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Hi guys,


Quick background: WHSv1 running for 3-4 years on an ex gaming PC, ~20tb added via ~10 disks. 5x2tb currently sitting in a lian li ex-503 connected via USB3 (pcie card), added into DE as separate drives (port multiplier setting on the ex-503).


The decisions to use both USB3 on WHSv1 and the port multiplier setting rather than building an array and then adding to the pool have both hurt me badly in terms of stability of the ex-503. The old WHS just sucks at USB3 (often drops connection overnight), as well as pounding the disks whenever there is any kind of scanning/balancing etc done.


I've been planning my upgrade for a long time, and am torn between a WHS2011 + flexraid/stablebit server with a new gaming capable htpc, or combining both systems into an all in 1, win7/win8 file server/htpc/gaming pc for the lounge room.


No matter the direction I take, I have some decisions to make about how the external drives in ex-503 enclosures are added.


1. USB3 or eSata

2. Separate disks, or build raid5 blocks in each lian li ex-503, then pool them via flexraid/stable bit


If I set the lian li enclosures to port multiplier mode, I can add the separate disks into flex/stable bit just as I do atm with WHSv1 DE. The question is ... will this hammer the disks? What happens when I have multiple apps doing full data scans (meta browser, plex, media browser, windows indexing, flexraid/stable bit etc.) and all disks are trying to be accessed at once.


It seems to me the best option for performance would be USB3 raid5 blocks, with software pooling?


What are people's thoughts on eSata vs USB (ie. onboard controller vs the lian li one) and seperately adding disks vs software pooling multiple hw raid arrays?


USB really seems the easiest/most plug n play option to me, as long as it's more solid under win7/8/WHS2011.


Anyone done anything similar to this?


Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nix3r  /t/1420166/flexraid-lian-li-ex-503s-5x3tb-seperate-disks-or-add-them-as-raid5-blocks#post_22217324


I've been planning my upgrade for a long time, and am torn between a WHS2011 + flexraid/stablebit server with a new gaming capable htpc, or combining both systems into an all in 1, win7/win8 file server/htpc/gaming pc for the lounge room.

Well, if you don't mind that many hard drives and all that noise in the lounge room, you could do an all in one. But for your sanity's sake, I would suggest a medium power separate server. That way all your media doesn't go down whenever your lounge computer goes down.

Quote:
No matter the direction I take, I have some decisions to make about how the external drives in ex-503 enclosures are added.

1. USB3 or eSata

2. Separate disks, or build raid5 blocks in each lian li ex-503, then pool them via flexraid/stable bit

Unfortunately, there is no right answer here. There are pros and cons to both options. For the first question, eSata if you can, your data doesn't have to go through a Sata->USB->Sata transition while connected to eSata. While USB 3 will probably be faster at reading data, eSata tends to be better at writing data... in that respect it really depends on your typical usage patterns. I would suggest separate controller cards (eSata or USB) for each Lian Li ex503 to help with bandwidth controller loads.


As for your second question above, I would stick with separate disks unless you need the increased read-performance that a RAID 5 can give you. And Flexraid on top of multiple RAID 5 blocks just sounds like a really bad idea. Nesting your RAID levels could give you one extra layer of "piece of mind", but that can be complicated to maintain, and it's too easy to blow a whole RAID 5 block of data away if the array fails. At least with the separate drives scenario, you only lose the data on one drive's worth.


That being said, with 20 drives worth of data, I'd have two parity disks or and preferably a RAID 0 striped set for your parity drives. The increased speed with the RAID 0 striped set will help you tremendously in your parity calculation "syncs" or rebuilds.

Quote:
If I set the lian li enclosures to port multiplier mode, I can add the separate disks into flex/stable bit just as I do atm with WHSv1 DE. The question is ... will this hammer the disks?

Well, yeah. Especially if you put them in RAID 5 blocks. In a typical home server scenario, unless you are serving up multiple HD streams (on the order of 8-10) all at once... then stick with the separate disks. When you are watching content then you are only pulling data from one drive... so there will be no hammering. The only time you will get hammering with separate disks is when you are syncing parity.

Quote:
What happens when I have multiple apps doing full data scans (meta browser, plex, media browser, windows indexing, flexraid/stable bit etc.) and all disks are trying to be accessed at once.

With separate discs this just doesn't happen, and an individual disc is more than capable of handling such loads... unless you are also serving up multiple HD streams at the same time. And when I say multiple, I mean a lot. I have tested 4 HD streams from a single hard drive with no issue.

Quote:
It seems to me the best option for performance would be USB3 raid5 blocks, with software pooling?

No doubt it would perform well, but at the cost of complexity and the risk of losing a lot of data all at once if an array goes down. Plus you are giving up a lot of disk space to the parity RAID 5 block.
 
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