Need advice with file storage

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by shaggy77, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. shaggy77

    shaggy77 Gawd

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    Hello!

    I am in the mist of rethinking my network, the devices connected to it, and what feels like everything else under the sun for file storage. Right now, I have a desktop located in the spot where I use to have a desk set up. That desk was dismantled and removed from the room. An entertainment center, 50 inch HD TV, couch, and PS4 were put in its place. The desktop was place on the entertainment center next to the tv. Well this desktop handles the photos, music, documents and web surfing. However the system is definitely out of place with the look of the set up but I like to have the computer right there for web surfing and document creation, and so forth.

    I am in the process of replacing the desktop with a NUC. It's small and powerful enough to handle the web, office documents, photo editing, etc. However I still need document back up and storage. In the past year or so, the wife and I use the laptop more often for everything. Our child has a laptop and ipad for their stuff. It handles all of the school work and entertainment functions they need. Which makes the desktop which I just revamped this year really the odd system out.

    That's a bit of background of what I am working with. I have a nice i5 system that is basically sitting there and messes with the fung shui of the entertainment center which I bought the TV to be a little smaller to allow for the desktop. I pretty much need a simple file server. Nothing overkill. I want to be able to dump vacation photos or grab a word document. At first I thought to repurpose the new i5 system, Dump a couple of new multi TB drives, make it somewhat redundant. The i5 system sees to be overkill for something like this. Call it a day. However what other ways could I go instead. 2 bay NAS device with 2 4TB drives mirrored? I also thought about tossing a 4TB drive onto the router and using that for file sharing.

    Looking for a few ideas of what direction I should go.
     
  2. Keljian

    Keljian Limp Gawd

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    If you're popping vacation photos on there, you're looking for some form of resilience against data corruption. Unfortunately this means zfs or Btrfs.

    You could whack FreeNAS/(or the nappit combo) on the i5 box. At least that is what I would do. Note FreeNAS needs 8gig or more of ram.
     
  3. shaggy77

    shaggy77 Gawd

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    Hi!

    Sorry for the delay in replying to this post.

    Keljian Thanks for the suggestion. I am researching this option as well. However, the people who are working with this software from what I have seen have been pretty hard core.

    Since my boss handles all the data management and servers within the company I work for I asked him for advice as well. His suggestion was to keep the box running Windows 7 Pro with RAID 10 (or 1+0 if that tickles your fancy) for the storage. Since I would be looking at using at least a 4TB he said my storage capacity is going to double to which ever drive I decide on. Best case scenario is install the drives configure the RAID array. Make sure the BIOS is set up for the drives. Go for the gold. Windows might be smart enough to figure out the rest. However, it was recommended to perform a sysprep to the desktop, then install the RAID drives and configure from there. Worst will be a complete system wipe and install. All good stuff and things to know.

    I know some people will wonder what the system info is.

    Asus Z170 Pro Gaming
    i5 6600K
    16 GB DDR4 Ram

    Pretty much the main rig listed in the signature. The system is housed in a Corsair 300R case so there is room for the 4 drives.

    Here is what I am thinking about getting for the drives.

    (4) Toshiba X300 4TB 7200RPM 3.5" HDD
    (1) Intel 600 series M2 drive. (The boss recommended a 256 GB drive should be more than enough to handle all programs needed to run software on the system)

    I feel the M2 drive should not affect the Raid array when I was researching the Main boards documentation. Plus it should boot the system up pretty quick if a restart is required. And last thing, yes I have a Micro Center about 40 minutes away. Since they got the price on the drives and availability, I should be able to price these out accordingly. The wife is showing signs of being on board when it comes to budget.

    Is there anything else I should be aware of when I tackle this project? Suggestions and advice of previous experience is always helpful.
     
  4. Keljian

    Keljian Limp Gawd

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    While zfs people are "hardcore" don't let that scare you. FreeNAS makes it really easy. So long as you understand the absolute basics you will be ok.

