Raid

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patseguin Offline
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Post: #46
Thanks for the advice. I think you're right about why I switched. I was willing to give FreeNAS a try but now I'm thinking about just putting Windows 7 back on it and either going back to my LSI RAID card or maybe even go with Windows 7 software RAID1. What do you think? My motherboard supports up to RAID10 and it was working fine but gollum told me that is the absolute worst way to go.

Server: Synology Diskstation 1511+ with 8x 3TB drives and DSM 5.0
Main HTPC: Home built Intel core i3, 8GB RAM, Corsair 128GB SSD, nVidia 630GTX, Rii micro keyboard remote, Pioneer VSX-53, Panasonic VT30 65" 3D TV, OpenElec 4.1.2
Bedroom HTPC: Zotac-ID 41 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Rii micro keyboard remote, Samsung HW-E550, Sony Google TV, OpenElec 4.1.2
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djmcnz Offline
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Post: #47
patseguin Wrote:Thanks for the advice. I think you're right about why I switched. I was willing to give FreeNAS a try but now I'm thinking about just putting Windows 7 back on it and either going back to my LSI RAID card or maybe even go with Windows 7 software RAID1. What do you think? My motherboard supports up to RAID10 and it was working fine but gollum told me that is the absolute worst way to go.

As long as you keep in mind there's no "right" answer unless you spend thousands on a controller, chassis and spindles then you can take all the advice offered on face value - it's all meant to be helpful.

Again, it's difficult to tell exactly what card you have but rest assured, the LSI's are popular and well supported. Would they be recommended to run Wikipedia's server farm? Possibly not but then you're not doing that either.

I think your controller will be 100% fine for your needs.

Disks are next, you picked up some Barracuda's which in my opinion are much, much better than the Green Editions but unfortunately are not fully RAID compliant disks.

"Green" disks are "bad" for (hardware) RAID arrays because the do really bad things with the power profiles and controllers can see a disk as faltering.

"Desktop" disks are "not ideal" for (hardware) RAID because they may not have TLER however the problem is actually worse in reverse (using a TLER disk on a destop without a RAID controller is "bad"). But the second problem with desktop drives is that they assume they are in an array of 1 disk or RAID 0 JBOD and they apply their own error correction - this is "really bad" when the RAID controller is meant to be looking after error detection/correction.

"RAID" disks are required for proper performance, resilience and reliability but they're more expensive. In the Seagate range this is the "Constellation" set (you don't need the 'ES' edition).

Brand is your choice, I prefer WD's and they call their ones "RAID Edition".

Simply put, if you want redundancy in your array then use RAID5, if you don't want redundancy then use RAID0. Both should give you oodles of performance, don't worry about 4/6/10/50 etc.

Bung that all in an I'm pretty sure Windows will run it like a champ. Especially since they have a very, very fast bus/interface.
(This post was last modified: 2012-02-20 19:41 by djmcnz.)
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Orclas Offline
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Post: #48
Copy jobs going bad aside, I wouldn't care too overly much about how long time it takes to build your array and copy the files to it (within limits of course).

Once it's there it's there and unless you're planning to shuffle large quantities of data around regularly, 10 or 18 hours for a one-off data transfer doesn't really matter all that much (as long as it does arrive without errors).

HTPC: OpenELEC 3.0.2 (XBMC 12.2) on XS35GTv2 (Ion2 with 4Gb RAM)
NAS: FreeNAS build on a Dell scrap computer (3x 2TB Raid5'd to 4TB actual storage)
TV: LG 42PJ350
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patseguin Offline
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Post: #49
Yeah sorry I don't have the model, I'll dig up that info for you. My issue with using it is that it only supports SATA II. I'm scared that it will be crap slow compared to SATA III and not good enough to stream 1080p media throughout the home. Another thing is that my cables only have 4 SATA connectors, which isn't a huge problem. I could do maybe RAID 10 and have 6 TB of space.

Would something like using that controller along with Windows Home Server 2011 be a good solution? Or maybe just Ubuntu?

