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unRaid or FlexRaid ? - Page 2

post #31 of 322
Anyone have any experience with using any one of these types of programs (FlexRAID, SnapRAID, stablebit, DriveBender, ect) on the same machine as Windows Media Center 7 and using the drive for live TV and recording to?

The reason I ask is I am currently using FlexRAID and the FlexRAID drive can't be used by media center as a live TV buffer and to record shows on. It has some type of permissions problems in the driver, that cause all kinds of issues when trying to view a channel and record it at the same time (also periodically it prevents live TV as well - reboot usually fixes that). The creator of FlexRAID said he will be fixing it in the next driver update, which according to the last time I contacted him would be in the next week or so. But I'm a pessimist by nature, and am looking for an alternative to FlexRAID that doesn't have these problems, in case (which I assume) the problems aren't fixed in the next week or so.
post #32 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Beem View Post

Why Raid at all?

This. A thousand times this. If you need neither drive pooling nor drive redundancy, raid is not worth it. Every layer of complexity is one additional thing that can go wrong. And don't get fooled by the people claiming raid protects your data. Raid protects uptime, not data. It is not, and never will be, a substitute for backups.

Think of it like getting a rackmount case. It looks and feels more professional, but it's not really adding much net value to a home setup. However if you are just doing raid for fun (i.e: you don't want to pay for a hardware solution), I'd go with FlexRaid. It has a more professional-sounding name than UnRaid, and the interface has more options.
post #33 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricN View Post

This. A thousand times this. If you need neither drive pooling nor drive redundancy, raid is not worth it. Every layer of complexity is one additional thing that can go wrong. And don't get fooled by the people claiming raid protects your data. Raid protects uptime, not data. It is not, and never will be, a substitute for backups.
Think of it like getting a rackmount case. It looks and feels more professional, but it's not really adding much net value to a home setup. However if you are just doing raid for fun (i.e: you don't want to pay for a hardware solution), I'd go with FlexRaid. It has a more professional-sounding name than UnRaid, and the interface has more options.

Uhh, what?

A software RAID like FlexRAID ABSOLUTELY protects data.
post #34 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

Uhh, what?
A software RAID like FlexRAID ABSOLUTELY protects data.

Ever dealt with buggy raid software?
post #35 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricN View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

Uhh, what?
A software RAID like FlexRAID ABSOLUTELY protects data.

Ever dealt with buggy raid software?
EricN, are you asserting that you have tried FlexRaid and found it to be buggy? I have installed and tested it and the pooling and snapshot raid features worked for me with no apparent problem. FlexRaid does not split files, so in the event of a hard drive failure there is no issue with the data on the remaining hard drives, and that the parity data recreates the data from the failed drive. Did you test this and it didn't work for you?
post #36 of 322
+1 for flexraid.

Been using it for 6 months. Fantastic product. Definitely not buggy.
post #37 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diverge View Post

Anyone have any experience with using any one of these types of programs (FlexRAID, SnapRAID, stablebit, DriveBender, ect) on the same machine as Windows Media Center 7 and using the drive for live TV and recording to?

The reason I ask is I am currently using FlexRAID and the FlexRAID drive can't be used by media center as a live TV buffer and to record shows on. It has some type of permissions problems in the driver, that cause all kinds of issues when trying to view a channel and record it at the same time (also periodically it prevents live TV as well - reboot usually fixes that). The creator of FlexRAID said he will be fixing it in the next driver update, which according to the last time I contacted him would be in the next week or so. But I'm a pessimist by nature, and am looking for an alternative to FlexRAID that doesn't have these problems, in case (which I assume) the problems aren't fixed in the next week or so.

I would never place constantly changing data such as live tv and dvr on a parity set, live or snapshot. Too much going on. I run a separate 2tb drive just for recordings. If I want to archive it, then it will go to my parity pool. If I cared to back it up, i'd use raid0, mirroring.


Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk 2
post #38 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwalte View Post

I would never place constantly changing data such as live tv and dvr on a parity set, live or snapshot. Too much going on. I run a separate 2tb drive just for recordings. If I want to archive it, then it will go to my parity pool. If I cared to back it up, i'd use raid0, mirroring.
Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk 2

Agree with this.
post #39 of 322
Flex Raid here as well for about three months. No bugs that I see either.

