Finally did it...what OS to run

Jeffman

Gawd
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
917
Hey guys,

After debating a long time, I finally bit the bullet and went a (cheap) route to a server. I bought a NZXT case, and am using some old components to run all my current spare HDD's. I will have 7 2TB drives and 4 3TB drives housed in the case, and 4 3TB drives mounted via eSATA in an external case.

I want at least 2 arrays, probably 3. I'm think one array using the 4 3TB internal drives, and one of the 4 3TB external drives, both a mirror copy of the data. This will be for my essential data, the stuff I really don't want to lose.

I'm thinking with the 7 2TB drives, I'd do something else. I don't care really what size the array is, maybe have 1-2 of the drive be parity and the rest storage?

Anyway, what OS should I run?

I have licenses for Server 2008 (Not R2), WHS 2008, and Windows 7 as my options. Anything else you may suggest needs to be a free OS, as I don't want to spend any more on this setup.
 

timta2

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2010
Messages
1,393
"both a mirror copy of the data. This will be for my essential data, the stuff I really don't want to lose."

Please make sure you have a good backup. RAID is never a backup.
 

Jeffman

Gawd
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
917
"both a mirror copy of the data. This will be for my essential data, the stuff I really don't want to lose."

Please make sure you have a good backup. RAID is never a backup.

What do you suggest here? I was planning a software drive pooling of some sort...any better idea? I haven't even started to build it yet.
 

Shockey

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
2,198
What do you suggest here? I was planning a software drive pooling of some sort...any better idea? I haven't even started to build it yet.

Add to your plan to include an external copy of the data either to offsite location or at least an external hard drive that is detached and kept separate from the original copy. Only attached to the server to do backup or recover data.
 

Jim G

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 2, 2011
Messages
221
Add to your plan to include an external copy of the data either to offsite location or at least an external hard drive that is detached and kept separate from the original copy. Only attached to the server to do backup or recover data.

+1 to this!

How valuable is the data? If it's really important that it not be corrupted at all look at ZFS, whereas if it's TV shows and the like you may not feel that level of safety necessary. If you want ZFS there's a couple of easy options - Napp-it is probably the easiest I've tried.
 

Jeffman

Gawd
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Jul 23, 2008
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It's just TV shows from my TV tuners, and digital copies of movies and the like. It's not THAT important.

I know how to backup regular data that I don't want to lose. Trust me, I have HDD's with copies of all that data in fireproof safes and stuff. I'm good there.
 

Shockey

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
2,198
It's just TV shows from my TV tuners, and digital copies of movies and the like. It's not THAT important.

I know how to backup regular data that I don't want to lose. Trust me, I have HDD's with copies of all that data in fireproof safes and stuff. I'm good there.

Okay good to hear. :)

This is exactly the point we were trying to get across due to RAID is not meant to be a backup but is designed for up time in the event of a hard drive failure.

As far as OS type. you have some selections. Lookup unraid, snapraid, ZFS. They are all popular options on this forum and people have listed the pro and con of all the above.
 

Jeffman

Gawd
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Jul 23, 2008
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I've done a small amount of research on them. Just not sure I want to monkey with them.

Is there special hardware needed for any of it? I'm running all internal drives off the mobo SATA ports and an add-in SATA card.
 

Jim G

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 2, 2011
Messages
221
+1 for a M1015/9201-8i/other SAS2008 card - not super expensive and performs really well.
 

Jeffman

Gawd
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
917
^Thanks, I'll check those out. For now, I have all the ports I need and the case won't take any more drives. I have all 8 3.5" bays filled. I also have a 3x5.25" - 4x3.5" bay converter. I'll have just enough ports to run everything.
 

Xethril

n00b
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
47
Keep us informed as you go. I'm really curious to see what your build looks like in the end including the OS.
 

Jeffman

Gawd
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
917
Ran into some trouble. Got everything up and running, installed Windows 7 on the SSD and I was going to use SnapRAID. Problem is, there are 4 3TB drives that are in a hot swap cage and being run by an SI-PEX40064 SATA card.

That card must suck really really really bad...because Windows runs like shit when those drives are in. If I eject them, the computer runs great, but as soon as I pop them back in it starts to run all choppy.

I really don't want to drop anymore money into this thing. Any suggestions other than a new controller card?
 

Shockey

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
2,198
Ran into some trouble. Got everything up and running, installed Windows 7 on the SSD and I was going to use SnapRAID. Problem is, there are 4 3TB drives that are in a hot swap cage and being run by an SI-PEX40064 SATA card.

That card must suck really really really bad...because Windows runs like shit when those drives are in. If I eject them, the computer runs great, but as soon as I pop them back in it starts to run all choppy.

I really don't want to drop anymore money into this thing. Any suggestions other than a new controller card?

driver/firmware updated?
 

Jeffman

Gawd
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
917
So here's what I want out of this box:

Minimum 2 arrays, maybe 3. But more like drive pooling than anything. However I want the data to be usable even if the array fails. So if a disk goes bad, I want the other data that was on the other disks to be still usable.

I want to be able to add disks without any problems. I'd also like to be able to swap to bigger disks without many troubles either.

I've been thinking about just using the internal drives, and keeping the external drive box separate. I'd probably do 8 3TB and 2 2TB disks. Thought I guess if I did it with all 8 3TB disks, and used 2 drives for parity, then I'd still have 18TB to work with. That leaves me with like 8 2TB drives that I have little use for.

Help?
 

drescherjm

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
14,926
So here's what I want out of this box:

Minimum 2 arrays, maybe 3. But more like drive pooling than anything. However I want the data to be usable even if the array fails. So if a disk goes bad, I want the other data that was on the other disks to be still usable.

I want to be able to add disks without any problems. I'd also like to be able to swap to bigger disks without many troubles either.

I've been thinking about just using the internal drives, and keeping the external drive box separate. I'd probably do 8 3TB and 2 2TB disks. Thought I guess if I did it with all 8 3TB disks, and used 2 drives for parity, then I'd still have 18TB to work with. That leaves me with like 8 2TB drives that I have little use for.

Help?

snapraid will give you this ability very easily and let you keep windows. Although I use snapraid on my linux based HTPC (that just hit its 10th birthday). No I have only used snapraid for 4 or so months on the HTPC For most of the 10 years I just used individual drives although in the early days I used linux software raid5. I switched to individual disks to allow power savings. Last year I switched to backups when 4TB externals became inexpensive (got 4TB drives for less than $150 shipped.) and this year snapraid instead of backups.
 
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Jeffman

Gawd
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
917
I'll play with SnapRAID a bit more. I think this is the solution I want.

I might pull that stupid RAID card and buy a real one. Hate to drop any more money on it, but sometimes you gotta just do it.
 

drescherjm

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
14,926
I might pull that stupid RAID card and buy a real one.

If you want snapraid you do not want a raid card you want an HBA. All disks are presented to the OS as individual disks each with their own filesystem instead of an array.
 
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