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  #501  
Old 02-01-2010, 11:45 AM
fresnoboy fresnoboy is offline
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Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
There's nothing that an 'external drive enclosure' offers that a cheap microATX computer case and power supply doesn't... just a pointer.

This RAID5+S capable port multiplier looks great, but I haven't seen any benchmark results to see how well it fares performance wise. The cost ($95 i think) is certainly REALLY good, as you can pretty much use a single SATA port on the motherboard to an eSATA adapter. the other advantage being that since the RAID is done in the multiplier, you can move the array to different systems, and it still shows as a single drive, without any extra configuration.
Things have changed a lot since this thread started. Now we have SAS expanders that do sort of what a PMP does but to a lot more ports and at higher performance.

I have a Adaptec 5085 that feeds an HP SAS expander that supports 24 drives, and it's quite fast. The expander can be had for about $150, or about the cost of 2 SATA PMP's. You can grow storage practically infinitely with these things...
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  #502  
Old 02-01-2010, 12:14 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Originally Posted by fresnoboy View Post
The best off the shelf "consumer" NAS system out there (in my opinion) is the Intel SS4200-E, which you can get for around $135. It has space for 4 SATA drives (not hot swap though), boots from flash, and runs a Linux based software raid system. It's very fast. Most consumer NAS systems have trouble filling a 100 mbps ethernet pipe, but this one is very fast.
Wow. That is quite fast- it manages about 40MB/sec with both RAID5 reads and writes. And its a lot cheaper than an NVX.

I'm a little concerned about support though. If an NVX goes down, I figure I can call up Netgear and get replacement parts as needed (even if it is expensive). But, if one of these goes down I assume that basically means I lose all my data on it.
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  #503  
Old 02-01-2010, 12:32 PM
brainbone brainbone is offline
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Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
I'm a little concerned about support though. If an NVX goes down, I figure I can call up Netgear and get replacement parts as needed (even if it is expensive). But, if one of these goes down I assume that basically means I lose all my data on it.
I'm happy with my unRaid box. You can start with as few as 2 drives, and keep adding more as you need (up to 20 if your case will fit them, and you have enough SATA ports). Drives do not need to be the same size (start with adding 1.5TB, and then add more 2TB drives when they are cheap). You can build your own, or use one of the pre-built systems.

unRaid can survive a single disk failure with no data loss. Lose any more than a single disk, and you then only lose data stored on the lost disks. If any of your other components fail, you can replace them with off the shelf parts. For support, limetech (Tom) is quick to answer emails, and there is a very active and helpful forum (much like here).

Only the disks being accessed need to be spun up, keeping things cool and quite.

Edit: fixed link

Last edited by brainbone; 02-01-2010 at 01:52 PM.
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  #504  
Old 02-01-2010, 03:19 PM
fresnoboy fresnoboy is offline
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Wow. That is quite fast- it manages about 40MB/sec with both RAID5 reads and writes. And its a lot cheaper than an NVX.

I'm a little concerned about support though. If an NVX goes down, I figure I can call up Netgear and get replacement parts as needed (even if it is expensive). But, if one of these goes down I assume that basically means I lose all my data on it.
Get 2 then. It's still cheaper. Intel has pretty decent support to be honest though. There are hacks out there that allow you to run WHS on it as well. It's a pretty neat platform.
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  #505  
Old 02-01-2010, 04:27 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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It's apparently getting harder and harder to find cheap hard drives to put in these things. From what I understand, Western Digital drives used to work pretty well, after tweaking certain features. However, Western Digital apparently removed the ability to change the Time-Limited Error Recovery value to a more RAID-riendly value, presumably to get you to buy their RAID-friendly version of drives (which are quite a bit more expensive).

There's a cheap 2TB Seagate drive that's on Netgear's official compatibility list, which presumably means it's RAID-friendly, but it also has some of the worst reviews on Newegg compared to other 2TB drives.
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  #506  
Old 02-02-2010, 04:55 PM
fresnoboy fresnoboy is offline
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Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
It's apparently getting harder and harder to find cheap hard drives to put in these things. From what I understand, Western Digital drives used to work pretty well, after tweaking certain features. However, Western Digital apparently removed the ability to change the Time-Limited Error Recovery value to a more RAID-riendly value, presumably to get you to buy their RAID-friendly version of drives (which are quite a bit more expensive).

