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Building a Backup NAS

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
So a lot of us here use some sort of RAID or Software Raid for our media storage. In the past, I used a hardware raid 5, 5e, and 6 for my media storage, but lately have had a lot more luck (With stability and longevity) using unRaid. My current NAS is a 28TB Unraid server with about 20-21TB used.

I use this NAS for my personal backups of my PC, but mostly it is Music and Movies. Most of the space is used by my Blu Ray (And HD-DVD) rips. In a way, the rips themselves are backups of my discs, but because of the time it takes to rip one of these to MKV multiplied by the number of discs I have converted over the years, this is not something I ever want to repeat. Also, because of the size of the server itself, backup to the cloud is pretty much useless and/or a waste of time. I can't imagine how long it would take to upload that much data to the cloud, or restore it for that matter. It just isn't time-effective.

So that leaves me with one choice if I want to go beyond a parity solution to an actual backup. I plan to make a second NAS that will create a mirror backup of my existing NAS. In effect, I will have 2 servers. It seems like a big money sink, but I've thought about it long and hard, and as much as I believe I will never have a multiple drive failure in my NAS, I think I'd go insane if I somehow lost my data. I would feel better knowing I have a copy somewhere.

Over the past couple of weeks I have started to take advantage of deals here and there and have all of the parts to build a second server. I've been able to acquire 9 3TB hard drives as well as all the other parts I need to build a stand-alone system. So, I want to see what you all think I should do.

I do not yet have any windows licenses for this machine, or additional unraid/flexraid licenses I can use either. So the platform is TBD.

If my new machine is a backup :
1) I could just install windows and literally back up the individual disks (Over the network, you can access the contents of individual disks in the array) - So I could literally just copy disk 1 to disk 1, disk2 to disk 2, etc.
2) I could do a second unraid server and just copy the entire server
3) I could use another raid product like FreeNAS (Cheapest) or FlexRaid to do the same as #2

Or... i could build this machine as the actual server and use my old unRaid server as my backup. This could allow me the flexibility to move to any platform without the fear of losing data in the process. I could use any OS or Raid Product.

Keep in mind if I went option #2 or 3, I probably would need another hard drive or two since there is technically slightly less space than my total, but my 9 drives should be enough for the space I've used so far in my existing NAS.

All opinions welcome, but please, don't make this thread into a war between unraid/flexraid/freenas, just state your opinions on where I should go, and/or how crazy you think I am for doing this.
Edited by damelon - 11/22/13 at 1:25pm
post #2 of 27
Not an expert of any kind, but I've been thinking of backing my movies/music for the last few day long and hard, the Mirroring your entire collection sounds expensive to me, even though it appears you're half way there with your purchases.

I'm thinking Flexraid, and then backing it with Crashplan that's how I'm thing of doing my growing library..

Again take with a grain of salt, as this is all new to me, but I'm looking at all this with a different perspective.


Good luck
DJoel
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by damelon View Post

...as much as I believe I will never have a multiple drive failure in my NAS, I think I'd go insane if I somehow lost my data. I would feel better knowing I have a copy somewhere..

Physical damage, fire, flood, power surge, drops, rack accidents, software bugs, human error, etc. You aren't crazy at all. Accidents are most likely to happen when the RAID is degraded anyways, since that when you are in there mucking with it.

You'll get the biggest benefit from the second array if is physically distant from the first array and is not a live mirror.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

Not an expert of any kind, but I've been thinking of backing my movies/music for the last few day long and hard, the Mirroring your entire collection sounds expensive to me, even though it appears you're half way there with your purchases.

I'm thinking Flexraid, and then backing it with Crashplan that's how I'm thing of doing my growing library..

Again take with a grain of salt, as this is all new to me, but I'm looking at all this with a different perspective.


