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  #401  
Old 08-18-2008, 04:58 PM
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chrisc16 chrisc16 is offline
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After reading through this entire thread, I'm pretty excited to start building a Linux-powered software raid 5 box of my own. Currently Sage runs on a Windows server with 900GB of non-redundant recording space. It's been mentioned several times here that people aren't interested in protecting their recordings, after all it's "just TV". However I strongly disagree, my wife and kids would kill me if 1/3 of their recordings disappeared one day. I would be scouring the net for torrents of Dora the Explorer etc. for days I also have a ReadyNAS that stores all my media (music, ripped DVDs, home videos) and it's rock solid, but too slow to stream high def media - the cincher here was that it won't stream the clips from my Canon HD camcorder.

Here's the equipment that I'm planning (some I have, some I'll buy):

Asus P5Q motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131295)
Core 2 Duo E6300
4GB RAM
Addonics 5SA 5in3 disk array
Addonics 5x1 PMP
4 Seagate 7200.11 1TB HDDs (for a final volume size of 3TB)

So my questions are:
  1. Am I crazy to think that I can record directly to this NAS from my Sage (Windows) server? I have 1 HDHomeRun, 1 R5000-HD, and 1 Hauppage analog tuner. I have gigabit ethernet hard wired everywhere.
  2. Will the latest distro of Ubuntu and the Webmin utility include everything I need for RAID management?
  3. After the Linux NAS is set up, I will probably retire the ReadyNAS. Ideally I would take the 4x500GB drives from that, and add it to another 5in3 in the Linux box. Would I then be able to create another RAID5 array on those disks?
  4. Since this box will be running 24/7, I am torn about the power usage. The ReadyNAS is very efficient, I think I clocked it at 65W with all 4 drives spinning. Obviously the new box will use more power, but I'm hoping that with speedstep the Core Duo CPU won't suck down too much power.

Thanks for any advice and tips.

-Chris
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  #402  
Old 08-18-2008, 05:37 PM
KJake KJake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisc16 View Post
Am I crazy to think that I can record directly to this NAS from my Sage (Windows) server? I have 1 HDHomeRun, 1 R5000-HD, and 1 Hauppage analog tuner. I have gigabit ethernet hard wired everywhere.
Nope, I do this. I would just recommend a gigabit interface. I have a hdhomerun, r5000, winpvr2, and dual analog. My showanalyizer even runs on the windows server. The other night, I caught the system recording from 5 sources at once (for the olympics) and it was fine. I do have my SA pause while recording though (I also have my SA setup for 4 simultaneous processors though).

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Originally Posted by chrisc16 View Post
Will the latest distro of Ubuntu and the Webmin utility include everything I need for RAID management?
Yes and no. The latest Ubuntu supports my PMPs without any custom kernel compilation, but EVMS is now considered dead (unmaintained) and has been moved to the universe tree. If you're not looking to do the layered approach that mikesm and I do (EVMS > LVM2 > MDADM), then using Webmin to manage MDADM and/or LVM2 will probably work, but I don't have extensive knowledge of Webmin (but I do use it here and there).

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Originally Posted by chrisc16 View Post
After the Linux NAS is set up, I will probably retire the ReadyNAS. Ideally I would take the 4x500GB drives from that, and add it to another 5in3 in the Linux box. Would I then be able to create another RAID5 array on those disks?
I believe so...

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Originally Posted by chrisc16 View Post
Since this box will be running 24/7, I am torn about the power usage. The ReadyNAS is very efficient, I think I clocked it at 65W with all 4 drives spinning. Obviously the new box will use more power, but I'm hoping that with speedstep the Core Duo CPU won't suck down too much power.
I haven't put a kill-a-watt on my system, but I know it doesn't use too much. My 1500VA UPS that is down there only has a 31% load, and that has a bunch of other stuff plugged in there too.
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  #403  
Old 08-18-2008, 05:59 PM
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chrisc16 chrisc16 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJake View Post
Nope, I do this. I would just recommend a gigabit interface. I have a hdhomerun, r5000, winpvr2, and dual analog. My showanalyizer even runs on the windows server. The other night, I caught the system recording from 5 sources at once (for the olympics) and it was fine. I do have my SA pause while recording though (I also have my SA setup for 4 simultaneous processors though).
Excellent information, I forgot to ask about SA as well. I'm very glad to hear that doing all that over the network is possible. Do you have a quad-core cpu on your Sage server, and a dual-core cpu on your NAS?