There's a cheap 2TB Seagate drive that's on Netgear's official compatibility list, which presumably means it's RAID-friendly, but it also has some of the worst reviews on Newegg compared to other 2TB drives.
I personally like the Hitachi's, but right now there is not really a good cheap drive that hits the spot for home raid use.
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  #507  
Old 02-02-2010, 10:08 PM
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I think 1.5TB drives are the best price point right now (starting at about 7 cents/GB I think). I think 2TB (and oddly enough, 1TB) are closer to 8 cents or more.
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  #508  
Old 02-03-2010, 07:38 PM
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But what always gets me is that going with a smaller drive just means you'll either need more (maybe many more) or to replace them sooner.
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  #509  
Old 02-03-2010, 10:39 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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2TB are cheap enough now that I think they're worth it. There's added cost to having more drives, be it a larger NAS, more RAID controllers, higher power consumption, etc.

I'm still curious about recommendations on drives. I've gone with Hitachi drives before, and had good luck with them, but it looks like they only have 7200RPM drives. I'm looking for low-power, cool-running hard drives. The WD Green drives would have been great if WD hadn't removed TLER functionality from them. I have a whole bunch of WD Green drives now and none of them have failed. In fact, I don't think I've ever had a WD drive fail on me.

Seagate has a line of low power, 5900RPM drives. But, based on user reports, they don't sound very reliable.

Samsung has the Spinpoint F3EG, which sounds somewhat promising, but I can't find any information on how well it works in a RAID environment.
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  #510  
Old 02-03-2010, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
But what always gets me is that going with a smaller drive just means you'll either need more (maybe many more) or to replace them sooner.
You'll always use up all the storage you have. However, even if in the end, you end up with 8 1TB drives, as opposed to 4 2TB drives, you've got better overall performance with the greater drive numbers.
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Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
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  #511  
Old 02-04-2010, 07:35 AM
brainbone brainbone is offline
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Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
You'll always use up all the storage you have. However, even if in the end, you end up with 8 1TB drives, as opposed to 4 2TB drives, you've got better overall performance with the greater drive numbers.
Or, if you go with unRaid, you can start with 1GB, and add 2GB drives later -- so you could have three 1GB and four 2GB, and later add an additional four 4GB when they become available.

If this is being delivered over Gigabit Ethernet, disk performance isn't a huge issue -- the bottleneck is the network. Now, if you had a 10Gb network, that would be a different story.
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  #512  
Old 02-04-2010, 03:17 PM
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Well, I was actually the one recommending just adding local storage to the already 24/7sage server, vice a NAS anyways, so network performance wasnt' an issue.
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  #513  
Old 02-05-2010, 09:37 AM
macsupergeek macsupergeek is offline
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my RAID

I use a Drobo. All my recordings go straight to 2 internal SATA drives for all recordings and live. And then all my ripped DVDs and archived shows play from the Drobo attached via firewire 800. Everything is shared via UNC paths -- all my pictures for SageTV screensaver mode are there, as well as, FanArt. The system is fast enough to play DVD's on my three Sage clients as everything is coming over on a gigabit network, one client which is over a belkin powerline HD adapter works really well, rather than wireless. I rip my DVD's on another machine and then copy them to the RAID over the network. The only real issue is that I cannot copy anything to the server via smb because it brings the server to a crawl for accessing menus in the Sage Clients. So I copy to the server using another program and the server load balances the lot for my clients and the copy tasks.
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  #514  
Old 02-05-2010, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
You'll always use up all the storage you have. However, even if in the end, you end up with 8 1TB drives, as opposed to 4 2TB drives, you've got better overall performance with the greater drive numbers.
Not necessarilly, newer/larger drives are usually faster than older/slower drives. My 4x1.5TB ReadyNAS is faster than my 8x250GB array in my server.
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  #515  
Old 02-06-2010, 11:18 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Because of the lack of RAID support in consumer-level drives, I'm pretty weary to go with a ReadyNAS, QNAP, SS4200-e, etc. I don't want to go a couple years and then find it the NAS unusable due to issues with hard drive error handling.

So, I've been giving unRAID some pretty serious thought. However, I'm a little nervous about write speeds. It looks like I can only hope to get write speeds in the range of 15-20MB/sec. For those of you running unRAID servers, is that about what you get? That's not terribly slow, but it's about half what I'm looking for. Slow writes wouldn't be so bad if I was just going to use the NAS as a media file server, but I'd also like to use it for backups/images. Faster writes would be nice for those applications.
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  #516  
Old 02-06-2010, 11:58 PM
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Honestly, unless you are using commercial class gigabit switches and adapters, I don't think going to a higher class drive just to get higher write speeds is worth it. 20MB/sec is still plenty fast for just about any personal use. backups/imaging are really an unattended activity, so speed is not THAT important. conversly, for restoration and such, speed matters, but that's not a problem for most RAID/unRAID setups.

