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Storage Server Storage

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by MadGinga, 13 Oct 2016.

  1. MadGinga

    MadGinga oooh whats this do?

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    Hi All,

    Looking to boost my server's storage.
    Currently running 2x 3TB Seagate Barracudas, one with ~5000 power on hours, the other with 25000.

    Wanting to boost the storage significantly, but also introduce some redundancy (i.e. raid?)

    So current "plan":
    Purchase the following -
    • 2x WD Black 4TB
    • 2x Seagate Barracuda 4TB

    Then pair up, the two existing 3TBs in a pair, then mix the the new WB & Seagate 4TBs into two pairs of 1 of each.

    Is this feasible? sensible? Which Raid should I go for? Mobo supports Raid 0, 1, 5, & 10?

    One pair will need to be on a sata expansion card, will this work with mobo raid? or do I need to factor in a raid card?

    Currently running win10 pro (spare licence), should i stick with it or drop it for something else? It needs to be low maintenance, minimal setup.

    Cheers,
    MadG
     
  2. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    Personally I'd go RAID 10 splitting the disks across the pairs.
    Mobo RAID uses the CPU to do it's thing so might be a case of testing it first and seeing how it impacts your server (depending on what else it does).

    Then make sure you've got a proper backup plan to go with it in case it fails (which when/if it does is spectacular)
     
  3. Sp!

    Sp! Minimodder

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    you'd need 6 disks for RAID 10 ( two mirrored RAID 5 arrays).

    What are you doing with this server? How will the hard drive performance impact your day to day usage?

    I'd try to keep it as simple as possible so wither go with a raid 5 card and a 4 disk array. or if your budget won't stretch to that go with two RAID 1 pairs and then just manual split the load between them (if that's possible)

    Oh and like saspro says make sure you have a backup strategy Redundancy does not equal backup!!
     
  4. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    If you're looking to bulk storage, I'd leave the WD Blacks and go Green or Red (or any other less performance-biased disk).

    Mirrored storage spaces could be an alternative option to using onboard RAID. I've always shied away from the latter on the basis that it can be a pain to recover if the motherboard pops and it's not always easily portable for upgrades. It's arguably easier to chop and change storage spaces as well - i.e. add capacity, use expansion cards, external disks or whatever.

    Depending on what you're trying to achieve though, using some of the additional disks you intend to purchase as backup volumes may be a better use of capacity. I'd always consider backup of more value than RAID in a home environment - RAID first and foremost protects you from downtime, which at home, isn't usually a big deal. In terms of data loss the only thing RAID protects you from is drive failure. In the case of data corruption, malware or accidental deletions, you're no better off.

    Something like Bvckup2 (only mention as I use this and can recommend it, but are loads of options, many of which are free) can run on a schedule or continuously replicate files, delta copying, version archiving etc.

    You need 4 disks for RAID 10 - it's two mirrored RAID1s
    You need 6 disks for RAID50, which is mirrored RAID5s
    RAID50 has been largely superceded by RAID6 in any case though (which requires a minimum of 4 disks) on the basis of greater resilience (if the wrong two disks fail in a RAID50, you're goosed, whereas RAID6 sticks through any two disks failing)

    The industry is trending away from traditional RAID generally though, in favour of a more open/flexible erasure coding. When working with larger and larger disks, the duration of a RAID rebuild can get ridiculous and the likelihood of hitting an unrecoverable error during that time can get really concerning. Storage spaces and various other software based solutions don't have this same issue (for the love of all that's sacred though, don't bother with a parity storage space)
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2016
  5. Mighty_Miro_WD

    Mighty_Miro_WD What's a Dremel?

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    Hi @MadGinga!

    For server usage I won't recommend the Black drive since it's meant for performance and stand-alone desktop usage. Instead, I'd suggest WD Red, which is the NAS/RAID class drive from the consumer series that is designed specifically for RAID environments and NAS devices and has the necessary features for such usage - it's tuned and optimized for 24/7 performance, RAID arrays and up to 8-bay NAS systems. Here's link if you want to take a look:
    http://products.wdc.com/support/kb.ashx?id=iAdh2s

    Another option, if you want to consider an enterprise level drive for huge loads, will be WD Re. It is meant for enormous workload like you would have with huge Databases or other IOPS-important environment. It may has a higher power consumption and noise level as it's made for endurance and performance. Here's a link to the drive if you want to check it out:
    http://products.wdc.com/support/kb.ashx?id=xyYT6P

    As for the RAID configuration of the new drives, I would go with either RAID 6 or RAID 10. RAID 10 is faster and safer, but on the other hand RAID 6 is pretty safe on its own (as long as your array is not crazy large, like 40TB for instance), and on the other hand if you need the capacity, then RAID 6 is the choice, and if you don't need the capacity then RAID 10 will suit better So it really comes down to the capacity question.

    Hope this helps and feel free to ask any questions you may have. :)
     
  6. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    Depends on which way you look at it - I'd argue that RAID6 is safer on the basis that it's more resilient to disk failure.

