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Mfusick's How to build an affordable 30TB Flexraid media server: Information Requested.! - Page 81

post #2401 of 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Even if it's once a month I just don't want to wake up and wait all day for process to complete before I can use my server..

Again, this just isn't correct. You can use your server at ALL times. During update, validate, verify, etc. It is always available.
post #2402 of 3346
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfattbill View Post

tongue.gif I learned my lesson, especially since the data was coming from a 5400RPM drive....it was sooooo slow and had to be done twice.

Bill

I have a 4TB external right next to me for my mother's HTPC. I need to copy over some media for her and go install it later. She is digging her new Roku I got her for Xmas, so I figured I would go give her some media too since it's been over a year since I touched her HTPC and aside from turn it on and watch something my mom and dad do basically nothing with it. This is all on my to do list this weekend, along with picking a color for the babies rooms and painting.
post #2403 of 3346
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Again, this just isn't correct. You can use your server at ALL times. During update, validate, verify, etc. It is always available.

Available to watch or read data from yes.

Available to change data ? No.

If you have something like MediaCenterMaster or MBserver running and meta data changes, or say a TV show gets renamed (along with the art and meta data that goes with it) then the integrity is thrown into chaos.

This is the part of using your server often where we are different and why we just don't see to eye to eye on this.

The argument I do hear about real time versus snap shot here- but the reality is that if you set up your flexraid server intelligently there is simply no reason why it would ever be busy with any of this when you wanted to access it. That's my advice and approach. I want to make sure it's always ready to go *IF* I ever want it. Even if it's only an issue once a year, it's still an issue I wish to avoid. You seem intent on allowing the issue and just accepting it. The simple solution and is cancel it and re-run it after, or just wait for it to finish. That's a valid approach too. But my feelings are that you should use 3TB or smaller HDD's for Flexraid, You should use faster variety hard drives (7200rpm), and you should always run them at full speed directly off a SATA PORT. That's my advice. And non of this will ever be an issue. You can change or add or delete as much data as you ever wanted anytime and you will never have any problems.

I am not sure why my suggestion (it's only a suggestion) not to use a 4TB external in flexraid is met with so much resistance from you. I said it would work, it's just not optimal IMO. You keep calling it "ridiculous" but I don't see how wanting to make sure all your parity processes are completed in a single night while you are asleep and do not spill over into the next day when you might want to use your server is ridiculous at all. I see it as a good thing.

If you have fast hard drives, and not huge hard drives then you problem isn't a problem. A 4TB external will likely be a problem, I never get full speed over USB and it's consistently about 20-40MB slower than off a SATA port. I don't know why exactly, and I don't really care. I just would not want to do it myself for all the reasons listed. I think everyone basically agrees on the USB aspect of things being less optimal but you and I just differ on the parity process completion time aspect being important.
post #2404 of 3346
My challenge is that I am nearing the limits of keeping all my drives inside my HTPC: 6 SATA ports (BD, SSD, 3 HDD leaves 1 open). I have one open bay but could put a tray in one of the 5.25 bays.

3TB or 4TB of extra space would buy some time (I'm trying to keep a lot of my BDs simply on the shelf as optical only).

I could add a SATA 3TB Parity drive, but I was originally thinking about adding one more drive to the SATA pool and then using USB as Parity thinking the parity drive would be active only at night.

USE case:
* some days I might rip a stack of CDs
* I add 2-10 movies on a good day
* many days I add nothing
* I might update some music tags

I guess I eventually will need something like the 30TB Flexraid server in this thread but I question if I want to go through the expense of building a storage system for so much data when I access so little of it. Most movies don't get watched but once every several years. I like having a cache of movies waiting to be watched but may need to keep my LIBRARY on the shelf.
Edited by Hoots - 1/3/14 at 9:02am
post #2405 of 3346
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoots View Post

My challenge is that I am nearing the limits of keeping all my drives inside my HTPC: 6 SATA ports (BD, SSD, 3 HDD lease 1 open). I have one open bay but could put a tray in one of the 5.25 bays.

3TB or 4TB of extra space would buy some time (I'm trying to keep a lot of my BDs simply on the shelf as optical only).

I could add a SATA 3TB Parity drive, but I was originally thinking about adding one more drive to the SATA pool and then using USB as Parity thinking the parity drive would be active only at night.

USE case:
* some days I might rip a stack of CDs
* I add 2-10 movies on a good day
* many days I add nothing
* I might update some music tags

I guess I eventually will need something like the 30TB Flexraid server in this thread but I question if I want to go through the expense of building a storage system for so much data when I access so little of it. Most movies don't get watched but once every several years. I like having a cache of movies waiting to be watched but may need to keep my LIBRARY on the shelf.

Given your situation if you are just trying to buy some time then I wouldn't have any serious hesitations about saying you could go ahead as long as you understand the compromise you are making, and that long term plan might be better. USB is less reliable, but it's not to say for sure it will be un-reliable. You can do it. And in your case for the small cost of a USB drive you can buy some time and get what you want now.

