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Are You Looking For A Less Expensive Norco 4220 / 4224 Alternative? - Page 9

post #241 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

RAID is probably a discussion fit for a whole different thread. Search for posts here, or on the web.
But in short, no you cannot easily just add drives. The issue is the filesystems on the drives and how the data integrity is managed (parity in RAID) is based on the number of drives present when it's set up. Adding things after the fact requires rejiggering quite a lot.

RAID is designed around the ability to easily add drives. You decide on the RAID type before you add drives. After that, it's a matter of adding drives and expanding/migrating the array to take advantage of them. The only thing required is the time it takes to expand the array.
post #242 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post

RAID is designed around the ability to easily add drives. You decide on the RAID type before you add drives. After that, it's a matter of adding drives and expanding/migrating the array to take advantage of them. The only thing required is the time it takes to expand the array.

I just understand so little about RAID. Blah!
post #243 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post

RAID is designed around the ability to easily add drives. You decide on the RAID type before you add drives. After that, it's a matter of adding drives and expanding/migrating the array to take advantage of them. The only thing required is the time it takes to expand the array.

I totally disagree. But then this isn't the thread for a RAID discussion.
post #244 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

I totally disagree. But then this isn't the thread for a RAID discussion.

No, it is the thread here we debate whether this is a thread to discuss RAID.
post #245 of 2256
I think the software raid options are better for HTPC than the hardware raid options.

JMO (just my opinion)
post #246 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I think the software raid options are better for HTPC than the hardware raid options.
JMO (just my opinion)

I tend to agree. Things like Flexraid/Snapraid are better for media storage, as they are much easier/friendlier to use than the hardware options. They lack the performance of dedicated hardware raid or more advanced software raid like ZFS, but they are easily expanded by just tossing another drive at it.
post #247 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcturkey View Post

I tend to agree. Things like Flexraid/Snapraid are better for media storage, as they are much easier/friendlier to use than the hardware options. They lack the performance of dedicated hardware raid or more advanced software raid like ZFS, but they are easily expanded by just tossing another drive at it.

Agreed. Yet the typical HTPC user will still be thrilled with the excellent performance from a software raid for their HTPC as its plenty for most users.
post #248 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcturkey View Post

I tend to agree. Things like Flexraid/Snapraid are better for media storage, as they are much easier/friendlier to use than the hardware options. They lack the performance of dedicated hardware raid or more advanced software raid like ZFS, but they are easily expanded by just tossing another drive at it.

Hardware RAIDs are easily expanded as well and easy to manage - well, as long as you buy a quality RAID solution that allows for good management options (and why wouldn't you, right?). The only benefit I see from software RAID is the price - namely, a lot of them are totally free. Can someone post information that would show any other reason why software RAID is better than hardware RAID for any use? I've been using hardware RAID for a very long time, so perhaps that's why I've never seen a reason to use software RAID.
post #249 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post

Hardware RAIDs are easily expanded as well and easy to manage - well, as long as you buy a quality RAID solution that allows for good management options (and why wouldn't you, right?). The only benefit I see from software RAID is the price - namely, a lot of them are totally free. Can someone post information that would show any other reason why software RAID is better than hardware RAID for any use? I've been using hardware RAID for a very long time, so perhaps that's why I've never seen a reason to use software RAID.

Off the top of my head (please point out where you feel hardware raid is superior or inferior)

Less expensive, ability to add to virtually any hardware/software configuration used by HTPC users, ability to add full or partially full drives, up to 3 hard drive failure support, ability to recover data on a not failed disk if one drive fails in the array, graphical user interface, daily e-mail report automatically generated if parity drive update is successful/unsuccessful, pooling, ability to apply updates to software raid program, ability to easily use drives of any size or combination of sizes, etc.
post #250 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post

Hardware RAIDs are easily expanded as well and easy to manage - well, as long as you buy a quality RAID solution that allows for good management options (and why wouldn't you, right?). The only benefit I see from software RAID is the price - namely, a lot of them are totally free. Can someone post information that would show any other reason why software RAID is better than hardware RAID for any use? I've been using hardware RAID for a very long time, so perhaps that's why I've never seen a reason to use software RAID.

