FlexRAID: Horrible Experience, Don't Buy - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 95 Old 07-07-2015, 07:06 AM
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Understanding your FlexRAID product support

From my experience, community posted issues tend to be better addressed when posted in a constructive fashion. Remember, you are asking for help from your peers that have no connection to the product other than being users. There as few occasions where you might not get a response when there are not enough details or users simply don't know. In such cases, it is typically best to update your post with more details to both keep it alive and give others more to work with.

As it stands, the paid support service is being run at a loss mostly because most people acquire it after they have serious issues rather than in a way where some might never use it. People love paying for goods but hate paying for services - and some will only do it after screaming fouls and kicking .
Offering a product with lifetime of software updates and lifetime of hands on support for a one time $60 cost is something just not possible - not even in a country with a low cost of living let alone the US of A.
The options are there. It is merely a question of valuing others people time and effort.
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post #32 of 95 Old 07-07-2015, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post
If I'm already running ESXi host on my server would the unRAID NAS be the logical choice? It looks like the other options are their own VM host.
I too am curious about this. I am a Flexraid user and I am not too happy with it. I don't have the sense that if something really goes wrong I will be able to recover from it and I never like a "DIY" type of solution with a small public following, especially in forums.

I am running it on an esxi VM and looking to make a switch, I think making the switch will be painful but it is what it is.
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post #33 of 95 Old 07-07-2015, 08:27 AM
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I'm a relatively new FlexRAID user (since January). Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with the product, but IMO the documentation is pretty awful. Happily I am computer savvy enough to work through these things.

@spectrumbx I'd be more inclined to agree with you if the documentation for FlexRAID was consistent and correct. The wiki goes down often and the documentation is at best conflicting and other times blatantly incorrect. There really needs to be a focused effort on cleaning it up.

The OP definitely went about asking for help without necessary details and that's on him.
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post #34 of 95 Old 07-07-2015, 08:43 AM
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Hi

I think you db is corrupt. Did you make a expansion/update at the same time the OS died?

i think you need to recreate the configuration from scratch, because the system believe that a job is running such as updating the parity, verify.... Make sure it don't recalculate the parity and the sequence of disk is very important. You also try with an old db, if you have one - as long as it have the correct discs.

This is at your own risk, as I can't guarantee the result of the operation. YOU MAY LOOSE DATA. This is generally the problem with community based support and when people can loose their data, people are less willing to help. I don't think the model with community based help is the right approach for an parity based app. I'm only answering because the op is desperate.
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post #35 of 95 Old 07-07-2015, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrted46 View Post
I too am curious about this. I am a Flexraid user and I am not too happy with it. I don't have the sense that if something really goes wrong I will be able to recover from it and I never like a "DIY" type of solution with a small public following, especially in forums.

I am running it on an esxi VM and looking to make a switch, I think making the switch will be painful but it is what it is.
Unfortunately, your question is beyond my level of expertise. I would defer you to the unRAID forums to pose your question as someone there will undoubtedly be able to help you.
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post #36 of 95 Old 07-07-2015, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrted46 View Post
I too am curious about this. I am a Flexraid user and I am not too happy with it. I don't have the sense that if something really goes wrong I will be able to recover from it and I never like a "DIY" type of solution with a small public following, especially in forums.

I am running it on an esxi VM and looking to make a switch, I think making the switch will be painful but it is what it is.
The simple fact that you have the paid support option is what makes FlexRAID ideal. You simply don't commit to the cost till you absolutely need it if ever. I would say 99% of FlexRAID users manage to resolve their issues without paid support. For those that find themselves needing more attention, the incidental cost is frankly low.

More importantly though, FlexRAID makes it super easy for you to test its recovery abilities. So, instead of being uncomfortable with the solution, put it to the test and improve your comfort level with it. There are not many solutions out there like that where you can actually test that things work as advertised before you commit to them.