I actually like this plan. I built a simple flexraid server first as I learned my way around this stuff. It was a great learning experience into servers, Flexraid, storage concepts and all that. You will see I was very noob at the beginning of this thread- but I had the wish to get some type of media server storage solution up and running because I was outgrowing my all in one approach. I pieced together a machine with parts I already owned, (hard drives, case, PSU, ) and just used a $40 open box mobo (H61) and a $50 CPU. For a couple hundred I was up running (including Flexraid purchase)

I don't regret this. Even that I rebuilt my server three times as I learned more. I flashed an IBM card (with Andy Steb help the first time biggrin.gif) and after I bricked that (stupid) I ended up with two Dell cards I just bought from him because I needed them quick and he was kind enough to sell me one he already had flashed. I ended up outgrowing my old gaming tower case (I knew I would) and getting a full blow server case with 20 bays and lots of room and cooling. The funny part was where I spent a whole weekend rebuilding my server the first time- and then bought the case and tore it all apart the next weekend. eek.gif

I am different though, and I don't mind playing around or learning as I go, or upgrading. This is as much a hobby I enjoy as just something that I want or need. Others are different than me, and they only want to do it right the first time. Set it and forget it- only worry about it once and then live happily ever after. Most of my advice comes from assuming people are this way (and not like me) - so assuming you fully are understanding what you are doing and why I would say go for it

Use the USB for now- get your feet wet. Long term plan a better solution. Perhaps a case with more HDD's, and perhaps a case like mine that makes it neat and clutter free with only a few SAS8087 cables instead of 10-25 sata cables in a rats nest. Also- a case that takes a single IDE power plug and powers 4 or 5 hard drives from it. These are nice "server" features you get in a server case as opposed to a normal desktop case. As you get more serious these things become more important. Hot swap is nice too, it makes adding, removing or copying very easy. But if you are handy you can do the same with a screw driver. I am the kind of person that might take the side off a case, plugin in a HDD and not even secure it down with screws- copy and do my thing and then just remove it and put the PC back together. This is not everyone- and even for me I greatly appreciate the hot swap. I did not think I would like it as much as I do until I got it.
post #2406 of 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Available to watch or read data from yes.

Available to change data ? No.

If you have something like MediaCenterMaster or MBserver running and meta data changes, or say a TV show gets renamed (along with the art and meta data that goes with it) then the integrity is thrown into chaos.

This is the part of using your server often where we are different and why we just don't see to eye to eye on this.

The argument I do hear about real time versus snap shot here- but the reality is that if you set up your flexraid server intelligently there is simply no reason why it would ever be busy with any of this when you wanted to access it. That's my advice and approach. I want to make sure it's always ready to go *IF* I ever want it. Even if it's only an issue once a year, it's still an issue I wish to avoid. You seem intent on allowing the issue and just accepting it. The simple solution and is cancel it and re-run it after, or just wait for it to finish. That's a valid approach too. But my feelings are that you should use 3TB or smaller HDD's for Flexraid, You should use faster variety hard drives (7200rpm), and you should always run them at full speed directly off a SATA PORT. That's my advice. And non of this will ever be an issue. You can change or add or delete as much data as you ever wanted anytime and you will never have any problems.

I am not sure why my suggestion (it's only a suggestion) not to use a 4TB external in flexraid is met with so much resistance from you. I said it would work, it's just not optimal IMO. You keep calling it "ridiculous" but I don't see how wanting to make sure all your parity processes are completed in a single night while you are asleep and do not spill over into the next day when you might want to use your server is ridiculous at all. I see it as a good thing.

If you have fast hard drives, and not huge hard drives then you problem isn't a problem. A 4TB external will likely be a problem, I never get full speed over USB and it's consistently about 20-40MB slower than off a SATA port. I don't know why exactly, and I don't really care. I just would not want to do it myself for all the reasons listed. I think everyone basically agrees on the USB aspect of things being less optimal but you and I just differ on the parity process completion time aspect being important.

Again, you can change data any time. You just have to re-run the update/verify/validate when you are finished if you changed something during an update/verify/validate.

That was my point. If you are using your server in the manner that you describe (constantly moving files, transferring files, adding metadata, changing metadata, adding movies, etc) then I guarantee that sometime in the last few months you have done one or more of these while you have been running an update/verify/validate in the background.

And did you break your server? Of course not. Was your parity drive maybe a little behind. Sure. But that's the point again. If flexraid was so delicate as to be unusable if you (or another program) changed a single bit of data during the update/validate/verify schedule then it would simply be an unusable piece of software. In fact, I bet the person who wrote it would "lock down" your server as to make it unusable during these times.

Which again brings me full circle to why this is such a ridiculous argument because I guarantee that you have done just this in the past. So it really makes absolutely no difference if your drive is 2x faster. Thus, "parity performance" in my view is a complete misnomer as there really is no such thing except for during the very first parity build which as I stated is only a few extra hours on a singular day throughout the life of your server. That is also why an external USB drive would be completely acceptable as a parity drive assuming the reliability was equivalent to an internal drive (the reliability part I disagree with however as I view anything external to be at the mercy of the enclosure's cotroller).

Edit: Also it should be noted that the parity calculation moves only as fast as the slowest drive. So unless you have *all* 7200 RPM (healthy) drives that argument also does not hold.
Edited by assassin - 1/3/14 at 9:21am
post #2407 of 3346
yes, buy some time while planning and budgeting for a more a solution with more scale.... a cage with lot's of empty slots & management scheme where I can just add drives as I grow and not end up with a complicated Frankenstein.

What rough order of magnitude budget would you suggest for a new FlexRaid server (minus the drives) using new parts (vs. laying around)?


