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post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post

@OP

If your RAID card is the PERC 6/i you mentioned previously, using it as a plain HBA will be awkward, since it doesn't actually have that facility. You're better off keeping it setup as it is now and not bothering with software RAID, unless ZFS is really attractive to you. If that's the case, you may as well hit eBay and get a cheap IBM ServeRAID M1015.

How does the IBM ServeRAID differ from the Perc 6i? Wouldn't I just be looking for a PCIe card to connect my 8 drives? Or just a card that can connect 2 since I can use the 6 on board SATA ports?
Edited by PuffinMyLye - 3/17/13 at 1:03pm
post #12 of 20
Those Hitachi drives have CCTL (aka, TLER) so they will work fine in hardware RAID; actually great. I have 4 2TB 7K3000 in a RAID 5 on a hardware controller and it does great.

Since you have all 8 drives, create your second RAID 10, create your iSCSI VHD on that new RAID array, mount it locally (disk management) and assign a drive letter. Move your data over to that array then unmount that VHD in diskmgmt. Proceed to assign that VHD to your iSCSI Target, then connect your iSCSI Initiator to said Target. Done.

Also, ECC RAM only makes a difference during your writes. If I'm not mistaken, your data was write once ready many (media files) so once written, the lack of ECC RAM couldn't corrupt your data. Now if you were running your VMs from a Software RAID without ECC RAM, you are not safe from write errors in RAM.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

Those Hitachi drives have CCTL (aka, TLER) so they will work fine in hardware RAID; actually great. I have 4 2TB 7K3000 in a RAID 5 on a hardware controller and it does great.

Since you have all 8 drives, create your second RAID 10, create your iSCSI VHD on that new RAID array, mount it locally (disk management) and assign a drive letter. Move your data over to that array then unmount that VHD in diskmgmt. Proceed to assign that VHD to your iSCSI Target, then connect your iSCSI Initiator to said Target. Done.

Also, ECC RAM only makes a difference during your writes. If I'm not mistaken, your data was write once ready many (media files) so once written, the lack of ECC RAM couldn't corrupt your data. Now if you were running your VMs from a Software RAID without ECC RAM, you are not safe from write errors in RAM.

Tycoon, what are your thoughts UnRAID/FlexRAID? I'm drawn to those configurations since there is no striping. What if I just took 2 of my 8 drives and set them up in their own array as a backup for all my critical files and then used the other 6 in say a FlexRAID setup with 1-2 disc parity giving me 8-10TB of usable space there. Also since there is no striping I would only lose data on whichever drives are lost instead of the whole array.

Also, if I was to just stick with two RAID10 arrays and connect to them via iSCSI, do I need to segregate that iSCSI traffic from the rest of my network?
Edited by PuffinMyLye - 3/17/13 at 2:22pm
post #14 of 20
I have no experience with unRAID nor FlexRAID so i have no real opinions. I can say that they are two different solutions since FlexRAID sits ontop of Windows and unRAID is an OS. The only way I would recommend unRAID is if you had several mismatched drives you wanted to use.
"Loosing data only on the drive that failed" is, to me, unacceptable. You have 8 matching drives with CCTL/TLER, and a PERC 6i...and with that, I personally, cannot recommend anything else mainly because you already have it and it works great.

RAID is not a backup, but is used for increased uptime and performance. Choosing one RAID/RAID-like solution over the other based on only loosing data on one drive just doesn't make sense to me. All of your data can be archived to the cloud for less than $5/Mo. Use externals for onsite backup of critical data and data that can't be replaced.

No, you do not need a separate network just for iSCSI traffic. Companies do that usually for security reasons and if they have multiple SANs and ISCSI Initiators (usually hypervisors).
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post

@OP

If your RAID card is the PERC 6/i you mentioned previously, using it as a plain HBA will be awkward, since it doesn't actually have that facility. You're better off keeping it setup as it is now and not bothering with software RAID, unless ZFS is really attractive to you. If that's the case, you may as well hit eBay and get a cheap IBM ServeRAID M1015.

I was under the impression that you could so long as you update it to the latest dell firmware, and use the megacli program to put it into JBOD mode then reboot.
I havent tried it myself, but I do have a couple of spare percs 6's lying around so I'll give it a shot and report back later on ... am at work at the moment.
Code:
MegaCli -AdpSetProp -EnableJBOD -val -aN|-a0,1,2|-aALL 
       val - 0=Disable JBOD mode. 
             1=Enable JBOD mode. 
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post #16 of 20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

I have no experience with unRAID nor FlexRAID so i have no real opinions. I can say that they are two different solutions since FlexRAID sits ontop of Windows and unRAID is an OS. The only way I would recommend unRAID is if you had several mismatched drives you wanted to use.
"Loosing data only on the drive that failed" is, to me, unacceptable. You have 8 matching drives with CCTL/TLER, and a PERC 6i...and with that, I personally, cannot recommend anything else mainly because you already have it and it works great.

