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FlexRaid alternative? - Page 4

post #91 of 133
I use my unRAID server for streaming ripped Blu-Rays, DVDs, and miscellaneous videos. If I'm copying data to the server it's highly unlikely I'll need to access any movies for playback at the same time. I tend to transfer data in large chunks so I usually do it when I won't be around to use the server anyway so it's generally a moot point in my case.
post #92 of 133
Was there ever a good thread that compared the various flexraid, unraid's and such ?


Or is this thread it now ?
post #93 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Was there ever a good thread that compared the various flexraid, unraid's and such ?


Or is this thread it now ?

Well you see what happened when people tried to do that. No different from many of the nvidia vs amd threads.
post #94 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Was there ever a good thread that compared the various flexraid, unraid's and such ?

There's a fairly good, concise comparison at the SnapRAID site. FlexRAID actually supports a practically unlimitted number of disk failures, as it doesn't have a limitation on the number of parity drives you add (that comparison lists it supporting 1,2, or 3 failures). There are a couple of important factors not listed there: maximum array size (unRAID is limited to a maximum of 20 data drives), and drive pooling (to the best of my knowledge, unRAID, FlexRAID, ZFS, and Btrfs are the only ones listed there that provide pooling).
post #95 of 133
I believe snapraid is only HDD limited by the system you can build. It doesn't have a pooling function so it's not listed. At some point, like any other parity type system, you have to come up with a practical limit on the data HDD's for each parity drive you use. Even using unRAID, I personally believe a single parity drive for 20 data drives is pushing it.

Some of the worrying about "silent corruption" seems odd to me. I've never had a parity error in 4 years of monthly parity checks. Yet, according to some worrywarts, I should have a number of errors on each of my drives. Now, the ones who point out that the network and memory and every other part in the data chain could be causing silent corruption can have a valid point. You should be using server grade hardware with ECC memory and doing a copy and validate on everything you put on the server if you're concerned about the data integrity
post #96 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshDorhyke View Post

I believe snapraid is only HDD limited by the system you can build.

I believe that's true of all the options listed in that comparison, with the exception of unRAID.
post #97 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smurf-IV View Post

On Windows - SnapRaid has a GUI called Elucidate
For Drive pooling there is Liquesce

I have just installed Liquesce for my pool, so far so good. - Thanks
post #98 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by bilbonvidia View Post

I have just installed Liquesce for my pool, so far so good. - Thanks

Hadn't seen that thanks for quoting it.
post #99 of 133
I just uninstalled FlexRAID and am trying to come up with a sharing method with my drives to mimic drive pooling. I'm left with a mess and trying to use symbolic links and junctions points, but just can't get things streamlined in a logical method.

Anyone know how to have multiple movie folders and have it show as a single network share (in WHS 2011)? D:\\Movies\\ would show E:\\Movies\\ and F:\\Movies\\.
post #100 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

I just uninstalled FlexRAID and am trying to come up with a sharing method with my drives to mimic drive pooling. I'm left with a mess and trying to use symbolic links and junctions points, but just can't get things streamlined in a logical method.

Anyone know how to have multiple movie folders and have it show as a single network share (in WHS 2011)? D:\\Movies\\ would show E:\\Movies\\ and F:\\Movies\\.

For WHS2011 you can use Drive Bender or Stable Bit Drive Pool for pooling.
Why did you uninstall FlexRaid?
post #101 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars99 View Post

For WHS2011 you can use Drive Bender or Stable Bit Drive Pool for pooling.
Why did you uninstall FlexRaid?

Because the trial is about to expire and I wanted to see if I wanted to pay for it or not.

I'm just trying to see if my situation requires drive pooling or not. Figured I'd reevaluate what I'm doing and see if I need to pool drives or I just want to pool drives.

Too bad WHS 2011 butchers the HomeGroup sharing. Having those "ServerFolders" instead of just using the Library is causing me some issues on how my data is mapped across my drives. Using Library I'd just have a Videos library and have Movies, 3D Movies, Children's Movies, etc all under Videos. With WHS 2011 it want me to map ServerFolders\\Videos\\ and that is to exist on only one drive.
post #102 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

Because the trial is about to expire and I wanted to see if I wanted to pay for it or not.

I'm just trying to see if my situation requires drive pooling or not. Figured I'd reevaluate what I'm doing and see if I need to pool drives or I just want to pool drives.

Too bad WHS 2011 butchers the HomeGroup sharing. Having those "ServerFolders" instead of just using the Library is causing me some issues on how my data is mapped across my drives. Using Library I'd just have a Videos library and have Movies, 3D Movies, Children's Movies, etc all under Videos. With WHS 2011 it want me to map ServerFolders\\Videos\\ and that is to exist on only one drive.

You can use Homegroup sharing with WHS2011, just not the server folders.
Right clicking on any folder should bring up the Share With menu and Homegroup should be an option.