Good luck
DJoel

I thought about doing something very similar. But then I really considered how long a 21 TB backup would be to the internet. It would probably take half a year, not to mention my bandwidth would be gone that entire time and my internet unusable. Same thing if I had to do a restore, or how do I even know if that service will still be available. It would be an excellent solution if I had just 1TB of data, but the cloud is pretty much out of the question for my media. Pictures and Documents sure, I use it for that already. Music is still in the realm of OK but still quite large. Any option that has a backup/recovery time in the period of months is not an option. (That includes re-ripping my movies)
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricN View Post

Physical damage, fire, flood, power surge, drops, rack accidents, software bugs, human error, etc. You aren't crazy at all. Accidents are most likely to happen when the RAID is degraded anyways, since that when you are in there mucking with it.

You'll get the biggest benefit from the second array if is physically distant from the first array and is not a live mirror.

Yeah, I don't plan to keep one live at all. I'll sync it up every few weeks or so. Keeping everything unplugged and off most of the time is my best bet. My movie collection will only change by a handful of titles in that span, and that is easily in the realm of acceptable loss if I have to re-rip them. No biggie there. I've even though about taking out the drives and putting them in a fire safe when it is off.
post #6 of 27
Here is a question - is it easier to just send your hard drives to crash plan to get started quick , then sync up over Internet there after ?


And utilize an unlimited cloud storage back up account as option - in end a few years worth of premiums is about the cost as a second server ... Plus you get your hard drives back
post #7 of 27
damelon,


Have you thought about WHS at all? (I'm sure you have...) For 50 bux...(or 39 on sale every so often...) It would have everything you need. Backups are automated. (not sure if your unraid/non-windows machine will work in this scenario...others that are more versed may have better knowledge.)

I did mess around with FreeNas (again) for a bit, before purchased my second copy of WHS 2011... It's not very user-friendly or intuitive in any way, but it's very stable and you can tell it to do what you want it to do. I have not set backups in FreeNas, so I have no experience to offer there.

I have not purchased additional drives for my second box yet, so i have not set up my scheduled backup for my original server. That's next.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin g. View Post

damelon,


Have you thought about WHS at all? (I'm sure you have...) For 50 bux...(or 39 on sale every so often...) It would have everything you need. Backups are automated. (not sure if your unraid/non-windows machine will work in this scenario...others that are more versed may have better knowledge.)

I did mess around with FreeNas (again) for a bit, before purchased my second copy of WHS 2011... It's not very user-friendly or intuitive in any way, but it's very stable and you can tell it to do what you want it to do. I have not set backups in FreeNas, so I have no experience to offer there.

I have not purchased additional drives for my second box yet, so i have not set up my scheduled backup for my original server. That's next.

I will probably use a windows based option (WHS or Windows) for simplicity sake. Plus there are a lot of backup apps out there that can fit the bill. I'll have to look into WHS a little bit more.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by damelon View Post

I will probably use a windows based option (WHS or Windows) for simplicity sake. Plus there are a lot of backup apps out there that can fit the bill. I'll have to look into WHS a little bit more.

That is really your critical junction. You decision is as much do you want to go with a MS solution and pay for it like Windows or WHS which requires a license key/code that can cost $50+ ??? Or do you want a cheaper or possibly free option elsewhere ??

Additionally, you would probably require an SSD drive for the OS on the MS solution since neither windows or WHS will run well from USB stick as they are too robust and require too much IOPS. This possibly can add another $50+ to your cost (a good 128GB SSD is $90). Now you are at at place where it's starting to add up to be a real cost difference. Especially if you think you want to run a server that will transcode movies on the fly for use on various devices like ipads, smart phones, laptops, tablets, or streaming over the internet to other locations (or share your server with friends/family) Because now you really want to make sure you get decent 8GB RAM kit in dual channel to aid in the transcoding, and you need at least a modern dual core CPU to pull it off. A 8GB dual channel DDR3 kit is twice the cost of a single stick of 4GB or 2GB. Plus, you might end up spending more on the CPU if you are serious about transcoding. (Don't you have a 2500k CPU hanging around somewhere ? That's an idea CPU for a server IMO )

If you decide you want to go this route - or you might want to go this route in the future I think a Windows solution is the most sense as you can simply do much more with it. But is also costs more. Cost is probably the primary reason why people choose the alternative options, it's not because the WHS or Windows based server isn't as good or as capable. Particuarly if you go with something like Flexraid that brings some additional media server friendly benefits like Unraid does. ( Parity, Pooling etc )