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Originally Posted by KJake View Post
Yes and no. The latest Ubuntu supports my PMPs without any custom kernel compilation, but EVMS is now considered dead (unmaintained) and has been moved to the universe tree. If you're not looking to do the layered approach that mikesm and I do (EVMS > LVM2 > MDADM), then using Webmin to manage MDADM and/or LVM2 will probably work, but I don't have extensive knowledge of Webmin (but I do use it here and there).
How about WebDAV support? Do you use that, or was it mikesm?

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Originally Posted by KJake View Post
I haven't put a kill-a-watt on my system, but I know it doesn't use too much. My 1500VA UPS that is down there only has a 31% load, and that has a bunch of other stuff plugged in there too.
How many HDDs do you have in your NAS?

Thanks for the reply!

-Chris
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  #404  
Old 08-18-2008, 06:18 PM
KJake KJake is offline
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Originally Posted by chrisc16 View Post
Do you have a quad-core cpu on your Sage server, and a dual-core cpu on your NAS?
I have dual-core in my sage server (Core 2 Duo E6700) and NAS (Core 2 Duo X6800), but the NAS hardly touches it. I planned on running other stuff on it though and I had the board/chip laying about, so it was what I used. Memory is important in the NAS if you're going to use XFS though, at least, from what I understand.

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Originally Posted by chrisc16 View Post
How about WebDAV support? Do you use that, or was it mikesm?
I do have apache setup to do directory listings, but I don't have anything setup using actual WebDAVFS or the like. I just use it over the browser to download files from outside of the home (use weird port and SSL).

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Originally Posted by chrisc16 View Post
How many HDDs do you have in your NAS?
I have 8 currently, two RAID5 MD sets in LVM with EVMS layering XFS over top of it. 4x1TB and 4x750GB which makes for about 4.8TB usable. Of that, currently used is 2.1TB for my DVD collection, 836GB to Sage, and 55GB to Music. The rest holds family pictures, documents and the like. I have 1.1TB free currently...I mainly built this for my DVD collection. I was sick of having all the discs around and wanted an online library.
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  #405  
Old 08-18-2008, 11:14 PM
mikesm mikesm is offline
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Originally Posted by mikesm View Post
Zipzoomfly now has the seagate 7200.11 1 TB drive on sale for $149.99 (no rebate). Shipping was low for me 4 drives for $8. No limit on number ordered. No tax outside of CA. New, but OEM drive instead of retail. Same 5 yr warrenty. Look here: http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...tCode=10005936

This is a great drive for building raid arrays with.
This drive is now available for $149.99 again, but with free shipping!

BTW, the NCQ on this drive actually works well, so if you are raiding a bunch of them together under linux and using my diskopt.sh script, I would comment out the line that deactivates NCQ... This is the first drive (the 7200.11 1 TB drive) that seems to do it right and adds value.
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Client 1: Sage 6.5.9 - E7200, Abit IP35 Pro, ATI 4850 with HDMI connect to Denon 3808CI and Sony A3000 SXRD TV
Client 2: HD200 connected to Denon 3808CI and A3000 SXRD TV
Client 3: Media MVP to 15" Toshiba LCD
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  #406  
Old 08-18-2008, 11:19 PM
mikesm mikesm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisc16 View Post
After reading through this entire thread, I'm pretty excited to start building a Linux-powered software raid 5 box of my own. Currently Sage runs on a Windows server with 900GB of non-redundant recording space. It's been mentioned several times here that people aren't interested in protecting their recordings, after all it's "just TV". However I strongly disagree, my wife and kids would kill me if 1/3 of their recordings disappeared one day. I would be scouring the net for torrents of Dora the Explorer etc. for days I also have a ReadyNAS that stores all my media (music, ripped DVDs, home videos) and it's rock solid, but too slow to stream high def media - the cincher here was that it won't stream the clips from my Canon HD camcorder.