I would like to learn from your work vs. repeating the learning process.


How does this FlexRaid approach compare to the Synology offering?
post #2408 of 3346
Pm sent.
post #2409 of 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

If you have fast hard drives, and not huge hard drives then you problem isn't a problem. A 4TB external will likely be a problem, I never get full speed over USB and it's consistently about 20-40MB slower than off a SATA port. I don't know why exactly, and I don't really care. I just would not want to do it myself for all the reasons listed. I think everyone basically agrees on the USB aspect of things being less optimal but you and I just differ on the parity process completion time aspect being important.

So are you only getting 40-80MB on your SATA drives? Why do you continue to state that USB will be twice as slow?

And I'm still curious as to your choice of snapshot RAID. Yeah, you seem to have made it work, but you seem to have already taken all of the "flex" out of flexraid, so why not go to realtime RAID?

It sounds to me like your #1 top-of-the-list, must-be-met-before-any-other-criteria is "availability" and snapshot RAID by its very nature has painted you into a corner. My understanding is that snapshot RAID is designed specifically for data that is primarily static, and by your description yours is squarely in the dynamic category. It just doesn't make any sense to me.
post #2410 of 3346
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoots View Post

yes, buy some time while planning and budgeting for a more a solution with more scale.... a cage with lot's of empty slots & management scheme where I can just add drives as I grow and not end up with a complicated Frankenstein.

What rough order of magnitude budget would you suggest for a new FlexRaid server (minus the drives) using new parts (vs. laying around)?


I would like to learn from your work vs. repeating the learning process.


How does this FlexRaid approach compare to the Synology offering?

First you can buy Flexraid now and install and use it. ($69) You can also buy another hard drive and install it (either SATA or USB) ($99-150) That would gain you 3-4TB more space now, and get your feet wet with Flexraid. You would gain the benefit of pooling your drives together into one big drive, and also gain parity back up recovery. Not bad for that cost. Using exactly what you have now.

In time, you can upgrade to a better long term solution and waste non of this cost spend now. You can re-use the same hard drive (even "shuck" the external to make internal later) and Flexraid. You can also reuse you existing other hardrives (even with data on them already) too. Not much downside here.

For a new build the sky is the limit. But if you wanted a simple media server and you did not need much power for transcoding I would get something like this:

($79-120) Asrock Extreme3/4 Motherboard (I choose this because it has Intel LAN NIC, and also has more PCI lanes and slots for dual sata cards or tv tuner card or gpu or whatever but you can downgrade to a H series "PRO4" for only $80 )
($60) Haswell Pentium CPU LGA1150
($50) DDR3 (do you have some ? Get 8GB of 1600mhz or higher)
($50) PSU ( I like the Rosewill Captsone 550 watts at this price)


The case is your choice. I have an expensive case (Norco 4220) but you can get cases for $80 that might suit your needs. Andy and a couple others in this thread have the same case as me ($300) if you want to go all the way it's a proven winner. Sometimes you want a form factor that is a tower instead of a server style, or even an ITX cube. It's hard to recommend a case for someone I think- it's a personal decision based on size and looks and budget. No single answer exists universally.

If you get a motherboard like the Extreme4 it will have 8 SATA ports. Likely this might not be enough so you can add a SATA card (HBA) to add more ports. Look for a good quality x8 speed card like the IBM and DELL mentioned and used by many in this thread. This should run you under $99 depending on luck and timing and if you want to flash yourself even cheaper. If you want the easy way you can buy one from Andy Steb or Techmattr here on AVS- I trust them both to flash it properly and give you a good deal.

One card would get you 16 total ports. Assuming 1 is SSD for OS, and another is optical you get 14 hard drives, and if one or two are parity that gives you at least 12 data drives. If you go with 3TB drives you get 36TB of data.
That's really about it.
post #2411 of 3346
sounds like I could just get a bigger case + SATA card + FlexRAID SW and move my guts over. I then just add drives..... The server would also be the client. Tower ideally, it would sit in the closet behind my TV and HDMI runs through the wall to Plasma.

Down the road I could play with an audiophile PC for music pulling files off the HTPC/Server. the audiophile PC could use a linear power supply and USB card like recommended in Computer Audiophile.com. USB to DAC for 2CH.

I have:
Z87-Pro ASUS MB
Radeon 7870 ASUS video
500W Corsair PS
2 x 3TB RED drives
1 x 2TB Seagate drive
1x 3TB external
2 x 2TB external
SSD
win 8.1
Midtower case

65" ZT plasma
pre/pro + Oppo 103 + FIOS tuner/DVR
7.2 HT speakers
post #2412 of 3346
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoots View Post

sounds like I could just get a bigger case + SATA card + FlexRAID SW and move my guts over. I then just add drives..... The server would also be the client. Tower ideally, it would sit in the closet behind my TV and HDMI runs through the wall to Plasma.

Down the road I could play with an audiophile PC for music pulling files off the HTPC/Server. the audiophile PC could use a linear power supply and USB card like recommended in Computer Audiophile.com. USB to DAC for 2CH.