God what have I gotten myself into? LOL

Cool thing is I have all my media temporarily on my main PC and it is super neat having all my movies and shows on demand from my Zotac boxes in my bedroom and living room. I just want to get the server set and just put it in the basement and let it run for the next 5 years lol.

Server: Synology Diskstation 1511+ with 8x 3TB drives and DSM 5.0
Main HTPC: Home built Intel core i3, 8GB RAM, Corsair 128GB SSD, nVidia 630GTX, Rii micro keyboard remote, Pioneer VSX-53, Panasonic VT30 65" 3D TV, OpenElec 4.1.2
Bedroom HTPC: Zotac-ID 41 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Rii micro keyboard remote, Samsung HW-E550, Sony Google TV, OpenElec 4.1.2
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Orclas Offline
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Post: #50
I've said it before and I say it again: streaming HD does not take more than 30Mb/s max (per stream). That's not even 4MB/s, so all else properly built and configured, SATA II or III wont matter for that part.

It might matter for copy speed, but since already SATA II is 3.0 Gbit/s (that's 375 MB/s), I think you'll find the bottle necks elsewhere than in the SATA bus speed alone.

HTPC: OpenELEC 3.0.2 (XBMC 12.2) on XS35GTv2 (Ion2 with 4Gb RAM)
NAS: FreeNAS build on a Dell scrap computer (3x 2TB Raid5'd to 4TB actual storage)
TV: LG 42PJ350
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djmcnz Offline
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Post: #51
Orclas Wrote:I've said it before and I say it again: streaming HD does not take more than 30Mb/s max (per stream). That's not even 4MB/s, so all else properly built and configured, SATA II or III wont matter for that part.

It might matter for copy speed, but since already SATA II is 3.0 Gbit/s (that's 375 MB/s), I think you'll find the bottle necks elsewhere than in the SATA bus speed alone.

^^^ that.

You can stream 1080p/12k off an old IDE hard drive with no problems at all. My RAID5 is SATA II and it'll punch out 4 simultaneous 1080p streams at the same time as it caches a billion parts of an nzb downloading at 14 mega BYTES per second. The bus will not be the bottleneck. Nor will the drives.

I using Windows also, that's apparently not the issue.
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djmcnz Offline
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Post: #52
patseguin Wrote:...and not good enough to stream 1080p media throughout the home.

Across a network or some direct-connect?

Forgive me, I've forgotten. Are you setting up a central media server with RAID and then connecting multiple clients across a network?

If so, where are you observing/measuring performance? At the server or a client?

If the server is effectively acting as a NAS then almost certainly your network will be more of a performance limitation than your storage.
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patseguin Offline
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Post: #53
Good points. I can use 4 drives and be dependent on the controller or all 5 and be dependent on the motherboard I guess is what it comes down to now.

Server: Synology Diskstation 1511+ with 8x 3TB drives and DSM 5.0
Main HTPC: Home built Intel core i3, 8GB RAM, Corsair 128GB SSD, nVidia 630GTX, Rii micro keyboard remote, Pioneer VSX-53, Panasonic VT30 65" 3D TV, OpenElec 4.1.2
Bedroom HTPC: Zotac-ID 41 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Rii micro keyboard remote, Samsung HW-E550, Sony Google TV, OpenElec 4.1.2
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patseguin Offline
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Post: #54
No problem djmcnz, I've made so many posts I don't expect you to remember. ;-)

Where I am at right now is a Zotac 41 on my main plasma living room TV and a Zotac 36 in my bedroom. I am currently getting my content over the network from my gaming pc (where I temporarily stored everything). The big tower that I used to have next to my TV and that used to run XBMC will now soley be a media server. So, yes it is effectively acting as a NAS. I just need to figure out if I want unRAID (which doesn't seem to be working out), freeNAS, LSI SATAII RAID controller w/4drives, or AMD motherboard controller with 5 drives.

