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post #1 of 10 Old 08-14-2012, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is the situation. I just finished building my HTPC. I have a Seagate 3TB drive as well as (3) WD 2TB drives that I will be putting in it. I have roughly 4.5TB of movies spread over the 3TB and (1) 2TB hard drives, with a duplicate copy on an external drive.

My question is, what is the best way to go about setting up these drives to maximize space, but create some type of redundancy in case one of the drives fails? Isn't there some way to use (3) of the drives as storage, and (1) as a backup in case on of the drives crashes? My motherboard that I put in does support Raid setups. I have never done this before, but would that be the best way to go about it by setting it up through BIOS?

I have read about RAID, but still don't feel all that confident with it. I somewhat understand what the different settings are, but which would be the best? I would like to use the 3TB, and (2) 2TB drives as storage with (1) 2TB as the backup. Or do I use the (3) 2TB as storage with the 3TB as the backup? If a drive fails, will it automatically dump all the information that was on the bad drive to the backup drive?

Sorry if this is confusing. Just trying to figure this out to finish my setup. Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-14-2012, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Or would RAID 10 be the best option? Below is a link to the motherboard I installed. Thanks.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131711&Tpk=asus%20p8h67-m%20pro
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-14-2012, 02:54 PM
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if you want to use one drive as redundancy then you would pick raid5 you could lose one drive and still be fine. But you also lose one drive of space.

Your main issue is raid cant deal with drives of difference sizes. So each drive could only be used for 2tb of space since that is your smallest drive. another option then would be going with ZFS
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-14-2012, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, but what is ZSF.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-14-2012, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enron29 View Post

Sorry, but what is ZSF.

A very sophisticated file system from Sun (now Oracle). It's probably the best one out there though its future under Oracle seems questionable.

Philip
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-14-2012, 07:14 PM
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Luckily, it is open source, and included in OpenSolaris derivatives, FreeBSD, and there is an active Linux port (which will never be integrated unless Oracle changes the license).

I use ZFS on my home server. I have 3x 3TB disks in a RAID-Z, with a small SSD serving as a cache device (L2ARC). I'm using the native (http://zfsonlinux.org/) Linux port under Ubuntu on my home workstation / fileserver / media-server / SageTV server. Performance is great.

Drew
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-15-2012, 06:41 AM
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I have a NAS4Free server deployed using ZFS.

The hardware is an Intel E8400 at 3.0 GHz on a Gigabyte P35 board with 4gb memory.
The case is an Antec P180 which is quiet and cools efficiently. Drives are rubber mounted.

NAS4Free is a variant of the current FreeBSD unix 9 that includes ZFS v28.
As of this writing, there exists one higher version of ZFS, but Oracle has not yet released that to open source.

ZFS allows for Mirror, and various flavors of software RAID, with either 1 or 2 drive redundancy.
It differs from hardware raid in the way the disks are handled, and appears to be more friendly toward consumer drives.
As I understand ZFS, it does offer significant advantages over traditional hardware RAID, plus it is self-healing.

One of those advantages is data rebuild after a drive failure.
My previous configuration was a pair of 2TB Caviar Green in RAID1 (mirror).
These drives have a higher failure rate that seems to be common across 2TB and larger platforms.
I lost another 2TB drive this month, and the rebuilding process is painfully slow, as the Intel solution seems to test every byte a zillion times.
It took days for the verification to complete. During the verification, the system is usable but painfully slow.

I understand a ZFS rebuild is much more intelligent, and only rebuilds the data affected by the replaced drive.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-15-2012, 08:32 AM
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Unraid is another option. It can handle different hard drive sizes with one parity drive. However, the parity drive need to be the largest or same size hard drive. I built my own unraid server, and I couldn't be happier.

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8599

 

Home Theater Set Up:

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8597

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post #9 of 10 Old 08-15-2012, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

Unraid is another option. It can handle different hard drive sizes with one parity drive. However, the parity drive need to be the largest or same size hard drive. I built my own unraid server, and I couldn't be happier.

So with this, if a drive fails, what is the process on replacing this drive? And does it automatically distribute your data for you?
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-15-2012, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enron29 View Post

So with this, if a drive fails, what is the process on replacing this drive? And does it automatically distribute your data for you?

You will still have access to your data if a drive fails. Including the data from the fail drive since the parity drive pretty much will take its place. Or you can add another drive, and rebuild your array (missing hard drive's data).

Here's the wiki for UnRaid, and can pretty much answer all of your questions:
http://lime-technology.com/wiki/index.php/FAQ#If_a_drive_fails.2C_will_I_have_full_access_to_my_unRAID_array.3F

you can also go to the forum, http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8599

 

Home Theater Set Up:

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8597

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