Author Topic: Presale Questions  (Read 616 times)

Offline AlanT

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Presale Questions
« on: April 17, 2018, 05:47:34 pm »
Just checking here if I've gathered the most recent information from the forums regarding what I'm planning to do, and which version I need.

I'm a photographer / videographer, and many of my recent jobs have produced over 100GB of data to be stored.  I edit the files on the internal drives of my system, and when they are complete, I move them to external hard drives for long-term storage.  Occasionally, I update these files with fresh edits, but not often.

My main computer is running Windows 7, and I have a MediaSonic USB ProBox holding (4) 6TB drives.  Previously, I had been using the drives separately, with 2 drives for media storage, and the other 2 for backups.  I recently purchased (2) 8TB USB drives to expand my long-term storage.  I would like to use my drives more efficiently, and something along a RAID-5 setup would be nice.

I looked into the RAID-5 USB enclosures, and they won't use the drives I have now, being mostly WD Blue/Green drives.

Would it be feasible to pool the (4) 6TB drives to hold the main media, and set up another pool with the 8TB drives for backups using FlexRAID-FS?

Sounds like this is the system I need, although it also sounds like I won't be able to set up 2 separate drive pools.  Is this correct?

If I'm limited to only 1 drive pool, what is the best way to utilize the drives I have?  While I do want to do whatever I can to ensure the safety of the media, the world won't end if I lose files.  My preference would be to use 30% or less of my drive space for backups / parity data.


At this point, I really only have 2 main concerns.

First, there are a number of reports in the forums of folks losing data from updates happening after a drive fails.  I also see in the trial version of FlexRAID-FS that it's not getting the S.M.A.R.T.  data from the drives in the external enclosure.  And while there are some references to coding that can help the software, it's not clear, and appears to requires an engineering degree to understand.  CrystalDiskInfo can get the data by itself, so why can't this software?

The other concern is the many reports of the developer going AWOL for months at a time without any backup support to serve in his absence.  Taking a break from time to time is perfectly okay, but leaving customers without any support is not.

From my research, it looks like FlexRAID may be my best solution, as long as I can figure out how to configure it for my needs.

Thank you.

- Alan

Offline AlanT

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Re: Presale Questions
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2018, 04:11:32 pm »
A full week later, and no response.  While FlexRAID-FS seems a good option, I'm not comfortable trusting my data to a system that isn't well supported.

Yesterday, I looked at other options, and it looks like DrivePool may meet my needs at least as well.  Not as efficient with drive space, but certainly better supported.  Documentation is also much easier to follow.

Going to be testing this out next.

Offline adridolf

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Re: Presale Questions
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2018, 05:03:38 am »
While FlexRaid has some unique features, support is the downside in many cases.

Note that RAID-F is the "older" part of it (mirroring on file level), while t-Raid is the "newer" one (mirroring on disk level).

In addition, t-Raid has at least seen some activity over last two years, while RAID-F users more frequently complain about features not being fixed or supported any more.

I use t-Raid because of its ability to add/remove drives without having to set up everything again and due to the possibility to access my data from individual drives if something goes wrong. These are killer features for me which kept me living with the slow development and sometimes problematic support (although I personally did have much less problems in this area than others) as well as the very user-unfriendly licensing concept.

If you need one of those features, maybe you should consider using RAID-F or better t-Raid. If you don't or you are (actually) dependent on support, try something different. Also, be aware that paid premium support seems to not help you much based on what I read here.