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Storage How best to configure 4x3TB discs in a server

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by Cleggmeister, 26 Jan 2016.

  1. Cleggmeister

    Cleggmeister Of reasonable knowledge...

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    Greetings folks,

    I'm nuking and rebuilding my microserver and have the option to change my storage configuration.
    I currently run four independent drives in the server; Music, Movies, Data and Backup. All are 3TB discs. I periodically backup each disc to large-capacity USB which is stored offsite. I also backup very important stuff (documents and pictures mainly) to the cloud. Current useage as follows:

    Movies = 2.5TB
    Music = 1.5TB
    Data = 0.2TB
    Backup = 0.5TB

    Plenty of free space in other words if I were to pool the drives.

    This configuration has served me well but it's not massively elegant. That said I'm nervous about simply going RAID 5 as I understand it introduces more opportunity for catastrphic failure.

    What would you do? I hear SNAPRaid is good but I'm as happy going RAID 5 if my fears are unfounded, or simply leaving things as is...

    Many thanks in advance

    Cleggy.
     
  2. crazyg1zm0

    crazyg1zm0 Well-Known Member

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    Raid 5 is fine, as you have a back up solution in place just in-case something does go wrong. But if you do go that rout and don't have a system doing data checks like ZFS (which likes to have full control over the drives so if you have a separate raid controller i would not suggest anything but raid 5)

    My N40L uses FreeNas and ZFS drivepool for its data storage as this will scan the data and keep checking it from what I understand to make sure the data doesn't corrupt or get bit-rot (might be the wrong use of this term)

    There is a plugin for OpenMediaVualt that gives you ZFS and will give you the drive pooling and level of redundancy.

    Obviously backups should still always be taken.

    My personal suggestion would be either stick with OMV and look into the ZFS plugin or go to Freenas and try that.

    I will also assume with OMV and Freenas you are using the internal USB port for you OS?
     
  3. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    The big question for me is:

    What drives are you using?

    RAID 5 is fussy with consumer drives and can cause issues if you're using low power drives
     
  4. crazyg1zm0

    crazyg1zm0 Well-Known Member

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    That too
     
  5. nimbu

    nimbu Well-Known Member

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    I have been using xpenology for quite a while for my general serving needs around the house. I like a good GUI and not having to fiddle too much to keep things working.

    I have used OMV to experiment with but I didnt like it. Again the GUI was IMH limited with things buried to far in.

    I have played with nexcenter for ZFS, the community edition is not for "production" environments but its nice. I found it was good for presenting datastores to ESXi environments. The snapshotting was great for spinning up complete dev environments of our stacks.

    My boss then suggested we go a little hardcore and use OpenIndiana as a more bare build ZFS based SAN. I got it working but way too much CLI for my liking especially for home use.

    I havent played with FreeNAS in a very long time. When I did it was for a very simple 4 x 250GB array, to offload some stuff of of the main network fileserver.

    Right now i'm looking at the following distribution while I have my storage reshuffle. http://rockstor.com/ Looks interesting and has BTRFS support.

    I think that my storage at home will look like this when I am done:

    NL 54, xpenology, 2x3TB and 2x4TB in a SHR1 Array, housing my media to stream around the house

    Media Smart EX495, Rockstor, 3x 2TB, not sure of array type just yet, housing documents, photos, ISO's etc

    Gen 8 Microserver, xpenology, 1x6TB and 2 x 5TB in SHR1 array and a 512GB SSD for cache, acting as a local backup target for the above two NAS's and will push the super important stuff to a cloud based storage solution.

    If your drives are WD, consider using WDIDLE to turn off the aggressive parking feature they do. Should help a little if you plan on using RAID arrays.
     
  6. Cleggmeister

    Cleggmeister Of reasonable knowledge...

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    Thanks chaps, much appreciated.

    I'm currently using 2x Toshiba 3TB drives (desktop drives around 1 year old) and 2x WD RED 3TBs. Until recently it was WD greens but one is starting to show SMART errors (it's 5 years old so no big deal).

    I could swap out the Tosh drives an end up with 4x3TB WD RED but could do without the expense at present.

    Lastly the OS is running from an SSD off the optical IDE slot. Internal USB is unused.

    Thanks again chaps. Cleggy.
     
  7. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    I'd stick with what you have and just keep on top of your backup plan.

    Raid solutions are fine until the NAS hardware fails and you're desperately trying to keep the existing array on new hardware.

    Think about it. You have four drives, if the NAS fails you take the drives and use them in... well anything, they'll just plug in and work.

    If one drive fails, then you've lost the data on that drive, but the others are fine and you'll have a copy of the data backed up.

    I'd tweak things a little from your old setup by using the capacity on your most empty drives as a backup destination to whatever data would best be suited for this. A simple file based backup (RoboCopy, Rsync) on a schedule would work fine.

    IMHO Avoid RAID solutions for normal home use. You've got to be pretty edge case to justify it for personal usage.
     
  8. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    As a Commie Lunix user, I'd like to point out this isn't a problem with software RAID. My Btrfs mirror will mount on any dang Linux system I care to plug it into, including a Raspberry Pi - even if I only have one of the two disks. Lovely stuff.
     
  9. Cleggmeister

    Cleggmeister Of reasonable knowledge...

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    Thanks folks. For the time being I shall maintain my current "one disc for one job" strategy (with good backups of course) and revisit in due course. As I approach capacity I'll revisit my options, though by then we'll all be driving hovercars and stuff... And maybe I'll have fast broadband... :)
     
  10. Cleggmeister

    Cleggmeister Of reasonable knowledge...

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    OK, change of plan (I fancied a tinker)...

    I've installed SNAPRAID and allocated one disc as parity, three with data and three with content.
    It's 99% synchronised just now. Exciting times!

    Once it's finished will I see one "big" 9TB volume, or will I need to Pool the array from within SNAPRAID? ANother option which is popular seems to be to run a Union Filesystem (for which there is an Openmediavault plugin). Again, would this give me one big "volume" rather than three x 3TB independent discs?

    I'm a bit confused - I was just expecting to run SNAPRAID and have one big volume...

    Many thanks,

    Cleggy.
     
  11. crazyg1zm0

    crazyg1zm0 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately I have not looked at Snapraid.

    I would assume you would need to configure then pool initially.
     
  12. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    I personally wouldn't use RAID unless I needed what RAID is actually for. Data redundancy, performance, uptime. As well as not being backup it's not (as far as I know) a particularly good way to simply pool storage. You're introducing a fairly big point of potential failure to achieve it.
     

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