With any other solution, OP would have lost all of its data given the compounded failures and issues he is facing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NNate View Post
...
@spectrumbx I'd be more inclined to agree with you if the documentation for FlexRAID was consistent and correct. The wiki goes down often and the documentation is at best conflicting and other times blatantly incorrect. There really needs to be a focused effort on cleaning it up.
...
It would be great if those wiki sections were noted either on the wiki or on the forum for them to be rectified.
Documentation is certainly one of the hardest things as different people will read the same thing with different level perceived clarity.
Ps. we recently replaced a defective server. So, the site issues should be fully resolved now.
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post #37 of 95 Old 07-07-2015, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spectrumbx View Post
Understanding your FlexRAID product support

From my experience, community posted issues tend to be better addressed when posted in a constructive fashion. Remember, you are asking for help from your peers that have no connection to the product other than being users. There as few occasions where you might not get a response when there are not enough details or users simply don't know. In such cases, it is typically best to update your post with more details to both keep it alive and give others more to work with.

As it stands, the paid support service is being run at a loss mostly because most people acquire it after they have serious issues rather than in a way where some might never use it. People love paying for goods but hate paying for services - and some will only do it after screaming fouls and kicking .
Offering a product with lifetime of software updates and lifetime of hands on support for a one time $60 cost is something just not possible - not even in a country with a low cost of living let alone the US of A.
The options are there. It is merely a question of valuing others people time and effort.
Yea... the typical BS...
Have you had a look at the FreeNAS wiki / documentation... been using FreeNAS for more than 5 years and never had a problem... replaced failed drives a few times and never had one problem...
If the FlexRAID documentation is good and consistent, the average user should not need to buy support...
From these comments, it sounds like a tricky way to force users to pay for support... just look at the tone in the response to OP's email...
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post #38 of 95 Old 07-07-2015, 11:59 AM
 
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A few things to address here:

1) This is the exact scenario I described in another thread where the ability to import drives with existing data on them is vitally important to know. (ie it isn't just a feature used during the initial implementation, it is also crucial during disaster recovery)


Quote:
Originally Posted by spectrumbx View Post
With any other solution, OP would have lost all of its data given the compounded failures and issues he is facing.
2) That is simply not a factual statement. Having lost his OS drive (not part of his storage pool) and one member of his pool, he would only have lost his OS drive (not all data) if he was running RAID-5 or RAID-6. Looking at most of FlexRAID's software competitors, only a handful of them stripe data, so just like FlexRAID, in the event of a failure, only the data on the failed drive(s) should be lost, not all of the data as you claim. I'm also under the impression that with most other competing parity products that the OP could have recreated his pool and restored the lost data once he had the OS reinstalled, resulting in no data loss beyond what was on his OS drive.

3) In defense of FlexRAID, their support model isn't that unusual, nor is the concept particularly bad. It does make the actual product cheaper, and it does still allow you to get additional support if needed. It's actually similar to Windows. The support you get with Windows is laughable, and in most cases you're better off just scouring technet yourself. But you can pay for premium support and actually correspond with a useful human being if that's what you want/need. That said, I do think FlexRAIDs implementation of that support model is lacking for reasons noted above (established community isn't sufficient for support, documentation is lacking and Brahim's "curtness" can be off-putting to some)
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post #39 of 95 Old 07-07-2015, 05:19 PM
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OP, while I have no comment on how Flexraid manages support and cannot help with your problem, I would say that in general when you are looking for help on a forum like that it's best to give it some time and not continually bump the thread in the 1st 24 hours after you post it. Four posts to bump the thread, culminating with all caps with 20 exclamation points within the first 23 hours is not going to go over all that well. Not trying to be critical, just trying to help.
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post #40 of 95 Old 07-07-2015, 06:11 PM
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After numerous issues with FlexRaid I kicked it to the curb. Switched to Drivepool ($30) + SnapRaid (free), have had ZERO issues and would never go back.
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post #41 of 95 Old 07-07-2015, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spectrumbx View Post
Understanding your FlexRAID product support

From my experience, community posted issues tend to be better addressed when posted in a constructive fashion. Remember, you are asking for help from your peers that have no connection to the product other than being users. There as few occasions where you might not get a response when there are not enough details or users simply don't know. In such cases, it is typically best to update your post with more details to both keep it alive and give others more to work with.