    Theorising for a moment - In a home "storage" environment, you're likely to see better performance with RAID6 as well, where the sustained performance is typically higher than RAID10 (assuming the controller is up to the task). This point is largely irrelevant though, as either will outstrip the pipe going into the server anyway, unless you're on 10GbE or teaming 1Gbit ports. RAID6 needs a decent hardware controller though, read: expensive, whereas RAID10 is computationally cheap. The cost of the hardware is a toss-up - fewer disks with a discrete controller for the same usable capacity as more disks and an onboard controller.

    (Random writes can clearly suck on RAID6, but then random writes suck on spinning media full stop)

    There are rebuild times to consider of course, where a RAID6 array would be degraded for a significantly longer time, however once you start getting to the capacities where it becomes an issue IMO it's better to forgo traditional RAID entirely for a different solution.

    Rebuild times in a home environment are less of a factor than in an enterprise environment on the basis that the user is unlikely to have a hot spare, or even a cold standby disk - as such the length of time an array is degraded is more heavily influenced by the length of time Amazon/Scan/OCUK/Whoever takes to get a disk to your house when the time before you get an opportunity to install it in the system rather than the actual I/O involved in the process. The only consideration with RAID6 that isn't a factor with RAID10 is the likelihood of hitting an unrecoverable error ruing the rebuild I/O further degrading or subsequently destroying the array.

    On the basis that you should have a reliable backup process way before you consider RAID at home, probably a moot point, at least at the 4TB disk level.
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2016
  7. MadGinga

    MadGinga oooh whats this do?

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    Eeep! That's a lot of info for a quick scan (which is all I've time for).

    Usage: file storage, plex server, backup destination for main
    Requirements: easily expandable, redundancy, >10Tb

    What is the best way to achieve? Not set on raid, just thought it would be best solution?

    I have an external drive for local backups, and cloud backup.
     
  8. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    There's no correct answer per se, but if the space efficiency of RAID10 doesn't bother you, then I'd suggest you have a look at software based mirroring, e.g. Windows storage spaces, Stablebit DrivePool and some others. You basically throw all of the disks in a pool and create virtual vols on top of that with a protection policy assigned to each (e.g. un-mirrored, 2 day mirror, 3-way mirror). adding the 4x4TB gets you pretty much bang-on 10TB usable space in a 2-way mirror.

    It gives you pretty much the same level of protection as RAID10 (i.e. guaranteed failure protection for one disk) but allows to you mix drive sizes efficiently, is portable between systems/upgrades, easily and flexibly scalable and gives you a nice big single volume. It can have its quirks at times though, so make sure you read up on the ins and outs of it to make sure that you're happy with it. Make sure you filter for stuff in the last 1-2 years, since it has changed somewhat.

    Another option would be using the 2x3TB you have as a mirrored storage space and hanging the 4x4TB off simple HW RAID controller in RAID5. There are drawbacks to RAID as mentioned above, but so long as you're otherwise protected IMO they're worth it for the additional capacity efficiency. This approach gets you 13.5TB usable capacity from the same disks. If you get an 8-port controller capable of online capacity expansion, you can simply add disks to the array when you run out and extend the volume. This is relatively lengthy and risky process with big disks and RAID5, but again don't sweat it too much if you're happy with your backup regime.

    I used storage spaces for a couple of years and it suited my uses really well combining both mirrored and non-mirrored spaces on a pool of mixed capacity disks. I've only recently abandoned that for RAID5 with 4x4TB disks on my main server and a spanned space of 8+4TB as a replication target with versioning. Neither is textbook best practice, but I don't sweat it too much with the combination of the two and maintain an external drive as a periodic backup as well.

    There are always platforms designed from the ground up for fileservers to consider as well, which generally have some form of failed disk protection baked in - e.g. FreeNAS, unRAID. They're pretty flexible as to what tasks you can throw at them (I know the latter can run Plex media server, for instance).
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2016
  9. play_boy_2000

    play_boy_2000 It was funny when I was 12

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    I went with a single 8TB Seagate archive drive for media streaming and it's been solid for the last year and a half. Write speeds are starting to drop off below 80MB/s as it fills up, but that's still plenty quick for me. I ran RAID5 for years, but am finding myself much more comfortable with cold backups. I've held onto any HDDs over 120GB for the past 10 years and just backup to those, although I plan on getting rid of anything under 500GB sometime soon here.
     
  10. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    I, too, am opting for 'cold' backups. I fuss around far too much with my NAS to consider RAID, so I've opted for two cloud storage (Amazon + Google) to copy+verify essential items using SyncBackPro.

    I was going to wade in and write but seeing MrTad delivering a Ted Talk of knowledge I'm like
    [​IMG]
     
  11. MadGinga

    MadGinga oooh whats this do?

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    Okey dokey.

    Thanks for the input guys, think I'm going to go with:
    • a mix of WD Red/Seagate NAS drives
    • Use (Win 10) storage spaces - probably 2-way mirror
     
  12. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    In case you've not sorted it yet, worth observing some observations on cheap ebay-sourced HW RAID cards - http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=311620

    I'm sure that there are some more solid options on the cheap, but storage spaces is most certainly the path of least resistance.
     
  13. MadGinga

    MadGinga oooh whats this do?

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    Thanks for the heads up, have been following your thread - as you say a decent card aint cheap.
    So will stick with storage spaces, once I get it up and running again. Teach me to forget to check I have enough sata cables/power points in a usable configuration :(
     

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