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post #1 of 16 Old 03-26-2013, 04:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm thinking of building media server running Windows 7 x64 Home Premium and FlexRaid. I have two 3TB hard drives that already have DVD rips on them. I also have two 2 TB hard drives with DVD rips. I also have one empty 3 Tb drive and one empty 2Tb drive. The 3 Tb drives hold TV show DVD rips and the 2 Tb drives hold DVD movie rips. Under Flexraid I'd like to pool the drives together but keep the TV and Movie rips separate as they are now. Is it possible to setup Flexraid to do this?
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-26-2013, 05:05 AM
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Flexraid takes your existing drives and shows them as one big drive to Windows.

You just need to drop the movies into a folder called movies, and the TV shows in a folder called TV shows. This streamlines it for mediabrowser as that is the format it recognizes anyway.

Once the drives are pooled you lose the ability to choose the where the files you drop on it go, as windows treats it as one large drive and flexraid decides based on your choices during setup where files go first.
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-27-2013, 09:19 AM
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It's been a while since I used FlexRaid never used the Drive Pooling but going to start using it again. I take it if you have a MKV or ISO file it will put that whole file on 1 drive, now what about DVD/BD folders it could split up that folder onto 2+ drives? I'm not so worried about what drives they go on anymore just rather have the whole Folder go on 1 disk that way only that 1 disk would be spinning.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-27-2013, 10:10 AM
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It works just like regular raid, so if it's in a folder, you will see it in that folder. When you access the file, it might play off 3-4 physical drives at once but will still show and operate in windows like its one drive. You don't get to choose. Once it's pooled, the system decides where data is striped/stored and it presents itself to windows as one drive, just like hardware raid.
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-27-2013, 11:49 AM
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Thanks ... Not what I was looking for but might give it a shot.
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-27-2013, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highzone View Post

I'm thinking of building media server running Windows 7 x64 Home Premium and FlexRaid. I have two 3TB hard drives that already have DVD rips on them. I also have two 2 TB hard drives with DVD rips. I also have one empty 3 Tb drive and one empty 2Tb drive. The 3 Tb drives hold TV show DVD rips and the 2 Tb drives hold DVD movie rips. Under Flexraid I'd like to pool the drives together but keep the TV and Movie rips separate as they are now. Is it possible to setup Flexraid to do this?

Yes.

Very easy to do. Before you start the pool just put into a folder. If the rips are on the root level of the drive, just create a folder called "DVD rips" [or whatever] and then put everything that is those inside it. Do the same on all drives that have data on them. Start the pool. Then you will have 1 HDD showing (your flexraid drive) with a few folders on it. Inside each folder will be those contents. The data will remain on the same drives and never change. If you stop the pool or uninstall flexraid it will still be there on the original drive.

Very easy to do.

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post #7 of 16 Old 03-27-2013, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goros View Post

It works just like regular raid, so if it's in a folder, you will see it in that folder. When you access the file, it might play off 3-4 physical drives at once but will still show and operate in windows like its one drive. You don't get to choose. Once it's pooled, the system decides where data is striped/stored and it presents itself to windows as one drive, just like hardware raid.

Negative.

This is an incorrect statement.

It will not play off 3 or 4 physical drives like real hardware raid. It will play from only 1 drive. Flexraid does not spread out files across multiple drives. Only folders. Any movie file like ISO, MKV, or whatever will be located on a single HDD. It will not span across multiple.

If your pasting a file or adding a file it will only get put onto a single HDD and will not span across drives. This means any movie is located only on a single drive.

The drive that is used is the drive with the most available space as default. If your pasting into a folder then the file would populate inside that folder on whichever HDD had the most space and also had that folder already. It won't create a new folder on another HDD until there is no more space available on the HDD's that already have that folder.

Therefore... if you put a folder on an empty drive you add to the pool... say called" New empty HDD" then anything you put into that folder would end up on the new empty HDD that had that folder until it was completely full. Then if you continue adding to that folder flexraid would create the same named folder on another HDD with the most availble free space and begin to use that.

Your files are not spanned across multiple HDD's.

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post #8 of 16 Old 03-27-2013, 01:48 PM
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Really?

Why does more than one drive activity light flicker when watching a movie? Also, if it isn't striping data, how does it achieve parity that works? Logic would dictate if it isn't striping data, to actually achieve parity you would need a raid 1 setup with mirroring for it to actually protect your data.

My thought is this...you have 2 parity drives and 8 pool drives. Your parity drives are 3tb each, and your pool drives are 3tb and 2tb mixed. You have say...15tb of 17tb populated. One of your drives craps out. How do you actually guarantee that all of the information on the drive that died is available to be rebuilt from your parity drives? You lost 3tb of data and your parity drives only hold a max potential of 6tb, assuming no overlap in parity storage.

If it isn't striping (even if it isn't "live" striping and only on a snapshot), then how can they even call it a parity drive?

The whole point of parity is that all your information is duplicated in a redistribed fashion on multiple drives so that if one dies, the information is still spread out on the other drives and everything on the dead drive can be rebuilt.

From what I understand you are saying, your information in fact is NOT in parity like raid 5 (one drive parity) or raid 6 (two drive parity) would dictate. So...why even bother with parity in flexraid if it does not stripe? Logic would dictate unless you have the same amount of storage dedicated to your parity drives as you have dedicated to your storage drives, your information is constantly at risk...

So...why bother with parity in flexraid at all if it isn't parity?

