Not sure if I am answering your question though...

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post #13 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 01:13 PM
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oh yeah, parity is more important to me then pooling. I understand they are separate things. i was only confused as to what the parity drive requirements were when also doing pooling. It seems parity requirements are based on physical drives and sizes, and not pooled size. Knowing this now, i can pool if i want to.

For Dark, I don't think you can specify which drive certain files will go into if all in one pool. I could be wrong.

To be certain where your files go, keep your drive for tv shows separate, drive for pics and docs separate, the 4TB becomes your parity, and all other drives can be pooled into one drive for your movies. If you can specify which physical drives a folder can use with all drives in one pool, that would be interesting, so lets see what someone with more experience with flexraid says.

note: the post above is my opinion. as such, when reading any recommendations from me, please do you research and seek out other recommendations and make up your own mind on your next course of action. i mean, most reasonable adults should know that, but it seems this should be stated anyways.
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post #14 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliaskary77 View Post

oh yeah, parity is more important to me then pooling. I understand they are separate things. i was only confused as to what the parity drive requirements were when also doing pooling. It seems parity requirements are based on physical drives and sizes, and not pooled size. Knowing this now, i can pool if i want to.
For Dark, I don't think you can specify which drive certain files will go into if all in one pool. I could be wrong.
To be certain where your files go, keep your drive for tv shows separate, drive for pics and docs separate, the 4TB becomes your parity, and all other drives can be pooled into one drive for your movies. If you can specify which physical drives a folder can use with all drives in one pool, that would be interesting, so lets see what someone with more experience with flexraid says.

That's what is do good about flexraid IMO.

Some products offer pooling. Most do not. Some offer snapshot parity. Some others offer real time.

Flexraid offers all three which makes it best choice.

It's also why you pay for it- versus the free options that do not do it all.

As for specify where it goes or on what drive- you can do that. But you must manually add or map each drive in the pool first. Often times not worth it IMO. Once you get beyond a couple drives or your library grows beyond the size of one drive it no longer matters. This will happen.

You can always move something specific from one drive to another if it was critical- even after the fact.

I just think your better off not pooling if that's a concern in first place.

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post #15 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah were getting to the answer kind of . . .

Basically I'm fine spending lots of time configuring something, but when it's done I want to be a lazy sloth and let everything just work

I really don't want to find out that all the pictures my wife dumped to the pool from her iphone ended up scattered into my HD Movie drives. If I want to stop the pool, copy one of the drives 1:1 and keep it somewhere else (safe) I'd like to know what's on it.

I have no plans to do this for movies, so I don't really care which drives they go to as long as they go to the movie drives. I don't really want to fire up makemkv and point to the "Movies" folder and find out later that it wrote everything to the "Music, Pictures, and Docs" drive. I realize you can make a copy from the pool and some may never plan to break their pool up for this kind of thing, but that's what I want

My pool would look something like this
  • Movies
  • TV Shows
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Miscellaneous

I'd like to drop stuff into the Music folder and it go to the specific drive (independent of my intervention other than opening V:/Music ctrl+v)

Consequently, I'd like to drop stuff into the Movies folder, and I could care less which of the four Movie "drives" it goes to, just never the same drive as TV Shows or the same drive as Music

I'd rather keep everything in the pool so that I only have 1 drive to map around the network
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post #16 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 03:54 PM
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Yeah.. you will be happy with it.

It's as good as any other solution.