Actually really boring piece of software . Set it up and after that it ranks right up there with watching paint dry or grass grow. Which is exactly what u want . It just works !
post #40 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricN View Post

This. A thousand times this. If you need neither drive pooling nor drive redundancy, raid is not worth it. Every layer of complexity is one additional thing that can go wrong. And don't get fooled by the people claiming raid protects your data. Raid protects uptime, not data. It is not, and never will be, a substitute for backups.
Think of it like getting a rackmount case. It looks and feels more professional, but it's not really adding much net value to a home setup. However if you are just doing raid for fun (i.e: you don't want to pay for a hardware solution), I'd go with FlexRaid. It has a more professional-sounding name than UnRaid, and the interface has more options.

I believe that RAID is a technology whose time has gone, at least for small organizations. It's popular because people like to tinker and for reasons unclear-people get off on seeing all their data on one drive. If it's on one drive then it's all at least temporarily lost with a blown part and permanently lost as it walks out the door under a thiefs arm.
post #41 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Beem View Post

I believe that RAID is a technology whose time has gone, at least for small organizations. It's popular because people like to tinker and for reasons unclear-people get off on seeing all their data on one drive. If it's on one drive then it's all at least temporarily lost with a blown part and permanently lost as it walks out the door under a thiefs arm.


post #42 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Beem View Post

I believe that RAID is a technology whose time has gone, at least for small organizations. It's popular because people like to tinker and for reasons unclear-people get off on seeing all their data on one drive. If it's on one drive then it's all at least temporarily lost with a blown part and permanently lost as it walks out the door under a thiefs arm.

With Flex Raid the only data that is "temporarily lost" is the data on the failed part. The data on the other parts are just fine. As for being permanantly lost due to physical theft, what is your point? Whether raid is used or not makes no difference with regards to location-based vulnerability due to theft, fire etc..., if this is the concern then I would think only 100% offsite-backup storage would serve.

I use Flex Raid to protect data from drive failure, and yes it is very convenient to also have it appear in the OS as one drive when doing manual copying/file maintenance. If one only has magical hard drives that never fail then yes, I can see how something like these newer software raid solutions may not be justified.
post #43 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwalte View Post

I would never place constantly changing data such as live tv and dvr on a parity set, live or snapshot. Too much going on. I run a separate 2tb drive just for recordings. If I want to archive it, then it will go to my parity pool. If I cared to back it up, i'd use raid0, mirroring.
Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk 2

It's not an option in my system. ITX system w/ 60GB mSATA SSD for OS, and 4 x 2TB mechanical drives in flexraid.

I could honestly careless about live tv buffer being backed up via parity drive snapshots. Can't separate live tv buffer and recorded shows. And I can't record long shows, like NFL games, on my msata - not enough space. Also would rather have constant writes on my mechanical drive than my SSD.

edit: you just lead my to an idea I never thought about. excluding my MC7 Recorded TV folders. So that's what I just did. Added *Recorded TV* to the exclusion list. Maybe this will be a work around to my problem, since I don't really care too much if recorded shows or live TV are included in parity. I'm going to assume it will still have the same problem though, since Brahim said it had to be fixed at the driver level.

edit2: just tested it. same problem.
Edited by Diverge - 9/15/12 at 10:53am
post #44 of 322
I recently upgraded my server hardware (motherboard, CPU & memory) and there's one point about unRAID that makes it ridiculously easy to perform this task. All I had to do was replace the hardware, plug everything in and set the BIOS to boot from the USB drive. No OS or other software to install. If I was using Windows as my OS I'd spend half the day installing the OS and numerous updates and then I'd still have to reinstall FlexRaid and set everything up again. I don't know if FlexRaid has any venue for this type of upgrade that allows you to transfer your old settings to a new configuration.

That being said, Assassin aroused my curiosity about unRAID when he endorsed it so I checked out the FlexRaid website. I discovered it was on sale, except that today was the last day for the sale so I bit the bullet and bought a full license (dang you, Assassin!tongue.gif). I figured I can put together a PC with my old server parts and play with it and see if I like it any better than unRAID. For now I've got to wade through the various guides and see what's involved until I get the license key.
post #45 of 322
Thread Starter 
Since the sale is supposed to end tonight (as mentioned on the site), I went ahead and order the full license. I will get my server hardware on Tuesdays so I still have some time before I get to try it out for myself. By the way, following is the specs of hardware that I ordered for my server. Let me know if it should be good enough to transcode multiple videos simultaneously via Plex Media Server (my main reason for building a server).

