Poll: FlexRAID, unRAID, SnapRAID, FreeNAS, DrivePool w/? - Page 4 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
View Poll Results: Which would you choose? FlexRAID, unRAID, SnapRAID, FreeNAS, DrivePool?
FlexRAID (-F or T) 21 16.03%
unRAID 32 24.43%
SnapRAID 23 17.56%
FreeNAS 19 14.50%
DrivePool (or similar) w/ Mirroring 12 9.16%
Other 24 18.32%
Voters: 131. You may not vote on this poll

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post #91 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 06:49 AM
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Well it sounds like you're already up and running. Do you have some other goals in mind? What functionality are you trying to add?
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post #92 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 06:53 AM
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SnapRaid anyone?

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post #93 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 06:58 AM
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I'd just like to clean things up. Instead of my living room HTPC holding all my hard drives I'd like to move them to a dedicated machine, and am interested in the idea of a parity drive (if I can wrap my head around how it works).

No enterprise level redundancy required, but it would be nice if fixing a dead hard drive just meant swaping one out and clicking something, as opposed to attempting to recover data off it and then starting to re-rip.

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post #94 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post
I guess thats where I tune out, because I just really don't know. Its all really foreign to me.

At this point I am 100% out of space, and with my recent move I don't want to keep adding external drives to my living room - I want everything in my basement on the shelf where my theater HTPC and networking gear are.

The parity thing sounds like I need to go out and buy all new hard drives to make it happen. I don't have one software preference over another because I just don't know what I'd be getting into.

I have a spare tower I could use.
I'm a little confused since you say you have a HTPC on your basement shelf and a PC in your living room with external drives attached. Without knowing the exact roles of either, my first thought would be to move the living room PC to the basement, and add the SE3016 and put all of your drives in that. Add whichever pooling/parity solution you want and be done with it. If that PC needs to remain in the living room, then my next suggestion would be move your drives to the HTPC in the basement, and add pooling/parity software as needed.

But again without knowing what roles these PCs currently have, what OSes they run, and what sort of data you have on your drives, this is all just a guess on my part.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #95 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 07:00 AM
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What you said can be said of pretty much any feature request. My point wasn't that it is a trivial thing to add so much as it is a relatively trivial thing to add. Pretty much anything else that you can name that falls under the category of "feature request" is going to take significantly more work, so I'm not buying the "it's more effort than you realize" idea,
This is where you may be wrong (I just don't know for sure). What I do know from my own work with software development is that changes that appear "small" to someone not familiar with the system architecture can, in fact be huge. GUIs are a lot of work, often more work than the core functionality.

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...especially since the developer just said he's not interested in adding it, not that it is too much effort to add. Requests for the feature go back as far as 2011 that I can find. It's one thing if you want to argue it's too much trouble to add to the current system, but he's done an entirely new version since then that appears to be a complete rewrite. I mean he added support for virtualization (as in it's a freaking Hypervisor now) for cryin out loud. You're telling me that when all of that was added, that it would have been too much effort to add support for 2 arrays? Seriously? I'm not buying that for a second.
There is such a thing as taking on too much at one time. You're right, there were a lot of changes to unRAID, probably the biggest was going from 32 to 64 bit. Outside of that, the core array engine was largely untouched. When you're changing everything else is not a good time to muck with the core engine. It's a better idea to get the core engine working well in the new architecture, and then make core changes later. As for Virtualization, KVM and Docker are off the shelf functionality, Lime-Tech didn't develop them. What was developed was the GUI, and that was developed by community members and pulled into the product.

Quote:
It is what it is. The author doesn't want that feature so he didn't add it, but there is literally nothing you can tell me to convince me that adding the ability to do what it already does... only a few more times... was too much work.
You're right, it's a matter of priorities and it's not a high priority. My point was, if it were as trivial as you seem to think it is, I'm sure it would be done. For all we know it would require a complete rewrite of the unRAID engine, something which was not done for unRAID 6.
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post #96 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 07:07 AM
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post #97 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post
I'd just like to clean things up. Instead of my living room HTPC holding all my hard drives I'd like to move them to a dedicated machine, and am interested in the idea of a parity drive (if I can wrap my head around how it works).