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post #17 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 07:00 PM
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Good information Mfusick, I'm about to set something similar (I think) up. Currently, I've got 6 1TB drives, a 500 gb drive and 2 400 gb drives. These all have data on them already. I'm about to buy 2 new 3 TB drives as well. What I want to do is setup drive pooling and parity, which is what I think you were talking about above. If I understand correctly, I can pool my drives (9 existing + one new 3 TB drive) and use the other 3 TB drive for parity data. And all my data currently on my existing 9 drives will be preserved and will just show up in one humongous drive. If so, does that mean the existing top folders on all of my existing drives will be mashed together in the one "pooled" drive? I could have sworn there was an article about doing drive pooling + parity on the flexraid wiki site, but I can't seem to find it anymore. Thanks for your help!
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post #18 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Yeah were getting to the answer kind of . . .
Basically I'm fine spending lots of time configuring something, but when it's done I want to be a lazy sloth and let everything just work
I really don't want to find out that all the pictures my wife dumped to the pool from her iphone ended up scattered into my HD Movie drives. If I want to stop the pool, copy one of the drives 1:1 and keep it somewhere else (safe) I'd like to know what's on it.
I have no plans to do this for movies, so I don't really care which drives they go to as long as they go to the movie drives. I don't really want to fire up makemkv and point to the "Movies" folder and find out later that it wrote everything to the "Music, Pictures, and Docs" drive. I realize you can make a copy from the pool and some may never plan to break their pool up for this kind of thing, but that's what I want
My pool would look something like this
  • Movies
  • TV Shows
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Miscellaneous
I'd like to drop stuff into the Music folder and it go to the specific drive (independent of my intervention other than opening V:/Music ctrl+v)
Consequently, I'd like to drop stuff into the Movies folder, and I could care less which of the four Movie "drives" it goes to, just never the same drive as TV Shows or the same drive as Music
I'd rather keep everything in the pool so that I only have 1 drive to map around the network

unRAID can easily do what you're after. http://lime-technology.com/wiki/index.php/Un-Official_UnRAID_Manual#Shares
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post #19 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by joemoma View Post

unRAID can easily do what you're after. http://lime-technology.com/wiki/index.php/Un-Official_UnRAID_Manual#Shares

Perhaps, although at this point I don't have a lot of confidence in the unRAID developer. We're quickly coming up on two years since the last stable version of unRAID was released, unRAID v4.7, and Tom is really struggling to get out unRAID v5 (and apparently is now unwilling to put out a v4.7.1 promised long ago that patches the bugs in v4.7).
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post #20 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 07:23 PM
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I think I am about to dive into the pool as well. I've been managing things by hand much like Dark describes and I've got one drive nearly full while another one is half-full which seems like a waste. I've got a 1TB and 1.5TB drive coming out and 2 x 3TB going in so i'll have 3 x 2TB and 2 x 3TB. So 9TB for data, 3TB for parity. I'll also backup onto 2 x 1TB, 1 x 1.5TB, maybe rotate those off-site.

RIght now I have a ASUS E35M1-I in a PC-Q08 case. I have physically have room for 1 more drive but no more SATA ports. I'll probably get a SATA expansion card and keep 1 x 1TB in there for client backups/server backup and not have that in the pool. If I do need more room I do have an Antec 300 with a i3-530 and GA-H55M-D2H motherboard (6 x SATA) sitting in a box doing nothing so I could go to that.

Then, there's Windows 8 and Storage Spaces though I like the backup and recorded TV sweep function of WHS2011.

 

 

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post #21 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post

Perhaps, although at this point I don't have a lot of confidence in the unRAID developer. We're quickly coming up on two years since the last stable version of unRAID was released, unRAID v4.7, and Tom is really struggling to get out unRAID v5 (and apparently is now unwilling to put out a v4.7.1 promised long ago that patches the bugs in v4.7).

Unfortunately Flexraid and unRAID are both somewhat sketchy one man shows. I agree that the lack of progress/updates with unRAID is disappointing. If you look at the history of Flexraid on this and the dedicated forum you'll see a similar history of long lapses in communication and missed deadlines. I personally was hoping windows 8 and storage spaces would be an alternative but the reviews don't look promising and it uses striping.
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post #22 of 164 Old 12-04-2012, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by joemoma View Post

Unfortunately Flexraid and unRAID are both somewhat sketchy one man shows. I agree that the lack of progress/updates with unRAID is disappointing. If you look at the history of Flexraid on this and the dedicated forum you'll see a similar history of long lapses in communication and missed deadlines. I personally was hoping windows 8 and storage spaces would be an alternative but the reviews don't look promising and it uses striping.

