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 Post subject: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:13 am 
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Currently rebuilding HTPC to all-in-one incl 24/7 NAS based on low power Ivy Bridge i3/Intel mobo. Basic configuration is following:

i3-3220T (35W 2.8Ghz 2C HT)
Intel DH77EB (mATX)
8GB DDR3 1600 Kingston LoVo (1.35V)

320GB Samsung - OS (will be replaced by SSD when I can spare the cash)
3x 2TB WD GREEN (EARS/EARX) - DATA RAID5 (Intel chipset fakeraid)

Have this already installed with testing Windows Server 2012, will post total power consumption hopefully tonight.

First impressions very good, silent enough for my purpose. I just can't decide on best RAID5 config, I am migrating some data without having additional HDDs big enough and need to go through data on 3rd drive -> RAID0 -> add 3rd drive now free of data -> migrate RAID0 array with data to RAID5 (seems supported just fine by Intel RST).

So far briefly tested that RAID0 with various stripe/cluster size and NTFS vs ReFS (new in Server 2012 by MS). NTFS and ReFS seem to perform similar on separate drives, in RAID0 NTFS is somewhat faster, ReFS having generally more pronounced faster writes than reads, a bit strange for me (all write caches enabled). Tried 64kB stripes/64kB cluster (ReFS does currently support just that size in my format options) and 128kB stripes/64kB cluster size, the latter was a bit faster, could be expected I guess.

Any comments on best setup for storage of mostly large video files (500MB-15GB) and pictures from DSLR (5-20MB)? I am still quite intent on trying ReFS even that it's just released and unproven, the performance and features are expected to improve with time..


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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:28 am 
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my suggestion is to skip raid.
imo raid is for commercial servers that need 100% up time.
incremental clone backups to a remote nas or second drive separate from the PC are much better for home use.
if you use on board raid and the mobo fails, you need to replace the mobobefore you can access your data again. and it need to have the same raid controller, something that might not be possible if the mobo is no longer made after a few years...or if the oem decides to change raid controller chips.
if you use regular cloning to a separate nas, or just clone to a second PC, and your main HD fails your data will still be accessible on any working PC...or tablet or smartphone ect.

i have images of my all my PC system drives on my nas, AND also mirror images of each PC on the other PC's in the house as well. that way if one drive fails, im covered in at least two other places.

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Last edited by xan_user on Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:41 am 
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Agreed, onboard RAID can be a hassle and the benefits are more towards uptime than data security. RAID-5 also lowers performance a lot.

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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:59 am 
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Check Flexraid for a decent software based raid.

Or maybe an addon like Drive bender for WHS2011.

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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:27 am 
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RAID is nice to have, but you really shouldn't use it in your situation. You don't have enough drives already given that you are considering a risky RAID level migration. Get some backup drives first, and only after that get more drives for RAID if you can afford it. RAID is not a backup.

That being said, there are some misconceptions about RAID being thrown around in this thread

RAID 5 is not slow, poor implementations of RAID 5 are slow. Most "FakeRAID" and Windows software RAID 5 are slow. Intel's FakeRAID, Linux software RAID (mdadm), GEOM and ZFS are very fast. Much faster than a single drive. Also, just because it is a "hardware" RAID does not necessarily make it fast. A hardware controller can only be as fast as its CPU, which in almost any modern system is way slower than your main CPU.

Intel RAID is not dependant on the motherboard for recovery. Intel RAID is very forward and backward compatible. You can use any of 6 generations of Intel chip sets and as long as they are the RAID version your data will be just fine. If you really can't find another Intel chipset then Linux can read Intel RAID no matter what the drives are connected to.


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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:52 am 
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+1 for forget RAID via the motherboard, and avoid RAID-0 at all costs as each drive MULTIPLIES (by 1) the chance of you loosing your data if any of them fail e.g. a 3-drive RAID-0 array has 3 times the chance of data loss compared to a single drive, a 4-drive RAID-0 array has 4 times the chance of data loss compared to a single drive etc.