No enterprise level redundancy required, but it would be nice if fixing a dead hard drive just meant swaping one out and clicking something, as opposed to attempting to recover data off it and then starting to re-rip.
In my case I have:
In my office my "home server" running w7 with 9 HHDs (with movies, games, music, pics...). I use SnapRaid (it's free) for backup. I do not need to be monitored 100% of the time, since my "sensitive" data are manually back up on 2 external drives (family pics and other doc). So I do a full back up using SnapRaid about once a month.
In my house I have several small HTPC that run live TV and use the house network to play movies, music from my office home server.
Simple, fast and easy :-)

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post #98 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 07:09 AM
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SnapRaid anyone?
7 votes so far.

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post #99 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post
I'd just like to clean things up. Instead of my living room HTPC holding all my hard drives I'd like to move them to a dedicated machine, and am interested in the idea of a parity drive (if I can wrap my head around how it works).
Dedicated machine, unRAID is probably the easiest, however most of the NAS "OS" (Operating System) have the downside that they necessarily format the drives you install in them. There are ways around this, for instance with unRAID, you could stand up your new unRAID machine, with one, or ideally two new drives (one for parity), and then start copying data off your largest drive. Then when that drive is empty, add it to the unRAID server and expand the array. And keep repeating until you've migrated all your data.

I'm sure you can do the same thing in FreeNAS, but since it's based on ZFS it's more like traditional RAID in that you ideally need matched size drives. It's likely going to be a bigger learning curve than unRAID.

SnapRAID (from what little I've looked) may be your best bet, since it can run "on top" of your current drives/data. But it's not an entire Operating System, so you'd need Windows (probably) on the PC and I'm guessing you'd have to manage the file sharing through the normal Windows file sharing and it doesn't look like SnapRAID has pooling if you care about that.

As far as hardware goes, Supermicro has pretty inexpensive SAS/SATA adapters, and you could look into hot swap bays. Those aren't needed, but they are very handy when you need to swap out drives.
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post #100 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post
I'd just like to clean things up. Instead of my living room HTPC holding all my hard drives I'd like to move them to a dedicated machine, and am interested in the idea of a parity drive (if I can wrap my head around how it works).
Here's a good description of how parity works. It's actually quite simple, but effective.

http://lime-technology.com/wiki/inde...nRAID_Manual_6
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post #101 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post
I'd just like to clean things up. Instead of my living room HTPC holding all my hard drives I'd like to move them to a dedicated machine, and am interested in the idea of a parity drive (if I can wrap my head around how it works).

No enterprise level redundancy required, but it would be nice if fixing a dead hard drive just meant swaping one out and clicking something, as opposed to attempting to recover data off it and then starting to re-rip.
Going to a parity solution you just typically need to dedicate a single drive to hold the parity data. The parity drive needs to be as large as the largest drive in your data array. If you have a bunch of 2TB and 3TB drives then you need a 3TB parity drive. One parity drive lets any single disc in your array fail and as long as you can restore before another failure then all your data will be recovered to a new drive. Adding two parity drives lets you lose two discs in your array and so on.

With SnapRAID you can add it to your existing Windows install. If you want pooling then you run that in addition to SnapRAID. With FlexRAID it comes with its own pooling solution and parity software.

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post #102 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xylem View Post
In my case I have:
In my office my "home server" running w7 with 9 HHDs (with movies, games, music, pics...). I use SnapRaid (it's free) for backup. I do not need to be monitored 100% of the time, since my "sensitive" data are manually back up on 2 external drives (family pics and other doc). So I do a full back up using SnapRaid about once a month.
In my house I have several small HTPC that run live TV and use the house network to play movies, music from my office home server.
Simple, fast and easy :-)
How do you do a "full back up" using SnapRAID? Are you backing up its parity drive data elsewhere?

Just to make it clear since none of these solutions in the normal usage case are for backup. These solutions are for failsafe and redundancy. If my RAID server catches fire then all my data there is lost. Backup solutions would live on. Then there is the whole thing about rollback and delete restore.

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post #103 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post
I guess thats where I tune out, because I just really don't know. Its all really foreign to me.

At this point I am 100% out of space, and with my recent move I don't want to keep adding external drives to my living room - I want everything in my basement on the shelf where my theater HTPC and networking gear are.

The parity thing sounds like I need to go out and buy all new hard drives to make it happen. I don't have one software preference over another because I just don't know what I'd be getting into.

