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 Post subject: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:03 pm 
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So, I finally decided to do storage like this:

RAID 10:
-Intel SSD 335 240GB for operating system, software and games
-3 Western Digital WD Green EZRX 2TB each, for storage and stuff that gets torrented(would that be an issue, if storage HDDs are used for active torrenting?)


I have zero experience with RAID or multiple drives so I was wondering is this the right way to do it?

Also I noticed an unexpected issue, I can't find an ATX motherboard that has 4 SATA3 ports and Fan Xpert II...


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Until haswell you wont find more than 2 sata 3 ports on consumer motherboards. But its not a big deal, mechanical dont have the speed to saturate a sata II port, so just use your ssd on the sata III port and the WD greends (i would go with reds if you plan on raid them) on the sata II ports. If you still want sata III ports for the mechanicals... for whatsever reason, you can just get a PCIe raid card that will be much better than the built in raid from intel mobos, but probably will be more expensive than your motherboard.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:28 pm 
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How are you going to do a RAID 10 with only 3 drives? RAID 10 requires 4 drives. You can do a RAID 5 with only 3.

As Abula said the mechanical drives will run fine on the SATA 2 ports.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:33 pm 
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washu wrote:
How are you going to do a RAID 10 with only 3 drives?


What do you mean, SSD is the 4th drive..

Oh, and another thing, in Fractal Design Define R4 you can remove the HDD cage for much better air flow and just leave the 3 bottom bays, but on a side panel there is a mounting option for an SSD, so that would be a perfect fit for all 4.

However SSD there would not get any airflow, wold that be an issue, do SSDs need to be cooled?


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:09 pm 
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Mettyx wrote:
What do you mean, SSD is the 4th drive..


Then your RAID will only be 480 GB in size AND it will only run as fast as the HDs. You would be wasting both the capacity of the drives and the speed of the SSD.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:26 pm 
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Mettyx wrote:
What do you mean, SSD is the 4th drive..
Dont raid mechanical n ssd together.... if possible, raid only identical drives. Get as many mechanicals as you want your raid array and leave the ssd alone as for apps, os, programas, etc.

Now if you want a hybrid raid, then get a seperate PCIe hybrid raid card like, Adaptec Hybrid RAID, personally i dont think its a good idea... but each to its own.

If you planning on using Windows 8, research Windows 8 storage spaces, i havent tried it yet, but to what i have read, seems it will allow you, like windows home server v1 did, to unite all drives into a big storage drive, you can also de duplicate folders/files to have them on multiple drives in case one drive fails... but remember this is not a sub for doing real external backups.

Mettyx wrote:
Oh, and another thing, in Fractal Design Define R4 you can remove the HDD cage for much better air flow and just leave the 3 bottom bays, but on a side panel there is a mounting option for an SSD, so that would be a perfect fit for all 4.

However SSD there would not get any airflow, wold that be an issue, do SSDs need to be cooled?
SSD dont need any active cooling, you can place it on the slot on the back.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:41 pm 
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Abula wrote:
If you planning on using Windows 8, research Windows 8 storage spaces, i havent tried it yet, but to what i have read, seems it will allow you, like windows home server v1 did, to unite all drives into a big storage drive, you can also de duplicate folders/files to have them on multiple drives in case one drive fails... but remember this is not a sub for doing real external backups.


Are you saying this new Windows 8 feature can emulate RAID without the hassle of uniform drives?


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:00 pm 
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Mettyx wrote:
Abula wrote:
If you planning on using Windows 8, research Windows 8 storage spaces, i havent tried it yet, but to what i have read, seems it will allow you, like windows home server v1 did, to unite all drives into a big storage drive, you can also de duplicate folders/files to have them on multiple drives in case one drive fails... but remember this is not a sub for doing real external backups.


Are you saying this new Windows 8 feature can emulate RAID without the hassle of uniform drives?


Kinda, its not like raid, its more like hdd pool, on whsv1 it unites all hdds to be seen as single logical drive, but there is no built in parity like in raid, one drive fails and you lose all the info on it (only the single drive not the pool), but you can de dupliclate folders/files so they are places on two hdd so the chances of losing on single drive is nill, but at the same time the usage is 2x1, so be careful into what you duplicate, unlike raid (depending on which) it uses only 1 or 2 or more drives for parity, that on the long run saves space... again depends into what you want and how. But the good thing about the WHS style (that i believe its the same in W8) is that you can add whatever drive you want to the pool, no matter the size, etc. Not saying its perfect, but has its advantages and disadvantages vs other storage setups, my suggestion is read on it, check if it fits what you looking, google "windows 8 storage spaces", you will find lots of info on it, specially now that w8 is out.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:04 am 
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There's one aspect where all that drive extending stuff doesn't matter: How do you backup?

RAID is not the solution, RAID is meant to grant smooth 24/7 operation with some extra speed or redundancy, but that does not replace the need for a backup.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:52 am 
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Pappnaas wrote:
There's one aspect where all that drive extending stuff doesn't matter: How do you backup?

RAID is not the solution, RAID is meant to grant smooth 24/7 operation with some extra speed or redundancy, but that does not replace the need for a backup.


This is backup, if one drive fails you know about it and can replace it without losing anything. How is that not backup? It's the very definition of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:07 am 
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Mettyx wrote:
Pappnaas wrote:
There's one aspect where all that drive extending stuff doesn't matter: How do you backup?

RAID is not the solution, RAID is meant to grant smooth 24/7 operation with some extra speed or redundancy, but that does not replace the need for a backup.