I have:
Z87-Pro ASUS MB
Radeon 7870 ASUS video
500W Corsair PS
2 x 3TB RED drives
1 x 2TB Seagate drive
1x 3TB external
2 x 2TB external
SSD
win 8.1
Midtower case

65" ZT plasma
pre/pro + Oppo 103 + FIOS tuner/DVR
7.2 HT speakers

Yes in this case you could purchase flexraid, and change your case to something that could hold more hard drives and you would be fine if you wanted it all in one machine. There is plenty of cases that hold more hard drives that are affordable. Your other option would be run a second case off two SAS8087 cables from the SATA CARD you added externally and leave your case alone. A HDD only case if you will. Not ideal but an option. I would probably just swap out your case, add a sata card and flexraid and live happy. That is pretty affordable solution, and easy to do. It won't really require any software changes or set up all and it would minimize how many new things you need to buy now.

Basically buy:
Flexraid
Case
Hard drive (or more)
Sata Card


You are all done.

And none of it would be wasted if you decided to build a dedicated flexraid server like I have you could still use everything you buy. You could just then buy "guts" or mobo, psu, ram, cpu, SSD for OS... and you have two machines. Using the same hard drives, and flexraid purchase. But today you are saved this expense of buying all that stuff now. Tomorrow you only need to buy that to expand further into a dedicated server instead of all in one.

You have plenty of options but I would think if your goal is just getting more storage and some pooling and parity backup running as easily and cheap as possible then your best choice is just swapping the case, adding the sata port card and another hard drive and installing flexraid. I would pick up a cheap 3TB drive for your Parity drive, and perhaps another for some extra storage. That would be about $200 for 2 hard drives- and get you an extra 3TB plus all the storage you have now. You can copy over your external USB drive to your new internal hard drive you add - starting one at a time. Starting with the biggest external. Then "shuck" the external you just copied over and install it internally. Clean format it and add it to your pool (instantly) You just gained that storage space. Copy over the next one. repeat. Until all your externals are internals.

That last HDD you add would be 100% new space.

I say this because often external USB HDD's have a different format on them from the factory than you would want when installed internally- so best to copy over the data first and then clean format it as empty when you add it to the pool. Do one drive a night before you go to bed over a couple days is how I would do it.
post #2413 of 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Do one drive a night before you go to bed over a couple days is how I would do it.

Like a parity update? smile.gif
post #2414 of 3346
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

So are you only getting 40-80MB on your SATA drives? Why do you continue to state that USB will be twice as slow?

And I'm still curious as to your choice of snapshot RAID. Yeah, you seem to have made it work, but you seem to have already taken all of the "flex" out of flexraid, so why not go to realtime RAID?

It sounds to me like your #1 top-of-the-list, must-be-met-before-any-other-criteria is "availability" and snapshot RAID by its very nature has painted you into a corner. My understanding is that snapshot RAID is designed specifically for data that is primarily static, and by your description yours is squarely in the dynamic category. It just doesn't make any sense to me.

I'm just using broad numbers to make a point. Most external USB drives probably copy about 80MB sec as a consistent average from my experience but this is largely dependent on the different brands as well as other factors. One thing to keep in mind about externals is they get warm quick with heavy use, and many of them also have thermal throttling that disables performance if they get too hot. Usually about 10MB/sec until the the drive cools down and recovers. I have experienced this myself. In contrast most good internal HDD's should do 120mb/sec or more as a consistent average. More for 7200rpm, and perhaps a tad bit for the slowest of the modern hard drives. So when I say 40MB sec slower I am just generalizing (and guessing) about the difference between USB and internal drives. Non of my saying this was to claim anything specific- rather just suggest that I believe USB is slower and would increase parity time as a result.

As far as real time goes- I don't want to suffer the performance penalty of real time. Having the CPU and parity calculated in real time slows down the performance. Where as now with snapshot I basically get as fast as performance as possible, or basically as fast as my drives can read or write. I never tested real time though- I am just going off what I understand about it. I don't want the slower read or write times, or copy and past times. I do a good amount of pasting to my server from my desktop, and also just copy pasting stuff from one place to another on the server.

Snapshot really seems to make sense to me since most of my data is stagnant most of the time. And the performance is highest. And I already have it set up and I am comfortable with it, which makes me hesitant to change or try something when what I have now I really like a lot. So no hate on real time- but snapshot seems to work great for me.

As long as my verify and validate maintenance processes are done by the time I wake up and want to use my server snapshot is great IMO. If you don't care that it might take longer then go ahead and go with slow 4TB drives. My opinion is faster 3TB drives make the most sense. But again, I have 20 bays of hot swap so drive bays, PSU sata power wires and Sata ports simply are not my concern anymore. That's why I feel as I do. Nothing wrong with the compromise if you are limited on HDD bays, sata power wires, and sata ports, but again it's less ideal. Even more less ideal is using 4TB externally over USB. That's all I was saying. If you were designing a Flexraid server from scratch these are things you might think about to get it optimal. If you are stuck with some pre-existing condition well then just do the best you can.
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Like a parity update? smile.gif

Except under your idea it might not finish by the next day tongue.gif
post #2415 of 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I'm just using broad numbers to make a point. Most external USB drives probably copy about 80MB sec as a consistent average from my experience but this is largely dependent on the different brands as well as other factors. One thing to keep in mind about externals is they get warm quick with heavy use, and many of them also have thermal throttling that disables performance if they get too hot. Usually about 10MB/sec until the the drive cools down and recovers. I have experienced this myself. In contrast most good internal HDD's should do 120mb/sec or more as a consistent average. More for 7200rpm, and perhaps a tad bit for the slowest of the modern hard drives. So when I say 40MB sec slower I am just generalizing (and guessing) about the difference between USB and internal drives. Non of my saying this was to claim anything specific- rather just suggest that I believe USB is slower and would increase parity time as a result.