I think Flexraid makes the most sense if you decide you want to do with MS OS because it installs into both W7 or WHS (or windows 8/Linux actually) very easily and it works well. You can add full or empty drives, remove them too and they are readable in your other PC's. You can add more storage in the future if you need it easily. The swap out or restore a failed drive feature from parity works very well and it's easy to do. Running WHS option or Windows option leaves the door open to additional solutions and things you can do, including a program that does unlimited cloud back up automatically. It might take a really long time to upload all your data but if you don't have a data cap it might be cool to start when the new server comes online and let is just run until it's done. If it takes month or two ... so be it.

Your choice of Flexraid vs Unraid will really be determined by your choice if you want to run a Windows OS or not. If you go windows OS I think flexraid is an easy choice. They make both FLEXRAID F and FLEXRAID T now (F is snapshot traditional, T is real time transparent) and I struggle with that choice myself. I think I want to stick with snapshot because the read and write performance is as fast as your drives will go (you have nice speedy drives) and can saturate the LAN speed. Real time does parity calculation on the fly so depending on what else is going on, or how many other things you are doing that might be a bit lower performance. A good CPU would fix this, and a quad core would make the issue nearly non-existent is my guess. But transcoding a video to a tablet the kids are watching a toon, while trying to write to the server might yield a slower speed. But you are rewarded with not needing to do a parity update like snapshot.

You are familiar to both concepts since you already have Unraid, and I am not sure the slower write speed would bother you much. I believe the T raid version is kinda like your unraid now so you have a good understanding. With Snapshot you would need to run parity updates, usually you set your server on a schedule in flexraid to do this when you are not using the server (like when you are sleeping at night, or working during the day)

With snapshot you are usually at the mercy to lose your newest stuff added since your last parity update. Usually 24 hours or less. Personally I am ok with losing anything in the last 24 hours, since that means I don't usually lose too much. You could update parity twice a day if you wanted, but at that point your probably better with real time solution.

The thing I was expressing to you in the PM was often projects like this (for me) turn into more and more. You are at the unique situation where you can start over, and start from scratch. If you wanted to be able to do cloud back up, additional programs and all the cool stuff that a MS OS foundation allows for then you can make a choice to go that route. If you do not need it you can avoid the extra cost of SSD, hardware, Microsoft licenses etc... It's probably a matter of budget and what you want. No one here is going to be able to tell you what to do about those.

I think the popularity of "server" programs like MB3 and PLEX are making a windows based media server an attractive option since they support lots of options now and in the future. You just don't want to think about today, you want to consider about tomorrow when PLEX2, XBMC next Generation, and MB4 are out too. You want to consider if you might ever want to transcode your 1080p MKV rips to a tablet over wifi - (because 1080p 7.1 doesn't play well on a tablet, while 720p and stereo sound do... and also travel over WIFI better) If your goal is to deliver your media to many various devices these next generation solutions are likely going to run better on a more robust MS based server. (which costs you more $$$)

Having seen your nice home, amazing theater, back yard outdoor theater, porch and patio etc... I can tell you are not going to skimp out and $100 is probably not going to determine the choice you make either. But if you really do not need what the MS platform offers there is not much point in spending extra for it.
post #10 of 27
{snip}
Quote:
That is really your critical junction. You decision is as much do you want to go with a MS solution and pay for it like Windows or WHS which requires a license key/code that can cost $50+ ??? Or do you want a cheaper or possibly free option elsewhere ??