Online expansion of hardware raid takes time and carries risks to your array if a drive fails during expansion. It's not exactly novice friendly, nor cheap if you're going to go for a quality, high end card such as an Areca. For most people who are streaming media, the main reason for even looking at raid or similar things is drive pooling and some level of protection from a drive failure. Hardware raid and software raid both offer this. So why spend the extra money on hardware raid? And if you really want/need the performance, you can always go with ZFS if you don't mind the learning curve.
post #251 of 2256
Quote:
Less expensive, ability to add to virtually any hardware/software configuration used by HTPC users, ability to add full or partially full drives, up to 3 hard drive failure support, ability to recover data on a not failed disk in one drive fails, graphical user interface, daily e-mail report automatically generated if parity drive update is successful/unsuccessful, pooling, ability to apply updates to software raid program, etc.

Already said less expensive, what configuration is unique to a HTPC user compared to anyone else that stores large amounts of data, RAID requires the complete drive - not a partial or a partition free, RAID 10 is mirrored and also has parity, so there is a maximum of # of drives / 2 that can fail; other RAID configurations allow up to 2 drives to fail - which is really a non-issue, since RAID requires attention and the immediate swap of a bad drive, don't understand that question, quality RAID cards all come with GUI, plus the ability to remotely administer from other computers without the need to RDP into the server, same thing for daily emails plus emails in the event of a failure, RAID is pooling unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean by pooling, RAID cards get firmware and software updates that can be installed at any time without losing data. Plus, hardware RAID requires no CPU support, can rebuild/migrate without impact to I/O operations, provide LED identification for failed drives automatically and also identify all drives in an array, the ability to have multiple hot spares and automatic rebuilds in the event of a failure, etc.

In my opinion, as a sys admin and network guy, the cost (free) and minimizing hardware (reducing cost) are the only real reasons to use software RAID over hardware RAID. I don't think it's fair to say software RAID is better for HTPC users, unless the only reason is to minimize costs.
post #252 of 2256
Thread Starter 
I was a RAID 5 user... but after losing my 32TB array... because two drives failed... I gave software RAID a strong look.
Quote:
Can someone post information that would show any other reason why software RAID is better than hardware RAID for any use?

You can start using SnapRAID with already filled disks. Love this!!!
The disks of the array can have different sizes. Love this!!!
You can add disks at any time. Love this!!!
If you accidentally delete some files in a disk, you can recover them.
If more than two disks fail, you lose the data only on the failed disks. All the data in the other disks is safe. Love this!!!
It doesn't lock-in your data. You can stop using SnapRAID at any time without the need to reformat or move data.
All your data is hashed to ensure data integrity and to avoid silent corruption.

Loosing 32TBs of data because 4TBs (2x2TB) went bad was simply unacceptable.
post #253 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post

In my opinion, as a sys admin and network guy, the cost (free) and minimizing hardware (reducing cost) are the only real reasons to use software RAID over hardware RAID. I don't think it's fair to say software RAID is better for HTPC users, unless the only reason is to minimize costs.

What does hardware raid bring to the table over software raid that is relevant for an HTPC/media server?

And not to get the thread off-topic, here's a picture of the assorted components I picked up for this server, plus another server I put together at the same time:

360

And the assembled server:

360
post #254 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Litlgi74 View Post

I was a RAID 5 user... but after losing my 32TB array... because two drives failed... I gave software RAID a strong look.
Quote:
Can someone post information that would show any other reason why software RAID is better than hardware RAID for any use?
You can start using SnapRAID with already filled disks. Love this!!!
The disks of the array can have different sizes. Love this!!!
You can add disks at any time. Love this!!!
If you accidentally delete some files in a disk, you can recover them.
If more than two disks fail, you lose the data only on the failed disks. All the data in the other disks is safe. Love this!!!
It doesn't lock-in your data. You can stop using SnapRAID at any time without the need to reformat or move data.
All your data is hashed to ensure data integrity and to avoid silent corruption.
Loosing 32TBs of data because 4TBs (2x2TB) went bad was simply unacceptable.

You echo many of my thoughts. Some people just seem stuck on using hardware raid arrays for htpc and thats fine I guess. But not for me.
post #255 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcturkey View Post

What does hardware raid bring to the table over software raid that is relevant for an HTPC/media server?

I was going to post the same thing. You beat me to it.
post #256 of 2256
Quote:
What does hardware raid bring to the table over software raid that is relevant for an HTPC/media server?

Hardware RAIDs are faster (both read and write), have battery backup so that write caching isn't lost during a power loss, they have zero overhead since they don't use the CPU at all, they support hot disc swapping, and they rebuild the array faster than software RAIDs. Plus, as I mentioned in my previous post, RAID 10 is a combination of mirroring and parity, so if you have a 5 TB array with 10 drives, you can lose one drive in each mirror and still function - software RAID can't do that. Also, if you plan on using a HTPC media server to rip/encode/etc, you can easily stream media to multiple sources while still doing your media encoding. I don't think a software RAID solution would allow that.