Here's the equipment that I'm planning (some I have, some I'll buy):

Asus P5Q motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131295)
Core 2 Duo E6300
4GB RAM
Addonics 5SA 5in3 disk array
Addonics 5x1 PMP
4 Seagate 7200.11 1TB HDDs (for a final volume size of 3TB)

So my questions are:
  1. Am I crazy to think that I can record directly to this NAS from my Sage (Windows) server? I have 1 HDHomeRun, 1 R5000-HD, and 1 Hauppage analog tuner. I have gigabit ethernet hard wired everywhere.
  2. Will the latest distro of Ubuntu and the Webmin utility include everything I need for RAID management?
  3. After the Linux NAS is set up, I will probably retire the ReadyNAS. Ideally I would take the 4x500GB drives from that, and add it to another 5in3 in the Linux box. Would I then be able to create another RAID5 array on those disks?
  4. Since this box will be running 24/7, I am torn about the power usage. The ReadyNAS is very efficient, I think I clocked it at 65W with all 4 drives spinning. Obviously the new box will use more power, but I'm hoping that with speedstep the Core Duo CPU won't suck down too much power.

Thanks for any advice and tips.

-Chris
I would go with a good P35 motherboard - the P45's don't add all that much as the ICH10R does NOT support FIS switching for PMP's as Intel said it would. That means if you want PMP's, you'll have to settle for SI 3132's driving them, or a Marvell 88SX7042 based controller, which doesn't have the limitations on throughput the SI 3132 has.

Note that since you will probably have 8 ports on many motherboards in terms of SATA, you don't need a PMP for only 4 drives. I'd skip it and just connect the drives natively for now. When you run out, you can add a SATA PMP capable controller and PMP.

I'd also go with an E7200 or E8400 as they have better bang for buck compared with the E6000 series.

If it's configured right, it should have no problems at all with Sage banging on it. I have 2 R5000's, an HD Homerun and 2 analog video encoders recording to it, along with a PC client and 2 extenders that also access recordings, and another system that runs commercial skip analysis while the recording is going on. All no sweat. :-)

BTW, a friend got the RPC-4020 4U rackmount case. Very good value (see here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...1&Tpk=rpc-4020) and holds 20 drives in a single 4U case. If you plan on going with 2 of the 5in3 racks, you might want to consider one of those, as the price isn't that much more, and you'll get the ability to hold 20 drives.
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Client 1: Sage 6.5.9 - E7200, Abit IP35 Pro, ATI 4850 with HDMI connect to Denon 3808CI and Sony A3000 SXRD TV
Client 2: HD200 connected to Denon 3808CI and A3000 SXRD TV
Client 3: Media MVP to 15" Toshiba LCD
Client 4: HD100 connected to Samsung 23" 720P LCD
Client 5: HD100 connected to Vizio VX37L

