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6 drives... what to do..

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by Xizor, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. Xizor

    Xizor Member

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    Hey Guys!

    I am starting to get a little worried my luck may run out one day soon, my drives have been all behaving for many years now (i replaced every few years when drive software like HDD sentinel indicated they were ageing).

    I currently have 5x3TB drives (mix of Toshiba's and WD RED) and 1x5TB WD RD for storage. One of the 3TB lives within the desktop, all the other drives are in an external HOTWAY 8xHDD BAY via USB 3 and it is only turned on when i am gonna use it. It is effectively just hoarding media for occasional streaming.

    I running Win7 ultimate. I recently installed FlexRAID and setup the drive pooling but after more research i decided against using it's software raid and removed it entirely so i am back to just standalone drives.

    I would like to pool the drives, and have flexibility to add/remove any size drive to the pool. I would also like to have *some* level of redundancy for say if 1 drive died. I would prefer to keep using the external Hotway drive bay / not have to fork out for an expensive NAS or similiar. That being the case it leaves me with software RAID as only option, is that right?

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Gonadman2

    Gonadman2 Member

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    Why did you get rid of FlexRAID? It will do everything you're after here, and offers more redundancy than your current setup of individual drives.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Xizor

    Xizor Member

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    I read of too many instances of recovery issues / failing and the support being next to non-existent as it was only via community unless a higher fee paid.
     
  4. terrastrife

    terrastrife Member

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    the only recovery issues are from users who don't read the wiki/manual.
    there is no pay for support bs, not that you'd need support.

    I use FlexRAID (traid) for my 30TB+, never had any issues with it not working how it should.
     
  5. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    IMO, you need to replicate your data and forget about recovery issues or failure. It can happen on EVERYTHING. Expect it, have your backups and forget about it. Pooling your drives puts the whole shebang on the line, whatever and however you do it. Something "reliable" can (and will) still bite the dust. In a way, it's worse, because it will do it "unexpectedly". At least with something "cutting edge" you have in your mind that it might and (hopefully) have set yourself up so that it is nothing more than a minor inconvenience.
     
  6. sreg0r

    sreg0r Member

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    i would trust flexraid more than using onboard raid. I'd say go with that or shell out for a NAS if the data is important to you.

    The advantage/disadvantage with pooling drives is that under the wrong circumstances you can lose everything. Your current setup you will only lose 1 drives worth of data on a drive failure, with a quasi-raid5 setup you're less likely to lose data, but if you do you'll probably lose the lot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  7. The Brad

    The Brad Member

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    Anybody using a HOTWAY box and worried about data integrity has issues.

    Synology NAS would be my recommendation. I'm on my third now and they are bulletproof.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Xizor

    Xizor Member

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    $400-600+ on a limited 4 bay NAS when the Hotway box has been fine (i know of issues, but i have had none via USB 3) to date and for the most part meets my basic requirements. I would certainly like one but i simply cannot justify the outlay given the number of drives. With my speed and bandwidth It would be more cost effective to simply obtain lost data again.

    Mirrored replication of everything is not financially practical either.

    Sounds like continuing down the tight rope path until a NAS is affordable/i can justify.
     
  9. zx_spectrum

    zx_spectrum Member

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    Snapraid is an alternative. It is open source and free. You can see a comparison of features and problems vs many other popular software raid packages here:
    http://www.snapraid.it/compare

    Snapraid has no (sane) pooling option built in, so you may want some pooling software. StableBit DrivePool is a good pooling option but is not free.

    Having said all that, although snapraid is superior to flexraid in terms of data integrity, you already own flexraid and flexraid is very easy to use. Snapraid is hard to use: It's command line only and you will end up needing to write a script to automate syncing and scrubbing.

    If it were me I'd just use the flexraid you already own. It's a pretty good system. Not 100% bulletproof but still quite reliable.
     
  10. The Brad

    The Brad Member

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    Worked in a shop and sold that brand - literally the worst made Chinese rubbish there is and I wouldn't trust it in the slightest.
     
  11. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    A nas is not a guarantee against data loss. One of mine chucked a huge wobbly and everything needed to be nuked.
     
  12. greenhawk

    greenhawk Member

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    Besides the topic of hotway being questionable quality and having all the drives in the same box, the software you are probably looking for is stablebit drive pool.

    https://stablebit.com/DrivePool

    it adds all the files together into one drive letter, and does have some data protection through mirroring of selected folders (IIRC). so not everything needs to be backup.

