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to raid or not to raid that is my question

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Ok interested in your opinions.


My new Server has 6 Drive Bays and Two 5.25 bays which I do have HDD cooler caddies for should I need to, (just a bit slow to swap out) but one must remain spare for a Fan controller and the other for a hot spare. The data stored is blueray movies, music, and photos (so the general media stuff) it is to be used as a home server (the o/s isn't on any of the main storage drives BTW)



Option 1: Separated Discs (JBOD ? need some advice on this)

3 x 3TB individual Discs + 3 x 3TB individual Backup + 1 Hotstandby:
1 Disc fails the Hotstandby gets a copy of the data from the backup disc.
Total Capacity full 9TB, performance as good as the disc is in itself


Option 2: Raid 5 + Backup

3 x 3TB Raid 5 array + 3x 3TB Raid 5 array + 1 Hotstandby:
1 Disc fails, array continues and data is still available, the backup is also sat there merily with the ability to lose one disc
Total Capacity 5.5GB, performance better for burst for backup updates, but incremental updates might only be 30GB when a new movie is added.

Option 3: Raid 6 the whole lot

6 x 3TB Raid 6 no backup 12TB total space moments of horror if raid array fails to rebuild after disc failures


ZFS-1 or ZFS-2 ? if the pool fails then getting data from discs will be hard to impossible but this method seems very stable, again loss of overall data and not technically a backup even though the pools are resilient and there are snapshots?

Perhaps a ZFS-1 with 4 Discs and then a JBOD of 3 discs which if im right would allow for so degree of backup and raid level parity?

any ideas? ive worked with raid in the home and had some failures before with windows and im keen to make sure that if i mess up (swap wrong disc) or if the controller dies then at least i have easily accessible backups, i just want to keep some good space too
Edited by Pip Boy - 12/10/12 at 12:39pm
post #2 of 41
Is there such thing as a hot spare for JBOD? I...don't think there is?

Sounds like RAID 5 is your best option.
    
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post #3 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by killabytes View Post

Is there such thing as a hot spare for JBOD? I...don't think there is?
Sounds like RAID 5 is your best option.

You are correct, JBOD cannot have a hot spare. JBOD = Just a Bunch Of Disks, meaning there is no redundancy built in.

Go RAID 5/6 for max capacity and redundancy, RAID 10 for high speeds. Make sure you get a decent RAID card for RAID 5 though.

ZFS is cool, but quite frankly it's a little expensive to set up in a way that makes it as fast as a traditional RAID 5. Issue with ZFS is that it can only write as fast as it's slowest drive due to the way it indexes the data. You can use something like an SSD as an indexing drive, but then you are probably getting into more work than it is worth.

By the way ZFS can recover from a disk failure just as well as RAID can. It sounds like you might be confusing something about it. The wiki is very, very long, but also very informative and worth the read if you are planning on using ZFS.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZFS
Edited by SectorNine50 - 12/10/12 at 1:40pm
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post #4 of 41
What kind of raid card do have,or will you be purchasing one(hardware raid)? Is speed all that important? If your using a standard hba card,with ZFS why not give Flexraid a look?

http://www.flexraid.com/
 
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post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by reezin14 View Post

What kind of raid card do have,or will you be purchasing one(hardware raid)? Is speed all that important? If your using a standard hba card,with ZFS why not give Flexraid a look?
http://www.flexraid.com/

8x sata 6g onboard ports. don't need much more than 10-12 megabytes a second for anything upto blueray so given that there maybe two BD MKV streams at once then perhaps 20meg a second would be the max

thanks for the advice sector, i meant with ZFS you cant take the discs and load them into windows and easily read the data but with raid 5 you can.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by phill1978 View Post

8x sata 6g onboard ports. don't need much more than 10-12 megabytes a second for anything upto blueray so given that there maybe two BD MKV streams at once then perhaps 20meg a second would be the max
thanks for the advice sector, i meant with ZFS you cant take the discs and load them into windows and easily read the data but with raid 5 you can.

I hope I'm not being annoying (or completely misunderstanding what you are saying), but I fear that you might be misunderstanding how RAID's work when you say that you can load them into Windows and easily read the data.

Most RAIDs are very, very hardware or software dependent. This means that if you start a RAID 5 using an onboard Intel chipset, you can't use an AMD RAID chipset or even the software RAID built-in to Windows in order to view the data on the drives. A RAID 5 needs 4 out of the 5 drives operational in order for the data to remain in tact.

In other words, you couldn't just hook a drive up to a windows box and view the data on it if it was configured in a RAID configuration.
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post #7 of 41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SectorNine50 View Post

I hope I'm not being annoying (or completely misunderstanding what you are saying), but I fear that you might be misunderstanding how RAID's work when you say that you can load them into Windows and easily read the data.
Most RAIDs are very, very hardware or software dependent. This means that if you start a RAID 5 using an onboard Intel chipset, you can't use an AMD RAID chipset or even the software RAID built-in to Windows in order to view the data on the drives. A RAID 5 needs 4 out of the 5 drives operational in order for the data to remain in tact.
In other words, you couldn't just hook a drive up to a windows box and view the data on it if it was configured in a RAID configuration.

no your not annoying. Id imagine my lack of knowlage on the subject is more annoying or the fact that i cant spell knowlage properly biggrin.gif

i meant on the same hardware.

I have been running a piece of software in VM that uses BSD. Its called ZFSguru and its been a real treat. so easy to use and understand. Ive been setting up pools and shares, breaking and creating pools in simulation for the real bare metal install.
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by phill1978 View Post

no your not annoying. Id imagine my lack of knowlage on the subject is more annoying or the fact that i cant spell knowlage properly biggrin.gif
i meant on the same hardware.
I have been running a piece of software in VM that uses BSD. Its called ZFSguru and its been a real treat. so easy to use and understand. Ive been setting up pools and shares, breaking and creating pools in simulation for the real bare metal install.

Are you planning on making a dedicated NAS out of this server?
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post #9 of 41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SectorNine50 View Post

Are you planning on making a dedicated NAS out of this server?

Yes
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by phill1978 View Post

Yes

I've never used ZFSguru myself, only had experience with FreeNAS when it comes to ZFS. Sounds like it's a good solution though!

Also, something to remember is Unix distributions (BSD, Linux, etc.) cannot use the built-in RAID on most motherboards since it is controlled by the BIOS. Those operating systems do no look to the BIOS for information about hardware; they see the individual drives, but not the RAID array. This means if you were to do a hardware RAID using one of these operating systems, you would need a dedicated RAID card.

If it is a dedicated NAS, write speeds aren't nearly as critical, so ZFS is a good choice. It actively checks the data so you never end up with the gradual data corruption that can sometimes occur in traditional setups. The nice thing about ZFS is that you can import the ZFS volume into any system that supports ZFS. That means if your hardware dies and you have to reinstall FreeNAS (or it's equivalent), the drives will still be able to be re-imported even though the hardware is different; something that cannot be done with traditional RAID devices.
Edited by SectorNine50 - 12/13/12 at 8:49am
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