- Intel Core i3-3225
- LIAN LI PC-Q25B
- ASUS P8H77-I LGA
- CORSAIR Builder Series CX430
post #46 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I recently upgraded my server hardware (motherboard, CPU & memory) and there's one point about unRAID that makes it ridiculously easy to perform this task. All I had to do was replace the hardware, plug everything in and set the BIOS to boot from the USB drive. No OS or other software to install. If I was using Windows as my OS I'd spend half the day installing the OS and numerous updates and then I'd still have to reinstall FlexRaid and set everything up again. I don't know if FlexRaid has any venue for this type of upgrade that allows you to transfer your old settings to a new configuration.
That being said, Assassin aroused my curiosity about unRAID when he endorsed it so I checked out the FlexRaid website. I discovered it was on sale, except that today was the last day for the sale so I bit the bullet and bought a full license (dang you, Assassin!tongue.gif). I figured I can put together a PC with my old server parts and play with it and see if I like it any better than unRAID. For now I've got to wade through the various guides and see what's involved until I get the license key.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajamils View Post

Since the sale is supposed to end tonight (as mentioned on the site), I went ahead and order the full license. I will get my server hardware on Tuesdays so I still have some time before I get to try it out for myself. By the way, following is the specs of hardware that I ordered for my server. Let me know if it should be good enough to transcode multiple videos simultaneously via Plex Media Server (my main reason for building a server).
- Intel Core i3-3225
- LIAN LI PC-Q25B
- ASUS P8H77-I LGA
- CORSAIR Builder Series CX430

The "sale" has been going on for months.
post #47 of 322
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

The "sale" has been going on for months.
Oh well, I was planning to get it anyway so no big loss. Anyway, what do you think about my server built? Is my processor powerful enough for my needs?
post #48 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajamils View Post

Oh well, I was planning to get it anyway so no big loss. Anyway, what do you think about my server built? Is my processor powerful enough for my needs?

Yes.

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=137546
post #49 of 322
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Yes.
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=137546

Saw that thread earlier. What's your hardware configuration and is the XBMC or Plex that you are running there? One more question, do you think that I can get away with a slower processor than the one that I'm planning to use? If so, what one do you recommend?
post #50 of 322
In response to all the posts about flexRAID not being buggy software, I want to add my 2 cents about having a pretty bad experience with flexRAID. I installed flexRAID right before the product went commercial and have never been able to get the product to work as its supposed to. To be clear, I was able to setup the raid and parity as well as get drive pooling working, however, when I went to test the setup by removing one of the data drives and replacing it with a new drive (same size), the restore process promptly failed.

Despite this failure, I purchased the product because Brahim was willing to work on my installation and I (like many others) do not mind paying for such a useful piece of software. Long story short, I have never been able to successfully restore a drive (even after Brahim examining my setup multiple times). In addition, some of the updates have caused further issues (ie. storage pool not stopping/starting or gui issues).

If it is working properly for you, fantastic. I'm not here to dispute that it's working for many other people. My main reason for writing this post is to strongly advise that any person using flexRAID actually test the recovery of a drive before they trust their data to the software. I purchased the product at least 4-6 months ago, but my setup still does not work. As of now, it's a waste of $40 for me. What really gets me is that I felt that the product wasn't ready for commercial use from my 1st experience, but ended up getting convinced that the product would be well supported since I would now be a paying customer. I've had some level of support, but the product still does not work for me.

After reading other posts on this site, I think I'll give snapraid a shot.
post #51 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajamils View Post

Thanks for all the comments. They were really helpful for me (and hopefully for other members as well). Couple more questions (yes, the questions never end smile.gif)
- Should I go for 3TB WD Green drives or 2TB WD Green Drives?? At this point, either will be good enough as I also have about $260 GB of free space in my current setup but since I might do parity drive this time, I'll lose one drive. If I go with 2TB, I'll replace both 1TB drives will 2TB drives and will use the third 2TB drive as parity. Or if I got with 3TB drives then I will buy 2 drives, copy the current 2 x 1TB drive data in it and then use the second 3TB drive a parity.