As for 'RAID Support' in drives. Just because they can't be specifically tweaked to work BETTER with a raid array, doens't make them incompatible with working in RAID. The performance might be a tad lower, but you're paying MORE than a tad less.

i guess I'm in the camp of people who only pay for high end stuff if I'm going to need a high-end experience. For offline storage needs, it's just not that important.
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unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
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  #517  
Old 02-06-2010, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
Not necessarilly, newer/larger drives are usually faster than older/slower drives. My 4x1.5TB ReadyNAS is faster than my 8x250GB array in my server.
That is true, across significant generation gaps, which I'm sure your 250's are from a couple gens ago... however, when looking at new a 1.5TB and a 2.0 TB, I doubt the performance difference is anywhere near as great.
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unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #518  
Old 02-07-2010, 12:27 AM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Honestly, unless you are using commercial class gigabit switches and adapters, I don't think going to a higher class drive just to get higher write speeds is worth it.
I'm definitely able to do ~50MB/sec transfers with my current ~$30 gigabit switch.

Quote:
20MB/sec is still plenty fast for just about any personal use. backups/imaging are really an unattended activity, so speed is not THAT important.
I think if I knew I could consistently get 20MB/sec I wouldn't be too concerned. But, with write speeds capped at that level, I'm worried that anytime I'd write to the NAS I wouldn't be able to do anything else on it. I assume write operations basically bring unRAID systems to their knees, and that you won't even be able to do read operations very well at the same time as a write. Maybe that's a false assumption.

Quote:
Just because they can't be specifically tweaked to work BETTER with a raid array, doens't make them incompatible with working in RAID. The performance might be a tad lower, but you're paying MORE than a tad less.
I'm not concerned about a performance difference. As far as I can tell, the only difference between a normal Caviar Green drive and a Caviar GP/RE drive is the inclusion of TLER. Basically, if your hard drive encounters an error when doing a read/write it will try quite desperately to recover. That can take a non-trivial amount of time. But, RAID controllers will interpret that as a failed drive, and remove that drive from the array. TLER sends an error message after a certain number of seconds (e.g., 7 seconds) so the RAID controller doesn't remove it. That sounds like a pretty important feature. All the drive manufacturers have some version of that feature, but it sounds like only the RAID models have it enabled by default.
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  #519  
Old 02-07-2010, 08:32 AM
brainbone brainbone is offline
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Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
So, I've been giving unRAID some pretty serious thought. However, I'm a little nervous about write speeds. It looks like I can only hope to get write speeds in the range of 15-20MB/sec. For those of you running unRAID servers, is that about what you get?
Recent versions of Unraid (4.5) have increased write speeds dramatically (I get ~25MB/sec -- plenty for Gigabit). With recent changes to the Linux Kernel, you should expect write speeds to increase even more in future releases. You can add a cache drive if write speeds become a real concern.

You should not use Unraid directly for a recording drive in SageTV. Its better to record to a local drive,then archive/move the recordings to unRaid later, if you want to store HD recordings on unRaid.

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Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
I assume write operations basically bring unRAID systems to their knees, and that you won't even be able to do read operations very well at the same time as a write. Maybe that's a false assumption.
If you end up reading and writing from the same drive, you may notice some slowdown, but for basic media streaming its not a big deal.

With unRaid, data is not stripped across all drives. Only the disk being written to and the parity disk are used for any given write. All writes, except to a cache disk (if you have one installed), do read/write to the parity disk to recalculate parity, so you'll want to make sure the parity disk is as fast as possible -- but again, a cache disk can offset this penalty until later in the night, when you may not notice it.

Last edited by brainbone; 02-07-2010 at 09:06 AM.
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  #520  
Old 02-07-2010, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
Because of the lack of RAID support in consumer-level drives, I'm pretty weary to go with a ReadyNAS, QNAP, SS4200-e, etc. I don't want to go a couple years and then find it the NAS unusable due to issues with hard drive error handling.
ReadyNAS provides an HCL that includes "consumer" drives. Anything on the list they support.
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