Last edited by mikesm; 08-18-2008 at 11:23 PM.
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  #407  
Old 08-19-2008, 07:37 AM
mikesm mikesm is offline
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Well, the ZZF price for the 7200.11 1 TB drive is now $139.99, INCLUDING free shipping. Wow. I just ordered another one...
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Client 1: Sage 6.5.9 - E7200, Abit IP35 Pro, ATI 4850 with HDMI connect to Denon 3808CI and Sony A3000 SXRD TV
Client 2: HD200 connected to Denon 3808CI and A3000 SXRD TV
Client 3: Media MVP to 15" Toshiba LCD
Client 4: HD100 connected to Samsung 23" 720P LCD
Client 5: HD100 connected to Vizio VX37L
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  #408  
Old 08-19-2008, 10:49 AM
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chrisc16 chrisc16 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesm View Post
I would go with a good P35 motherboard - the P45's don't add all that much as the ICH10R does NOT support FIS switching for PMP's as Intel said it would.
Now I remember reading your post that the P45 was missing FIS support. If I can go with a P35, then I would probably get this motherboard since it uses an Intel LAN chip. I'm not concerned with overclocking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesm View Post
That means if you want PMP's, you'll have to settle for SI 3132's driving them, or a Marvell 88SX7042 based controller, which doesn't have the limitations on throughput the SI 3132 has.
I found this controller that uses the 3132, and it's cheap. I'll probably have 10 drives shortly, so I'll need to go the PMP route. Is this the right PMP to get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesm View Post
I'd also go with an E7200 or E8400 as they have better bang for buck compared with the E6000 series.
I agree, but I was planning on using the E6300 from my Windows server, and upgrading that processor. I can't believe how cheap the E7200 is now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesm View Post
BTW, a friend got the RPC-4020 4U rackmount case. Very good value (see here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...1&Tpk=rpc-4020) and holds 20 drives in a single 4U case. If you plan on going with 2 of the 5in3 racks, you might want to consider one of those, as the price isn't that much more, and you'll get the ability to hold 20 drives.
That is an awesome case. I don't have a rack, but I could probably find a way to secure that on a shelf. I wonder about its cooling efficiencies though, those two fans in the back look a little on the small side.

-Chris
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Last edited by chrisc16; 08-19-2008 at 10:53 AM.
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  #409  
Old 08-19-2008, 12:45 PM
mikesm mikesm is offline
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Now I remember reading your post that the P45 was missing FIS support. If I can go with a P35, then I would probably get this motherboard since it uses an Intel LAN chip. I'm not concerned with overclocking.

That should be fine as a motherboard.


I found this controller that uses the 3132, and it's cheap. I'll probably have 10 drives shortly, so I'll need to go the PMP route. Is this the right PMP to get?

That will work fine to drive PMP's. I personally would pick this PMP: http://www.addonics.com/products/hos.../ad5sapm-e.asp as opposed to the PCI mounting which would consume a slot. It doesn't work if the case is crowded and you can't mount this with double sticky tape in the case near the motherboard.

I agree, but I was planning on using the E6300 from my Windows server, and upgrading that processor. I can't believe how cheap the E7200 is now.

The 7200 is great bang for buck, but the E8400 can be found under $150 too, and is even better...

That is an awesome case. I don't have a rack, but I could probably find a way to secure that on a shelf. I wonder about its cooling efficiencies though, those two fans in the back look a little on the small side.

It depends on what your space available is, but two delta EHE fans will do a lot for exhaust of the case...

-Chris
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Client 1: Sage 6.5.9 - E7200, Abit IP35 Pro, ATI 4850 with HDMI connect to Denon 3808CI and Sony A3000 SXRD TV
Client 2: HD200 connected to Denon 3808CI and A3000 SXRD TV
Client 3: Media MVP to 15" Toshiba LCD
Client 4: HD100 connected to Samsung 23" 720P LCD
Client 5: HD100 connected to Vizio VX37L
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  #410  
Old 08-22-2008, 09:51 AM
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chrisc16 chrisc16 is offline
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KJake and mikesm,

Do you think it's worth having two network cards in the Sage server and two in the Linux NAS, in order to set up a private network directly between Sage and the NAS? Network cards are cheap, and I have the cabling, I'm just not sure if the extra setup will buy me any more performance.

-Chris
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  #411  
Old 08-22-2008, 10:13 AM
KJake KJake is offline
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Originally Posted by chrisc16 View Post
Do you think it's worth having two network cards in the Sage server and two in the Linux NAS, in order to set up a private network directly between Sage and the NAS?
I don't think that is a terrible idea at all.
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  #412  
Old 08-22-2008, 11:28 AM
mikesm mikesm is offline
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Originally Posted by chrisc16 View Post
KJake and mikesm,

Do you think it's worth having two network cards in the Sage server and two in the Linux NAS, in order to set up a private network directly between Sage and the NAS? Network cards are cheap, and I have the cabling, I'm just not sure if the extra setup will buy me any more performance.

