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  #1  
Old 11-26-2008, 04:33 PM
rwc rwc is offline
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whs or unraid?

I'm planning on going to a 2 hdpvr system (at some point), and I was trying to figure out if it's better to go w/ 1 server running whs or 2 boxes--one with the server and one running unraid.

From a cost point of view, I'm leaning towards the 2 boxes UnRaid since I can build it from 'cheap' parts and still use my current server (a p4 3ghz) to record from the hdpvr.

Will it work streamign to extenders & clients and stuff?

thanks,

rwc
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2008, 06:17 PM
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PGPfan PGPfan is offline
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Go with the 2 boxes. I've been going that route for a while now with no regrets. I keep all music and DVD rips on the unRaid, and run Sage on the WHS box with the recording drive out of the pool. Best of both worlds, and anything recorded on WHS that is deemed worthy of archiving, get's copied over to the unRaid.

-PGPfan
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2008, 06:22 PM
brainbone brainbone is offline
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I'm currently testing unraid with SageTV. I chose unraid based on easy expansion (mix different size HDs in the future), and low overheard for redundancy (single parity drive) -- something whs, and other NAS solutions didn't seem to offer.

So far, it has been working well, but I only have 2 clients connected to it. I'd be interested in hearing what issues other may have had with Unraid and SageTV.
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2008, 12:27 PM
BBCritical BBCritical is offline
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Unraid is rock solid once you get it up and running. The only thing I would like to see is the ability to use it as a drive to record to for hd recordings with sagetv. Drive space would no longer be an issue.
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2008, 02:06 PM
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I use a UNC path for recording HD programs. Why would using an Unraid NAS box be any different than using a different windows machine for storage of sagetv shows? I have never used unraid, but it says it does windows networking on its webpage so it should be viewed as a windows UNC path like anything else.
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2008, 02:43 PM
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The difference has to do with the write speeds for the unRaid. Writes are slower due to the need for calculating and writing to the parity drive in addition to the files destination drive. Read speeds has never been a problem.

This has supposedly been rectified by the inclusion of a 'cache' drive in unRaid, but I've never tried using the cache drive as the Sage recording drive so I have no idea if it'd work in the real world.

-PGPfan
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2008, 04:05 PM
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davephan davephan is offline
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I assume that the UnRAID server appears as a mapped drive to your SageTV computer.

Why can't you use the UnRAID drive for recording HD content with the mapped drive? Is the throughput too low to keep up with the recording process? Is mapped drive playback of HD content stored on the UnRAID server OK?

It looks like the UnRAID operating system can only be installed on a USB jump drive, instead of conventional hard drive or solid state drive. Do you know what happens if the USB jump drive fails? Can the USB jump drive be replaced with a backup USB jump drive, then boot up again without any data loss? Or are all your files stored on the UnRAID hard drives gone after the USB jump drive failure?

Dave
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2008, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davephan View Post
I assume that the UnRAID server appears as a mapped drive to your SageTV computer.
When setting up my media directories in Sage, I just point it to my unRaid servers shared folder. For example my unRaid server has a share called "Movies" which is what I use as in import folder for Sage. In reality, this is a combination of multiple 'movie' directories across many drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davephan View Post
Why can't you use the UnRAID drive for recording HD content with the mapped drive? Is the throughput too low to keep up with the recording process? Is mapped drive playback of HD content stored on the UnRAID server OK?
See my post above. To write to unRaid, whichever disk is being written to AND the parity drive are spun up and written to. These writes take more time due to the cpu having to calculate parity. To overcome this speed problem, unRaid introduced a "cache disk" which is a separate disk that gets written to at FULL speed - no parity is calculated, so no speed penalty.

Later, like 3:00 in the morning, or whenever you assign it to, unRaid will then move the data off of the cache disk - calculating parity at this time - and will write the data to it's final destination. All this, keeping the directory structures fully intact so Sage has no trouble dealing with unRaid. It's quite an impressive system, really.

As for recording HD content directly to an unRaid drive, I can't comment there as I'm not recording HD yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davephan View Post
It looks like the UnRAID operating system can only be installed on a USB jump drive, instead of conventional hard drive or solid state drive. Do you know what happens if the USB jump drive fails? Can the USB jump drive be replaced with a backup USB jump drive, then boot up again without any data loss? Or are all your files stored on the UnRAID hard drives gone after the USB jump drive failure?

Dave
At the unRaid forums there is discussion on how to boot from an optical drive. To me, it's not worth the effort. unRaid just works. Don't worry about your data if you lose the USB drive, you are fine. It's happened to me once before and I was able to get the system back up and running in no time. Also, the deveoloper is GREAT to work with in times of crisis like that!

-PGPfan
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2008, 07:00 AM
brainbone brainbone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGPfan View Post
See my post above. To write to unRaid, whichever disk is being written to AND the parity drive are spun up and written to. These writes take more time due to the cpu having to calculate parity.
Depending on the bandwidth of the drives and controllers you're using, this may not be a problem. If you're using a bunch of older PATA drives, PCI ATA controllers, or PATA drives on both the master and slave channels, then you're probably going to have some serious bandwidth issues. If you use all PCE-E SATA controllers or SATA controllers integrated into the motherboard's chipset (SATA controllers that don't use the PCI bus), you'll be much better off.