Yeah, I had high hopes with storage spaces as well. I would have been perfectly happy with striping if there had been some sort of corresponding performance improvement. But, it turns out write speeds are no better than unRAID's. I already have to spin up all my hard drives at once, otherwise, for some odd reason, it is really slow to browse my imported videos from my SageTV extenders.

My bigger problem with storage spaces is you basically have you double the number of drives in your system every time you want to expand the array. There's no re-balancing when you add a drive.
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post #23 of 164 Old 12-05-2012, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by rc05 View Post

Good information Mfusick, I'm about to set something similar (I think) up. Currently, I've got 6 1TB drives, a 500 gb drive and 2 400 gb drives. These all have data on them already. I'm about to buy 2 new 3 TB drives as well. What I want to do is setup drive pooling and parity, which is what I think you were talking about above. If I understand correctly, I can pool my drives (9 existing + one new 3 TB drive) and use the other 3 TB drive for parity data. And all my data currently on my existing 9 drives will be preserved and will just show up in one humongous drive. If so, does that mean the existing top folders on all of my existing drives will be mashed together in the one "pooled" drive? I could have sworn there was an article about doing drive pooling + parity on the flexraid wiki site, but I can't seem to find it anymore. Thanks for your help!

Yes. It will do exactly as you want.

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post #24 of 164 Old 12-05-2012, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I think I am about to dive into the pool as well. I've been managing things by hand much like Dark describes and I've got one drive nearly full while another one is half-full which seems like a waste. I've got a 1TB and 1.5TB drive coming out and 2 x 3TB going in so i'll have 3 x 2TB and 2 x 3TB. So 9TB for data, 3TB for parity. I'll also backup onto 2 x 1TB, 1 x 1.5TB, maybe rotate those off-site.
RIght now I have a ASUS E35M1-I in a PC-Q08 case. I have physically have room for 1 more drive but no more SATA ports. I'll probably get a SATA expansion card and keep 1 x 1TB in there for client backups/server backup and not have that in the pool. If I do need more room I do have an Antec 300 with a i3-530 and GA-H55M-D2H motherboard (6 x SATA) sitting in a box doing nothing so I could go to that.
Then, there's Windows 8 and Storage Spaces though I like the backup and recorded TV sweep function of WHS2011.

Just get a high point SATA 3 two port pci x1 card for $12

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post #25 of 164 Old 12-05-2012, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by joemoma View Post

Unfortunately Flexraid and unRAID are both somewhat sketchy one man shows. I agree that the lack of progress/updates with unRAID is disappointing. If you look at the history of Flexraid on this and the dedicated forum you'll see a similar history of long lapses in communication and missed deadlines. I personally was hoping windows 8 and storage spaces would be an alternative but the reviews don't look promising and it uses striping.

I can't say I agree. The developer got back to me in 48 hours for Flexraid issue but there's such a huge following I ended up finding my answers myself.

It's not a new price of software and its widely used.
At least for Flexraid I can recommend it as it does perfectly what you expect it to do. One you install it you never touch it again unless you removing or adding drives. It's set it forget it.

It's not buggy at all. It's a really straight forward solution and that makes it worth the price IMO over the free alternatives.

There's a reason why it's been out since 2008 and people now pay for it.

You get what you pay for.

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post #26 of 164 Old 12-05-2012, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Yeah were getting to the answer kind of . . .
Basically I'm fine spending lots of time configuring something, but when it's done I want to be a lazy sloth and let everything just work

That's pretty much been my experience with it. The only thing I have done since initially setting up my flexraid pool about a year ago on my WHS2011, was that I added two more drives to the pool. I was expecting there to be a little work involved, but was pleasantly surprised. I litterally installed the drives, went to the web interface, added them to the pool and was done. Took less than 20 minutes.