Additionally, you would probably require an SSD drive for the OS on the MS solution since neither windows or WHS will run well from USB stick as they are too robust and require too much IOPS. This possibly can add another $50+ to your cost (a good 128GB SSD is $90). Now you are at at place where it's starting to add up to be a real cost difference. Especially if you think you want to run a server that will transcode movies on the fly for use on various devices like ipads, smart phones, laptops, tablets, or streaming over the internet to other locations (or share your server with friends/family) Because now you really want to make sure you get decent 8GB RAM kit in dual channel to aid in the transcoding, and you need at least a modern dual core CPU to pull it off. A 8GB dual channel DDR3 kit is twice the cost of a single stick of 4GB or 2GB. Plus, you might end up spending more on the CPU if you are serious about transcoding. (Don't you have a 2500k CPU hanging around somewhere ? That's an idea CPU for a server IMO )

I am a little unsure of the context, here...
While your post is both informative, and well thought out...(your forward thinking amazes me, sometimes, Mfusick) I am not sure if this is what he's asking for...

As I read his original post (and some of his other threads/questions)...he already has a transport/storage/streaming/delivery system, and is looking for a complete backup solution for said system.
That said, I think all points made are very valid, and, if I had read this post a year ago, may not have went with the setup I have. My first media box with WHS is not quite as robust as I'd like, but I have not yet delved heavily in to the streaming world. ( I can, but my family has not the patience, or the knowledge of where to pull the source material from. They are happier to find what they want, either on cable, or the internet...instant gratification, and all that) And i don't beleive for a minute, that it is a bad thing to make it as future-proof as possible...I assumed he was looking for a simple "backup solution".
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin g. View Post

{snip}
I am a little unsure of the context, here...
While your post is both informative, and well thought out...(your forward thinking amazes me, sometimes, Mfusick) I am not sure if this is what he's asking for...

As I read his original post (and some of his other threads/questions)...he already has a transport/storage/streaming/delivery system, and is looking for a complete backup solution for said system.
That said, I think all points made are very valid, and, if I had read this post a year ago, may not have went with the setup I have. My first media box with WHS is not quite as robust as I'd like, but I have not yet delved heavily in to the streaming world. ( I can, but my family has not the patience, or the knowledge of where to pull the source material from. They are happier to find what they want, either on cable, or the internet...instant gratification, and all that) And i don't beleive for a minute, that it is a bad thing to make it as future-proof as possible...I assumed he was looking for a simple "backup solution".

Yup you are 100% right. I was just rambling tongue.gif

The spot and choice he has now is unique. I was basically expressing how he could do a simple back up solution and satisfy that immediate need cheaper and easier perhaps, or he could use the opportunity to change what he has now into something more (upgrade). Almost like the new machine would become the main machine- used daily and for streaming. The old existing server would actually become the back up. It already has all the data on it and it works fine. Once you finish setting up the new one and copying over the data you would just turn it off and use the new machine. Periodically he could fire it up and sync it with whatever new stuff needs additional backing up. (data)

If the new machine runs WHS he could set up automated back up of desktops, laptops and such ... and he could set up a media server solution that utilizes the dual program approach and supports transcoding across devices. Something like PLEX or MB3 offers you a consistent solution across platforms so he can run say MB3 on a ROKU box, His HTPC, his laptops and desktops, his Android Tablets, His Ipads, His Iphones or Android Cell phones. Sh!t they even have a Windows Phone app... Although they are all different OSes, and devices they all can connect to the "server" program running on the server and give a full plethora of playback options. This allows you to get the most out of your media... which at the end of the day is the main point of this hobby I think.

I was just talking out loud. I am uncertain if this is something he wants to do, cares at all about, or has the budget to pull off. As I explained in my first post (and my PM before this threads creation) that often I get sucked into projects like this with the "upgrade" bug and things just grow out of control. Sometimes it's as much "want" or "just because I can" as it is an immediate need. This is the territory where I can't really offer much help or advice. His budget and his desires are only going to be determined by himself. If he has no desire to get something like this running then I don't really see the point in spending the extra cash on the hardware to do it (like better CPU, or needing an additional SSD etc ) when something like a second unraid server can be built on minimalist parts and costs and serve his needs perfectly.

That's the million dollar question.