Here is a quick rundown of your options.

RAID-5 with 3x 2TB drives. You end up with 4TB of storage space and no backup - just greater data redundancy.

3x Single drives gives you a total of 6TB of storage, but you might find it more of a hassle as you will have 3 different drive letters.

3x Drives set as "JBOD" (Just a Bunch of Drives), this also gives you 6TB of storage space, but it is seen as a single drive so that makes it very easy - the drawbacks are that if a drive fails, you dont actually know what data you have lost as you have no control over what data is on which physical drive (there is no data striping, its just random as to which individual drive the data gets put onto). This also has the drawback compared to having 3x separate drives in that you cant actually back up your important data onto different drives.

Software RAID-5, if MS Home Server actually supports it might be worthwhile looking into over motherboard controlled RAID-5 as it wont care if you swap motherboards, but the same problems remain, its still not a backup.

Finally, I know that MS Home Server supports some kind of hybrid storage, where you can allocate parts of drives for different jobs. e.g. you can have a 200GB slice of each of the 3 drives in RAID-5, giving you 400GB of redundant storage, and the rest could be a JBOD - but dont take my word for this check it for yourself as I might have got this confused with another product.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:18 am 
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Let me clarify a bit more, I have other drives on another PC to be used for automated backups, these just don't have enough free space for data migration right now and I want to backup only important data there in the future, not whole RAID array. RAID 0 is just a quick step necessary for data migration in my situation, RAID5 is the desired final step (3x 2TB).

I have to agree with -washu- here that the situation is not black and white, Intel fakeraid is historically considered quite good free solution with years of compatibility on their chipsets. I would like to use RAID5 basically to leave behind the hassle of many small partitions, to be covered in case of single HDD failure and for generally decent array performance which has been proved many times on Intel ICH as far as I read in the past years all over the net, even specifically RAID5 (disregard folks with strange configs who don't align stripes/cluster etc). I will be running this machine like a server 24/7, so uptime of stored data is actually in the scope of this refreshed system and also supports the decision to go RAID. I am aware that separate drives have their own benefits and simplicity, I used them like this until now. Also have good experience actually running OS in RAID0 for many years on Intel in the past, no troubles at all and good performance.

One more remark worth mentioning, I looked very carefully at ZFS/Solaris and would choose it as technically perfect solution anytime, BUT all other PCs connected are Windows and I may play e.g. online RPG on the system from time to time so Win is more or less the only viable OS, having data array management OS in virtual machine e.g. Solaris would be too crazy imho.


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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:38 am 
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ReFS can be added to Windows 8 as well. Just sayin.


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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:35 pm 
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Quote:
Let me clarify a bit more, I have other drives on another PC to be used for automated backups, these just don't have enough free space for data migration right now and I want to backup only important data there in the future, not whole RAID array. RAID 0 is just a quick step necessary for data migration in my situation, RAID5 is the desired final step (3x 2TB).

I have to agree with -washu- here that the situation is not black and white, Intel fakeraid is historically considered quite good free solution with years of compatibility on their chipsets. I would like to use RAID5 basically to leave behind the hassle of many small partitions, to be covered in case of single HDD failure and for generally decent array performance which has been proved many times on Intel ICH as far as I read in the past years all over the net, even specifically RAID5 (disregard folks with strange configs who don't align stripes/cluster etc). I will be running this machine like a server 24/7, so uptime of stored data is actually in the scope of this refreshed system and also supports the decision to go RAID. I am aware that separate drives have their own benefits and simplicity, I used them like this until now. Also have good experience actually running OS in RAID0 for many years on Intel in the past, no troubles at all and good performance.


