New Network Attached Storage suggestions

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TeknoJnky Offline
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Post: #16
TugboatBill Wrote:ReadyNAS is a good solution. It too uses a parity type system

this is not completely accurate.

the original sparc based x-raid is like this, but the current generation x86 based x-raid2 uses mdadm based arrays. 3200/4200 use dual redundancy (essentially raid 6) by default and come with enterprise disks.

Quote:so drives can be spun down when not in use and you can expand it (within the confines of the chassis). It is also more expensive than most of the DIY systems as well as the Lime-Technology unRaid box.

I know the nvx/ultra/pro systems have spindown, I am not sure if the 3200/4200 do as they are designed for 24/7 operation in datacenters etc.

Quote:Oh, and Adaptive Load Balancing doesn't work on the ReadyNAS line (though it's unlikely any media users would use that feature).

I've never tested ALB, but LACP works fine on my readynas.

If you have issues with ALB, then the best thing to do is open an online support ticket and post in the readynas forums.
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joel_ezekiel Offline
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Post: #17
TugboatBill Wrote:Since it runs on almost any hardware it is easy to try out. Probably the biggest hurdle is making sure you have a USB drive that is bootable and that the MB allows boot from the USB drive.

I get 20MB/sec+ write speeds. Read is faster but I really haven't bothered to test it as it is plenty fast to feed a BR rip.

Well, i have centos running off a flash stick right now. Im hoping i can run unraid under vmware so i can through in a bunch of virtual disks to test it on.

Also 20mb/sec write speeds is rather slow, but what is the limiting factor here? I'm used to getting full saturation of my gigabit network (up to 90mb/sec tranfers) when i used to use my raid for everything. It was actually quicker for me to access the raid over gigabit then it was for the 250 and 500gb drives i was using in my desktop sytems. However since i lost the raid ive decided to go down the dedicated NAS just for sharing media files so speed isnt as much of an issue and im using old hardware. But using all PCI cards and a p4 im still getting 40mb/sec write speeds to the array at the moment.

I've also been looking into flexraid, I have a games box which i keep clean and dont install junk onto and then i have a second pc using synergy to share the kb/mouse which i do all my downloading, encoding, ripping, day to day work and chatting on. If i can use that pc for the raid this would cut down the need for another pc thats on 24/7 and give me fast access to the raid. But trusting my data with something like flexraid seems... scary? Has anyone had any experience with this?
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poofyhairguy Offline
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Post: #18
joel_ezekiel Wrote:Also 20mb/sec write speeds is rather slow, but what is the limiting factor here?

The slower write speeds and the cost are the two downsides to Unraid. But the write speed problem can be fixed by dedicating a cache drive.

The cost problem is fixed when you see how awesome Unraid works....

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TugboatBill Offline
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Post: #19
TeknoJnky Wrote:I've never tested ALB, but LACP works fine on my readynas.

If you have issues with ALB, then the best thing to do is open an online support ticket and post in the readynas forums.


Already been done. Alas Netgear support for the ReadNAS is a bit slow. Sad The ALB bug is a nasty one. PM me if you want details (or take a look at the ALB bug? thread in the readynas general forum).
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boykster Offline
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Post: #20
I'm a big fan of hardware RAID vs software based solutions like unRAID, but Lime technologies has a pretty cool product.

I personally run a linux box (Fedora) in a Norco 4220 case with a pair of 3ware 9550X 12-port SATA cards. I picked up the cards and working pulls off of ebay for a very reasonable price. I currently have 2 arrays - a 12 drive array built with WD Green 1Tb drives and an 8 drive array built with WD Green 1.5Tb drives. I run XFS as the native filesystem because it supports large volumes, volume expansion (I didn't start with both arrays fully populated), and the initialization time for the FS is nearly instanteous compared to ext2/3 FS. The motherboard I chose has 2 64bit PCI-X slots for the RAID cards, as well as a dedicated 64-bit channel for an onboard dual gigE ethernet controller which I have bonded to my switch for full 2x throughput.

I don't have hard benchmark numbers, but I can transfer a BD rip from my main workstation to the storage array and simultaneously play full BD rips from both of my XBMC pc's without a hiccup.
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TugboatBill Offline
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Post: #21
The speed to write to an unraid system is dependent on several things. My system is set up with the slower "green" type drives. It also has a slow 45w Celeron CPU. There are several things that can be done to speed up writes. Faster drives - go with the 7200rpm or faster drives for the parity drive, or faster yet go with fast drive for all your drives.

As Poofyhairguy stated, you can also go with a cache drive (Pro version) if you want more speed. If you really want to bump the speed get a fast SATA 6 SSD for the cache and a jillion core umpteen GHZ CPU and start trek warp 9 controller. Wink For me, 20MB/s is plenty fast. It only affects me when I'm writing to the array, and that only happens when I'm done ripping a disk.
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jmarshall Offline
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Post: #22
I have no idea why people are concerned with the speed of writes to a NAS designed for media storage. It's write once, read many times after all.

If you're doing things on the machine (eg downloading torrents, usenet or whatever) then you simply have a separate "cache" drive (unraid doesn't have to know about it) to download to, then you copy the completed file to the array. That way it's again write-once.

If you're after a server with fast write speeds, then you're not after a media-storage device.

