Author Topic: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1  (Read 39602 times)

Offline Brahim

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FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« on: November 27, 2015, 05:27:16 pm »
FlexRAID Standards™

With NZFS still in the works, it has dawned on me how there is still room for a quality standard RAID implementation.

Windows software RAID, for instance, is limited to RAID 0, 1, and 5.
Linux does have a complete and best in-class software RAID implementation. Nonetheless, there are many things FlexRAID Standards™ does much better.

Once again, borrowing from the NZFS stack, we are announcing a new product: FlexRAID Standards™ :)
So, whether you need standard RAID, RAID over File System, or Transparent RAID, FlexRAID now gives you a complete set of options.

Supported in FlexRAID Standards™ are:
  • Simple volumes
  • JBOD Spans
  • RAID 0
  • RAID 1 (with N-way mirroring)
  • RAID 4
  • RAID 5
  • RAID 6
  • RAID X (striped and distributed RAID with X parity)
  • JBOD Spans with 1, 2, and X parity
  • Nested/layered RAIDs using a combo of the above (including RAID 10, 0+1, 40, 4+1, 50, 5+1, 60, 6+1, etc.)

For striped and distributed RAIDs, users will be able to custom choose the distribution strategy and define the rotation level. :)

Additional features include:
  • SIMT: for advanced RAID performance scaling (more on this later)
  • Custom RAID layouts: For instance, a user could choose to create several RAID 6 arrays and wrap them in a RAID 5 envelop (RAID 65  :o). Why? Well, why not?  :P
  • Support for disk file images and raw disk slices: There are multiple scenarios where this is useful.
    1. Being able to create multiple RAID configurations using the same set of disks (similar to Intel's matrix RAID).
    2. During complex recovery scenarios, for instance, one can choose to image one or more disks to image files and then work with those image files and screw with things safely.



Note:
1. Transparent RAID™ will only be included in higher editions of FlexRAID Standards™.
2. FlexRAID Standards™ CANNOT be installed on the same host as Transparent RAID™.
3. This beta release does not include Transparent RAID™.


Download
Host
Client

FAQs
  • Beta releases expire after 90 days
  • Documentation for FlexRAID Standards is not ready yet
« Last Edit: November 28, 2015, 05:05:37 am by Brahim »

Offline Hammerfest

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2015, 09:24:57 pm »
Looks like its time to play!

Messbox right now has Server 2016 on it (also beta stuff), will drop back to 2012 R2 7/8.1/10 at a later time!


Offline dremeier

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2015, 02:09:17 pm »
Is Standards for Windows only?

Offline Brahim

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2015, 02:31:00 pm »
Is Standards for Windows only?
It is both for Windows and Linux.
The first beta however is being released for Windows only.

Offline Hammerfest

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2015, 05:41:38 pm »
Hrm, was having PC issues, thought that was all.

Finally got the system redone, login with the client and nothing but RAID1+ when attempting to create a RAID
Is there currently no GUI options?

I might be missing something, let me know.


dunno what was up, working now... weird...

anywho, RAID6 with 6x3TB drives creation in place, long time to wait! (850MB/s)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2015, 06:16:29 pm by Hammerfest »

Offline Hammerfest

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2015, 09:11:06 pm »
Ok, up and running for now.

Will test speeds, simulated drive failure and such!


NOTE: TCQ/SWO set to True of any value won't let it INIT or Format (turned off, did init, then tried to format, failed, turned back off format went fine)...


Offline Brahim

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2015, 02:25:10 am »
Indeed. TCQ must be turned off on most system prior to formatting: http://wiki.flexraid.com/2013/06/27/tip-error-formatting-traid-disk/

Offline Benoire

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2015, 11:03:12 pm »
Hi Brahim,

Thought it be better to post this here than as part of one of my other threads.

Having played around with sRAID to do a Hybrid raid approach, and looking at the commercial NAS approaches, I feel it would be better if hybrid Raid became a single button option; I think you call them 'Cruise Control' as I can't get the layout of the indicidual raids to add to the jbod span consistently, i.e. every time I do one it doesn't allow me to add a different sliced raid array so the array is only partially utilising my drives.

I've also noticed that you cannot do an online expansion, certainly with the jbod container approach and you have to stop the array first before adding the new sliced arrays.  Is this something that you can fix?  As we know, Linux's stack can do online expansions so I think this is important to think about if it is currently not an option.

So far though, the software is looking good and despite my troubles, its been stable now that it has been set up.

EDIT: Out of curiosity, is there anyway you can implement any of the native Windows Disk Management 'stuff' in to your web interface?  This would allow a user to add a new drive, add it to an array, do an online expansion and then expand the space to fill the new drive size... Currently, only part of this can be done through the interface and I wonder if you can add the rest as that would be pretty cool and a decent way to make the storage system almost headless.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2015, 11:08:34 pm by Benoire »

Offline Benoire

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2016, 12:31:52 am »
Hi @Brahim

Are you able to issue a version with the activation feature either disabled, or at least a longer timeframe?  My installed copy has just deactivated due to the 21 days being up... As there is no purchase option and you're still working on it, I presume this is not quite right?