I have a spare tower I could use.
About 4 or so years back I built my UnRaid server with all brand new parts from Newegg for just slightly over $200...this included a rack mount case, celeron processor, motherboard, memory, power supply and usb stick..
Of course this doesnt include hard drives..I purchased a couple new and used some I had laying around, plus I paid $69 for the UnRaid plus software.
I couldn't be happier...it has run along transparently the whole time...and I have now had 2 seperate hard drive failures that it easily recovered.
My server still uses 2tb drives...5 for storage and 1 parity. Pretty soon I will have to look to either more HD's or start using larger than 2tb's.
I use the server mainly for streaming to multiple Kodi pc's.

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post #104 of 161 Old 07-14-2015, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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About 4 or so years back I built my UnRaid server with all brand new parts from Newegg for just slightly over $200...this included a rack mount case, celeron processor, motherboard, memory, power supply and usb stick..
Of course this doesnt include hard drives..I purchased a couple new and used some I had laying around, plus I paid $69 for the UnRaid plus software.
I couldn't be happier...it has run along transparently the whole time...and I have now had 2 seperate hard drive failures that it easily recovered.
My server still uses 2tb drives...5 for storage and 1 parity. Pretty soon I will have to look to either more HD's or start using larger than 2tb's.
I use the server mainly for streaming to multiple Kodi pc's.
If your drives are also 4 years old then I'd consider just replacing them with larger. I'd base it on the SMART data and pull the one that looks the worst.

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post #105 of 161 Old 07-16-2015, 12:43 PM
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Having lost three Seagate 3TB Drives within a year and a half, I needed to find a NAS/Fault Tolerance solution.




I turned my Dell Zino HD into a FreeNas Box a few weeks ago. The box was maxed out with upgrades such as 8 gigs of DDR3, a Quadcore AMD Processor, and a 128 GB SSD. It's not the recommended specs, but it's handling my Blu Ray Rips via Plex and Kodi with not a lot of issues. Plex needs to Transcoded whereas Kodi does not. I purchased an Nvidia Shield and it Streams 1:1 BD Rips with no problems whatsoever. I have a Nexus Player being delivered today and I will see how it performs on my network which is an 802.11ac 5GHZ setup.


Right now I have a WD Red and one Remaining Seagate 3TB Drive mirrored. I plan to purchased all WD Drives and do away with the Seagate.
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post #106 of 161 Old 07-17-2015, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post
Are you only using Storage Spaces for pooling? SS starts falling behind when you use its parity protection.
Yes, with 16 drives (11 7200 RPM sATA, 4 5900 RPM sATA, and 1 SSD) it is plenty fast for streaming video. It does drop speed when copying to the server, but that's mostly when it hits the slower drives.

I am still able to write files while reading to multiple clients.

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post #107 of 161 Old 07-18-2015, 09:41 AM
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SnapRaid anyone?
I find the best setup to use is SnapRaid with the FlexRaid pooling software.
Saved me through 4 HDD failures.
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post #108 of 161 Old 07-18-2015, 01:32 PM
 
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I like SnapRAID.
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post #109 of 161 Old 07-18-2015, 04:55 PM
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I find the best setup to use is SnapRaid with the FlexRaid pooling software.
Saved me through 4 HDD failures.
So you have FlexRaid pooling and then you use SnapRaid for your parity? Any reason you chose to go this route and not just all FlexRaid or SnapRaid with something like Drive Bender (I believe that's the free pooling software)?
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post #110 of 161 Old 07-18-2015, 10:09 PM
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So you have FlexRaid pooling and then you use SnapRaid for your parity? Any reason you chose to go this route and not just all FlexRaid or SnapRaid with something like Drive Bender (I believe that's the free pooling software)?
Drive Bender is very finicky when combining many drives, especially with the same folder name. For example, if you have a movie folder that is 20TB, one hdd won't be enough. So you would need to create a Movie folder on a new drive. When pooling, you will have lots of problems. If you write on the pool, you will also have problems. Lastly, FlexRaid pooling was cheaper than DB when I got it.


If I decide to go full FlexRaid route, I would have to pay more. SnapRaid is free and is much better in terms of support
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post #111 of 161 Old 07-19-2015, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Drive Bender is very finicky when combining many drives, especially with the same folder name. For example, if you have a movie folder that is 20TB, one hdd won't be enough. So you would need to create a Movie folder on a new drive. When pooling, you will have lots of problems. If you write on the pool, you will also have problems. Lastly, FlexRaid pooling was cheaper than DB when I got it.