You can also create any other Server Folders you want and map them to any additional drive.
post #103 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars99 View Post

You can use Homegroup sharing with WHS2011, just not the server folders.
Right clicking on any folder should bring up the Share With menu and Homegroup should be an option.

You can also create any other Server Folders you want and map them to any additional drive.

Yes, I've done it that way and with drive pooling was able to do it the WHS suggested way using ServerFolders. With ServerFolders you can do everything through the dashboard, using Homegroup like in other non-server versions of Windows you have to use the desktop.

I've got four 2TB drives and trying to figure out the best long term plan.
post #104 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

Yes, I've done it that way and with drive pooling was able to do it the WHS suggested way using ServerFolders. With ServerFolders you can do everything through the dashboard, using Homegroup like in other non-server versions of Windows you have to use the desktop.

I've got four 2TB drives and trying to figure out the best long term plan.

As I said, you can create additional server folders on any volume your computer can recognize.

If you don't want to use drive pooling software, you can always create a software Raid 5 in the Drive Manager of WHS 2011 or utilize motherboard raid if it supports it.
post #105 of 133
I paid the $49 for flexRAID. I've been using it for ages and it's done well. I wouldn't buy it if I hadn't tried it for as long as I have. I think it will find it hard to sell if the trial edition is too limited.

but, it has good drive pooling, good snapshot raid, and it works lovely. $49 isn't too much to ask (I wouldn't pay the proposed $99). the developer is very active on the flexraid forum, so I think it's fair to pay something.

Those freeware alternatives look nice (snap raid and Liquesce), but now i've bought it i'll stick with it.
post #106 of 133
I tend to agree: I don't have a problem with the "introductory prices", but I think the full prices will be hard to swallow for many, especially given the free alternatives. I too have been using FlexRAID for a long time, and it's much easier to just stick with it. I'm also not far from feeling like I should have a 3rd parity disk, which the alternatives don't offer. But I have a hard time seeing many people with more typical needs and no history with FlexRAID plunking down $100 when they could just as easily go to SnapRAID or something else. With better pricing, I think he could sell a lot of licenses. At his proposed prices, I think it will be a small niche.
post #107 of 133
Aside from SnapRaid, which has no pooling and is (mostly) command line driven which will turn people off, what else is there?
Isn't the FlexRaid price the same as unRaid's?

Flexraid running on top of Windows or Linux and not requiring formatting or any unix/command line interface will be very popular for a lot of people. unRaid is extremely popular and it requires a separate box, generally speaking (getting it to run inside a VM is very cumbersome).

It boggles my mind that people will spend hundreds or thousands on their storage system and balk at 50/100$ or so for the software engine that ties it all together.
post #108 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars99 View Post

Isn't the FlexRaid price the same as unRaid's?

Pretty much. And while I think that FlexRAID is a better product, I think unRAID may be more marketable. The average joe can buy unRAID, and get a complete server solution. It's more established, and has a much larger user base / support pool. FlexRAID, otoh, has been a beta product up until now. I believe most will perceive real-time parity to be "better"... I don't use it, but I get the impression from the forums that the real-time option in FlexRAID isn't quite as polished as snapshot mode.

The type of user who likes the flexibility of applying FlexRAID onto the platform of their choice, who doesn't mind the added complexity that comes along with that, and/or who needs a larger system than what unRAID supports, or who has a need for some of the advanced features and flexibility it offers is more likely to not be scared away from command-line, and may have more of an affinity for an open-source project.

It will be interesting to see how it shakes out. Personally, I think it's a good product and I hope he does well with it. But I just can't help but think that the pricing is a bit optimistic, at least at this point in time. If it had started a little lower and/or waited until it became more established with more history out of beta, I think it would see more acceptance.
post #109 of 133
What's the advantages of SnapRAID's block level checksum over FlexRAID's file level?

I've been reading through FlexRAID's documentation and I'm liking it. NZFS has me curious too.
post #110 of 133
So is FlexRaid ready for production use? I've been reading about it for years and have used it, but never committed all my data to it. I could use SnapRaid + gui's but I really don't to mess around if I don't have to. My server will run WHS 2011 (simply because I have a license, and I want to run various other server tasks in Windows), so I could live without drive pooling and use Libraries/Homegroups to merge drives.
post #111 of 133
FlexRaid supports drive pooling.
According to the author, he believes it's ready for prime time. A peruse of their forums doesn't show any major issues and most of the things reported could be resolved by better wiki/documentation.

For WHS, you could also use Windows raid software + Drive Bender or Data Bit Drive Extender for pooling if you didn't want to mess with FlexRaid.
post #112 of 133
FlexRAID snapshot parity is good. It hasn't really changed much lately, most of the beta updates have been dealing with issues with Live parity and drive pooling. I only use snapshot parity, but my impression from the forums is that live parity and pooling still have a bit of maturing to do.
post #113 of 133
I installed Stablebit DrivePool yesterday on WHS 2011 and it seems to work really well and is integrated into the Dashboard. My problem with the install was the fact that I had three out of my four discs as dynamic discs instead of basic. I added the first basic disc to the pool and had enough space to add the contents of a second disc. Then I formatted the second disc as basic and added it to the pool then repeated for the other discs.