    Basics being:
    -raidz2 is basically the same as raid 6
    -raidz is mirrored (raid1)
    -vdev refers to a group of disks that are used as one "device" (that can have a raid level applied to it)
    -vpool refers to a group of one or more vdevs which are accessed as a volume (eg z:)
    -you cannot add devices to a raidz1/raidz2 vdev, but you can add vdevs to a vpool.
    -some hardcore nuts will tell you ECC ram is essential for zfs, this is rubbish, but faulty ram will kill any filesystem.


    The rest is really straightforward
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  5. shaggy77

    shaggy77 Gawd

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    Does freeNAS install like an OS on a separate hard drive? I notice many from what I can see with the free NAS saw 50 plus hours of Memtest, Extensive burn in time for hard drives, Must have ECC ram and a server class board to make it all work..etc,etc,etc,etc.... (yes I know the wrong use of ETC haha!) Yes I read what you wrote as well. According to my manual for the Z170 it was not rated for ECC RAM. So I really don't have to worry about that.

    Right now I'm playing it by ear. I am setting up the new home for the desktop this weekend and maybe get memtest running and verify the memory is really good. Put together a parts list for the drives. See if I could go AIO cooler for the CPU. Try to limit the amount of heat within the case. Revisit our old friend cable management for airflow. Stuff like that.

    I am not discounting FreeNAS at this point. The option is intriguing. The WIndows 7 with RAID option for storage does has the support advantage.. with my work boss. He would pick up the phone if I had a problem with the set up or application of use. Plus he could remote into the box for more in depth configuration if needed. My point is I am making sure the direction is correct. The money is spent wisely. Needed vs Desired.
     
  6. Keljian

    Keljian Limp Gawd

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    Freenas is a distribution of FreeBSD which is an operating system. Yes it installs as an OS.

    The risk in not running ECC is that a really nasty vindictive memory stick will hose some of your data. But as mentioned, bad ram will hose your data no matter what filesystem you are running, and a single bitflip will be detected and repaired, so unless you have the absolute memory stick of doom in your box, typically you will be fine.
     
  7. Phantum

    Phantum [H]ard|Gawd

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    As Keljian stated, you should seriously consider using ECC RAM when using ZFS. While not a requirement perse it was built with using it in mind so it is highly recommended. If you're serious about long term data storage then ZFS is really your only option. BTRFS is definitely coming around and may be truly ready for prime time soon enough but frankly it's not just yet and ZFS is. I'm a died hard ZFS fan and recently deployed it on Linux. Being able to use FreeBSD and Linux with the same FS has been a dream!
     
  8. shaggy77

    shaggy77 Gawd

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    That's not good. I would have to invest in new server grade hardware to run the ECC RAM correctly. Z170 is not compliant for ECC according to the manual and a quick search on the net. The i5-6600k is not ECC CPU either. IOW, it's going to need a Xeon processor for this. I am going to have to look more into this. At this point, I wonder if I should look for a NAS device instead of repurposing a modern set up.
     
  9. Keljian

    Keljian Limp Gawd

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    You don't need ECC for zfs any more than you need it with any other filesystem. ECC will mean fewer errors, but zfs will pick up errors anyhow.

    If you have bad (evil vindictive horrible)ram, when you do a filesystem check it will kill your data, this goes for every filesystem in existence.
     
  10. CopyRunStart

    CopyRunStart Limp Gawd

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    RAIDZ is not mirrored or like RAID1. RAIDZ is similar to RAID 5.
     
  11. Keljian

    Keljian Limp Gawd

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    Then what does that make raidz1- meh they could have made it easier to understand
     
  12. mwroobel

    mwroobel [H]ardness Supreme

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    RAIDZ is the parity based redundancy mode. In simple terms, the number proceeding the Z is the number of drives in that particular array/pool that can fail and still offer you uptime. One more than that number failing will fail the entire pool. RaidZ1 is akin to RAID5 (Single Parity), Z2 to RAID6 (Double parity) and so on.
     
