WHS 2011 media server: which redundancy? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 07-30-2013, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I've got an HP N40L Microserver with WHS 2011 that I would like to use for media storage and server. I'm trying to decide what form of protection other than a complete backup to use. My PCs and HTPCs are using Windows 7, and I have two Macs connected to the network as well.

When you read up at other forums dedicated to server discussion they will always point out that RAID of any kind is not a backup. I understand this ( I will backup important docs and pics, etc offsite and cloud). But when you start getting into the multiple TBs of media files, having a second multiple might or might not be the most economical or convenient for recovery. Also to re-rip 4tb of my media collection would take a lot of effort. So I would like to have some sort of protection in case one of the 4tb drives fails.

Currently have my N40L Microserver's modified BIOS flashed so that I was able to put the 250gb OS drive on the ODD SATA connector at full speed. And I have 4 new 4tb drives that I would like to store my media on. In the future for expansion I could add a four disk enclosure to the eSATA connector on the Microserver since the BIOS is modified as to have port multiplier enabled.

Options I'm considering so far are...

WHS 2011 RAID 1, mirroring pairs of 4tb drives

WHS 2011 RAID 5 (have not researched this too much yet)

FlexRAID ( and possibly using Stablebit's DrivePool or FlexRAIDs own pooling software. )

Not sure I'm up for adding a RAID card and it's added expense (for those that might suggest this)
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post #2 of 30 Old 07-30-2013, 05:26 PM
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I like flexraid because it's very flexible. More flexible than hardware raid. And you do not need any fancy raid cards or hardware to use it.

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post #3 of 30 Old 07-30-2013, 07:29 PM
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I have been using Drivepool on my 37TB system and am pleased with it
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post #4 of 30 Old 07-31-2013, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fibertech View Post

I have been using Drivepool on my 37TB system and am pleased with it

What sort of protection do you get from DrivePool alone?
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post #5 of 30 Old 07-31-2013, 09:19 AM
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Flexraid does it all

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post #6 of 30 Old 07-31-2013, 10:09 AM
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Flexraid for pooling and backup. Gotta love the magic of parity!
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post #7 of 30 Old 07-31-2013, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g725s View Post

What sort of protection do you get from DrivePool alone?

It makes a 1:1 copy on another drive
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post #8 of 30 Old 08-01-2013, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fibertech View Post

It makes a 1:1 copy on another drive

So for me I'd need another 30TB of drives to back up my 30TB of media ???

That's like $1000+

Lol. Your joking right ?

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post #9 of 30 Old 08-01-2013, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

So for me I'd need another 30TB of drives to back up my 30TB of media ???

That's like $1000+

Lol. Your joking right ?


Been there, done that, and sold the T-shirt and bought flexraid. With dual parity drives using a total of 8 TB to protect 18 TB I am so much further ahead in efficient use of space not to mention the vastly superior level of protection.
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post #10 of 30 Old 08-01-2013, 05:58 AM
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Just to throw my hat in there, I've been using DriveBender since it was first released. I am not interested in RAID or protection of most of my data. I can duplicate folders that are really important. I put the really important stuff in the cloud through iDrive.
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post #11 of 30 Old 08-01-2013, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefcake View Post

Just to throw my hat in there, I've been using DriveBender since it was first released. I am not interested in RAID or protection of most of my data. I can duplicate folders that are really important. I put the really important stuff in the cloud through iDrive.

This is what I do
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post #12 of 30 Old 08-02-2013, 05:22 AM
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I'm using DrivePool to manage around 10TB of data. I duplicate critical folders, but just backup other stuff to external disks. Works fine, and no problems so far.

I certainly don't plan to store anything in the cloud. Too many security concerns for me.
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post #13 of 30 Old 08-02-2013, 05:56 AM
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You guys must be from a different planet or something.

That way seems totally cumbersome and unacceptable to me.

As your data grows and your HDDs increase there is inherently more value in a parity based back up solution like flexraid.