I think that you have answered your own question my friend, and have obviously done enough research and gained enough knowledge to pull it off.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:35 pm 
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AdamV: While I commend that you have at least some kind of backup solution in place, it's not a good backup if you have to depend on RAID migration for some of your data. I will never touch a RAID config unless I have at least two complete backups. Many people claim that they only need to backup "important" data, then are screwed when they miss something. What you may think is unimportant may be critical after a data loss incident. I would highly suggest that if you can't get more drives that you use two separately (non RAID) for data and add the third to your backup server.

You can use things like junction points and softlinks to make two or more drives appear as one, without risking the data on all the drives like RAID-0.

As to ReFS vs NTFS. ReFS looks good, but it's very new. NTFS may be old, but it has hundreds of utilities available if something goes wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:49 pm 
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washu wrote:

Intel RAID is not dependant on the motherboard for recovery. Intel RAID is very forward and backward compatible. You can use any of 6 generations of Intel chip sets and as long as they are the RAID version your data will be just fine. If you really can't find another Intel chipset then Linux can read Intel RAID no matter what the drives are connected to.

good to know. thanks for the heads up. my experience with raid is a bit dated now, and i stay away from it like the plague after my old P2 mobo whet up in puff of blue smoke and took my raid along with it.

OP, if you want good fan control, i would look into ASUS boards with fanxpert. its really slick.

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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:14 pm 
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xan_user wrote:
good to know. thanks for the heads up. my experience with raid is a bit dated now, and i stay away from it like the plague after my old P2 mobo whet up in puff of blue smoke and took my raid along with it.

I realize that I'm being pedantic here, but if you had a "RAID" on a P2 motherboard it wasn't Intel chipset raid as we know it today. The Intel ICH based raid first appeared on the ICH5 south bridge, which was for second generation P4 chips. You most likely had a promise chip or similar providing "RAID" functions. Those without question sucked.


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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:43 pm 
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washu wrote:
xan_user wrote:
good to know. thanks for the heads up. my experience with raid is a bit dated now, and i stay away from it like the plague after my old P2 mobo whet up in puff of blue smoke and took my raid along with it.

I realize that I'm being pedantic here, but if you had a "RAID" on a P2 motherboard it wasn't Intel chipset raid as we know it today. The Intel ICH based raid first appeared on the ICH5 south bridge, which was for second generation P4 chips. You most likely had a promise chip or similar providing "RAID" functions. Those without question sucked.

yep, it was a promise controller. the mobo suffered a usb latchup. total catastrophe. now i keep my data in 3 places (at least).

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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:02 am 
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So far so good, just started array migration from RAID 0 to RAID 5, everything looks fine. Even in worst case these are just recorded movies and series, which could be downloaded again.

First look on non-optimized power consuption:
Idle 33W (with 4 HDDs in idle)
HDD load 46W (data copy from 1 HDD to RAID array)

Seems rather good with not so efficient 400W 80+bronze Enermax PSU, could try PicoPSU or low power Gold/Platinum in the future.

As a side note Samsung 830 128GB SSD in on the way to replace current OS HDD :)


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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:10 pm 
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Initial machine backup to Crashplan has finally finished so I can report updated power consumption.

Idle with OS now on SSD is just 29W, long idle with data HDD array powered off is 19W. So far great numbers compared to previous Athlon II X4 based machine :)

Regarding previous migration to Intel fake-RAID5, everything went smoothly and array initialization took couple of days as expected on 2TB WD Greens. I did not detect any problems so far with either fakeraid or the new Microsoft ReFS filesystem.


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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:01 pm 
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Thinking of a similar build but with the Asus P8H67-M PRO/CSM because of the ATA port so I can keep using my CF card for the OS :)

Currently have a P3 1Ghz with 4x WD Green 1TB with Linux mdadm RAID10 with ext4, used to have RAID5 with xfs but migrated because of RAID5 problems.


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 Post subject: Re: IvyBridge i3-3220T + Intel DH77EB (+RAID5/ReFS)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:34 am 
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Aiming to build a system which is below 10 watt in idle mode when running windows 7 64bit with this new cpu. Will report back once I got the components..!


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