I'm not picking on software RAID - people use it and that's fine. But, to say that software RAID is better for HTPC users isn't necessarily true.
post #257 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post

Hardware RAIDs are faster (both read and write), have battery backup so that write caching isn't lost during a power loss, they have zero overhead since they don't use the CPU at all, they support hot disc swapping, and they rebuild the array faster than software RAIDs. Plus, as I mentioned in my previous post, RAID 10 is a combination of mirroring and parity, so if you have a 5 TB array with 10 drives, you can lose one drive in each mirror and still function - software RAID can't do that. Also, if you plan on using a HTPC media server to rip/encode/etc, you can easily stream media to multiple sources while still doing your media encoding. I don't think a software RAID solution would allow that.
I'm not picking on software RAID - people use it and that's fine. But, to say that software RAID is better for HTPC users isn't necessarily true.

Does the speed really matter for most users? I think either is enough. So what if it takes you a little extra time to move a file over? Its not like for HTPC uses you are transferring a ton of data frequently.

The CPU isn't taxed much if at all for software raid array. And with the G530/G620 I think this is a great time to get into software raid as those $35-$50 CPUs are pretty damn capable.

Can a hardware raid save the data on the other disks in the event of a failure? Or adding full or partially full drives to the array? I am much more impressed with that than I am the RAID 10 that you mentioned --- especially when software raid protects me from 3 drives failing which is pretty unlikely.

I do think software raid is better for HTPC use as I have said. I would agree that speed is the main reason to go with a hardware array but if any platform isn't in need of maximum speed to achieve it purpose its HTPC.

Edit: Forgot another PRO that is very important to me for HTPC. Green hard drives which I think are a must. Can't always use these with hardware raid whereas you can with software.

Here are the speeds of my Green drives from my server over my gigabit network (plenty fast for me and my HTPC)...

260

260
post #258 of 2256
Thread Starter 
Not looking to argue... just want to point out some alternative view points

Hardware RAIDs are faster (both read and write)... True (depending on the setup)... but my Dune Player only needs 8.5MBps to stream full HD A/V. I think having a healthy network is more important

Have battery backup so that write caching isn't lost during a power loss... My UPS gives me this.

They have zero overhead since they don't use the CPU at all... True

They support hot disc swapping... but so does using the program hotswap!

They rebuild the array faster than software RAIDs... Still pretty slow... 30+ hours to rebuild a 32 array... only to have the parity drive fail while rebuilding frown.gif

Plus, as I mentioned in my previous post, RAID 10 is a combination of mirroring and parity, so if you have a 5 TB array with 10 drives, you can lose one drive in each mirror and still function - software RAID can't do that.... All drives on a software RAID can operate independently of the parity drive... unless you are syncing or rebuilding.

Also, if you plan on using a HTPC media server to rip/encode/etc, you can easily stream media to multiple sources while still doing your media encoding. I don't think a software RAID solution would allow that.... I use SnapRAID... on one of our ebay servers... rip using Clown and stream to multiple Dunes with no hiccups.

and... if Killroy trusts his 120TB of data to software RAID... who am I to argue! biggrin.gif
post #259 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Litlgi74 View Post

I was a RAID 5 user... but after losing my 32TB array... because two drives failed... I gave software RAID a strong look.
Quote:
Can someone post information that would show any other reason why software RAID is better than hardware RAID for any use?
You can start using SnapRAID with already filled disks. Love this!!!
The disks of the array can have different sizes. Love this!!!
You can add disks at any time. Love this!!!
If you accidentally delete some files in a disk, you can recover them.
If more than two disks fail, you lose the data only on the failed disks. All the data in the other disks is safe. Love this!!!
It doesn't lock-in your data. You can stop using SnapRAID at any time without the need to reformat or move data.
All your data is hashed to ensure data integrity and to avoid silent corruption.
Loosing 32TBs of data because 4TBs (2x2TB) went bad was simply unacceptable.

how many drive did you have on your old raid5 32T?
I am using RAID5/6 and software raid

you need to time on how many hours to rebuild raid after one/tow drive failed (raid 5/6).
I would limit 4 drive (2T or greater) for raid5, and jump to raid6 for more drive
and also use ZFS or mdadm for software raid (that depends on my needs)
32T raid 5 is No No for me :P.
I would do 6 drive for 500G-1T drive for raid5, since rebuilding is pretty fast on my current hardware raid.