With a hardware driven raid 6 array, similar to my example, you would have 8 data and 2 parity drives...all of them would be written to in a stripe with data being written twice on at least 2 different drives, so if one or two fail, all the data can be recovered. I assumed (wrongly it seems) that flexraid duplicated this pattern when you activated a snapshot parity calculation.

I'll be looking for another solution for drive pooling if this is actually the case. It offers no protection once you pass the storage capacity on the "parity" drive, which is stupid and pointless.


ETA I'm retarded and was thinking it was using a raid 4 parity structure for a software raid 6. I also lick windows on the shortbus when my helmet isn't on tight enough.
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-27-2013, 02:11 PM
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I did some research and it does not stripe. So...if it does not stripe, and it loads up one drive more than others, how is anything recoverable once you have exceeded your parity storage allotment on the primary pool drives unless flexraid is duplicating files on the storage pool drives in some way?

This does not compute and I'm trying to wrap my head around it. Coming from the world of hardware raid this makes no sense at all. And the best part? No one can actually explain how it works or why it works once you exceed your parity drive available storage if its not writing duplicate data to the pool or striping.

Gah.


OK so assuming it operates on a raid4 style parity calculation to recover lost data, how long does it actually take to rebuild a drive once lost, and how much of a chance is there that it will be completely corrupted from the calc being off?
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-27-2013, 02:17 PM
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Awesome. This is how I figured it should work since it's not suppose to be striped like HW Raid.

I figured

D: Movies - Has 15GB free
E: Movies - Has 20GB free
F: Movies - Has 25GB free
G: Movies - Has 500GB free

If I copied a movie into say D: Movies (file size lets say 22GB) it would go to any drive that has 22GB free so either F: or G: but would copy the whole 22GB to only 1 drive not split it up between D: 15GB and the rest of the 7GB say on E:
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-27-2013, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goros View Post

I did some research and it does not stripe. So...if it does not stripe, and it loads up one drive more than others, how is anything recoverable once you have exceeded your parity storage allotment on the primary pool drives unless flexraid is duplicating files on the storage pool drives in some way?

This does not compute and I'm trying to wrap my head around it. Coming from the world of hardware raid this makes no sense at all. And the best part? No one can actually explain how it works or why it works once you exceed your parity drive available storage if its not writing duplicate data to the pool or striping.

Gah.


OK so assuming it operates on a raid4 style parity calculation to recover lost data, how long does it actually take to rebuild a drive once lost, and how much of a chance is there that it will be completely corrupted from the calc being off?


It takes as long as it takes to write that amount of data in that drive your rebuilding.

@100mb sec it doesn't take too long.

A totally full 3TB still gets recovered in a few hours.

The variable is your server and HDD speeds and amount of data. Lots of data with slow drives can take a while.

I initialized with 20tb of data in under 10 hours. That's not bad.

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post #12 of 16 Old 10-08-2013, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Yes.

Very easy to do. Before you start the pool just put into a folder. If the rips are on the root level of the drive, just create a folder called "DVD rips" [or whatever] and then put everything that is those inside it. Do the same on all drives that have data on them. Start the pool. Then you will have 1 HDD showing (your flexraid drive) with a few folders on it. Inside each folder will be those contents. The data will remain on the same drives and never change. If you stop the pool or uninstall flexraid it will still be there on the original drive.

Very easy to do.

when the pool is started and your adding more dvd rips to that folder on the pool, will it go to the exact same harddrive where the dvd rips folder is. i have harddrives 1 with tvshows, others with movies. so say i add a tvshow id like it to go to the drive that the tvshows are on
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post #13 of 16 Old 10-09-2013, 05:18 AM
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Well flexraid does have different setting for that.

Generally flexraid will try to keep things together. That means if you have a folder called "DVD rips" and that folder only exists on a single hard drive it typically would continue to fill that folder and that hard drive provided you have enough free space. Once that hard drive is full, flexraid would create another folder on another hard drive also named the exact same. Usually it creates the new folder in the HDD with the most free space.

There is a setting that can level or balance data across all hard drives too, but I like it when the same stuff is together.

I guess it doesn't matter anyways because when pooling is on it all shows on one drive anyways.

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post #14 of 16 Old 10-12-2013, 10:00 AM
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In pooling -

Can you limit or restrict Flexraid from creating root folders so that you can explicitly control the content of each drives? For example, I have two drives with a root folder Shows and three with Movies. If one drive with Shows is empty and the three drives with Movies are either full or does not have enough free space, can Flexraid gives an error when attempting to copy to Movies instead of creating a Movies root folder on the drive with free space (in this case, the drive with Shows)?

Does Flexraid controls the spin down and up of the pooled drives? If not, how does Windows treat the pooled drives when it comes to spinning down and up for power savings? Is the entire pool treated as one drive or Windows treats each drive in the pool independently?

Can drives be grouped in Flexraid for spinning up purposes? For example, I would like to group all drives that contain movies into one group so that when one drive is spun up, then all drives in the group is also spun up.

Still Learning
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post #15 of 16 Old 10-12-2013, 11:52 AM
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Flexraid would only spin up the drives being used , not all of them. You don't need "grouping" for that.

For the other things you ask about you can do that too , but you will need "expert" configuration and not "cruise control ". Most of use use the easy cruise control mode.

Check the wiki and it explains how.

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post #16 of 16 Old 10-12-2013, 12:19 PM
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i dont have flexraid setup yet, but i have HDD's set to sleep after 15 mins. i have eset nod32 antivirus and every so often ekrn.exe will wake all the drives.
i dont want this happening when ive flexraid setup, does microsoft security essentials spin the drives up periodically
i might change my antivirus to microsoft security essentials
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