If you're just trying to make a point, why exaggerate the numbers? Can't you just say its slower? Suggesting it will take twice as long seems a little disingenuous. Most USB3 drives can sustain 100MB/sec writes,

Quote:
As far as real time goes- I don't want to suffer the performance penalty of real time. Having the CPU and parity calculated in real time slows down the performance. Where as now with snapshot I basically get as fast as performance as possible, or basically as fast as my drives can read or write. I never tested real time though- I am just going off what I understand about it. I don't want the slower read or write times, or copy and past times. I do a good amount of pasting to my server from my desktop, and also just copy pasting stuff from one place to another on the server.

If most of your copying and pasting is across your network, then your gigabit ethernet is the limiting factor, not the speed of your drive array. If you're copying and pasting from one place to another on the array (instead of cutting and pasting) I'm curious as to why.

Quote:
Snapshot really seems to make sense to me since most of my data is stagnant most of the time. And the performance is highest. And I already have it set up and I am comfortable with it, which makes me hesitant to change or try something when what I have now I really like a lot. So no hate on real time- but snapshot seems to work great for me.

If your data is mostly stagnant (which conflicts directly with your statement above about "a good amount of pasting to my server") then why the big hoopla over time it takes to calculate parity? If it is indeed stagnant then parity calculation time should be negligible.

Quote:
As long as my verify and validate maintenance processes are done by the time I wake up and want to use my server snapshot is great IMO. If you don't care that it might take longer then go ahead and go with slow 4TB drives. My opinion is faster 3TB drives make the most sense. But again, I have 20 bays of hot swap so drive bays, PSU sata power wires and Sata ports simply are not my concern anymore. That's why I feel as I do. Nothing wrong with the compromise if you are limited on HDD bays, sata power wires, and sata ports, but again it's less ideal. Even more less ideal is using 4TB externally over USB. That's all I was saying. If you were designing a Flexraid server from scratch these are things you might think about to get it optimal. If you are stuck with some pre-existing condition well then just do the best you can.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for planning everything out and building it "right" from the beginning, I don't like external drives, wall warts, or anything else that could fall under the "cut corners" umbrella. But "will it work" and "is it ideal" are two different discussions, and I think you seem to lose sight of what might be practical for people and instead focus on making one aspect "ideal."

As far as real world numbers... somebody correct me if I'm making any wrong assumptions.

Gigabit Ethernet is 125MB/s, (minus overhead)
FlexRAID does incremental updates to parity as opposed to a full rewrite of parity when an update is performed.
For every 1GB of data modified on the array, 1GB of parity data will have to be updated.
USB3 drives can sustain 100MB/s writes.
So for every hour of data that is copied onto the server, it'll take an hour and fifteen minutes to update parity. (assuming you aren't mass deleting things on your server, which can obviously be performed much quicker than the parity updates)

If you're averaging more than 6 hours worth of copying per day then I don't think you can claim to have stagnant data. If you're not averaging 6 hours of copying per day, I'm not sure how a parity update can take longer than 8 hours

Is my math off somewhere?
post #2416 of 3346
Thread Starter 
Verify and Validate are not parity updates. They take longer and get performed once a week or once a month. Usually after each other, and after the parity update is done. So the total time is the cumulative of the update plus the verify / validate process to complete. I think this is where you are mistaken.

Also- I think you are wrong about USB drives. When they are new they do go 100MB/sec but they won't AVERAGE that speed over an entirety of 4TB being written (or read). 80MB sec was a conservative number(on my part), but for a 5400rpm it is probably actually even slower. I don't believe they will sustain a consistent average of 100MB sec, but I do agree with you they can achieve this for small bursts or on the fast parts of the platter.

Have you ever copy pasted and filled up a 4TB drive over USB ? I have. I am actually about to do it now. I'll test this for you. Terra copy shows the time it takes and gives a mini report of the process. It will be interesting to see I think.
post #2417 of 3346
Even with "slow" green drives (2TB and 3TB) my validate and verify times are less than 7 hours each (I just checked my e-mail log).

So again --- set it to start at 1-3 AM and this again is a non-issue (note that I think this is a non-issue at any time during the day).

And he's skirting the issue of why he doesn't choose real time mode. What he describes as *his idea* of ideal is actually much more in tune with real time mode than snapshot mode.
post #2418 of 3346
Thread Starter 
But what is your fullest drive ? How much data on it ? If you have 1.5TB on all your drives then of coarse parity time would be quick. But what if it was 4TB over USB ?

Post your logs and we can reverse engineer using your actual data and using 4TB and you will see my point.
post #2419 of 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Verify and Validate are not parity updates. They take longer and get performed once a week or once a month. Usually after each other, and after the parity update is done. So the total time is the cumulative of the update plus the verify / validate process to complete. I think this is where you are mistaken.

Okay, so we're back to occasionally having a process that takes a long time. (and if the user has a full 4TB already, it's going to take a long time regardless of it being a USB drive, or an internal drive) For some that is acceptable, for others, not.