As it stands, the paid support service is being run at a loss mostly because most people acquire it after they have serious issues rather than in a way where some might never use it. People love paying for goods but hate paying for services - and some will only do it after screaming fouls and kicking .
Offering a product with lifetime of software updates and lifetime of hands on support for a one time $60 cost is something just not possible - not even in a country with a low cost of living let alone the US of A.
The options are there. It is merely a question of valuing others people time and effort.
I understand you cannot offer lifetime support but in the same time you took to write this post, you could give me some pointer of what is wrong and how to recover from it. Let's see if you can really do that? Show me and others that FlexRaid is not a scam.
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post #42 of 95 Old 07-07-2015, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhb97ba View Post
Hi

I think you db is corrupt. Did you make a expansion/update at the same time the OS died?

i think you need to recreate the configuration from scratch, because the system believe that a job is running such as updating the parity, verify.... Make sure it don't recalculate the parity and the sequence of disk is very important. You also try with an old db, if you have one - as long as it have the correct discs.

This is at your own risk, as I can't guarantee the result of the operation. YOU MAY LOOSE DATA. This is generally the problem with community based support and when people can loose their data, people are less willing to help. I don't think the model with community based help is the right approach for an parity based app. I'm only answering because the op is desperate.
Actually I am ashamed to admit but what really happened was that I was reinstalling my software and accidentally installed it onto a data drive. Hence the loss of both OS and Data drive.

Now how can i do what you suggest. Can you kindly write a brief guide or tutorial or point me to some link.

Last edited by hussain; 07-08-2015 at 02:58 AM.
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post #43 of 95 Old 07-08-2015, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by balky View Post
yea... The typical bs...
Have you had a look at the freenas wiki / documentation... Been using freenas for more than 5 years and never had a problem... Replaced failed drives a few times and never had one problem...
If the flexraid documentation is good and consistent, the average user should not need to buy support...
From these comments, it sounds like a tricky way to force users to pay for support... Just look at the tone in the response to op's email...
exactly
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post #44 of 95 Old 07-08-2015, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by hussain View Post
Actually I am ashamed to admit but what really happened was that I was reinstalling my software and accidentally installed it onto a data drive. Hence the loss of both OS and Data drive.

Now how can i do what you suggest. Can you kindly write a brief guide or tutorial or point me to some link.
I THINK it should still work. Are you using f-raid or traid? My memory are of traid. Here you just create a new configuration and added the drives as you did the first time setting up raid. In the correct order and correct type. So the drive that are the ppu should also be the ppu in the new configuration. Dru1,dru2,dru3,dru4 ... needs to be added in the correct sequence. If the failed drive is dru2, then use an empty disc as dru2. I believe the system ask a question when pushing create button, it does in traid. It ask if one want to recalculate parity. Choose the option do nothing.
Perhaps you should try the process in a VM first to reduce the risc.

This could also be a possiblity for f-raid http://wiki.flexraid.com/2012/03/25/...g-parity-data/
or http://wiki.flexraid.com/2011/08/23/...snapshot-raid/ (this one is more the approach I speaking of - remember DO NOT create parity)

WIKI for traid
http://wiki.flexraid.com/2013/06/27/...nt-raid-array/

IF you get it up and running and still would like to use flexraid, then take regular backup of the db file(configuration file). In traid you can setup a job which backup the configuration to an email. I do this once a week.
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post #45 of 95 Old 07-08-2015, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhb97ba View Post
I THINK it should still work. Are you using f-raid or traid? My memory are of traid. Here you just create a new configuration and added the drives as you did the first time setting up raid. In the correct order and correct type. So the drive that are the ppu should also be the ppu in the new configuration. Dru1,dru2,dru3,dru4 ... needs to be added in the correct sequence. If the failed drive is dru2, then use an empty disc as dru2. I believe the system ask a question when pushing create button, it does in traid. It ask if one want to recalculate parity. Choose the option do nothing.
Perhaps you should try the process in a VM first to reduce the risc.