Now my only problem is my ServerFolder default shares go missing after a reboot and I have to recreate them. Anyone have a solution?
post #114 of 133
I haven't used Stable Bit, but I did mess around with Drive Bender on a production machine. I like they had a 30 day trial. I saw no issues with it and was very easy to manage.
post #115 of 133
I probably should have been more clear. I know FlexRaid has drive pooling, but last time I tried it you had to explicitly configure what folders got merged and shown as one across drives by editing some config files, it wasn't automatic like e.g. in WHS. I'm also looking for a parity based solution as I don't have enough hard drives (and won't buy more till they come down in price) to duplicate all my data.

What I want to achieve - have about 6TB total in multiple drives. All of this should appear as one drive letter. 2 parity drives (of whatever size is needed) which will be external and kept offline for reliability. They will only be connected to take a new snapshot, since most data is static.

Can FlexRaid and SnapRaid both do this?

edit - http://wiki.flexraid.com/2011/09/01/...flexraid-view/. Very useful, looks like FlexRaid has improved a lot. Automatic merge sounds very nice.
post #116 of 133
I don't use SnapRaid but I'm fairly certain FlexRaid will do that.

Your parity drives I believe can be external, but they need to be kept online at least during updates or changes. This is true for any software raid solution- the parity drive has to be accessible to create and to write the parity info.
FlexRaid does support scheduling for updating and validating the parity info. Like unRaid, it also spins drives down that aren't in usage.

Also, your parity drive(s) needs to be equal or greater to the largest drive in your config.

The drive letter is done as part of the default cruise control config. You manage the letter and shares as part of the FlexRaid config.
post #117 of 133
Sorry for necroing this thread, but I searched and this one came up,

Being that the software is running on Win 7, Win 8 or WHS doesn't that make anything on it dlna compatible?

unRAID at this moment in time does not offer integrated dlna support, it offers addons like serviio, plex (my choice) or minDLNA and though the Seviio & Plex are started automatically when the server starts, minidlna does not (as far as I know).

This makes unRAID very limited and not a true media server solution, since so many devices exist and are now dlna compliant, which means they can't even see the server files.

Otoh, unRAID seems to very stable with minor exceptions and is very simple to setup, even though starting with a large server is extremely time consuming, and they must be empty drives.

For my purposes, I am always looking for other solutions that suit my particular needs, but waiting on advice/support in the flexraid community you age considerably...as in it takes forever. unRAID is simply not this way, most there are very helpful indeed and very responsive to any issues that may arise.

I am seriously looking into flexraid and whs 2011 but they haven't answered any of my questions yet. The only reason I am looking into this are the aforementioned features like, snapshot parity, ease of use (globally), and the fact of dlna compatibility.

WHS 2011 or Windows 8, I will be using flexraid with one of these. Right now I have 5x2TB WD-AV's, 1x3TB WD-AV (parity), 120gb ssd for OS.

My first question: Is WHS2011 still a viable option and is it worth building on this OS when it is at EOL?

My second question: Is windows 8 any more viable at its added cost, since this is going to be strictly a media server for my home network
Thanks so much for any advice,

RickH
post #118 of 133
Windows 8 or windows 7 are both viable options. As are WHS2011 or 2012.


I'm not sure your question is easily answered. If you need WHS features like back up and advanced sharing you'll do well with that product. It's cheaper than windows too.

If your want a windows based server use W8 or W7.

Flexraid would work great on any of them.

As far as DLNA goes- flexraid has nothing to do with that. It's just a plug in for WHS or windows that allows for parity based software raid and backup with drive pooling. It's not going to effect your DLNA streaming.

For DLNA you'll need hardware and software that supports that; but other than that I see no issues.
post #119 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin View Post

The type of user who likes the flexibility of applying FlexRAID onto the platform of their choice, who doesn't mind the added complexity that comes along with that, and/or who needs a larger system than what unRAID supports, or who has a need for some of the advanced features and flexibility it offers is more likely to not be scared away from command-line, and may have more of an affinity for an open-source project.
While you can certainly access unRAID via command line directly on the server, the way most people use it is via the web GUI that allows access and control of unRAID. All of your settings and made using a web browser, not a command line. The only time I've ever used a command line in unRAID is when I ran the pre-clear script.

FlexRAID may be a better choice if you already have a PC set up with an OS installed and you just want to add drive pooling or some of the other features FlexRAID offers. If you're starting from scratch then it all depends on what features are important to you. UnRAID offers a more simplistic approach and requires minimal setup so it's probably better suited for the less technically inclined.
post #120 of 133
I am using Disparty, which is found here:

http://www.vilett.com/disParity/

It is a simple program, doing only basic things - but that is one of the things I love about it. Complexity introduces a higher potential for errors.
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