If I decide to go full FlexRaid route, I would have to pay more. SnapRaid is free and is much better in terms of support
I'm using FlexRAID pooling with SnapRAID for my server. On my Co-worker's build I'm at the point of deciding about pooling. It'll either be FlexRAID or Stablebit DrivePool. I'm leaning toward Stablebit since I'm getting the scanner anyway and they have a combo deal.

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post #112 of 161 Old 07-19-2015, 09:07 AM
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I use SnapRAID, but may I ask why pooling is such a big deal?

I guess I'm having a hard time seeing the need for it - unless you have some old hardware players that don't support a merged library. What I do use are junctions so all of my devices can just point to single share for personal backup, software, pictures, movies, music, etc... To keep things neat I point each movie drive to show under the single "movie" share.

I also use Hard Disk Sentinel for monitoring which I setup to receive a detailed email every day for drive status.
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post #113 of 161 Old 07-20-2015, 10:14 AM
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I use FreeBSD + ZFS. So, basically FreeNAS but without the fancy GUI. I have 6 4TB drives in a RAIDZ2.

Over the many years of doing media PCs, I've used lots of different things to store my data including FreeNAS, FreeBSD, Windows Home Server, unRAID and just plain old windows sharing. My current setup is my favorite and I plan on running it for a long time. I chose FreeBSD because I really wanted to use ZFS. I went with it vs FreeNAS because I use FreeBSD on a daily basis at work and am quite comfortable with it and ZFS.

One big downside of a setup like this is you kind of need to get it all right from the start which means shelling out more money upfront. It's harder to start out small and grow like you can with something like unRAID. I'm happy though.
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post #114 of 161 Old 07-21-2015, 08:42 AM
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I use SnapRAID, but may I ask why pooling is such a big deal?

I guess I'm having a hard time seeing the need for it - unless you have some old hardware players that don't support a merged library. What I do use are junctions so all of my devices can just point to single share for personal backup, software, pictures, movies, music, etc... To keep things neat I point each movie drive to show under the single "movie" share.

I also use Hard Disk Sentinel for monitoring which I setup to receive a detailed email every day for drive status.

While I cannot speak for the OP, drive pooling can make managing very large libraries much easier, especially if there are different media types involved. Sure, there are other solutions. A person could simply have individual drives for each media type and direct Kodi/Emby/Plex, or whatever at the different drives and define what each one is. This is cumbersome. Or, a user could put folders for each of those types of media on each drive as they are added to the array. Then the server can be pointed at each drive, with the folders then becoming additional paths to add to each media type for the library scans. This is not difficult, but it requires a few extra steps and also more places where something can go wrong. Or, a person can pool the drives and never have to worry again about defining paths for the library.

For instance, I have the following "media types" for my library to scan:

Anime movies (uses anime metadata manager and defines them as movies)
Anime series (uses anime metadata manager and defines them as television)
Movies (uses standard movie metadata manager)
Television (uses standard television metadata manager)
Music (uses music metadata manager)

Since I have pooled my drives, I only had to create each of those folders and then define precisely how they work one time. Then, as my pool fills up, I just add another blank drive and have nothing else I need to be concerned with. When you start getting to the point of 14 drives, this can be a much easier way to manage the entire array.
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post #115 of 161 Old 07-21-2015, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Ease of use and setup. Drivepool was only $15 and provides a nice interface in the Essentials Dashboard.

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post #116 of 161 Old 07-21-2015, 10:21 AM
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unRAID uses shares that can be set up and spread across all drives. For example, I have shares set up for HD.DVDs, DVDs, Videos, and Music. I also have one called Misc for things I don't want to share across the network. Each share creates a folder on a drive when content is added to a share and the folder has not yet been created. I have unRAID set so that it distributes files evenly across the array. If one drive contains less data than others in the array and I want to add data to a particular share, a new folder is created automatically on the drive, as required, and the data is deposited there. You can also set it up so it fills up one drive at a time with a threshold setting before it starts filling the next drive.

