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Good storage pooling option?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

My idea: I'm looking to separate my current HTPC from doing both holding the content and playing the content. I'd like to build a file server and put it in the basement, out of the way. Then have the current HTPC stay in the living room to stream content from the server.

So far, after a little research, I've come across that I want a storage pooling option. I like the idea of throwing in a couple 2TB's, then a 1tb or whatever I have laying around. I understand that the biggest drive would be the parity drive, and I'm okay with that.

As for which pooling option to use, I did find SnapRaid was highly reviewed, and free. Has anyone used this before? If so, what are your thoughts on it? I'd like to cut costs low, but I don't mind paying for a license key if it means I won't have restrictions in the future. But I also don't want to have to pay every year for just the software.


So here's where I come to you guys. What is the best path to go down in this case?
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post #2 of 10
Well, while I am a big fan of hardware raid...if you are mixing and matching drive (that are not the same size) then you will definitely want a software raid option, such as FreeNAS NAS4Free, OpenFiler, unRAID, Amahi, ClearOS, or even Windows Server 2012 (or Windows 8)--Storage Spaces is a new feature that can pool your storage. Now these previous options are all Operating Systems that would be installed on your box, but the only other alternative would be to use a storage pooling software...on top of your Windows OS...such as FlexRAID, SnapRAID, disParity, etc.

Do a little research on these and find the one that will suite your needs!
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

Well, while I am a big fan of hardware raid...if you are mixing and matching drive (that are not the same size) then you will definitely want a software raid option, such as FreeNAS NAS4Free, OpenFiler, unRAID, Amahi, ClearOS, or even Windows Server 2012 (or Windows 8)--Storage Spaces is a new feature that can pool your storage. Now these previous options are all Operating Systems that would be installed on your box, but the only other alternative would be to use a storage pooling software...on top of your Windows OS...such as FlexRAID, SnapRAID, disParity, etc.
Do a little research on these and find the one that will suite your needs!

Thank you for your reply.

But I do have a few questions still. So If I take FreeNAS and set it up, I'll be able to use a various mixture of drives? Also, will RAID 5 or RAID 10 be my better option? I'm not looking for high performance, but it also can't be as slow as a dog. I stream 720-1080p movie rips to a few devices in the house over my gigabit network.

I apologize for the blast of questions. I did a little research on FreeNAS and didn't find these answers.

Thanks
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post #4 of 10
Honestly, if you are using a various mixture of drives, I'm gonna say go with UnRAID. UnRAID uses it's only way of raiding, which makes it good for when you are using different drive sizes. If you install FreeNAS and have 3 drives (2 2TB and 1 1TB) and set that up in a Raid 5, you are only going to get 2TB of storage. The 1TB drive is the smallest, so it is only going to use 1TB of storage from each drive (wasting 2TB of raw storage space).

If you are interested in UnRAID, I would definitely check out Murlocke's thread. He has two UnRAID servers, and a lot of information is in his thread:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1282253/my-unraid-servers-83tb-total
post #5 of 10
I'm liking StableBit's DrivePool. I really like the "landing drive" plugin. It allows me to choose which drive to transfer to first and then later on it decides which drive to "archive' it to. I have a small SSD setup as the landing drive.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

Honestly, if you are using a various mixture of drives, I'm gonna say go with UnRAID. UnRAID uses it's only way of raiding, which makes it good for when you are using different drive sizes. If you install FreeNAS and have 3 drives (2 2TB and 1 1TB) and set that up in a Raid 5, you are only going to get 2TB of storage. The 1TB drive is the smallest, so it is only going to use 1TB of storage from each drive (wasting 2TB of raw storage space).
If you are interested in UnRAID, I would definitely check out Murlocke's thread. He has two UnRAID servers, and a lot of information is in his thread:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1282253/my-unraid-servers-83tb-total

I like unRAID as an option. It is a little pricey, at $70 for a license key. But hey, I'd be set for awhile until I decide to move to more then 6 drives. I'll look deeper into unRAID and everything it has to offer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by edGe06 View Post

I'm liking StableBit's DrivePool. I really like the "landing drive" plugin. It allows me to choose which drive to transfer to first and then later on it decides which drive to "archive' it to. I have a small SSD setup as the landing drive.

I can't say I've heard of that, I'll check into that as well.


Thank you for your responses so far.
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post #7 of 10
Also check out FlexRaid. Works like UnRaid without a limitation to the amount of drives and it sits on top of Windows. I guess it really depends on what you plan on using for your HTPC, i.e. XBMC, Windows Media Player, etc.
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by utnorris View Post

Also check out FlexRaid. Works like UnRaid without a limitation to the amount of drives and it sits on top of Windows. I guess it really depends on what you plan on using for your HTPC, i.e. XBMC, Windows Media Player, etc.

All the devices in the house will use xbmc to play content from the server. Does FlexRaid cooperate with xbmc?
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post #9 of 10
Yeah, no issues there. I misread and thought you were trying to expand your HTPC into a server also. For strictly a file server and not to be used for anything else (ideal for a low wattage simple setup) then I would look at UnRaid, Freenas or one of the other dedicated file server setups. I use FlexRaid on top of Windows because I use the machine for various other things like file conversion, folding, gaming, etc.
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post #10 of 10
im currently rocking drivebender, 10.4TB currently. works exactly like WHS v1 but IMHO best feature is your not limited to WHS OS, any Windows OS from xp to server 2012 is supported.

currently running Hyper-V on server 2012, fileserver VM is server 2008 r2 std with 8 dissimilar drives passed through to the vm.

its 29 bux for private license free to play with for 30 days. its def not raid there is no speed bonus. basically simple jbod with hidden (selectable) folder duplication like WHS v1
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