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Logos302

Switching from flexraid...

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Logos302

  Now that flexraid seems to be unsupported.  I'm searching for a replacement.  I'm currently running flexraid (t-raid, with flexraid build in drive pooling) on a windows box with 8 drives of different sizes some 3tb and 4tb drives and two parity drives.  I've looked at unraid, freenas and snapraid so far.  But I'm not really sure which would be best.  I originally went with flexraid because it supported windows and allowed reading of the drives individually if needed.  As well as you could add drives as needed (depending on how you set it up).   The drive pooling feature for simplicity of adding content to the drives.  Any advice, other suggestions would be welcomed.  

 

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Luke

Really, it's been abandoned?

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Jdiesel

I'm a big fan of unRaid for simplicity and the large catalog of dockers that just work

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TeamB

For drive pooling on windows I use StableBit Drive Pool https://stablebit.com/DrivePool

For bit rot detection and alerting I use their Drive Scanner https://stablebit.com/Scanner

 

I have been using these for years.

 

For drive failure I use Snapraid with the above pooled drives, this has saved me at least 3 times now over the years when a drive has failed.

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aspdend

I'm a big fan of unRaid for simplicity and the large catalog of dockers that just work

+1 from me on this - UnRaid user for years

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ebr

I'm a big fan of unRaid for simplicity and the large catalog of dockers that just work

 

I went from UnRaid to FlexRaid for much greater simplicity because Unraid uses (or at least used to use) a completely proprietary file format that was only readable by UnRaid.  Flexraid is just files that are easily accessible from any machine even without the pooling.

 

However, I recently just moved from FlexRaid to DrivePool and really love that simplicity.  Migrating was extremely easy (add drives to pool, move all Flexraid folders over to pool folders, done).  I never really was able to take advantage of the supposed protection FlexRaid was giving me so I just now duplicate (and store in the cloud) data I really care about.  My media I can rebuild if needed.

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aspdend

I went from UnRaid to FlexRaid for much greater simplicity because Unraid uses (or at least used to use) a completely proprietary file format that was only readable by UnRaid.  Flexraid is just files that are easily accessible from any machine even without the pooling.

 

However, I recently just moved from FlexRaid to DrivePool and really love that simplicity.  Migrating was extremely easy (add drives to pool, move all Flexraid folders over to pool folders, done).  I never really was able to take advantage of the supposed protection FlexRaid was giving me so I just now duplicate (and store in the cloud) data I really care about.  My media I can rebuild if needed.

 

UnRaid uses XFS - I'm no expert on Linux, but it is a pretty standard format and any disk can be read in a windows PC using DIskInternals free reader (I have used this before fro a failed disk)

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mgworek

UnRaid uses XFS - I'm no expert on Linux, but it is a pretty standard format and any disk can be read in a windows PC using DIskInternals free reader (I have used this before fro a failed disk)

 

 

Unraid didn't always use XFS. I am still changing out some of my old reiserfs drives

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Jdiesel

I don't know how other setups work but with unRaid write speeds are limited to the speed of the parity drives. This can minimized by the use of a cache drive but for heavy write specific uses it may be a limiting factor. For most write speeds are far less important than read speeds which can be quite good with unRaid if your choose to allocated data across multiple drives.

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lightsout

What happened to FlexRaid??? I guess I need an alternative...

https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/topic?share_fid=47413&share_tid=3090976&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eavsforum%2Ecom%2Fforum%2Fshowthread%2Ephp%3Ft%3D3090976&share_type=t&link_source=app

 

That thread might be useful. I personally use snapraid and drive pool. I'm a windows guy so the ability to use these on top of Windows is nice. Really love the drive pool feature. It spreads things out across drives but each drive can be ready independently of another if one was taken out.

 

I haven't had the use the recover feature work snapraid yet.

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aspdend

Unraid didn't always use XFS. I am still changing out some of my old reiserfs drives

True, you can use BTRFS as well - but they do recommend that old ReiserFS drives are re-formatted as XFS/BTRFS

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CBers
DriveBender is an alternative to StableBit's Drive pool, or Storage Spaces.
 
I have been using DriveBender since the very early days (~2011) without any issues.
 
There was also a discussion here.
 

 

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jasonmcroy

I've been using Stablebit's Drivepool on Windows for the past year since I saw someone on one of these forums mention it. I haven't regretted it at all. I also use the scanner. 

 

I don't use any of the duplication features as I have all my files backed up on separate hard drives. 

 

I do use the plugin to make it fill one drive at a time so that if there is ever a drive failure I have some idea what files would be on what drive.

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ebr

Yeah, I turn off balancing as well.  Never really seen the appeal of that for a media storage application.