Server: Synology Diskstation 1511+ with 8x 3TB drives and DSM 5.0
Main HTPC: Home built Intel core i3, 8GB RAM, Corsair 128GB SSD, nVidia 630GTX, Rii micro keyboard remote, Pioneer VSX-53, Panasonic VT30 65" 3D TV, OpenElec 4.1.2
Bedroom HTPC: Zotac-ID 41 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Rii micro keyboard remote, Samsung HW-E550, Sony Google TV, OpenElec 4.1.2
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djmcnz Offline
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Post: #55
patseguin Wrote:No problem djmcnz, I've made so many posts I don't expect you to remember. ;-)

Where I am at right now is a Zotac 41 on my main plasma living room TV and a Zotac 36 in my bedroom. I am currently getting my content over the network from my gaming pc (where I temporarily stored everything). The big tower that I used to have next to my TV and that used to run XBMC will now soley be a media server. So, yes it is effectively acting as a NAS. I just need to figure out if I want unRAID (which doesn't seem to be working out), freeNAS, LSI SATAII RAID controller w/4drives, or AMD motherboard controller with 5 drives.

Use the independent controller, it's probably got it's own ram and cache and will take load off the motherboard, however incremental. Set it up, RAID5 sounds right for you and then test the performance of the array on the server using any number of read/write test tools. Confirm your performance is sound then look at your network if streaming is bad.

You'll need a switched gigabit backbone at least, preferably the whole network (or wireless N), and turn auto-switching (10/100) off on all your ports and set manually to max. Plug the media server directly into the primary switch (or switching router).

Good luck! Smile
(This post was last modified: 2012-02-20 21:33 by djmcnz.)
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Ballistic Offline
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Post: #56
patseguin Wrote:Just an update for anyone who was following my progress. I set up a RAID5 and it was incredibly slow. We are talking 9 hours to copy 1tb of data. So I went with RAID0 for now with 8tb of space and the data copy is about 3 hours. I figure maybe Ill get a battery back up and a NAS.

Have you let the array build before using it?
This can take a day or two. After this performance is way better.

I really doubt a raid5 array is 3 times slower then a raid0...

My 8x 1.5TB SATA Software RAID5:
Timing buffered disk reads: 2260 MB in 3.00 seconds = 752.59 MB/sec
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patseguin Offline
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Post: #57
OK so with 12TB of storage I will get a little less than 6 with RAID5 right but I can lose 2 drives and still have my data intact?

Server: Synology Diskstation 1511+ with 8x 3TB drives and DSM 5.0
Main HTPC: Home built Intel core i3, 8GB RAM, Corsair 128GB SSD, nVidia 630GTX, Rii micro keyboard remote, Pioneer VSX-53, Panasonic VT30 65" 3D TV, OpenElec 4.1.2
Bedroom HTPC: Zotac-ID 41 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Rii micro keyboard remote, Samsung HW-E550, Sony Google TV, OpenElec 4.1.2
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djmcnz Offline
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Post: #58
patseguin Wrote:OK so with 12TB of storage I will get a little less than 6 with RAID5 right but I can lose 2 drives and still have my data intact?

No...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels

4x3TB=12TB*RAID5=(4-1)x3TB=9TB

And only one disk can fail.
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patseguin Offline
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Post: #59
Hmm, nope. I just assumed that once it showed the array online it was good to go. Once I added the drives and it spent 14 building the parity drive, I started copying files. I am still ripping so I don't want to be having to create an MKV file and have it take 3 hours to copy. Windows 7/motherboard RAID10 had me copying those files in 2-3 minutes.

Server: Synology Diskstation 1511+ with 8x 3TB drives and DSM 5.0
Main HTPC: Home built Intel core i3, 8GB RAM, Corsair 128GB SSD, nVidia 630GTX, Rii micro keyboard remote, Pioneer VSX-53, Panasonic VT30 65" 3D TV, OpenElec 4.1.2
Bedroom HTPC: Zotac-ID 41 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Rii micro keyboard remote, Samsung HW-E550, Sony Google TV, OpenElec 4.1.2
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Ballistic Offline
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Post: #60
My drives are consumer drive too by the way, not enterprise disks.

imo; Windows with RAID isn't really the way to go. You will only get some performance if you have a good hardware controller like an Areca. Not the Windows software raid or the onboard controller.

Your better off making a nice linux NAS for performance.
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