I presume reinstalling won't extend the timeframe?

Thanks,

Chris

Offline Hammerfest

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2016, 05:51:35 pm »
Indeed. TCQ must be turned off on most system prior to formatting: http://wiki.flexraid.com/2013/06/27/tip-error-formatting-traid-disk/

Gotcha, might want to add that in as a "if first time starting raid and TCQ is enabled, warn user" message when you hit the start button for the first time for the RAID.


In other news, I am a bit unhappy as to one or two things I have found, but ill list them in order of my discovery. (RAID6 setup with 5x WD Red and 1x WD Green, 3TB all around)

So, I always OFFLINE the disk in disk management, then stop it (FeatureRequest: Automatically do this if possible, else check status and report along with those double warning messages), after starting it again, have had no issues, THATS OK! During my tests during the past 3 weeks, no issues with THAT at all (even ran some checks after to verify all is A-OK!) when it comes to data loss or NTFS partition loss, PHEW!

HOWEVER the BAD issue I found is, I will Offline the disk then Stop the RAID (per above which works fine), then I would online/diskpart clean, then uninstall then rediscover then offline the disk (ala taking a drive out and reinserting it), then hit Start again for the RAID... nothing, no warnings, no check's... acts like I never wiped that drive of the data it contained!

So I figured maybe instead of a start/stop disk validation check, it might happen over time. SOOO I have a picture library I backup for a customer I have been using off of one of my other NAS box's (7TB's), it was already copied to this RAID 6, so I left the RAID for a day, then do a copy/delete ect ect to this RAID6, recopied the entire library of data over (overwrite), once done, STILL NO HDD FAILURE message!
Total time after I have done a "volatile operation" for the disk has now reached 4-5 days... So I go ahead and run the Verify, give it the 9Hr~ it takes... Gives me an error, but still doesnt drop the drive I had done this to from the array... I had to MANUALLY Offline>Stop the RAID, then override then set the disk as dropped...

Then I did testing doing a Rebuild which on the few NAS device's I have that are 4TB plus, typically takes an ANNOYING 8Hrs~ Per TB, with Standards, it said it only took 8Hrs total, good, I am happy!

Then the fun starts, I went ahead and checked, then ran verify, all seemed well, Offline/Stopped then rebooted the system, then when I went to start, it gives me a message about not being able to verify the disk physically?!?!?! http://puu.sh/miCZz/c8a0b8ca5e.png, so I fail it, then the only thing I seem to be able to do is Restore, so I do, it finish's, but doesnt seem to unfail the drive? Un fail, then it still gives me the error but when I start it, it works ?!...

So I continue on, do the same thing with the first WD Red in the listing, again, same thing, nothing unless I manually touch it: http://puu.sh/miD6n/8d74d03735.png, go through the same thing and get the same results as above.

So that was last week, havent touched it in a few days, check today, do verify, and both WD Green 1 and WD Red 1 are failing with the messages above... so I have just started a Restore operation on both (sweet that it allows you to chose to do both), lets see where it lands tomorrow when it finish's...




Offline Brahim

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2016, 05:59:40 pm »
@Hammerfest

1. You are not supposed to interact with the source disks. So, whatever you are doing is you corrupting your own data. There is nothing to stop you from doing anymore than there is nothing to stop you from pulling a disk and putting into another system and doing all sort of things to it.

2. A disk is failed only if an operation whose failure would corrupt the parity is encountered. You can even pull out a disk and the system will not fail the disk until there is an operation that would compromise parity that is encountered. This is a feature. People have lost data through RAID controllers uselessly dropping disks and forcing user to recover when not needed.

For as long as you don't violate your setup, this approach works perfect. It is flexible and complete.

Offline Benoire

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2016, 06:06:10 pm »
@Brahim,

Sorry to pester you, but what can I do about the activation feature?  I'd like to play with it more but alas I'm locked out until I can activate again.  Data is not a problem as a copy resides elsewhere, just hoped it would still have worked.

Cheers

Chris

Offline Brahim

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2016, 06:09:31 pm »
You mean your trial expired? I thought I had it set for 90 days. Maybe I set it shorted to force people to download the latest beta build since I expected to have bi-weekly releases.

You can self-extend your trial through the consumer portal. When you try to activate and it gives you an error message, it also gives you your trial ID. Use that ID in the consumer portal to extend the trial.

Alternatively, you can PM me the trial ID and I will extend it to a longer period.

@Brahim,

Sorry to pester you, but what can I do about the activation feature?  I'd like to play with it more but alas I'm locked out until I can activate again.  Data is not a problem as a copy resides elsewhere, just hoped it would still have worked.

Cheers

Chris

Offline Benoire

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2016, 06:12:25 pm »
Yup expired, states 21 days as per your other trial software.

I will do that when I get home, thanks!

Chris

Offline Brahim

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Re: FlexRAID Standards Beta 1
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2016, 06:16:22 pm »
The UI says 21 days, but I typically set the betas to a different duration. Will check.