Author Topic: My first flexRaid server  (Read 2176 times)

Offline Bigtruck747

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My first flexRaid server
« on: December 22, 2014, 11:39:10 am »
** Fair warning, this is a long post with a few questions.  So thanks to all who offer help and advice!!*

A friend just told me about flexRaid a couple days ago and I'm making plans to re-purpose my one computer to be a media server for my family.  It has a Kingston 120GB SSD running OS windows 7 professional and two WD Green 2TB drives for storage.  My thought is to add one more mechanical drive for parity and then down load and configure flexRaid.

I am a complete newbie to all of this so I was very happy to find all of the helpful advice in the flexRaid wiki and forums.  From what I can gather, a transparent Raid might be the product I'm looking for.

What is the proper amount of parity drives to storage drives?  My first thought was to go with another WD Green for my parity drive, but after reading the thread  Hard Drive recommendation for Transparent RAID users http://forum.flexraid.com/index.php/topic,3111.0.html, I'm starting to think I should use a different drive for parity.  I'm sorta partial to Western Digital, but if a Seagate Barracuda would make the best parity drive for me … then that would be the direction I would go.

I also have a question two programs I want to run on my flexRaid server.  Plex for all my pictures, videos, and music.  And ownCloud for all of my documents.  Has anyone heard of any of these programs not working well together, or should I maybe consider two boxes?  Meaning flexRaid + Plex media in one box/server, and flexRaid + ownCloud in a separate box???

Last question.  Once I out grow my server's current storage capabilities, can I use something like this Mediasonic ProBox 8 Bay External Hard Drive Enclosure http://www.mediasonic.ca/product.php?id=1357290761 to add more hard drives to my array?  I'm pretty sure I'd be using the eSata connection between the server and the enclosure.

I want to thank everyone for their help and advice!!!!

Offline Dizzy49

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Re: My first flexRaid server
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2015, 02:32:16 am »
The forums are kind of dead, but I thought I'd chime in here for you...

Quote
What is the proper amount of parity drives to storage drives?  My first thought was to go with another WD Green for my parity drive, but after reading the thread  Hard Drive recommendation for Transparent RAID users http://forum.flexraid.com/index.php/topic,3111.0.html, I'm starting to think I should use a different drive for parity.  I'm sorta partial to Western Digital, but if a Seagate Barracuda would make the best parity drive for me … then that would be the direction I would go.

That's one of the $10,000 and most commonly asked questions.  [Insert snarky "search the forums" comment]
Here's the short answer... There is no ONE answer.  One person may want a 1-1 ratio, and I myself and happy with a 1-4 (Desktop drives) or 1-5 ratio (NAS/Enterprise drives).  The one rule is that the Parity drive must be AT LEAST as big as your largest data drive.  When I last upgraded, I added the new 4TB drives as parity drives so I knew I could use 3TB OR 4TB drives to expand the data drives later.

Quote
I also have a question two programs I want to run on my flexRaid server.  Plex for all my pictures, videos, and music.  And ownCloud for all of my documents.  Has anyone heard of any of these programs not working well together, or should I maybe consider two boxes?  Meaning flexRaid + Plex media in one box/server, and flexRaid + ownCloud in a separate box???

I've run Plex with Flexraid and it worked fine.  I haven't heard of ownCloud though.  You'd prob want to check the forums for those two programs to see if there are conflicts.

Quote
Last question.  Once I out grow my server's current storage capabilities, can I use something like this Mediasonic ProBox 8 Bay External Hard Drive Enclosure http://www.mediasonic.ca/product.php?id=1357290761 to add more hard drives to my array?  I'm pretty sure I'd be using the eSata connection between the server and the enclosure.

To put it simply... If windows can see it, Flexraid can use it.
Server HW: Norco RPC-4220 | Supermicro X7SPA-H-D525 | 4GB Mushkin SO-DIMM DDR3 1333 | LSI 9201-16i | Corsair TX650 | 64GB Corsair Vertex2 SSD (OS)
Server OS: Windows 7 64bit Pro
FlexRAID RAID-F 2.0 Update 12, Cruise Control [SnapShot RAID], 9 DRUs (9x3TB), 2 PPU (2x3TB)

Offline AndreasK

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Re: My first flexRaid server
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2015, 11:09:52 pm »
Quote
Last question.  Once I out grow my server's current storage capabilities, can I use something like this Mediasonic ProBox 8 Bay External Hard Drive Enclosure http://www.mediasonic.ca/product.php?id=1357290761 to add more hard drives to my array?  I'm pretty sure I'd be using the eSata connection between the server and the enclosure.

As per the above reply, if Windows can see it, FlexRAID can use it......with a couple of caveats:

1) External USB / Sata enclosures are not supported or recommended primarily because the variance in the quality of the controllers i.e. they may drop/disconnect causing the disks to register as failed.
HOWEVER I'm using an external mediasonic dock to host my flexRAID drives using a USB3 connection and it works very well. I'm only using it for backup though so it's not mounted at any other times.

2) Using an eSATA connection is good because you can then read SMART data, which FLEXRAID doesn't seem to be able to do over USB. HOWEVER I used StableBit Scanner to check my drive health so it's OK.

3) Be aware of the available bandwidth when using an external enclosure. 1 x eSATA is 1.5 - 3 gigbit/sec (187-375 megabyte) available to all drives on the controller, so if you are doing a lot of large simultaneous transfers, you could hit that bandwidth limit, but I doubt it.


Offline Quaraxkad

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Re: My first flexRaid server
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2015, 12:54:19 am »
3) Be aware of the available bandwidth when using an external enclosure. 1 x eSATA is 1.5 - 3 gigbit/sec (187-375 megabyte) available to all drives on the controller, so if you are doing a lot of large simultaneous transfers, you could hit that bandwidth limit, but I doubt it.

Nevermind the simultaneous transfers. You still have to do parity calculations which requires reading from all drives. That's where the issue lies with external drives/enclosures, regardless of USB or eSATA.