RAID is not a backup, but is used for increased uptime and performance. Choosing one RAID/RAID-like solution over the other based on only loosing data on one drive just doesn't make sense to me. All of your data can be archived to the cloud for less than $5/Mo. Use externals for onsite backup of critical data and data that can't be replaced.

No, you do not need a separate network just for iSCSI traffic. Companies do that usually for security reasons and if they have multiple SANs and ISCSI Initiators (usually hypervisors).

Thanks for the prospective Tycoon. What do you think about me running 2 drives in a RAID1 array for onsite backups and the other 6 drives in a RAID5/6 array for added space? I will then look into an online/cloud solution for off-site backup for my critical data.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchtaydev View Post

I was under the impression that you could so long as you update it to the latest dell firmware, and use the megacli program to put it into JBOD mode then reboot.
I havent tried it myself, but I do have a couple of spare percs 6's lying around so I'll give it a shot and report back later on ... am at work at the moment.
Code:
MegaCli -AdpSetProp -EnableJBOD -val -aN|-a0,1,2|-aALL 
       val - 0=Disable JBOD mode. 
             1=Enable JBOD mode. 

Please keep me in the loop as to your findings mitch, I'm very interested.
post #17 of 20
@OP
Quote:
Also, if I was to just stick with two RAID10 arrays and connect to them via iSCSI, do I need to segregate that iSCSI traffic from the rest of my network?

Nah. Unless the rest of the traffic on your network is impacting your iSCSI performance, there's no need.

UnRAID and FlexRAID use file-level parity to restore missing data. Think of them like an OS with QuickPAR integrated right in. The advantage of file-level parity is that you don't have to have all disks active to access a file, and you can pull a drive and read it in another machine. Out of all the traditional RAID schemes, only RAID 1 can do this, and just like RAID 1 the likes of FlexRAID and UnRAID will only offer the performance of one drive. However, on a GigE network this will not matter.

The IBM ServeRAID M1015 is a basic SAS HBA which supports JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10. Unlike the PERC 6/i it does not support RAID 5 or RAID 6, does not have any on-board cache memory and does not have a hardware RAID engine.


@mitchtaydev

I'm also interested in your findings. I have a PERC 6/i in the attic; it'd be nice to use software RAID with the PERC's on-board cache.
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post #18 of 20
Don't bother with RAID 5. The 8 drive RAID 6 and 2 drive RAID 1 would work, but I personally would do a RAID 10 or 2 RAID 10s. Considering you current have a RAID 10 with 4TB of data, I would personally leave it be and build that second RAID 10. That's just what I would do, others would probably do it different.

I think RAID 6 performance on a PERC 6 will not be optimal since RAID has serious calculations that will run that card hardcore.

Online backup, AltDrive, CrashPlan, or BackBlaze (in order of my preference).
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

Don't bother with RAID 5. The 8 drive RAID 6 and 2 drive RAID 1 would work, but I personally would do a RAID 10 or 2 RAID 10s. Considering you current have a RAID 10 with 4TB of data, I would personally leave it be and build that second RAID 10. That's just what I would do, others would probably do it different.

I think RAID 6 performance on a PERC 6 will not be optimal since RAID has serious calculations that will run that card hardcore.

Online backup, AltDrive, CrashPlan, or BackBlaze (in order of my preference).

Thanks for the online backup references. I've used Backblaze in the past but I will look into the other two.

As for my storage, I think I'll probably wind up just adding another RAID10 array like you said just for the convenience aspect. I've got enough on my plate with configuring VM's and studying for certs over the next few months I don't think now is the time to learn a new software RAID solution for personal use.
post #20 of 20
Well I did try putting a Perc 6 into JBOD, and can honestly say it doesn't work as stated, which is a shame. I made sure it was on the latest BIOS, and used Megacli to enable jbod mode but am unable to get pass any of the physical disks through. Interestingly if I query JBOD mode through the cli, even after resetting it states its enabled but none of the disks will be passed through instead giving the error:

Adapter: 1: Failed to change PD state at EnclId-N/A SlotId-1.

also, I am unable to change any of the physical disk properties at all through the CLI. I.e. cannot take them offline and online which I would expect to be able to.

I may do some more investigation. I guess the only work around would be to create separate Virtual disks in RAID 0 with only 1 Physical Drive which would emulate JBOD at the expense of S.M.A.R.T. info, but this is a hack at best.
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