I don't know enough about his hardware he already has, or his budget to purchase stuff, to really make a good recommendation. I am just trying to throw out some ideas so he at least explores the options. I know Damelon is pretty smart so I have no doubt the decision he makes will be intelligent and appropriate. My first suggestion was if he only desire is "backup" he can fill up his new 9 hard drives and ship them to Crashplan rather than waiting for that 27TB to sync over the internet (and take forever) LOL .... @ 2MB/sec it would take 121 days to sync via upload. Not good. That was really the only issue with using a cloud back up option for him I think. It wasn't cost, it was the difficulty in backing up such a huge amount of data over the internet.

20TB = 20971520 MB 20971520 divided by 2MB/sec transfer speed = 10485760 seconds divided by 60 = 174762 minutes divided by 60 = 2912 hours divided by 24 = 121 days. eek.gif

Shipping the hard drive to Crash plan might cost $30 more in shipping but would save 100 days of time. They do offer the option to mail hard drives to get started. Copying locally at 100MB/sec would take literally 50 times faster the amount of time.

IDK ?? I am just babbling tongue.gif Sky is the limit he can really do anything he wants.

The way I see it the cliff notes are:

Option 1: Build a cheap simple second server to back up the first (Unraid ? No SSD, No windows cost, minimalist hardware requirments saving $... etc.. )
Option 2: Use opportunity to upgrade current Unraid server and move into something more robust that offers more options for future expansion and possibility. Windows based, ability to run virtually any program and do anything. Ability to locally install some back up plan locally on it and sync over time eventually replacing the need for the old server. Ability to run next generation media server software, home automatation etc. Also ability to set up full transcoding and support multiple different devices simultaneously. Open door for easier future expand ability and upgrades.
Option 3: Just use a cloud based back up solution for the "back up" because you don't need two servers or additional functionality beyond what Damelon has now.

I don't think any of the options are bad. I just think they are different. I don't know enough about his wants and needs, or what hardware he has already or what budget limits he has, to really offer anything better than babble tongue.gif


While there is some difference between Unraid, Flexraid, SnapRAID, Storage Spaces etc... I don't think his problem is as much choosing which of those he wants. I think his choice is bigger picture in that what he wants to do now, and what he might want to do later. Any project like this has a certain cost and time required. If I was going to take the time to do it all - I would want to do it knowing I am likely set for a long time and covered on all my bases. Using his old server for a "back up" instead of the new one as the "back up" allows him to change up what he has now. I am not trying to talk him into it, just pointing out the option. To make the decision to do it would mean you want more than just "flexraid". Flexraid is only 5% of what you can do with a powerful windows server. He could host his own personal Netflix with his media if he wanted, aided by programs designed to do that that install into windows very easily.

A quad core windows based server running flexraid of an SSD drive with Sata HBA cards and lots of hard drives is going to cost a lost more than a simple single or dual core Unraid server running from USB stick. There's a core decision there on how serious and how much investment you want to make. If he did go with the option of using the new server as the main server - after his online back up was over and synced he could actually re-use the hard drives from the old server in the new server for additional space. Then replace them slowly over time with newer larger drives, and minimizing his exposure to HDD failure in future. All old hard drives start failing, so the key is to replace them slowly over time before they fail. It's just much easier.

Ok-- I need to stop babbling. I am doing more harm than good perhaps. biggrin.gif
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Haha. I knew this would be a lightning rod topic for you Mfusick, that's why I PMd you about it originally. I honestly am not sure about what the hardware is in my unRaid sever. It's way more powerful than it needs to be, but I think it's an older generation. I think it's an i7 but the Nehalem version (The original ones). It's a version before sandy bridge, that's for sure. It also has 8gb ram. For the new rig, the cpu is a really low end i3. I think I found a great sale on a 4130 somewhere, which gave me the integrated graphics, and I only put 4gb in it. Though you made a statement earlier about the price being double, that's not really true. 4GB of DDR3-1600 ram was $45 and 8gb could be found at $65. It wasn't a whole lot more expensive, but I didn't really think I needed it. I do have a spare SSD, so that's not a problem. The original server may be better suited for my media hub, in which case if I went the windows route, I'd probably want to use the new server as the backup. Odd isn't it? I recently did phase out all of my 1.5 hard drives which were getting old so none of my hard drives are more than a couple of years old at this point, which is good. I think half of the drives in the unraid box are only 6 months old since I did those upgrades. I do have an unraid license, so one of my boxes really should be an unraid box anyway. I am also still using a beta build of unraid, so once I get a backup done that would give me an opportunity to get it up to date with the latest release version.