This could also be a possiblity for f-raid http://wiki.flexraid.com/2012/03/25/...g-parity-data/
or http://wiki.flexraid.com/2011/08/23/...snapshot-raid/ (this one is more the approach I speaking of - remember DO NOT create parity)

WIKI for traid
http://wiki.flexraid.com/2013/06/27/...nt-raid-array/

IF you get it up and running and still would like to use flexraid, then take regular backup of the db file(configuration file). In traid you can setup a job which backup the configuration to an email. I do this once a week.
I have the old flexraid, i think it is now called raid over filing system. However, Thanks a lot, will i be able to recover my lost data this way?
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post #46 of 95 Old 07-08-2015, 10:31 AM
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I have the old flexraid, i think it is now called raid over filing system. However, Thanks a lot, will i be able to recover my lost data this way?
Then you are using f-raid. I believe this is you best chance of recovering your data.
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post #47 of 95 Old 07-08-2015, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Then you are using f-raid. I believe this is you best chance of recovering your data.
I have three drive dru1, dru2 and dru3, how do i know which drive was which. thanks once again for your help
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post #48 of 95 Old 07-08-2015, 10:46 AM
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I have three drive dru1, dru2 and dru3, how do i know which drive was which. thanks once again for your help
Your memory I don't think there is any other way. Hopefully you have given the partitions a meaningful name, remember data was on drive 1,2,3 or remember the serialnumber of the different drive for dru1,dru2,dru3.

If you can't remember this, then try http://wiki.flexraid.com/2012/03/25/...g-parity-data/(probably your only choice) then you only have to locate the ppu, which is the one with .flx files on the drive. I assumes that you old had one PPU.
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post #49 of 95 Old 07-08-2015, 10:46 AM
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Those options are actually far better than our hourly rates, which would be no less than $150/hr.

Run away. Run far, far away.


Paid support is a gold mine. If a vendor (especially a storage vendor) is actively discouraging you from buying it, they're concerned you'll actually cough up the cash and demand results they are incapable of delivering.
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post #50 of 95 Old 07-08-2015, 11:33 AM
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Run away. Run far, far away.


Paid support is a gold mine. If a vendor (especially a storage vendor) is actively discouraging you from buying it, they're concerned you'll actually cough up the cash and demand results they are incapable of delivering.
Three hours later... "We are sorry, but your data cannot be recovered. You have been charged $450."

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post #51 of 95 Old 07-08-2015, 11:49 AM
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I would highly recommend unRAID. The latest version (6.0) is extremely advanced compared to previous versions and it has a very active support forum. I've been using it for about 8 years and it has been very reliable and easy to set up. Upgrading is as easy as clicking a button and rebooting. It now has Docker support with a huge library of plug-ins.

I bought a FlexRAID license a few years ago and I had all sorts of problems trying to convert my disks from the reiserfs file system used in unRAID to NTFS so I could use FlexRAID in a Windows environment. I really have no idea what the issue was and I'm not actually sure it was a problem with FlexRAID. I was never able to complete the conversion so I reverted back to unRAID and never had a problem since. The latest version now supports the XFS file system in addition to reiserfs and the OS is a 64-bit version vs. 32-bit for the previous versions. I'm in the process of converting all of my unRAID disks to XFS and so far the transition is going smoothly, although it will end up being quite time consuming. If you start fresh you can format the disks in XFS right out of the gate so there's no conversion required.
Same experience with UnRaid. I'm still running 5.x.

The one thing I like most about UnRaid is that it is not Windows based. It runs a realtime linux off a small USB drive. It's an appliance as a RAID should be. Any access needed is through a standard WEB page.