-Chris
I think it's fine if you want to do that. Given that both servers will be on both networks, you'll have to play with the interface metrics to assure they talk to each other via the special link, and talk to everyone else via the primary interface.

If you have a lot of extenders that operate simultaneously with 1080i MPEG2 feeding them, it may help somewhat, but it won't hurt in any case. :-)
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Client 1: Sage 6.5.9 - E7200, Abit IP35 Pro, ATI 4850 with HDMI connect to Denon 3808CI and Sony A3000 SXRD TV
Client 2: HD200 connected to Denon 3808CI and A3000 SXRD TV
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  #413  
Old 08-22-2008, 12:15 PM
KJake KJake is offline
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Originally Posted by KJake View Post
I don't think that is a terrible idea at all.
It's actually such a good idea, I might do it myself. I will soon have 4 possible 1080i recordings at once and have the ability to watch 2 at the same time. It may be useful to have a dedicated interface. I think my speedtests have shown that I can support 2 gb interfaces.
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  #414  
Old 08-22-2008, 07:51 PM
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Well, as mikesm said early on in this thread, building overkill is fun! So I'm going to try it just for the heck of it. I might be back here for help on getting it set up correctly, though.

-Chris
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  #415  
Old 08-23-2008, 02:41 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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With the talk of needing to increase the bandwidth to the NAS on here, it makes me wonder "why go through the trouble?" Why not just use storage directly attached to the server? Especially if you are using extenders, where all traffic will be passing through the server anyways. (With clients, I can perhaps see some benefit, as the clients could talk directly to the NAS, and avoid some of the server bandwidth)
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  #416  
Old 08-23-2008, 07:50 PM
KJake KJake is offline
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Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
With the talk of needing to increase the bandwidth to the NAS on here, it makes me wonder "why go through the trouble?" Why not just use storage directly attached to the server? Especially if you are using extenders, where all traffic will be passing through the server anyways. (With clients, I can perhaps see some benefit, as the clients could talk directly to the NAS, and avoid some of the server bandwidth)
Mostly because massive storage like this sucks in Windows and I only have a license for Sage to run in Windows. Also, a lot of the devices are supported better in Windows.
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  #417  
Old 08-24-2008, 01:37 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Mostly because massive storage like this sucks in Windows and I only have a license for Sage to run in Windows. Also, a lot of the devices are supported better in Windows.
Sorry to sidetrack the thread, but why, do you say, that massive storage sucks in windows? I have found no upper limit on drive space for windows, so I guess I don't see the problem you are having. If you mean performance, I'd wager the performance of the server accessing the drives directly (even through a potentially slower windows) is still faster than accessing the NAS.
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  #418  
Old 08-24-2008, 07:58 AM
KJake KJake is offline
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Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
Sorry to sidetrack the thread, but why, do you say, that massive storage sucks in windows? I have found no upper limit on drive space for windows, so I guess I don't see the problem you are having. If you mean performance, I'd wager the performance of the server accessing the drives directly (even through a potentially slower windows) is still faster than accessing the NAS.
Let's skip the Linux/Windows flamebait and look at the raw math.

My R5000 records at ~19Mbps for a 1080i recording. A gigabit connection could support 50 more simultaneous streams of that program.

My R5000 records at ~6Mbps for a 480i recording. A gigabit connection could support 170 more simultaneous streams of that program.

I think the HD-PVR records at ~7Mbps for a 1080i recording. A gigabit connection could support 140 more simultaneous streams of that program.

These are, of course, optimal numbers and don't account for a lot of variables, but you can see that even with HD recording, you shouldn't have to worry too much about disk access speeds. As long as the NAS system that you're talking about can keep up with the gigabit connection...

Does that make sense?