  13. rsq

    rsq Limp Gawd

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    I would still suggest that you have some form of cloud or offsite backup for the irreplaceable stuff.

    You don't want to explain to your wife that the baby pictures have been eaten by a lightning strike to your storage server.

    The above should be considered regardless of what storage technology you choose to deploy.
     
  14. Phantum

    Phantum [H]ard|Gawd

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    As anyone running RAID should know already, RAID is not a backup! You should always have a backup of the critical or irreplaceable data (off site or otherwise).

    And again ECC is not a requirement for ZFS. But should your hardware and budget allow for it, do it. I'd say you can get away without it if you have another copy of that data elsewhere. If you're dealing with a large amount of data (say 30TB+) or the server that the data is stored on is the only copy you have then I'd say ECC is a must. If you've got backups elsewhere or the data is replaceable or expendable then don't worry about it.

    Also RAIDZ1 and RAIDZ2 are similar to RAID5 and 6 (respectively) sans the write hole problem. RAIDZ3 uses 3 disks for parity and fixes the write hole problem. And depending on the dataset size (in total) you may or may not want to use RAIDZ1... But depending on your situation you'll want to research the issue and make a judgement call. (Hint search for 'is raidz1 dead')
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  15. shaggy77

    shaggy77 Gawd

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    Hi

    Right now i am rethinking over the whole project. I have an offline back up device. Most of everything that is protected has multiple location back up. Quite frankly, I envy my parents in some ways in which a simple photo album or several tucked up in a closet, then called it a day. Sure the video and even film medias have degraded. However, this is no different than what we are discussing as a whole today. When you had film processed, you got doubles to share with family or friends. Film just like "bit rot" degrades. Nothing truly last for ever. Technology advances. Data collection devices of today will be outdated tomorrow. What's old will be rediscovered again.

    Simply put, I think I will just run the tower as is for now. Maybe toss in larger hard drives for storage. Right now I have a 1.5 TB drive nearly full. Change up the hard drive in the Offline backup device to reflect the larger size in the tower. Call it a day. Do a regular back up of everything.
     
  16. olavgg

    olavgg Limp Gawd

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    A ZFS scrub will NOT kill your filesystem while scrubbing if you have a memory defect. Where the hell do this come from? Who is the rat who has started spreading these rumors? Someone on the FreeNAS forum? Please those guys are idiots coming from another planet.


    The answer is simple, there is no need to have ECC memory for ZFS. Its more like a nice to have feature.
     
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  17. Keljian

    Keljian Limp Gawd

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    olavgg may want to re read my post
     
  18. olavgg

    olavgg Limp Gawd

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    No filesystem will kill your filesystem if you have ram defect. There may be some metadata inconsistency, which can make recovery harder. But this is so rare, that you could as well place a bet in a lottery. Businesses do take that bet, as the cost is minor and the consequences could cost A LOT more. It is just like insurance.
     
  19. Keljian

    Keljian Limp Gawd

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    Right ok so writes are buffered through memory, if this is corrupted on its way through, then you are bound to have corruption written to the disk
     
  20. Phantum

    Phantum [H]ard|Gawd

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  21. olavgg

    olavgg Limp Gawd

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    Which may not happen a single time during our 100 years lifespan.
     
  22. _Gea

    _Gea 2[H]4U

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    Ram errors happen. The propability scale with amount of RAM so the more RAM the more errors. While not every RAM error results in any sort of datacorruption this is something that is a serious concern in any professional storage where you will hardly find a system without ECC.

    Raid, ECC, CopyOnWrite filesystems with checksums or quality hardware, everything has a positive effect to datasecurity. If you care about datasecurity you must care about them all.

    DRAM error rates: Nightmare on DIMM street | ZDNet
    (a few years old but even if todays RAM may be better, you have more RAM that can produce errors)
     
  23. olavgg

    olavgg Limp Gawd

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    Ram errors happen so rarely that most people shouldn't even think about it. I have plenty of machines running 24/7 that totally add over 1 TB ECC ram together, only one time during the last five years have I seen a ECC memory error. 3 times if we count the memory in a CPU.
     