Quote:
Also- I think you are wrong about USB drives. When they are new they do go 100MB/sec but they won't AVERAGE that speed over an entirety of 4TB being written (or read). 80MB sec was a conservative number(on my part), but for a 5400rpm it is probably actually even slower. I don't believe they will sustain a consistent average of 100MB sec, but I do agree with you they can achieve this for small bursts or on the fast parts of the platter.

The Seagate Backup Plus 4TB USB3 drive can SUSTAIN >100MB/s sequential writes.
The WD My Book 4TB USB3 drive can SUSTAIN >100MB/s sequential writes.

Quote:
Have you ever copy pasted and filled up a 4TB drive over USB?

Well, I don't hate myself, so no, I haven't

Quote:
I have. I am actually about to do it now. I'll test this for you. Terra copy shows the time it takes and gives a mini report of the process. It will be interesting to see I think.

And you're under the impression that your experience is the definitive benchmark, not to be exceeded by anyone else? I'm not saying that every USB drive on every computer will sustain >100MB/s sequential writes, but it certainly isn't unheard of, regardless of your own personal anecdotes.
post #2420 of 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

But what is your fullest drive ? How much data on it ? If you have 1.5TB on all your drives then of coarse parity time would be quick. But what if it was 4TB over USB ?

Post your logs and we can reverse engineer using your actual data and using 4TB and you will see my point.

Why do you keep mentioning over USB? I am talking about parity use in general. My drives are almost all full. I am actually getting ready to add more.

This is typical. I post *my* real world experience (with screenshots even) and it is now questioned or deemed wrong because in MFusick's world there is only one way to do things. Reminds me of the time he tried to accuse someone of photoshopping their receipt for the hard drive they bought because it didn't match *his* experience.

Here is the bottom line...
  • You don't NEED to have 7200 RPM drives.
  • You don't NEED to complete the parity as quickly as possible for fear that you are somehow going to corrupt your machine if you accidentally press a button during verify/validate/update
  • You don't NEED to have a specific size of drive --- use your old 2TB, 3TB or (*gasp*) even 4TB. Use whatever you have that makes sense to you financially and makes the server work for how YOU will be using it.
  • There is no such thing as parity performance --- its a parity drive. It sits there and holds redundancy data. Having a "faster" parity drive will not somehow improve your server experience. In the end it will playback your movies exactly the same each and every time.
  • You don't even need to know when your server is computing an update or other task.
  • What MFusick decribes as his "ideal" server software is actually ideal for anything but a HTPC (or home PC user) for that matter. Most of us will not be constantly changing our media every hour of every day (like a business would for instance). In almost everyone but MFusick's situations snap shot is ideal as it is simple and you can use simple and inexpensive hardware to achieve it. Some people only perform an update manually after they update their server as it is that infrequent. This is also a correct way of doing it. Again, there is *gasp* more than one way to build and use a server or HTPC.
post #2421 of 3346
No there's not!!!!!
post #2422 of 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Why do you keep mentioning over USB? I am talking about parity use in general.

That's partially my fault. I was a little bewildered that he kept asserting that using a USB3 parity drive would double the time it takes to perform a parity update.
post #2423 of 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfattbill View Post

I did, it showed up in Windows as a proper useable 4TB drive until I removed the damn controller mad.gif

Bill
Wierd, maybe that controller is doing some internal slicing like the 3ware cards are capable of?
post #2424 of 3346
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

That's partially my fault. I was a little bewildered that he kept asserting that using a USB3 parity drive would double the time it takes to perform a parity update.

I was bluring the two in making the point that a 4TB USB drive would increase parity time. It was partly my believing that lower USB performance versus sata direct would effect it. Other part being 4TB is pretty big. You and Asassin have two different conversations going and things are getting blurred. All of my comments were assuming both USB and 4TB. If you wanted to really break it down you could handle them independently but for the record I don't think either single issue would be a total deal breaker. It would just be less ideal. If you combine both issues (4TB size and USB being slower) then it becomes even less ideal That is all I was saying.

I have both of the USB drives you mentioned and I did not get 100MB/sec. I can get is on smaller copy pastes, and especially when the drive is nearly empty. But sustained and while drive is mostly full- no way. I'd prove this to you but I am not sure I care enough, that you care enough, or it really even matters. We should just stop. There's no point in any of this. Even if we disagree on USB drive performance who cares? It's just silly.

You make the comment "I don't hate myself" like this is some odd thing ?? I am planning on copying over media to a 4TB external to add to my mothers HTPC. Stuff I am currently picking from my server I think she will enjoy. I bought the drive at Costco for this purpose. I will fill it up all in one shot. Install it. And never touch it again. I don't think this action is at all that odd. And, having done this before I do know it takes a long time. That's why I will let it run over night (and possibly more)

At this point I am tired. This entire conversation just isn't worth it and I never intended to get this far into it. I was just expressing a couple ways I think a 4TB external USB drive for a parity drive in Flexraid is less ideal. Less ideal does not mean it won't work or it's wrong. It just means I'd prefer a better option if possible. I was just expressing this (as opinion) hoping it would help guide him in the right direction. Once he explained his situation I revised my advice based on his situation. I didn't see anyone object to my advice, or offer to give him some advice either. That's all that he wanted. None of this helps him IMO (or anyone else).

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Why do you keep mentioning over USB? I am talking about parity use in general. My drives are almost all full. I am actually getting ready to add more.

