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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may seem like a ridiculous question, but with 2Tb external drives and 2tb internal drives only being about $40-$50 (if that) difference in price , what is the benefit of building an unRaid server for content storage over just buying a bunch of external drives (and a good USB hub).


I'm guessing one benefit might be being able to access the content on the server from multiple machines, but couldn't you just set up one of the HTPCs (if you have multiple) as a pseudo-server (that isn't the right term....basically, have all your externals plugged into it and set it up so that content can be accessed by other machines on your network).


I guess the other issue would be speed of usb 2.0 over sata, especially if trying to play content from multiple systems simultaneous.


But lets say you don't care about all that, but just need a large amount of storage, is there a benefit that I'm just not seeing?
 

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Quote:
but couldn't you just set up one of the HTPCs (if you have multiple) as a pseudo-server (that isn't the right term....basically, have all your externals plugged into it and set it up so that content can be accessed by other machines on your network

Sounds kinda like you just built yourself a media server anyway - add one extra drive and suddenly you've got (as Mike pointed out) complete redundancy in case of disc failure. I'd hate to lose 2tb of movies, that's for sure...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Didn't think of that...but good point. I suppose that's a better idea than just burning dozens (or hundreds lol) of Blu-rays for backup.


I'm not entirely clear how that works though. If you have, lets say, 10 TB of data "split" over 5, 2TB drives (so the drives are technically maxed out, although you'd have less than 10TB in that case), and 1 drive fails, how will you not lose that data?


Edit: Oh so you need to have an extra drive beyond whatever your amount of stored data amounts to
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockytt /forum/post/19511735


Sounds kinda like you just built yourself a media server anyway - add one extra drive and suddenly you've got (as Mike pointed out) complete redundancy in case of disc failure. I'd hate to lose 2tb of movies, that's for sure...

So you can accomplish the same thing with external drives?
 

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Nope - that's what an unRaid box is-

if you have 6 2tb drives, that will give you (approx) 10tb of storage with full backup if one should fail.

It would be more expensive (or approx the same) to buy a bunch of external drives and plug them into one of your machines as a psuedo server. Couple that with the fact that you'd have a heck of time trying to find anything. ("which drive did I leave that file on?") Oh, and you lose the redundancy thing also.

Don't use BDs for backup purposes if you can help it - I've lost so many movies over the past couple of years because I thought it would be better to put them on disc instead of HD...
 

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I've got an unRAID server with over 20TB of storage that serves my entire household via my home network. I've had issues with a SATA backplane that kept causing write errors on one of my discs. If it weren't for the parity drive in the server I would have lost several TB of ripped Blu-Ray discs and DVDs. All I had to do was uninstall the disc and then install it as a new disc. The parity drive rebuilt the data and I was up and running again in short order. I'd like to see you do that with a standard external drive. I recently replaced the backplane and now the server is running beautifully without a single glitch.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt /forum/post/19511767


So you can accomplish the same thing with external drives?

Not that it matters, but a bunch of external enclosures looks pretty butt ugly and amateur.


Just MHO


BT
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjterry62 /forum/post/19511886


Not that it matters, but a bunch of external enclosures looks pretty butt ugly and amateur.


Just MHO


BT

lol very true.


well you've all convinced me. now to figure out what I actually need. time to make another thread
 

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There are other advantages besides the disk failure redundancy.


unRAID will combine the data on multiple drives into a single common share. If you go to \\\ ower\\Movies you can see the movies stored on 1 to 20 drives.


unRAID can automatically write the media to the different drives to spread the content out over the disks. You don't have to store the data drive by drive.


unRAID is stand alone so it seperates the storage from the other machines. You don't need one running and you don't lose access to the data while you are working on another machine.


And finally, if you buy 4 to 5 external drives at +$50 over the cost of internals then you've got close to enough cash to build a server that will handle 6 drives. A few extra bucks (maybe $60 or so) can get you to 10 drives.


Finally, it just works!!


Peter
 

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Redundancy is a huge feature. And unlike commercial NAS products, if a drive fails during a recovery, you don't lose the whole array. You also don't have to worry about matching drives. You can throw any drives you have in there, in whatever capacity. You can control how your computers see those drives, or rather the shares on those drives. The unRAID server can stay on all the time, and free your "pseudo server" to be turned off or sleep.


I had several drives' worth of media stored on two different computers, so both stayed on all the time. Now both can sleep at night, without impacting our ability to watch media.


The cost of entry is actually relatively low, especially if you already have some old hardware laying around. unRAID isn't very demanding of hardware, so you can build it out of parts you might otherwise discard.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjterry62 /forum/post/19511886


Not that it matters, but a bunch of external enclosures looks pretty butt ugly and amateur.


Just MHO


BT

lol I was thinking that too.
 
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