I also like that it emails me every night to tell me if the partiy update was successful. The only issue I've had since buying the product is that about once a week or so, it fails to do the partiy update. The partity protection is still there from the previous night (I only use snapshot, not real-time), it just doesn't update. I don't think it is a flexraid issue though as I have a feeling that something, either on my server or my HTPC (maybe the TV Archive) is using the pool and keeping the snapshot from running. It's not often enough for me to really care though.

One thing I would highly recommend is that if you are putting pictures, documents, etc. on there that you really, really want to make sure you never lose, get a crashplan account. It's slow as dirt to upload, but once your initial backup is done, its not going to have to upload much too often. I think the service is around $40 per year, but they have a lot of sales. I got an account for $3 on Black Friday. There plans are unlimited too. I backup all out pictures, documents, home videos (not too many of those, mainly our 1 year old crawling around), activate keys, etc. Took about a week (189GB IIRC) to do my initial upload. I also burn any new stuff from that group to Blu-Rays every 6 months or so and put it in a fire proof safe.

Flexraid is great, but its not going to protect you from a fire.
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I can't say I agree. The developer got back to me in 48 hours for Flexraid issue but there's such a huge following I ended up finding my answers myself.
It's not a new price of software and its widely used.
At least for Flexraid I can recommend it as it does perfectly what you expect it to do. One you install it you never touch it again unless you removing or adding drives. It's set it forget it.
It's not buggy at all. It's a really straight forward solution and that makes it worth the price IMO over the free alternatives.
There's a reason why it's been out since 2008 and people now pay for it.
You get what you pay for.

I had one issue he was not able to solve when I first set my system up. I had the trial and it kept asking me to activate the trial, which I would do and it would work fine until the next day. I contacted him about it and he didn't really have a solution. Someone else suggested just buying the software and seeing if the problem solved with an paid key. I took a leap of faith and it did. No issues after that.
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post #27 of 164 Old 12-05-2012, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Yeah were getting to the answer kind of . . .
Basically I'm fine spending lots of time configuring something, but when it's done I want to be a lazy sloth and let everything just work
I really don't want to find out that all the pictures my wife dumped to the pool from her iphone ended up scattered into my HD Movie drives. If I want to stop the pool, copy one of the drives 1:1 and keep it somewhere else (safe) I'd like to know what's on it.
I have no plans to do this for movies, so I don't really care which drives they go to as long as they go to the movie drives. I don't really want to fire up makemkv and point to the "Movies" folder and find out later that it wrote everything to the "Music, Pictures, and Docs" drive. I realize you can make a copy from the pool and some may never plan to break their pool up for this kind of thing, but that's what I want
My pool would look something like this
  • Movies
  • TV Shows
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Miscellaneous
I'd like to drop stuff into the Music folder and it go to the specific drive (independent of my intervention other than opening V:/Music ctrl+v)
Consequently, I'd like to drop stuff into the Movies folder, and I could care less which of the four Movie "drives" it goes to, just never the same drive as TV Shows or the same drive as Music
I'd rather keep everything in the pool so that I only have 1 drive to map around the network

I've been using Flexraid for quite some time and love it. I don't think however, that you're going to be able to do exactly what you want - at least not easily. If you pool drives, Flexraid will control the pool and you won't be able to dictate which drives files are saved to. If you don't pool, it will require an "expert" mode setup and you MAY be able to control which drives you save to. This is certainly not how Flexraid (or any type of raid) is designed to work however. If this is critical to you, I'd suggest asking these specific questions on the Flexraid forums prior to purchase.
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post #28 of 164 Old 12-05-2012, 08:42 AM
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I have a couple of questions:

I currently just have a bunch of disks that I manage manually, and make mirror of each one.

Can I mirror each drive in Flexraid if I wanted? Or would I be better off just using Cobian backup to create a copy and mirror the changes?
If I pooled the drives, would I still be able to see the individual drives and mirror them?
Is it even worth mirroring anymore, or just use a few more parity drives for safety?

If I create a pool of my drives, and I copy an iso file to the drive, will that one file always be on 1 drive (what if there is not enough room on any of the drives, will it spread it across the drives)? I would prefer not to have files broken and spread.