I need performance biggrin.gif that is the reason to stick with zfs or mdadm or even hardware raid

please remember, raid is not a backup

talking data integrity and silent data corruption are never ending discussion as I understand.

this is why, I have a machine foe 24/7 and a backup machine (not 24/7, ZFS) to keep my data safe, mostly for my toddler photos/videos, work, personal data. I do have T105 running esxi, the machines is getting slow on my current demands for running 4-5 vm...
I am reusing my workstation xeon L5420 to be a new backup with esxi where everything is vm since vt-d supported by motherboard.
this thread server case is the best candidate.
I use rsync for back-up mechanism...
post #260 of 2256
Backup to Crashplan for those types of documents. Its like $3.50 a month.
post #261 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcturkey View Post

What does hardware raid bring to the table over software raid that is relevant for an HTPC/media server?
And not to get the thread off-topic, here's a picture of the assorted components I picked up for this server, plus another server I put together at the same time:
360
And the assembled server:
360

wow..
pretty nice!!!
.....
I guess my LGA771 dual cpu L5420 will bite the dust...

my suggestion:
you need to secure your PSU....the weigh would rip-off your norco backplate ....
post #262 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Does the speed really matter for most users? I think either is enough. So what if it takes you a little extra time to move a file over? Its not like for HTPC uses you are transferring a ton of data frequently.
The CPU isn't taxed much if at all for software raid array. And with the G530/G620 I think this is a great time to get into software raid as those $35-$50 CPUs are pretty damn capable.
Can a hardware raid save the data on the other disks in the event of a failure? Or adding full or partially full drives to the array? I am much more impressed with that than I am the RAID 10 that you mentioned --- especially when software raid protects me from 3 drives failing which is pretty unlikely.
I do think software raid is better for HTPC use as I have said. I would agree that speed is the main reason to go with a hardware array but if any platform isn't in need of maximum speed to achieve it purpose its HTPC.
Edit: Forgot another PRO that is very important to me for HTPC. Green hard drives which I think are a must. Can't always use these with hardware raid whereas you can with software.
Here are the speeds of my Green drives from my server over my gigabit network (plenty fast for me and my HTPC)...
260
260

not speaking on HTPC:
software raid needs memory for checking, scrubbing and Checksum, unless you need encryption... CPU would be the bottleneck..

yes, Hardware raid cand do data manipulation and can have a separate cache (SSD).. but very... expensive ... mostly for enterprise.

yes, some green drive give problems on hardware raid, even.. on software raid, where always park the head frequently. the good thing on software raid is "we can run a tools to not let the drive to park the head pretty soon.

try to copy from desktop/workstation to your server with at least 3 clients.. see the rate.
if you have, let says.. 12drive of 2/3T drive, 3 drive failing is not unlikely smile.gif... that based on my experience...

speaking on HTPC:
simple software raid is OK, we do not need speed, just need a smooth play smile.gif
I suggest to look zfs for software raid, needs some learning curves, but not much.

software raid vs hardware raid is never ending battle.
I try to bring up simplified plain english and hoping you do not mind..
Edited by bima - 7/5/12 at 8:04pm
post #263 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Backup to Crashplan for those types of documents. Its like $3.50 a month.

nah, I could be a paranoid person that do not trust putting my files on the cloud smile.gif

some of coworkers suggested me to use backblazed $3.96/month.
post #264 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by bima View Post

nah, I could be a paranoid person that do not trust putting my files on the cloud smile.gif
some of coworkers suggested me to use backblazed $3.96/month.

Not just the cloud. I have everything on the server, a disconnected external drive and the cloud.

What's the saying? If there isn't 3 copies of something then it doesn't exist?
post #265 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by bima View Post

not speaking on HTPC:
software raid needs memory for checking, scrubbing and Checksum, unless you need encryption... CPU would be the bottleneck..
yes, Hardware raid cand do data manipulation and can have a separate cache (SSD).. but very... expensive ... mostly for enterprise.
yes, some green drive give problems on hardware raid, even.. on software raid, where always park the head frequently. the good thing on software raid is "we can run a tools to not let the drive to park the head pretty soon.
try to copy from desktop/workstation to your server with at least 3 clients.. see the rate.
if you have, let says.. 12drive of 2/3T drive, 3 drive failing is not unlikely smile.gif... that based on my experience...
speaking on HTPC:
simple software raid is OK, we do not need speed, just need a smooth play smile.gif
I suggest to look zfs for software raid, needs some learning curves, but not much.
software raid vs hardware raid is never ending battle.
I try to bring up simplified plain english and hoping you do not mind..