I've thought about the whole streaming option a couple of times, but to be honest, I've rarely used it, and even then mostly for TV. I'd have 0 interest watching a show or movie on my phone or tablet. Basically I'm either at home or at work, and if I'm at home, I'm going to watch a movie in my theater. If I'm being lazy and watching tv in bed then I will just watch something silly on on-demand. If I haven't seen the movie before, I'm want my experience to be in my movie room, so I'm already re-watching something. Again, it tends to be TV/Stand up. So transcoding isn't overly important.

As far as your upload Math, you are making one major flawed assumption. That I would keep it running for that entire time, 24 hours a day, for 121 days. My wife works from home, I do a lot of stuff on the internet. Chances are I'd have to turn it off quite often because it would screw with my wife's working and with my gaming. Still, yes, mailing everything to crashplan might have been a good option, but there is no way I'd do that either. Then I'd have no NAS at all, and what if the drives got lost or damaged in shipping. No way I'd send the only copy of my data somewhere! Anyway, I already purchased my backup hardware so it's not an issue!

I've been satisfied with unRaid overall, and parts of it are clunky but it has been rock solid for me. Installing some add-ins can be a PITA since it is all command-prompt linux, and several add-ins are old and not kept up to date with newer versions of the OS. Apps installed on Windows tend to be updated in a timely manor. With the latest releases of MB3 and such, being able to install that on a server rather than my HTPC would be nice. That i-5 you mentioned is my HTPC. I know you might argue that my new i3 might be better for the HTPC and my i5 might be better for the server, but I primarily went with the i3/z78 because I could get 10 sata 3 ports on my motherboard. That already covers all of the hard drives I need. My unraid box only had 6 I think, so I have a 4-port add in card there. Also I think they are all Sata2, though it really doesn't make a big difference since I never really use that bandwidth anyway. (Network bottleneck)

Even if I used unraid, and that might save me the $$$ for windows, I'd still need to buy a new license key to support the drives I have, so that is money, windows is money, WHS is money, Flexraid is money. Only freeNAS wouldn't cost me anything additional. I already have that spare SSD so that isn't a cost to factor in. No matter what I do, I am sure my backup box, no matter which it is, will remain off most of the time. There is just no reason to run it constantly and use that power.

At the moment I'm leaning to just using a windows home premium 64 install only because it will be easy to manage and I know what it can do. Still undecided if I want to even bother with a parity setup for my backup because it wastes a drive and it IS the backup. The major benefit is the pooling so I can just back up the whole server vs drive-by-drive. That also adds the benefit of using the free space on each drive as extra backup space.
post #13 of 27
You want PRO not home for remote RDP...
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

You want PRO not home for remote RDP...

Not true. If you really want to use remote desktop (I did this on my HTPC) you can patch Home to use it with a good 3 minutes of work hehe, or you can just download software like Splashtop, which works a LOT better than RDP anyway.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by damelon View Post



Not true. If you really want to use remote desktop (I did this on my HTPC) you can patch Home to use it with a good 3 minutes of work hehe, or you can just download software like Splashtop, which works a LOT better than RDP anyway.

I am familiar (posted about it many times) with the hack for home ... but not splashtop. Aware me ?
post #16 of 27
Does splashtop allow you to connect remotely without disturbing the local session? That was always the biggest selling point of the RDP hack, for me... on the rare occasion I needed to tinker with my HTPC, I could do it without interrupting TV viewing. Maybe splashtop is different (I didn't find anything definitive on a quick glance at their site) but every other remote access software I've encountered only works with the local session.
post #17 of 27
tightVNC is a good option as well...I use it in place of RDP, as RDP seems to negate my audio from the HD5450. So if I am listening to music or watching a movie, and dial in via RDP, I get an audio drop
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
To answer your questions about Splashtop:

1) Sessions : No, Splashtop steals the local session. You literally would see the mouse start moving on your screen at home. At work, this is a huge deal, as we always need concurrent sessions. This is a non-issue for me at home though. If I am not home, my wife would never even try to watch anything in the theater. She would just watch something on TV in the family room. So this is not something I need at all. I've rarely ever needed to remote into my HTPC anyway. I have my desktop for all my everyday things. The HTPC is only for playing movies really, so the only reason to be on that machine is to watch a movie, or to change settings to be able to watch movies. So in either of those cases, multiple sessions is not necessary.