Each share can be mapped just like you do a single drive. When you open the share it will display all files in the share across all drives. To the user, it just looks like one big folder. As for the Misc share, I can map that one as well and set it up so that it only contains certain drives. I can also hide it so it doesn't show up when displaying the contents of the array under the Network devices in Windows Explorer. Additionally, I can exclude the drives with the Misc share from all other shares so that the files don't intermingle. If desired, you can set up specific drives for a particular share rather than have all shares spread over all the drives.
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post #117 of 161 Old 07-23-2015, 04:21 PM
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I used FlexRAID (6 dru/1 ppu) for around 2 years for my media files. I had 9 HDD fail during that period (multiple brands), twice I wasn't able to get FlexRAID to recover from the parity drive, after the second time I stopped using it.
The last 12 months I have had no type of parity/RAID software, during that time I have not yet had a HDD fail.

I have no idea if the failures were related or just pure coincidence. I was pretty active with my updates.
All I could think is maybe this was just straining the drives too much and having this setup was causing more harm than good.
It has made me hesitant to try anything else again.
What do you guys think about this? Was I just unlucky or could updating/validating/recovering/creating actually reduce the life of the drives and make them prone to failing?
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post #118 of 161 Old 07-23-2015, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by acejh1987 View Post
I used FlexRAID (6 dru/1 ppu) for around 2 years for my media files. I had 9 HDD fail during that period (multiple brands), twice I wasn't able to get FlexRAID to recover from the parity drive, after the second time I stopped using it.
The last 12 months I have had no type of parity/RAID software, during that time I have not yet had a HDD fail.

I have no idea if the failures were related or just pure coincidence. I was pretty active with my updates.
All I could think is maybe this was just straining the drives too much and having this setup was causing more harm than good.
It has made me hesitant to try anything else again.
What do you guys think about this? Was I just unlucky or could updating/validating/recovering/creating actually reduce the life of the drives and make them prone to failing?
If you do small random writes, parity RAID needs to do a read of all the drives, and a write to the data drive and the parity drive. So, for 7 drives, a small write = 7 reads + 2 writes. So, in that case, it actually does do a lot more work, and it's a lot slower. For large, sequential writes, this effectively goes away. RAID0, RAID1, & RAID10 don't have this problem.
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post #119 of 161 Old 07-24-2015, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by groove93 View Post
Having lost three Seagate 3TB Drives within a year and a half, I needed to find a NAS/Fault Tolerance solution.

Right now I have a WD Red and one Remaining Seagate 3TB Drive mirrored. I plan to purchased all WD Drives and do away with the Seagate.
I lost more than that. Those are HORRIBLE drives. I've switched to all WD Reds. I do have the replacement drives Seagate sent me, but I use them in non-critical PCs and as duplication drives with DrivePool.
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post #120 of 161 Old 07-25-2015, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post
I lost more than that. Those are HORRIBLE drives. I've switched to all WD Reds. I do have the replacement drives Seagate sent me, but I use them in non-critical PCs and as duplication drives with DrivePool.
Sorry to hear it. I've got a 24-drive unRAID server and 13 of them are Seagates. Five of them are 3TB and five of them are 4TB and most of them were pulled from external enclosures. All are running fine with no problems. I would not hesitate to add more Seagates because they've fared better than the Western Digital green drives I've used (still got a couple that haven't failed yet, but I'm not holding my breath). People only bitch about drives when they fail. They rarely tell you when there aren't any problems. I'd recommend them in a heartbeat. In my experience, no drive is drastically better or worse than any other brand. Just because some people have had bad experiences with a particular brand doesn't mean they're crap. Drive manufacturers couldn't stay in business if they failed at the rates some people suggest. I've had drives fail from just about every drive manufacturer at some point, both past and present. Right now, I'll take a Seagate over a WD green drive any day of the week.

I'd be curious to know how Seagate drives were being used before they failed. It would be an interesting poll to find out whether drives are more prone to failure using certain software RAID solutions than others. I'd be more inclined to think that it's more likely dependent on other hardware, particularly the PSU and whether or not there's a UPS attached that provides good voltage regulation. Dirty power can easily cause premature drive failures. Poor ventilation would also be a likely cause. If servers are built in a standard PC chassis I'd think using a large number of drives could exceed the cooling capabilities of the case, especially if you're only using the stock fans. If you're using a proper server enclosure, chances are your drives are cool and happy and less prone to failure. Even then there's no guarantee against drive failures.
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