IMO, we all have enough Windows problems with our media servers. Being able to seperate the RAID from Windows is a big plus in reliability at least for me.
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post #52 of 95 Old 07-08-2015, 12:52 PM
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Same experience with UnRaid. I'm still running 5.x.

The one thing I like most about UnRaid is that it is not Windows based. It runs a realtime linux off a small USB drive. It's an appliance as a RAID should be. Any access needed is through a standard WEB page.

IMO, we all have enough Windows problems with our media servers. Being able to seperate the RAID from Windows is a big plus in reliability at least for me.
Exactly. I was leery of trying FlexRAID because I really didn't want to deal with another Windows machine, although I believe it can also run in a Linux environment. UnRAID is basically a set-it-and-forget-it server. You can make it as simple or as complex as you want. The library of plug-ins for Docker is huge and offers a lot of flexibility. I'm looking forward to setting it up to use with the HDHR DVR software at some point.
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post #53 of 95 Old 07-08-2015, 08:20 PM
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Are you using DrivePool and Scanner with FreeNAS or just when you were using SnapRAID? I have a license to both, but just wondering for another media server build.
FreeNas runs the FreeBSD kernel, and has all the SMART tools built in, so no need for Scanner. Also, being that it runs ZFS, is had pooling built in, so no need to run DrivePool either.
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post #54 of 95 Old 07-08-2015, 08:29 PM
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Freenas and ZFS is the way to go with for this kind of thing.. no need to run windows with a hack installed on top to make it work

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post #55 of 95 Old 07-09-2015, 04:12 AM
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Freenas and ZFS is the way to go with for this kind of thing.. no need to run windows with a hack installed on top to make it work
This was always my opinion as well and I have never had any regret at any time...

Y'all remember all the hype about F-RAID or tRAID or whatever it was called, was going to be the best thing on the globe for RAID...
It was going to be better than any existing enterprise RAID solution and the enterprise world will be saved when the product hit the shelves... LOL...
Even unRAID got its fair share of bashing if I remember correctly...

Funny to see how these same guys can barely maintain useful documentation for the product...

I'm really happy I kept my distance...
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post #56 of 95 Old 07-09-2015, 05:14 AM
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I guess I need to read up more on FreeNAS. I swapped out FlexRAID-F with SnapRAID a couple days ago to evaluate it (keeping FlexRAID pooling).

I'll be building a media server for a co-worker and that will give me enough temporary storage to move my data off my drives, install FreeNAS, and move it back. I'm just not clear how FreeNAS works with the equivalent of parity drive(s). If I have 12TB of data how much storage do I need for FreeNAS? I'm used to having one of the largest sized drives allocated for parity, does FreeNAS require double?

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post #57 of 95 Old 07-09-2015, 05:54 AM
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This was always my opinion as well and I have never had any regret at any time...

Y'all remember all the hype about F-RAID or tRAID or whatever it was called, was going to be the best thing on the globe for RAID...
It was going to be better than any existing enterprise RAID solution and the enterprise world will be saved when the product hit the shelves... LOL...
Even unRAID got its fair share of bashing if I remember correctly...

Funny to see how these same guys can barely maintain useful documentation for the product...

I'm really happy I kept my distance...
I assume you are referring to https://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-hom...-traid-14.html

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post #58 of 95 Old 07-09-2015, 06:38 AM
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The filesystem that Freenas uses (ZFS) is the most robust filesystem on the planet right now. Anyone who is serious about storage should be using it. The manual install / setup of zfs is all command line based, but with freenas, everything is done in a web interface, so you don't need to know the inner workings of it if you don't want to

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post #59 of 95 Old 07-09-2015, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post
Yea... that one...
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post #60 of 95 Old 07-09-2015, 08:27 AM
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Hi

Can anyone tell a little about ZFS failure resilience/data integrity on a disc-level. My understanding is that raid-z is equal to raid5 but with protection against bit root. however if 2 disc fails, everything is lost. Raid-z2 is 3 disc and raid-z3 is 4 disc.

How do you guys layout your zfs's configuration?
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