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Gilgamesh_48

Yeah, I turn off balancing as well.  Never really seen the appeal of that for a media storage application.

 

I use duplication and balancing as I find those of value for me. If one drive fails I do not wish to have to recreate any part of my library. That is mainly because storage is pretty cheap and it is easy to set up and I use balancing mainly to keep the load on all drives about equal.

 

Duplication is NOT a backup solution but I have yet to ever lose two drives at the same time so, in several years of use, since early 2014 at least, I have never lost any of my video files even though I have lost a couple of drives along the way. (one due to actual failure and one from clumsiness on my part.) I do have the ability, if needed, to recreate my video library from scratch.

 

As I have said in maybe this or other threads DrivePool is the most reliable piece of software I have ever used. However, even though it has good value, I do not use StableBit's scanner. At various points during the last few years Scanner+DrivePool+Plex or Emby have had stability problems on my system. Scanner has value but it is not valuable enough for me to use with the problems I have had in the past.

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TeamB

I would be intested the to hear what issues you had with stablebit scanner

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Gilgamesh_48

I would be intested the to hear what issues you had with stablebit scanner

 

For some reason with DrivePool, Emby (and/or Plex), TightVNC (Used for remote control) and StableBit's scanner all running at the same time on a pretty powerful Windows 10 (Started with Windows 7) computer the computer would simply freeze up and, sometimes, even crash. If I dropped any one of the programs the computer became stable again. 

 

After some serious thinking I decided that I did not really need StableBit's Scanner running as its early warning system was pretty much redundant for my usage and really did not add much to the robustness or stability of the system.

 

Every month or two I do run a scan on all my drives just to see if anything dangerous is happening, so far nothing has ever showed up, but the redundancy built into DrivePool along with the tools built into Windows seems to provide enough protection for my needs.

 

BTW: My server computer has no other regular duties at all. I do not believe a server should be tasked with other non-server related tasks.

 

All my drives and the server computer and another computer that acts as a MediaMonkey server are all mounted on a shelf rack that I picked up for free from a local convenience store that was throwing it out and everything is connected to a dedicated UPS with plenty of capacity to run everything for a couple of hours. (So, when I lose power, which happens here in rural Tennessee four or five times a year, I have plenty of time for an orderly shutdown.)

 

I know that is a lot more than asked for but I plead age. As we get older there is a tendency to ramble and expand on any point we are asked about. It is an attempt to get everything we know out there before it is lost to posterity forever. The value of said rambling can be debated but not really the reason for it.

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TeamB

Yeah it can be super frustrating when you have stability issues you can not track down.

 

I know you have sorted out your problems and are happy with your setup so these are just questions really, not that would should change anything.

 

Why not use Remote Desktop instead of VNC?

Are you doing sector level scans of your drives to detect bit rot?

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jachin99

I used stablebit products for a while and they were pretty simple, and really reliable. I only had issues when a drive started to fail and things really slowed down on my pool.

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Gilgamesh_48

Yeah it can be super frustrating when you have stability issues you can not track down.

 

I know you have sorted out your problems and are happy with your setup so these are just questions really, not that would should change anything.

 

Why not use Remote Desktop instead of VNC?

Are you doing sector level scans of your drives to detect bit rot?

 

I tried to set up remote desktop but I could not get it to work correctly when I tried but that was some time ago. It might be better now but it is not really worth the effort at this time.

 

Yes, I do low level scans but I have never seen anything remotely like "bit rot." In fact I am not sure that "bit rot" is a real thing in modern hard drives.

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Guest asrequested

For the record, I have three drivepools, two with duplication and I also run scanner.

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TeamB

Perhaps bit rote was not the correct term.

What I am referring to is where you have a large file that is very infrequently accessed, perhaps months or even years between accesses, sectors used by the file can fail due to magnetic properties or physical changes on the disk, these normally just show up as bad sectors in a scan for hard fails (pysical) and they are silently (mostly) fixed is they are just soft fails.

If you are not accessing the sectors the drive does not check them by itself.

I did not do deep scans (sector by sector checks) of my drives for the first 3 years of "collecting" media and one day a bunch of my media was not readable, when I did do a sector scan I had enough bad sectors of a 3 year old drive that I lost a bunch of stuff.

Not a big deal as I could just "collect" them again in a better version this time but I did lose some photos that was a bit of a pain.

Anyway I find dong sector data scans regularly is preferable for me and Stablebit scanner can scheduile this and checks by data integrity in the background regularly, over the years it has found failing disks well before SMART data flagged the drive as failing.

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Guest asrequested

That's where duplication saves your bacon. With balanced and duplicated files, that should protect you well enough. I do have scanner set to automatically health check, though.

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TeamB

I use SnapRAID, it has "saved my bacon" a few times.

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