Disclaimer:
OTA HD should be a higher bitrate than cable HD. R5000 bitrate depends on what your cable company is doing to the stream before it is sent to you. HD-PVR bitrate is lower because it is outputting an MPEG4 stream to the network instead of MPEG2.
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  #419  
Old 08-24-2008, 10:38 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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That does make sense, and I agree that it should be no problem over a gigabit lan, I was morereacting to the discussion of wanting to add a seperate dedicated link to the NAS from the sage server, and was trying to figure out why. In my eye, the only advantage of runing a NAS is 24-hour availability from any system on the network. I'd wager most of our sage servers are already up for full-time availability, so this is why I don't see the need for all this extra complexity. The only answer I got was Windows Sucks, but no description of what the complaint is, and in the same breath saying that you had a windows liscense, and that it had the best support. I seriously do want to know what makes people move their storage off the server.
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  #420  
Old 08-24-2008, 11:09 AM
KJake KJake is offline
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Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
That does make sense, and I agree that it should be no problem over a gigabit lan, I was morereacting to the discussion of wanting to add a seperate dedicated link to the NAS from the sage server, and was trying to figure out why. In my eye, the only advantage of runing a NAS is 24-hour availability from any system on the network. I'd wager most of our sage servers are already up for full-time availability, so this is why I don't see the need for all this extra complexity. The only answer I got was Windows Sucks, but no description of what the complaint is, and in the same breath saying that you had a windows liscense, and that it had the best support. I seriously do want to know what makes people move their storage off the server.

I didn't mean to give the impression that Windows just sucks. It just isn't necessarily the best option for mass storage. Any sort of enterprise system that gives you the flexibility that we have with this Linux setup isn't going to be running Windows. Sure, they will use a NAS with Windows Storage Server, but they are only a gateway to the SAN - and only needed if you're in a Windows centric environment.

So here's what we have in Linux in a nutshell: Lots of drives visible as a single network share with redundancy, non-restrictive RAID, and no need for super fancy hardware.

I will admit that my rig is overblown and could run Windows, but there are some systems setup doing this that would have an issue running Windows and dealing with software RAID. This was the first thing addressed when this thread was started. Most people want to use stuff that they have laying around and it might not be optimal for running Windows.

Also, RAID. Software RAID in Windows is a hack. Hardware RAID cards are not cheap and the cheap ones don't do a good job. Additionally, with hardware cards, you need to keep drives in order after establishing the RAID, else you'll break it. I've taken my system apart and put it back together with drives hooked up in completely different order, using differing controllers and it didn't care, everything came back. The other issue is that, at least at the outset of this thread, big drives weren't very cheap. 500GB was common, but now you can get 1TB drives for reasonable prices. We wanted something that wasn't just for Sage, but for our whole network...so this meant that I would need a lot of drives to get there. My first configuration was 6x500GB drives, plus some 750GB drives that I had paid an arm and a leg for back when they first came out (Seagate .11 drives). If you wanted to even hook up 6 drives to a RAID card, you're talking $250 for an OK hardware card, and that's all you can do with it. Some people would rather spend the $250 on some components for a system that can give them storage and perhaps do something else (webpages, database, whole house music system, home automation, etc).

The other issue that was discussed is that we had mixed sets of drives available. 6x500 and 4x750. Under normal circumstances, you would RAID each, and then share each out and have to manage each share. With Linux and EVMS/LVM those two sets became one. I can easily add another set of disks, or grow either to add another disk. In fact, I replaced the 6x500 with 4x1TB and used LVM tools to move all the data (block by block) from the 6x500 to the 4x1TB set while the system was online with minimal to no performance issues. Once it was complete, I removed the old drives and was done.

And, in the end, I just couldn't expand storage on my sage server. It was a mini-tower that only had room for a single HDD and I was running out of space and had no redundancy...so a new system to handle all of that made the most sense to me. I also wanted a Linux system since my old one went caput that I used for Webpages, Slimserver, and KAID (xbox)...among other things.

Seriously, this thread doesn't exist to convinse anyone to use Linux or build another computer just for storage. Rather, it is supposed to be a resource of what we've all been though when we were looking for a solution.
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