This is typical. I post *my* real world experience (with screenshots even) and it is now questioned or deemed wrong because in MFusick's world there is only one way to do things. Reminds me of the time he tried to accuse someone of photoshopping their receipt for the hard drive they bought because it didn't match *his* experience.

Here is the bottom line...
  • You don't NEED to have 7200 RPM drives.
  • You don't NEED to complete the parity as quickly as possible for fear that you are somehow going to corrupt your machine if you accidentally press a button during verify/validate/update
  • You don't NEED to have a specific size of drive --- use your old 2TB, 3TB or (*gasp*) even 4TB. Use whatever you have that makes sense to you financially and makes the server work for how YOU will be using it.
  • There is no such thing as parity performance --- its a parity drive. It sits there and holds redundancy data. Having a "faster" parity drive will not somehow improve your server experience. In the end it will playback your movies exactly the same each and every time.
  • You don't even need to know when your server is computing an update or other task.
  • What MFusick decribes as his "ideal" server software is actually ideal for anything but a HTPC (or home PC user) for that matter. Most of us will not be constantly changing our media every hour of every day (like a business would for instance). In almost everyone but MFusick's situations snap shot is ideal as it is simple and you can use simple and inexpensive hardware to achieve it. Some people only perform an update manually after they update their server as it is that infrequent. This is also a correct way of doing it. Again, there is *gasp* more than one way to build and use a server or HTPC.

You really are thick sometimes. And stubborn. And you do exactly what you accuse me of doing. Assume everyone is in your shoes too.

When did I say NEED ? I never did. I just said "ideal" and "less ideal" Your waging some strange war just trying to pick a fight or argue for whatever reason on one of the stupidest subjects. You see everything as so black and white. I just think that smaller than 4TB drives and cheap fast 7200rpm drives are ideal for a flexraid server. If I was going to design one from scratch that is what I would choose because it works the best, and costs the least. I never said nothing else would work or that you NEED this.

You imagine things just to argue against them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotJun View Post

Wierd, maybe that controller is doing some internal slicing like the 3ware cards are capable of?

I think they format it and set it up for a wide compatability. That means MBR, with a disk breaker type hack. Usually the internal controller see's the first 2TB parition and the second parition and blends them together but when you install it into your PC your PC will only see the first 2TB partion and the rest of the drive will appear unformatted or raw. I think it's so the external's are compatible on PC that might not otherwise see more than 2TB due to OS or hardware limitations. You should always reformat the drive and initialize it as GPT and format it as a single partition first to avoid any trouble.

It sucks filling up a huge external (which we just discussed takes a long time) to realize you need to do it again.
post #2425 of 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I was bluring the two in making the point that a 4TB USB drive would increase parity time. It was partly my believing that lower USB performance versus sata direct would effect it. Other part being 4TB is pretty big. You and Asassin have two different conversations going and things are getting blurred. All of my comments were assuming both USB and 4TB. If you wanted to really break it down you could handle them independently but for the record I don't think either single issue would be a total deal breaker. It would just be less ideal. If you combine both issues (4TB size and USB being slower) then it becomes even less ideal That is all I was saying.

Unless I'm mistaken, since the poster who posed the question already had a 4TB data drive, wouldn't a 4TB parity drive be required? (regardless of the interface)

Quote:
I have both of the USB drives you mentioned and I did not get 100MB/sec. I can get is on smaller copy pastes, and especially when the drive is nearly empty. But sustained and while drive is mostly full- no way. I'd prove this to you but I am not sure I care enough, that you care enough, or it really even matters. We should just stop. There's no point in any of this. Even if we disagree on USB drive performance who cares? It's just silly.

If everything you're connecting to your system via USB3 is experiencing subpar performance, perhaps you have driver problem or a subpar USB3 controller.

Quote:
You make the comment "I don't hate myself" like this is some odd thing ?? I am planning on copying over media to a 4TB external to add to my mothers HTPC. Stuff I am currently picking from my server I think she will enjoy. I bought the drive at Costco for this purpose. I will fill it up all in one shot. Install it. And never touch it again. I don't think this action is at all that odd. And, having done this before I do know it takes a long time. That's why I will let it run over night (and possibly more)

Well you made it sound like you were going to fill the drive up just for the sake of doing it. (which seemed rather masochistic)

Quote:
At this point I am tired. This entire conversation just isn't worth it and I never intended to get this far into it. I was just expressing a couple ways I think a 4TB external USB drive for a parity drive in Flexraid is less ideal. Less ideal does not mean it won't work or it's wrong. It just means I'd prefer a better option if possible.

I think we're on the same page. I was just trying to distill what was fact, and what was just exaggeration.
post #2426 of 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I was just expressing this (as opinion) hoping it would help guide him in the right direction. Once he explained his situation I revised my advice based on his situation. I didn't see anyone object to my advice, or offer to give him some advice either. That's all that he wanted. None of this helps him IMO (or anyone else).

Actually, I've found the discussion quite informative. I learned a lot about how snapshot RAID works and why it makes a great choice for a lot of media servers, and why it makes a very poor choice for my needs.
post #2427 of 3346
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Unless I'm mistaken, since the poster who posed the question already had a 4TB data drive, wouldn't a 4TB parity drive be required? (regardless of the interface)


I think you are mistaken. Here is his original post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoots View Post

Should I be looking closer at FlexRAID? What is needed to get started? Just buy the SW or do I also need to buy WHS? I just need 1 extra drive for parity (I saw it needs to match largest in pool)?