This is backup, if one drive fails you know about it and can replace it without losing anything. How is that not backup? It's the very definition of it.


He is right, RAID should never been seen as TRUE backup, depending on the raid array you decide, it should have a tolerance depending on the how many drives are assign to the parity, but this just gives you uptime, meaning that if one or more drives fail (depending on how many you have as parity) the array will still work, but if more drives fail than what you have assigned, or another drive goes bad while rebuilding the array... then you are screwed, this is the main reason that raid should never be considered as a true backup, always backup external to other drives, cloud, server... etc.

What i suggested into going with W8 storage spaces was more an easy way to make all 3 of you storage drives into one big logical drive, after that my suggestion is backup externally the really important things into USB3 drive... if its too much into a server or a cloud. Or if you want to risk it some you can use the de duplication, and have the same file on multiple drives (depending on how you set it up), whsv1 (which i think its the same as w8 storage spaces) unite all drives in a pool, but contrary to a raid array, they are still readable idependtly, so if one drive goes bad, you can still access whats in the other drives, and even on other pcs (again cross check and read on w8 storage spaces). Heres a couple of videos to get you started on your research,

Windows 8 Storage Spaces Tutorial Featuring WD Green Hard Drives
Windows 8 Demo - Storage Spaces

Whatever your do, dont consider raid as true backup, or even de duplication, if something is important to you, backup externally.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:55 am 
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Mettyx wrote:
This is backup, if one drive fails you know about it and can replace it without losing anything. How is that not backup? It's the very definition of it.

This not backup at all. What happens when you accidentally delete a file? Save over the wrong file? You get a virus? Your OS screws the filesystem? A power surge kills all the drives? A bad batch kills more than one drive at once? The drives fail before a rebuild? I've worked with 10K+ drives and hundreds of arrays. All of these have happened and more.

RAID is not a backup. It doesn't even come close to the definition of a backup. Backups have to be on a separate media at the very least.

RAID is for high availability and/or increased performance. It's to try to keep your system running through a drive failure. You still need to be prepared for a complete array failure. RAID is NOT a backup.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:32 am 
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I don't know, your scenarios seem rather silly, like planning for getting struck by the lightning. I already feel like I'm going overboard with this as it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Mettyx wrote:
I don't know, your scenarios seem rather silly, like planning for getting struck by the lightning. I already feel like I'm going overboard with this as it is.


You do not have to believe us. But if you don't, please don't come back crying if KBxyzxxxyy destroys your Drive-Extender Raid and all your precious data is blown into nirvana.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:44 pm 
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Is it true that because WD green are low power drives which spin down when idle thus causing RAID controllers to mislabel them as dead when they cannot get data off of them?

I also heard that green drives are more reliable because they have only 1 or 2 platters, improved heads and low spin, but they wouldn't be reliable if in RAID?

Also, do you have to have some kind of software that regularly checks the integrity of all drives in RAID?


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Mettyx wrote:
Is it true that because WD green are low power drives which spin down when idle thus causing RAID controllers to mislabel them as dead when they cannot get data off of them?

I also heard that green drives are more reliable because they have only 1 or 2 platters, improved heads and low spin, but they wouldn't be reliable if in RAID?

Also, do you have to have some kind of software that regularly checks the integrity of all drives in RAID?
If you plan on raiding drives, spend a little more and get REDs, rated by spcr as one of the best hdds atm, and design for storage n raid evoirments. Read the following,
SPCR Review, Western Digital Red 3TB & 1TB Hard Drives
SPCR Forum, Western Digital Red 3TB & 1TB Hard Drives

A little more expensive but well worth it imo,
WD Red 2 TB NAS Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, SATA III, 64 MB Cache - WD20EFRX $110
Western Digital Red WD20EFRX 2TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $130

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Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:01 pm 
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Mettyx wrote:
Is it true that because WD green are low power drives which spin down when idle thus causing RAID controllers to mislabel them as dead when they cannot get data off of them?

No, WD green drives do not do this, at least not in the way you are describing. WD Greens do not spin down automatically, they only do so if commanded to. What they do do is unload their heads at idle, which can cause a small pause, but not enough for a RAID card to kick it out. Some people are concerned (I am not) that the head parking reduces the drive lifespan. On older models it was possible to use a utility to disable the parking, but as far as I'm aware new versions have removed this.

What WD Greens and almost all other consumer drives do not have is TLER or Time Limited Error Recovery. Other drive brands call it something different but it is effectively the same. What it means is that if a bad block is encountered the drive will try to re-read it several times, often for a few minutes if it is really bad. On a single consumer level drive this is a good thing, but to a RAID card it looks like a non-responding drive which it then kicks out of the array.

WD Reds and other "RAID version" drives do have TLER. When they encounter a bad block they will only try to recover for a few seconds, then they will report the error to the RAID card. The card will then recover from the mirror/parity data on the other drives.

As far as I'm aware there is no difference in the low level ECC between Reds and Greens, so their chances of encountering a bad block are equal assuming everything else is the same. What is different is how they respond when an error is encountered.

Quote:
Also, do you have to have some kind of software that regularly checks the integrity of all drives in RAID

If you are using the built in Intel RAID there is a verify function, but I don't know if there is a way to schedule it automatically.

Many higher end RAID cards can check their data integrity automatically. My main file server has an LSI 9260 that has both a patrol read (check for bad sectors) and consistency check (see if the RAID parity makes sense) that can be scheduled automatically.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal storage?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:09 pm 
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:beating a dead horse:
if all your data lives on a single raid array, its not really backed up. real back ups are in a different location, preferably off site.
:end beating of dead horse:

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