    But you did mention you are against mirroring, which is an issue as that is the lowest overhead (processing) option around and works best when bandwidth is also limited (as with usb drive boxes).

    The reason I like drive pool (and bought it) is that even if something happens, the files are all on separate drives so none of the standard raid issues of being on several drives (which makes recovery so much harder).

    If your information does not change, then snap raid is probably the best trade off between space, data recovery and cost. Its biggest down side is that if you have data that changes often, it does not cover you for data loss.

    My experience with external drive boxes and raid, best avoided. I had raid 5 over sata port multipliers before, and for light loads it was OK (ie: worked), under heavy loads, it ground to a halt and froze the computer (one step from crashing). Any form of external disk array that uses sata or USB should be avoided. Thunderbolt and SAS should not have any of these issues, but then they cost and are designed for the heavy work loads. Something like raid will place a lot of load on all drives in the array when only changing a small file.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Xizor

    Xizor Member

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    Thanks greenhawk. I think i have sufficient feedback for now.
     
  14. issa2006

    issa2006 Member

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    i have the same 8 bay unit,

    the latest mode1 say 8tb hdd i tested it ok.

    i got a 8tb seagate archive, you could jusb buy 2 of them and do a 1, to 1 backup.

    i would then leave the archive in 24x7 use, and retire the older ones as offline backup.

    just remember to plug them in 1 a year and run diskrefresh software on each drive.

    the seagade archive 8tb v2 hdd is good, write are slow, but if you using them for streaming, etc they are great n cheap, and they desigh for 24x7 use, so if you turn you box on / off it last long time., frees up drive bays.

    you put old hdd in hdd box holder with some silicon most asbober. .


    hdd in long term offline no power storage.
    1. plug hdd in.
    2. run a program called diskfresh, it re writes all data sector by sector, remagniting hhdd, and will tell you of errors.
    3. update hdd files
    4. run scandisk/chkdsk /f drive letter

    5. unplug hdd and put in long term storage box, with mostor asbor (fresh)

    6. keep in dark dry place, away from direct sunlight.

    13 months is where data starts to be lost/corr5upt with some hdd(green) if to plug in etc. all data sectors need to be remagtised.

    (old days copy all data off then back on to hdd,

    now we run diskfresh. faster


    disk fresh cam be used on ssd and ssd in raid (0) to fix porformance issuses due to no trim.

    i did my pc again (every year my raid 0 was getting 300mb/sec, after refresh, it not back to 1000mb/sec i took pic ill post up in future.
     
  15. issa2006

    issa2006 Member

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    i do have 1 question for you hotway 8 bay box.

    is it the usb 3.0 esata one.

    2 does you unit if using usb 3.0 as non raid hdds, power each hdd down after a bit if drive letter is not being used.?

    i dont think mine does, as their seams no delay accessing drive data per drive letter.


    my external wd, power down after 1/3 hour, and take 30 sec to spin up before you can asses data.
     
  16. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    I have a hotway box (4-bay) and it has options.
     
  17. SLIMaxPower

    SLIMaxPower Member

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    Can the usb/esata be disabled/removed and standard sata cables used
     
  18. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    if you cant justify a 'real synology' you can make your own :)
    XPenology is great. HP Gen 8 microserver is ~$270 delivered.(last time i looked)

    or just buy a second hand synology 'j' series nas. they pop up semi regularly in the FS forums.

    either way you might find them quite a capable little box that sips power and can be a great 24/7 download machine too, if you are into that side of things.

    the soft raid 5 in synology is robust and there is a massive community for the real and knock off versions alike.

    edit - sub to the ozbargin threads on microservers if your keen for a hot price. i saw the HP ML10v2 goumg for 199 a while back. and you could easily stuff 6+ drives in those (with a pcie sata hdd card)

    loads of options for well under 300 anyway. free your desktop machine of spinners you wont look back :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
  19. The Brad

    The Brad Member

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    Synology stuff is sofa king reliable. I own 3, one of which is like... 7 generations old. All going strong.
     
  20. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    so the HP ML10 are $169 plus delivery at warehouse 1 right now..... hard to beat at that price OP :) drop all your drives in that and load up whs2011 or xpenology
    you wont regret it
     

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