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joel_ezekiel Offline
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Post: #23
jmarshall Wrote:I have no idea why people are concerned with the speed of writes to a NAS designed for media storage. It's write once, read many times after all.

If you're doing things on the machine (eg downloading torrents, usenet or whatever) then you simply have a separate "cache" drive (unraid doesn't have to know about it) to download to, then you copy the completed file to the array. That way it's again write-once.

If you're after a server with fast write speeds, then you're not after a media-storage device.

Write speed isnt a huge issue, but im an impatient person and i dont want to be waiting a day for a 50gb bluray iso to be transfers to the NAS Big Grin.

I think I have decided that unraid is the best solution, also the safest as the data isnt striped at all. Is there any issues with the raid being corrupted somehow with power outages and so forth? with it not being striped i cant imagine there would be.

Also, ive tried running my array under windows hyperv and virtualbox. this works great and the performance is acceptable but i kept getting dropouts on the disk, or atleast thats what mdadm thought and then the drives would resynch. Im wondering if maybe i could get this working with unraid, this would be great to limit the computers that are on 24/7 to one.

Could anyone tell me what happens if the USB stick im using dies? If you have to buy a new license because of this i wouldnt use it on principle Big Grin
(This post was last modified: 2010-09-02 09:33 by joel_ezekiel.)
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Praesten Offline
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Post: #24
I'm about to start getting the last supplies for my new NAS. It's gonna be a homebuilt system with the Asus P5Q Premium motherboard (10 SATA-channels on 2 controllers) running raid1+0. I've done some calculations and a lot of research and I've concluded that if I want to run a raid1+0 with at least 20TB space, I'll either need to pay an insane amount of money for a complete NAS or build it myself and get the grand total to around 2k euro including all the disks.

It's really a simple choice and this way I can get it all setup just the way I want to. I understand this isn't a choice for everyone since it requires some knowledge on computers and setting up your OS of choice correctly. But if you don't mind reading guides online, I would suggest building your own computer in a big case and slap a bunch of disks in it. It's like 1/5 the cost of a so called professional device. And it's only limited by what you buy.

Just my 2 rambling cents.
(This post was last modified: 2010-09-02 14:20 by Praesten.)
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TugboatBill Offline
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Post: #25
joel_ezekiel Wrote:Could anyone tell me what happens if the USB stick im using dies? If you have to buy a new license because of this i wouldnt use it on principle Big Grin

I think all you have to do is request another key, as the key ID is based on the USB flash drive's internal ID. To be sure you should do a search on the unraid forum.
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TugboatBill Offline
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Post: #26
joel_ezekiel Wrote:I think I have decided that unraid is the best solution, also the safest as the data isnt striped at all. Is there any issues with the raid being corrupted somehow with power outages and so forth? with it not being striped i cant imagine there would be.

As I understand it, when data is written to the array it is written to a data drive, then unraid calculates a new checksum and writes that to the parity drive. This is why writes are a little slower, it does 2 writes instead of one as you would do with a single drive.

To resolve issues where there's a power outage you can manually start a rebuild of the parity drive. This is actually recommended to be done every month or so. Assuming I'm like most users, then it is rebuilt every month for the 1st 4-6 months and then rebuilds starts to stretch out. I haven't rebuilt in the last 4 months or so. I guess it's time for another rebuild. Wink
(This post was last modified: 2010-09-02 17:08 by TugboatBill.)
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boykster Offline
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Post: #27
I agree that write speed for a media server is basically a non-issue. I care about simultaneous read/write performance though, because we often have both XBMC boxes playing movies at the same time, and I'm often transferring movies to the array while watching movies. Nothing irritates my wife more than having her Sex in the City movie (blech! hence the 2 xbmc boxes) stutter when the disk performance slows down because I'm transferring over a GOOD movie....
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poofyhairguy Offline
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Post: #28
boykster Wrote:I agree that write speed for a media server is basically a non-issue. I care about simultaneous read/write performance though, because we often have both XBMC boxes playing movies at the same time, and I'm often transferring movies to the array while watching movies. Nothing irritates my wife more than having her Sex in the City movie (blech! hence the 2 xbmc boxes) stutter when the disk performance slows down because I'm transferring over a GOOD movie....

That doesn't happen with Unraid. The writes only affect the parity drive and the disk used. Reads only affect the disk used.

I deal with that usage scenario all the time. My wife loves sex-in-the-city!

Mini/Micro ITX Frontend (with SSD) + Mediaserver/NAS + Logitech Harmony + LCD/LED/Plasma TV + Nice AV Receiver + XBMC + USENET + sabnzbd + sickbeard +couchpotato

My Setup--HTPC Building Guide- Start Here--Advice on Hard Drives and SSDs--Mediaserver Guide--Harmony Guide
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TeknoJnky Offline
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Post: #29
Praesten Wrote:(10 SATA-channels on 2 controllers) running raid1+0. I've done some calculations and a lot of research and I've concluded that if I want to run a raid1+0 with at least 20TB space, I'll either need to pay an insane amount of money for a complete NAS or build it myself and get the grand total to around 2k euro including all the disks.

I hope you know that 10x 2tb disks in raid10 is about 9tb usable?
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rrambo Offline
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Post: #30
another UnRaid user here... mine has been rock solid.
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