You can back up 30TB of data with 1 hard drive automatically with no fuss. If a drive fails slap in a replacement and click "rebuild drive".

What's better than that ? It doesn't cost more $$.... It actually costs a lot less.

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post #14 of 30 Old 08-02-2013, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shepP View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

So for me I'd need another 30TB of drives to back up my 30TB of media ???

That's like $1000+

Lol. Your joking right ?


Been there, done that, and sold the T-shirt and bought flexraid. With dual parity drives using a total of 8 TB to protect 18 TB I am so much further ahead in efficient use of space not to mention the vastly superior level of protection.

How does dual parity drives work? Are you then able to recover two drives that fail at the same time?

Sent from my SGH-T959V using Tapatalk 2
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post #15 of 30 Old 08-02-2013, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post

How does dual parity drives work? Are you then able to recover two drives that fail at the same time?


Great Question!

The easiest way to explain it is like this:




In the above situation if any of those drives failed could you tell what was missing for each from the failed drive? You could, but comparing it to the right answer and the existing data you can determine was is missing. Under this method you can back up more than 1 HDD with only 1 Parity drive. If you wanted protection from two simultanous data drive failures you can employ two parity drives. Each parity drive allows you protection from one data drive failure at a time. It's unlikely you have multiple drives fail at the exact same time.


You can check out: http://www.flexraid.com/duplication-is-dead/
Quote:
Duplication is primitive, archaic, dépassé for large storage.

For the longest time data duplication through mirroring or other schemes was regarded as the safest form of redundant data protection. What reenforced that view was the fact that traditional RAID systems using parity based protection are an all-or-nothing type of deal.
That is, with traditional parity based RAID systems, if the said systems are unable sustain and recover from a particular failure level then all data is lost. This chronically negative aspect of traditional RAID systems has lead to the doctrine of “RAID is not backup”.

Mirroring is simple.
Here is an example of a mirroring system:
DataProtection_02_RAID1-300x249.jpg

And here is an example of a parity based system:
DataProtection_02_RAID5.jpg


As you can see, it is much simpler to implement a mirroring scheme than a parity one. Mirroring involves simply copying the data to two disks where parity based schemes involve algorithms for computing the parity and for where to write the data and parity.
Looking beyond simplicity… understanding the importance of tolerance level

Yes, mirroring is simple an inherently easier to make robust. However, parity based systems are just as robust when properly implemented. If all schemes have the same robustness when properly implemented, then we need to focus on the real differentiators. The biggest factor when it comes to data protection is tolerance level, which is the number of failure the system can tolerate and successfully recover from.

Mirroring has a tolerance level of only 1

The typical mirroring system can only tolerate a single failure as there typically only exist two copies of the data. Lose both copies and you have lost it all.
Mirroring is expensive

Mirroring requires double the amount of space used to store the data. This turns, for instance, a $1k system into a $2k system, and things add up really quick.
Evolution in data protection

Parity based schemes can be extremely cost efficient. For instance, if you have a million 2TB drives, it only take one additional 2TB drive to provide protection to all those 1 million drives.
For all the benefits that parity based schemes provide, their core drawback has always been and will remain a hard pill to swallow: you lose all your data if things go wrong.

We have evolved, and now comes FlexRAID to the rescue.

FlexRAID gives you the benefits of parity based schemes without the risk of losing all of one’s data unless you lose every single one of your drives.
FlexRAID allows you to choose and pick your protection level going from 1 to infinity.

That’s right, your protection level under FlexRAID is limited only by your choice and by your own hardware.

Conclusion
Do not waste your time with any product that relies on duplication as a protection scheme for your precious data.
Great technological progresses have been made and you should no longer be doing things the hard and expensive way.
When it comes to data protection, do it the FlexRAID way. smile.gif

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post #16 of 30 Old 08-02-2013, 11:08 AM
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http://www.flexraid.com/download/#download

14 day free trial BTW...

instructions in my server thread how to set it up.