  24. _Gea

    _Gea 2[H]4U

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    I drive my car for over 40 years without an accident.
    Should this be the reason to avoid any modern security technologies?

    Others may not be as lucky and I may need them tomorrow.
     
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  25. Phantum

    Phantum [H]ard|Gawd

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    _Gea has valid points and while I see and understand what you're saying olavgg I'd also say that you're one of the lucky ones. I too have experienced only 2-3 actual memory issues/errors (in my ~15 years in the IT field) BUT when they occurred it caused a cascading effect of problems. ALWAYS have backups!!! So with that being said I would advise not banking on being one of the lucky ones. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Plan on being the rule NOT the exception. With the ever expanding explosion of massive amounts of data flowing through systems today, take every precaution possible especially with precious data.
     
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  26. shaggy77

    shaggy77 Gawd

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    Since the last time i checked my thread, there have been a few developments. First off, I have been working...a ton. This project just got tossed on the back burner. I did get some time to look into this a bit more. Going ECC RAM seems to be the direction if one were to build a home server. With that said, my feelings are to sell off the parts I have currently. Use the money to fund an off lease Workstation PC. I found a few on E bay for pretty good price. However, more research should be performed before pulling the trigger. However the last couple of generations of Xeons seem to be really good. Many of the off lease units come in with 16-32 GBs of DDR3 ECC RAM and wither Windows 7 Pro or Windows 10 Pro. So these boxes are ready to go.

    When I get something going, I will update as needed. I'm going to research this a bit more and then decide what to do next.
     
  27. ndehmer

    ndehmer n00bie

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    I went the cheaper route, and built an inexpensive AMD system. They have support for ECC and are much cheaper. I have a cheap ASUS 970 board and 16gb of ECC RAM and some lower end quad core chip. Haven't had any issues to complain about on the system, other than faulty drives from time to time that need to get swapped out.
     
  28. stormy1

    stormy1 Gawd

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    This is not going to be popular but go for a single big drive with the OS off your choice.
    Back it up weekly or so to a set of usb connected disks of the same size so only one is connected at a time depending on how much data you add. Small but important stuff sync it to another computer on your network daily.
    If your worried about bit rot use a checksum program monthly.
     
  29. shaggy77

    shaggy77 Gawd

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    I thought about this direction briefly. If I go this direction, I might want to wait for Rysen to launch. This should drop the price of the components lower. However a brief search on AMD 970 boards resulted in a no go for ECC memory. I kept seeing Non Ecc DDR3. Chip wise, I figure any FX model should be OK. The other interesting thing is the fact AMD have seemed to be slow power hogs as of late.

    This is kind of what I have going on right now except I am only turning it on when I need to access the drive. I am considering building a smaller box with a M atx box for an M ATX case. Add a few drives in and call it a day. I may upgrade to Win 10 Pro and take advantage of a few software features that are available to create a RAID array and call it a day. Right now I have my tower in a space that doesn't work even down stairs.
     
  30. Jorona

    Jorona 2[H]4U

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    I've been running RockStor using BTRFS for a little under a month now, and I gotta stick it out there. BTRFS isn't "finalized" yet, but it works really well. I run it on some old shit I had around (I7-870, 24gb of Ram, And a Pile of old drives that are mostly different sizes.) BTRFS lets you use different sized disks without losing capacity in raid. Just throw everything in a pool, tell it how many parities you want, and it figures out the rest. I have 4 drives in it right now (A 400gb, 750gb and 2 1tb) and I get just over 2TB of usable space with redundancy. and when I decide I need more space, I add new drives and add them to the pool. Done. It'll automatically adjust the size. Then just tell it to balance the pool, and it'll move the data around the drives to give you the best performance. Mine saturates my gigabit connection.

    http://carfax.org.uk/btrfs-usage/ <-- BTRFS Calculator to find out how much space you'll get depending on drives
    http://rockstor.com/ <-- RockStor NAS OS