If I start to organize my movies etc.. once pooled, how will the changes look when I pull a drive out of the pool?

You can pull the drive out of a pool and pop it in another computer and it will just be a normal drive correct?

Can you have multiple storage pools?

Also, can you set a certain percentage of the drive to be empty (i currently leave around 150gb). Is that even worthwhile doing?

Sorry, I got a little carried away with the questions, I am just used to manually doing everything.
Thanks
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post #29 of 164 Old 12-05-2012, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Thanks for the help. Still curious about a couple things, maybe I can clarify my questions
I currently have several various sized drives. 1x 4TB, 4x 3TB, 1x 2TB, 1x 1.5TB, and 2x 1TB
I really want to isolate all Music, Pictures, and miscellaneous docs to the 1.5 TB drive, but I'd like for it to be included in the pool
I'd like to isolate all of my TV Shows to the 2 TB drive and keep it in the pool
I'd then like to have a folder labeled Movies which spans all the other drives
Preferably when TV Shows or Music and Pictures are added to their folders they would go to their isolated drives. If I was running out of room then I'd be notified (even if I still had a lot more room in the total pool)

I too am considering Flexraid. At first I latched onto UnRaid as it seems to be popular with XBMC users but I'm reluctant to mess with Linux which I know nothing about and I like that I can keep my drives in tact with Flexraid and don't have to rebuild them into a different format. I was also put off by UnRaid apparently being touchy about certain hardware and network controller. Plus, Flexraid runs on Windows which is familiar and I can install other stuff on there as I please. Yes you take up a SATA slot for your OS but with UnRaid you waste a SATA slot on the cache drive.

Anyhow, I'm not sure I saw an answer to Dark_Slayer's question above.
It seems that if my Music and Pics are on one particular drive and my Movies on three others then when I pool that data structure stays in tact. But...after pooling, when I add, say, a new music album to the pool where is it saved physically? If I save it into my Music sub folder will it automatically save into the original Music drive? Or from the point you create the pool does it decide for itself where to save the new files depending on space (which may result in my new music album being saved onto one of the Movies drives for example...or even worst the album being scattered all over the place)?

Thanks
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post #30 of 164 Old 12-05-2012, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Guinness77 View Post

I have a couple of questions:
I currently just have a bunch of disks that I manage manually, and make mirror of each one.
Can I mirror each drive in Flexraid if I wanted? Or would I be better off just using Cobian backup to create a copy and mirror the changes?

Flexraid doesn't do mirroring that I am away of.
Quote:
If I pooled the drives, would I still be able to see the individual drives and mirror them?

I don't think so, but even if you got to the drives individually, how would you mirror them?
Quote:
Is it even worth mirroring anymore, or just use a few more parity drives for safety?

I don't think it is worth it if you are dealing with any large amount of data. I have a RAID1 setup for my OS drive on my server, but I'd never do that for my data.
Quote:
If I create a pool of my drives, and I copy an iso file to the drive, will that one file always be on 1 drive (what if there is not enough room on any of the drives, will it spread it across the drives)? I would prefer not to have files broken and spread.

If it's an ISO, it's one file anyway. Even if you were copying a folder instead, I believe it will put everything on the same drive. Now if you add stuff later, I'm not 100% sure how it handles that.
Quote:
If I start to organize my movies etc.. once pooled, how will the changes look when I pull a drive out of the pool?

Quick example. I have a My Movies folder in which each movie has its own folder. When I seem them in the pool, they all appear under My Movies. If I pulled the drives out, I'd have My Movies folders on each drive that held sub folders, but Movie A might be on Drive 1 while Movie B is on Drive 2.
Quote:
You can pull the drive out of a pool and pop it in another computer and it will just be a normal drive correct?

I know that it works with windows, not sure about Linux or Mac.
Quote:
Can you have multiple storage pools?

At least when I first set mine up, that was not an option, but I know they were looking into it.
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Also, can you set a certain percentage of the drive to be empty (i currently leave around 150gb). Is that even worthwhile doing?
No and I don't think so.
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