I am enjoying my new HTPC and now can see that Bluray will consume more HD Space than original plans. I either need to keep most of my BD's on the shelf w/o a copy on HTPC or change the scale of my storage system.

Current: Mid-Tower w/500w power. 4 internal HDD bays + empty space for 5.25 drives (just have a BD drive). I'm currently running 3 data drives internal w/3 external BU drives. I want to have a backup of my music library which has taken a long time to rip and tag.

Internal:
2 x 3TB
1x 2TB

External:
1 x 3TB
2 x 2TB
OS SDD

From a data protection perspective what does this provide? A parity drive to rebuild 1 lost drive?

So he could stick with 3TB drives. Or he could add a 4TB parity just in case (but the final 1TB would never get written unless he gets a 4TB data drive too saving the time of 1TB worth of data processing)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Actually, I've found the discussion quite informative. I learned a lot about how snapshot RAID works and why it makes a great choice for a lot of media servers, and why it makes a very poor choice for my needs.

Snapshot is great for mostly stagnant data. It's also great for data that changes but not too often. Example: You might rename a movie file, change some meta data, etc.. but it happens only once. Not constantly for all data. In which case the next parity computation process would catch it and you should be fine.

Real time is better for dynamic data. Data that changes a lot. Like files from a program that are always updated. A working cache. Or if you do a lot with something like excel or MS word docs where you change the data or edit inside the doc but the name stays the same. For that kind of stuff you would want real time.

At least that is my understanding anyways.
post #2428 of 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I think you are mistaken. Here is his original post.
So he could stick with 3TB drives. Or he could add a 4TB parity just in case (but the final 1TB would never get written unless he gets a 4TB data drive too saving the time of 1TB worth of data processing)

Oh okay. I was responding to this...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoots View Post

I have Win 8.1...

Any performance issue with the Parity Drive being an external USB drive? It's just needed for recover, right?

I am thinking of putting a 4TB in my last free slot and a 4TB for Parity external USB 3.0. That would give me a pool of 4/3/3/2 or 12TB with 4TB+ for ripping some Blue (perhaps over 100 movies) plus the 3TB+ I have already loaded and of course my SACD/DVD-A/CD music.

...which is where he mentioned actually getting a 4TB data and parity drive, and inquired about potential performance hits regarding the parity drive being connected via USB3. Unless I missed it, you addressed the parity drive, but never the 4TB data drive.
post #2429 of 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Snapshot is great for mostly stagnant data. It's also great for data that changes but not too often. Example: You might rename a movie file, change some meta data, etc.. but it happens only once. Not constantly for all data. In which case the next parity computation process would catch it and you should be fine.

Real time is better for dynamic data. Data that changes a lot. Like files from a program that are always updated. A working cache. Or if you do a lot with something like excel or MS word docs where you change the data or edit inside the doc but the name stays the same. For that kind of stuff you would want real time.

At least that is my understanding anyways.

This is why I'm still curious about your choice of snapshot RAID. It sounds to me based on your description of your usage patterns you are constantly adding, moving, shifting, renaming, and otherwise tinkering with your data. Wouldn't that be better served by realtime RAID?
post #2430 of 3346
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Oh okay. I was responding to this...
...which is where he mentioned actually getting a 4TB data and parity drive, and inquired about potential performance hits regarding the parity drive being connected via USB3. Unless I missed it, you addressed the parity drive, but never the 4TB data drive.


I was treating them as one. 4TB parity drive with ten 1TB data drives is still only going to take the time of 1TB of data to process. If you have a 4TB drive for data then it will literally take 4 times as long (assuming the exact same performance). 4TB is still ok and you can do it. UBS is ok too. I was just suggesting the combination of both was less ideal. Still would work, and is a perfectly fine stop gap if the goal is to get parity and pooling from flexraid and add some more storage for cheap as possible. But this is totally different than starting fresh (which also was an option) with a new build for a dedicated media server. I think at the end of the day you just work with what you have in his case and do like I did and just upgrade along the way until you find satisfaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

This is why I'm still curious about your choice of snapshot RAID. It sounds to me based on your description of your usage patterns you are constantly adding, moving, shifting, renaming, and otherwise tinkering with your data. Wouldn't that be better served by realtime RAID?

No. I don't think so. Most of the stuff I do is not that Dynamic. Moving data, adding or deleting is perfectly fine with snapshot. You can do it all you want. Even during parity computation processes. Changing data is the bad part. I do mostly adding, deleting, moving. Very little changing. If I do changing it's stupid stuff like MediaCenterMaster renaming and metadata updating. Or MBserver meta data changes. But it's not critical to me. I really only care if my MKV rip is saved. I can refetch the meta data if it's wrong tongue.gif

I use my server a lot. I copy and paste a lot. I am also much less tolerant of slowness as a result. I like things to be as optimal as possible, and I enjoy performance. It's just a personality trait I have, it compliments my impatience I guess. It's really no different than my wife having appreciation for something "cute". My "cute" is good performance and less waiting.

BTW- you really need to get your post count up so AVS grants you permission to edit, delete your posts. Your Ninja edits and post after a post are hard to keep up with tongue.gif
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