I would go with the 3TB drives for storage...you will use them longer before changing them out for even larger ones...and you can keep one of the 1TB drives still for even more data storage. It seems like a waste of space at first, but then later you can replace the remaining 1TB drive with another 3TB drive without any worries.

Quote:
- Since I will be using Flexraid, is there any particular advantage of using WHS2011 as OS or should I just stick with Windows 7?
Thanks

Just stick with Win7. It works perfectly with Win7 and Win7 has upgrade paths in the future if you so choose.
post #52 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

The "sale" has been going on for months.
I kinda figured it was a sales tactic to get people to buy on impulse (they got me). It's sort of like all of the furniture stores that are perpetually having a "Going out of Business" sale, but they never seem to actually go out of business.
post #53 of 322
Thread Starter 
If I do a HTPC/Media Server All in one solution (everything in one box), will I still have an advantage of using FlexRaid?
Edited by ajamils - 9/16/12 at 2:21pm
post #54 of 322
AFAIK, UnRAID is linux only.
post #55 of 322
Yep - unRAID is a Linux solution. You can install additional packages to run with it - but it's best run as a standalone server. I've been running it for 4 years very happily. It just works.

(You do need to ensure any build has compatible hardware though)
post #56 of 322
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

AFAIK, UnRAID is linux only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Yep - unRAID is a Linux solution. You can install additional packages to run with it - but it's best run as a standalone server. I've been running it for 4 years very happily. It just works.
(You do need to ensure any build has compatible hardware though)

Sorry, I meant FlexRaid.
post #57 of 322
FlexRAID and SnapRAID are both add on programs that run inside Windows. You can install and uninstall both of them at will and not affect any of your data on any of your drives. If you decide to uninstall the program you need to remove the left over parity info, but no big deal there. They leave it behind in case you are uninstalling to upgrade to a newer version. I do not know what version of Windows is required, but I know both run well on Windows 7.
post #58 of 322
EricN, are you asserting that you have tried FlexRaid and found it to be buggy? I have installed and tested it and the pooling and snapshot raid features worked for me with no apparent problem.

All software has bugs. Also, every layer of indirection is an additional opportunity for operator error.

When the project matures to the point of attracting more developers, real QA, or gets absorbed into a larger project, I'll take another look. There was a time in my life where I was willing to pay to be a beta tester for a one-man project, but not any more. The success rate was just too low, especially when those products went to market before a second person started digging around in the code.
Edited by EricN - 9/17/12 at 9:58am
post #59 of 322
I use Flex Raid to protect data from drive failure, and yes it is very convenient to also have it appear in the OS as one drive when doing manual copying/file maintenance.

You are protecting your uptime from drive failure. FlexRaid does not replace backups; you still need those to protect your data. When a drive fails, you still need to replace it and restore the contents. All FlexRaid is doing is keeping your system operational during that process. It gives you the luxury to replace the drive when you get around to it (assuming you even notice the degraded raid).

If you don't have the supporting infrastructure found in a datacenter (monitoring technicians, hot spares, replacement stock, procedural experience), you lose much of the value that raid or reinvented wheels like FlexRaid could provide.
post #60 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricN View Post

I use Flex Raid to protect data from drive failure, and yes it is very convenient to also have it appear in the OS as one drive when doing manual copying/file maintenance.
You are protecting your uptime from drive failure. FlexRaid does not replace backups; you still need those to protect your data. When a drive fails, you still need to replace it and restore the contents. All FlexRaid is doing is keeping your system operational during that process. It gives you the luxury to replace the drive when you get around to it (assuming you even notice the degraded raid).
If you don't have the supporting infrastructure found in a datacenter (monitoring technicians, hot spares, replacement stock, procedural experience), you lose much of the value that raid or reinvented wheels like FlexRaid could provide.


This is just nonsense.

Last night, I decided to swap out one of my drives. It took 30 seconds to do, and less than 8 hours to put the data on the new drive.

I'd say my data is nicely protected with my 2 parity drives. I don't need monitoring technicians. I'm not running some ridiculously unwieldy amount of data, and I have almost 50 TB of data on flexraid. Procedural experience? You mean clicking on the 'restore/swap out' button? Yes, it's such a nuanced and complex procedure...rolleyes.gif
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