2) Splashtop in General : It is free, and it is amazing. For one, I can use it to access my machines from work. Depending on the bandwidth use in my office, I can even play games over the remote desktop connection (Nothing like a FPS mind you, but a strategy or RPG, or even something like Diablo works) and it also streams audio automatically. So when work blocks streaming video on say ESPN, I can remote to my home PC and have a march madness game going on while I'm working. Or listen to any of my music, etc. It is leaps and bounds better than RDP in my opinion. Also, you get the choice weather you want the audio to remain on your home PC, your remote PC, or both.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by damelon View Post

To answer your questions about Splashtop:

1) Sessions : No, Splashtop steals the local session. You literally would see the mouse start moving on your screen at home. At work, this is a huge deal, as we always need concurrent sessions. This is a non-issue for me at home though. If I am not home, my wife would never even try to watch anything in the theater. She would just watch something on TV in the family room. So this is not something I need at all. I've rarely ever needed to remote into my HTPC anyway. I have my desktop for all my everyday things. The HTPC is only for playing movies really, so the only reason to be on that machine is to watch a movie, or to change settings to be able to watch movies. So in either of those cases, multiple sessions is not necessary.

2) Splashtop in General : It is free, and it is amazing. For one, I can use it to access my machines from work. Depending on the bandwidth use in my office, I can even play games over the remote desktop connection (Nothing like a FPS mind you, but a strategy or RPG, or even something like Diablo works) and it also streams audio automatically. So when work blocks streaming video on say ESPN, I can remote to my home PC and have a march madness game going on while I'm working. Or listen to any of my music, etc. It is leaps and bounds better than RDP in my opinion. Also, you get the choice weather you want the audio to remain on your home PC, your remote PC, or both.

WOW... thanks. Sounds like a winner. So I could use the HTPC from my Desktop and help wifey figure something out ??? Without logging her off at all ??? Where do I get it ?biggrin.gif
post #20 of 27
teamviewer is what i use and multi platform and multi device. it too uses current session
post #21 of 27
Yes, TeamViewer for current session...
TightVNC is for headless remote desktop...to log in to your server.
post #22 of 27
Personally I LOVE FlexRaid and its massive scalability. Plus I spend way too much time on a terminal line for work so I want a simple GUI at home that just works outta the box. I would give this a run (nearly, I have access to lots of tech scraps) the same as I have here:

Get a nice rackmount case. Like this one > http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147155
Get 3 of these 5 in 3 holders. > http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-994-155
Grab 15 4TB drives. Here > http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822178393
(your wife may question/kill over this...wait until she is on visiting home which you cant make....something like that)
Grab some existing hardware ATX or E-ATX board with lots of PCI-e slots for cheap SATA cards. Use 2 or 3 depending on your motherboards number of SATA spots. Make sure they support modern 4TB drives. Newegg reviews are great for this. I just had junk laying around and processor doesn't really matter a lot with FlexRaid. Available RAM does. You need 24 GB. Its suited perfect for the older LGA 1366 processors and boards. Saves money also.

That case you can remove the front fans and bump in your new nice caddies. The reason I say FlexRaid all the way is because you can just buy some cheapo sata cards and use older yet sufficient tech and have a great JBOD solution thats functionally transparent to speed vs RAID5 solution in an enterprise you would pay a pretty penny for. Same reliability with this kinda setup (or better) then you would get on a DELL MD3000 for a serious fraction. This is even cheaper by far then you will run into on many other platforms for NAS.