Also, there is a tweak to increase read performance on unraid 4.3.3 by ~ 30%. I haven't tested if it increases write performance.

I'm currently using a HVR 2250 (2 QAM tuners) and I don't seem to have a problem writing HD recordings to Unraid, without a cache drive.

Add to that a shameless plug for my email notification script, that can send an email to my phone if any of the drives in the unraid server starts acting up or overheats, and I'm pretty happy with it.

Last edited by brainbone; 11-28-2008 at 07:06 AM.
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  #10  
Old 11-28-2008, 07:27 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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Personally I'd spend the $30 for NASLite2 and not have to worry about any of these difficulties. It's fast (no problem streaming 2 HD streams to it at once), cheap and very reliable.

www.serverlements.com
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  #11  
Old 11-28-2008, 07:50 AM
brainbone brainbone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmiranda View Post
Personally I'd spend the $30 for NASLite2
My understanding is that you need a hardware raid controller to get any type of redundancy from NASlite2, otherwise, it's JBOD.
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2008, 11:35 AM
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lovingHDTV lovingHDTV is offline
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I use two boxes as well. All my music, picture and movies are on UnRaid and the TV recordings are on the Sage server.

You could use user shares and the cache drive feature to use UnRaid as a recording disk, I don't because I don't want parity protection on TV recordings. If I want to keep a TV show I archive it, then move it to UnRaid, otherwise I keep it on the sage server.

Discussion of why someone would choose UnRaid over any other NAS solution can be a lenghty discussion. . .
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2008, 06:55 PM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brainbone View Post
My understanding is that you need a hardware raid controller to get any type of redundancy from NASlite2, otherwise, it's JBOD.
True. But if you really are interested in RAID, then a hardware RAID card is the only way to go. Software RAID is usually buggy and unreliable. (And slow, but you know that already. )
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2008, 06:59 PM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingHDTV View Post
Discussion of why someone would choose UnRaid over any other NAS solution can be a lenghty discussion. . .
Also true. All of them have their pros and cons and we all will have different results. I read how many people loved FreeNAS but when I tried that it was an unmitigated disaster. It was completely unreliable and never stayed up more then 30 minutes without crashing.
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  #15  
Old 11-28-2008, 08:21 PM
swats swats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingHDTV View Post
I use two boxes as well. All my music, picture and movies are on UnRaid and the TV recordings are on the Sage server.

You could use user shares and the cache drive feature to use UnRaid as a recording disk, I don't because I don't want parity protection on TV recordings. If I want to keep a TV show I archive it, then move it to UnRaid, otherwise I keep it on the sage server.

Discussion of why someone would choose UnRaid over any other NAS solution can be a lenghty discussion. . .
Ditto for me. I used to run a hardware RAID 5 setup in my Sage Server, but ended up implementing an unRAID box that I moved everything from RAID 5 setup over to. IMHO, unRAID just works. It has been solid as a rock, and the flexibility to mix and match drive sizes allowed me to triple the size of my array for NO cost (using drives I had pulled from my RAID 5 rig when I upgraded).
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  #16  
Old 09-10-2010, 08:36 PM
jbowdach jbowdach is offline
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Settles it for me, Ive been considering Netgear's X-RAID, a Drobo (way to expensive), FreeNAS, and a traditional RAID-5 for a while, but none of them were exactly what I wanted.

Heard of UnRAID today, and im sold. Gonna grab the plus version. Thanks for the info!
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  #17  
Old 09-10-2010, 08:49 PM
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unkyjoe unkyjoe is offline
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I have never used Unraid but have been a satisfied user of WHS for about 18 months now with no regrets.

I am only using it for SD recording, but have never had difficulty with the drive management program in WHS, it easily has allowed me to replace and upgrade different sized drives without issues.

I recently update to a newer "faster" server and was able to upgrade without having to restore data from a backup "which I made just in case" it kept all of the data intact and imported it cleanly back into the system "see we got served forums for details"

I like to keep network bandwidth as clean as possible, and not having to stream video across a 100Mb connection to record it onto remote storage is a plus. This way I can serve more extender units with multiple streams and not saturate my connection.

Plus I am cheap and 1 server will take less space, generate less heat, and consume less electrical power, all pluses

Just my 2cents
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  #18  
Old 09-11-2010, 05:46 AM
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I have unRAID for my storage but do not write directly to it.

I use SJQ to move the recordings to the unRAID server after they are recorded.

Have not had any problems viewing from unRAID server other than maybe an initial pause if the drive that the recording is on is spun down. Once spun up, no issues at all.

Been very happy with unRAID.
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  #19  
Old 09-11-2010, 08:25 AM
rwc rwc is offline
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Out of curiosity, how does spinning down the drives compare to the power savings of putting the machine in standby?

I would guess it's close, but I don't know
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  #20  
Old 09-12-2010, 07:03 PM
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mistergq mistergq is offline
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Thanks for posting. I have been pondering doing a NASLite server, and now I can add unraid to it. I guess the question is do I want to have a "backup" of what I put onto that machine (and I use the word backup lightly by the way). I have no problem with the cost, but I think I am still leaning towards NASLite.
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