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post #17 of 30 Old 08-02-2013, 10:07 PM
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post #18 of 30 Old 08-03-2013, 02:34 AM
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Mfusick, please stop calling Flexraid "backup". wink.gif

It is NOT. It is just redundancy. I use it and love it but you do not have backup until you have independent exact copies of the data, stored in a secure (geographically different or fire/flood/etc proof) location.
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post #19 of 30 Old 08-05-2013, 02:28 PM
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Ok by your strict definition your right biggrin.gif

I will call it "parity back up" ? Would that suffice ?

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post #20 of 30 Old 08-05-2013, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I will call it "parity back up" ? Would that suffice ?

It suffices as a list of words assembled with no regard for their meanings. rolleyes.gif
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post #21 of 30 Old 08-06-2013, 05:42 AM
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When you recover a failed data drive by way of parity what do you call that ?

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post #22 of 30 Old 08-06-2013, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

As your data grows and your HDDs increase there is inherently more value in a parity based back up solution like flexraid.

You can back up 30TB of data with 1 hard drive automatically with no fuss. If a drive fails slap in a replacement and click "rebuild drive".
As you add more HDDs you are also increasing the risk of having a second drive failure during parity rebuild. If that occurs you are at risk of losing data. BTW - I agree that parity protection is the best redundancy solution for a media server. For very little added cost you can avoid that hassle of having to restore your data if a HDD fails. Dual HDD failure is not likely but the probability does increase as the number of HDDs grows.
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post #23 of 30 Old 08-06-2013, 09:01 AM
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That's why you add a second parity HDD if you have more than 8 HDDs

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post #24 of 30 Old 08-06-2013, 10:17 AM
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Curious, and OT: to the OP...
When you are all set up, can you let me know what your CPU load is? I have the same setup, and am running WHS 2011, as well. I had trouble with the original 250 gig HDD, (bad sectors) and it was necessary to re-load WHS after the replacement came. In my original iteration, I swear that my CPU was running anywhere from 1-15 %. Now, I am in the 50 - 70% range. I can manually shut off "Mediastreaming" (there are 3 processes), but they automatically re-start after a couple hours...

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post #25 of 30 Old 08-06-2013, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

When you recover a failed data drive by way of parity what do you call that ?

The industry term is to "rebuild" or "resilver" an array.
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post #26 of 30 Old 08-06-2013, 11:54 AM
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I've generally been happy with FlexRAID. It can be a bit difficult to navigate their support forums or wiki (the search feature doesn't work), but other than that, I think it was well worth the price. I use it for snapshot RAID and storage pooling.
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post #27 of 30 Old 08-06-2013, 08:53 PM
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I am finally installing FlexRAID on my existing WHS2011 after thinking about it forever. I've got backups just in case smile.gif.

 

 

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post #28 of 30 Old 08-07-2013, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I am finally installing FlexRAID on my existing WHS2011 after thinking about it forever. I've got backups just in case smile.gif.


Which Flexraid ? Flexraid -F or Flexraid-T ?

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post #29 of 30 Old 08-07-2013, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Which Flexraid ? Flexraid -F or Flexraid-T ?

RAID-F using the Cruise Control mode.

I am right away having issues. With FlexRAID turned off, I can copy a 20GB MKV file to each drive I had as a DRU and the PPU drive and see over 100MB/s. With FlexRAID turned on, I get under 10MB/s. This is when copying from a drive outside the pool to the pool locally. I am re-doing my configuration with the data already on the drives I'll use in the pool in hopes for a better result.

 

 

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post #30 of 30 Old 08-07-2013, 10:55 AM
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I'm still trying to decide whether to try using Flexraid-F or T for my server as I built a Windows Server 2008 R2 box with Essentials running in VM for client backups. I have no interest in doing cloud services either as I don't trust my most critical info on someone else's server, especially if it gets hacked somehow.

I am rebuilding my entire network setup so now its the matter of deciding on the right software to make it all effective and reliable.
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