I love my ability to scale in and out extra parity drives without needing to sit behind a CL and think about what I need to do.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by killerip View Post

The reason I say FlexRaid all the way is because you can just buy some cheapo sata cards and use older yet sufficient tech and have a great JBOD solution thats functionally transparent to speed vs RAID5 solution in an enterprise you would pay a pretty penny for. Same reliability with this kinda setup (or better) then you would get on a DELL MD3000 for a serious fraction. This is even cheaper by far then you will run into on many other platforms for NAS.

I do all of those same things already in unRaid, and overall it does cost less (License wise (one pro license is cheaper than windows+flexraid) and hardware wise (boot from USB stick vs SSD/Hard Drive)). The big bonuses in Flexraid are more of the fact that you base it on a windows platform, which means you can use it as an actual desktop for things if you want, have more apps/plugins available, and that you can add multiple parity drives. The multiple parity is really the big one there! App-Wise, a windows platform would be more conducive to the new MediaBrowser 3 server as well! I don't want to get into a flexraid vs unraid discussion though.

Right now I decided to go with my original idea of an over the network sync/mirror. I decided to use my extra windows 7 license from my old laptop and installed a copy of Allway Sync. I mapped all of my unraid drives individually (Similar to flexraid, you can access the contends of individual disks regardless if it in an array or not or if the array has "Failed" or not) And have similar sized drives in my backup server. I do a one-way sync from each drive in the unraid NAS array to the backup server. You can save all of your jobs (although it only takes 30 seconds to make one) and I named each local disk "DISK1", "DISK2", "DISK3", etc which directly would map to my unraid/disk1, unraid/disk2 etc. Initial sync is just a full disk mirror, from there it looks for any new files or updated files and will only copy those. Even on a 3TB drive the analysis was only took 15 seconds or so. Once I mirror all of my disks over the network I can just shut down this computer. I will fire it up every couple of weeks and re-sync all of the drives. Also this would give me an alternative file retrieval location if necessary. So far it has all gone flawlessly. I backed up the first disk last night.
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

WOW... thanks. Sounds like a winner. So I could use the HTPC from my Desktop and help wifey figure something out ??? Without logging her off at all ??? Where do I get it ?biggrin.gif

Just google splashtop and you'll find it.

Yes you can do that, but many other programs do that too. The big difference of splashtop is that it can do audio/video over the remote session VERY well (Bandwidth intensive)
post #25 of 27
I've used unRAID forever and a day, I love it! That said... I've moved my unRAID to an ESX server, 16 drives dedicated to unRAID, the other 8 are available to FreeNAS. FreeNAS provides the NFS mount for my VMs and ISO. It supports iSCSI, NFS, SMB, and ZFS. It can be a little bit daunting to setup but its capable and has the ability to run plugins.

OpenIndia is another option, I've run this on my ESX box as well and I like it, also ZFS capable with dedupe. There's a complete setup for this to convert it into a NAS and it might be easier to use than FreeNAS for ZFS, the interface is actually really nice!

Anyway, hope that provides some ideas. With ESX and hardware passthru I can pretty much do it all so maybe even consider that, the software was free for a single socket and up to 32gig of RAM but pay attention to hardware comparability - the unRAID forum has some very good tutorials for this. One of my VMs runs Plexserver for streaming to mobile, Roku, and remote XBMC boxes. I use Logmein for Remote Desktop access to VM and desktops.

FWIW I don't backup my media, it's too much to duplicate! I've been tempted, and looking into, another 4U box from Tamsolutions, but cannot quite justify it - yet! I've already got 30tb if unRAID space now and more room to grow, I'm not duping that!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Sweet! Thanks! How's the server backup coming ?

Going great. 8/9 Disks are mirrored now. Worked perfectly and I am able to do a complete disk-by-disk sync all at once, which is exactly what I was hoping to do.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by damelon View Post

Just google splashtop and you'll find it.

Yes you can do that, but many other programs do that too. The big difference of splashtop is that it can do audio/video over the remote session VERY well (Bandwidth intensive)

I am going to give this a shot. Thanks again!
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