3 drives failing all at once is likely? Wow, I won't buy whatever you are buying then.

Again, I don't care about the speed. What do I care if it takes 10 minutes or 1 hour to move National Lampoon's Vacation to my server? For the most part I am using the server for playback and storage. That's the whole point I am trying to make when speed is brought up. Its largely a non-issue for most HTPC users as even with 3 clients. And how often are most people going to be doing that anyway? Again, not often. Playback over the network is plenty fast for HTPC purposes even with multiple HTPCs accessing the server.

You have to get out of the PC mode and into the HTPC mode when thinking about these things.
post #266 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post


Again, I don't care about the speed. What do I care if it takes 10 minutes or 1 hour to move National Lampoon's Vacation to my server? For the most part I am using the server for playback and storage. That's the whole point I am trying to make when speed is brought up. Its largely a non-issue for most HTPC users as even with 3 clients. And how often are most people going to be doing that anyway? Again, not often. Playback over the network is plenty fast for HTPC purposes even with multiple HTPCs accessing the server.

You have to get out of the PC mode and into the HTPC mode when thinking about these things.

I agree with this. Also, I want to point out that I think some people who advocate distributed-parity RAID over snapshot RAID for a media server are usually making the mistake of mixing their media files with their non-media files.

There are a lot of good reasons for using distributed-parity RAID (or RAID-10) for certain types of non-media files. I won't list the reasons here. But the point is, for those types of files, it is best to segregate them from media files, since they benefit from different treatment (and also tend to take up much less room overall than media files).

Personally, I have a linux file server with all my media files handled with SnapRAID. I also have a couple mdadm volumes (linux software RAID), one is RAID-6 and one is RAID-1. Each RAID type serves its purpose for the type of files that it is used with.
Edited by jim2100 - 7/5/12 at 8:43pm
post #267 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by bima View Post

wow..
pretty nice!!!
.....
I guess my LGA771 dual cpu L5420 will bite the dust...
my suggestion:
you need to secure your PSU....the weigh would rip-off your norco backplate ....

Thanks. 12 threads and 48GB of memory should tide me over for a bit. biggrin.gif

The PSU is propped up temporarily with foam blocks under it--wanted to get everything up and running to make sure I didn't have any DOA hardware before I set about devising a better bracket to secure it. Since I'll also need to disassemble everything to get the rack rails on the case, that will be done at the same time. Guess I have a busy weekend ahead of me wink.gif
post #268 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Not just the cloud. I have everything on the server, a disconnected external drive and the cloud.
What's the saying? If there isn't 3 copies of something then it doesn't exist?

I have my critical stuff backed up to multiple drives/computers locally as well as two separate cloud locations. After experiencing the terror of thinking I had lost all my wedding photos due to a drive failure (not to mention the terror of how to explain that to my wife!), I setup an automatic nightly copy to both Dropbox and SkyDrive. I might also look at getting another, more dedicated cloud backup service rolling as well, just because I'm that paranoid now.
post #269 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

3 drives failing all at once is likely? Wow, I won't buy whatever you are buying then.
Again, I don't care about the speed. What do I care if it takes 10 minutes or 1 hour to move National Lampoon's Vacation to my server? For the most part I am using the server for playback and storage. That's the whole point I am trying to make when speed is brought up. Its largely a non-issue for most HTPC users as even with 3 clients. And how often are most people going to be doing that anyway? Again, not often. Playback over the network is plenty fast for HTPC purposes even with multiple HTPCs accessing the server.
You have to get out of the PC mode and into the HTPC mode when thinking about these things.

failing not at the sametime
during resilvering/building...
if you dont want to buy, it is your choice that I dont want to force you..hey this is a free market:P

try to copy from 3 client to your server and see the rate dropping, I'm not talking playing.streaming to 3 clients on htpc.
I just would like to show you, the differences Not just posting picture shots.

you should see my keyword:
non htpc and htpc.

as I said on htpc, as long as playing smooth, this is the only we care,

I am thinkin both scenario.. that the reason I build my own build..
post #270 of 2256
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Not just the cloud. I have everything on the server, a disconnected external drive and the cloud.
What's the saying? If there isn't 3 copies of something then it doesn't exist?

not just a paranoid, I'd better back-up my data for myself biggrin.gif

external drive/HD? been there, some drive were failed, even rarely used.
keeping HD disconnected/external, does not mean "safe" from failure. my friends and I had been gone through with this situation.

the cloud that i am just worried, where you have no control on how to keep your data safe

rsync anyone?....
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