New RAID server

carlmart

Gawd
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Sep 17, 2006
Messages
671
I need to assemble a video server network, which will be between 15 to 20TB sized. It will be a music server too, but those files are much smaller.

The alternatives I have been recommended have been a NAS with RAID 1 or 6. Opinions are welcome.

Unfortunately I do not have access to low priced HDD vendors or even long warranties, as there is in the USA.

I live in Brazil, where you can't even trust the HDDs you are buying are not refurbished sold as new, so I usually buy all this stuff from Amazon in the USA. Newegg won't sell to me because my credit card is not from the USA.

So these are my starting limitations.

From a previous research I did here, the most recommended HDD was WD Red, so I started my search in Amazon.

At that time you could also buy an external 3.5" WD and use its internal HDD for a good savings, but don't know if that's still an option.

So please tell me which would be the basic guide lines to begin this project.

Thanks!
 

_Gea

2[H]4U
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Dec 5, 2010
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3,949
Multiple Raid 10 or Raid-6 behave quite similar regarding sequential performance like writing a large file to an empty array. The main difference is iops where a Raid-6 array has the iops of a single disk (say 100 iops) whereas on a multiple Raid-10 the write iops is equal to the number of mirrors with read iops twice the value.

Example
6 disks in a Raid-6: read and write iops around 100
6 disks in Raid-10 from three mirrors: read iops around 600 and write iops around 300

This can make a huge difference in a multiuser environment with concurrent read/write
As you see, performance, mainly iops scale with number of disks, prefer many disks over large disks for a multiuser video server. Avoid MSR disks and prefer 7k rpm disks suited for NAS (24/7).

If you care about disk quality and data security, use ZFS as a filesystem as it guarantees your data and report any data error due checksums on data and metadata. It is also crash resistent (no corrupted filesystems on a crash during write). The fastest ZFS server is Oracle Solaris with native ZFS from the inventor of ZFS (commercial OS) . From the free Open-ZFS options I prefer OmniOS, a free Solaris fork for production storage with a stable, a long term stable, regular security fixes and even a commercial support option. Next best is Free-BSD wher ZFS was added years ago. ZFS is now available on Linux but without the "it just works" especially from the Solarish world or the Free-BSD. Newest ZFS features like encryption or special vdevs to increase performance based on data type is available on OmniOS and Linux not yet on Free-BSD. If you want to use SMB to access storage, the Solarish internal multithreaded SMB server is a unique feature from the Solaris world (much simpler, mostly faster and with better ntfs ACL support than SAMBA).

From hardware, look at SuperMicro. From disks WD is ok but recheck if disks are not MSR, avoid in any case for storage. Best of all is WD Ultrastar but more expensive. With many disks in a case prefer them as they are suited to withold the vibrations. Normal NAS disks become slow when in a case with more than one, two or four disks.

I have collected some manuals for ZFS at https://napp-it.org/manuals/index_en.html (design principle, build example etc).
 

tool_462

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
106
WD Red NAS drives are still the go-to for projects like this. Be weary of buying external drives and removing them from the enclosure, SOME of them have odd powering issues using a standard SATA power cable. Not saying you can't get good deals doing that, just make sure to research and don't be the first one to try a specific drive.
 

_Gea

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Avoid newer WD Red with MSR in any case for a NAS.
Either use WD Red Plus or the WD red versions without MSR (or the datacenter types WD Ultrastar for production/non home use)

https://www.servethehome.com/wd-red-plus-launched-with-cmr/
https://www.servethehome.com/wd-red-dm-smr-update-3-vendors-bail-and-wd-knew-of-zfs-issues/

And to be clear. This is not a ZFS problem, this is a MSR in a Raid/ NAS problem. Even Synology (NAS without ZFS) does not list them as compatible. SMR is not suitable with a NAS and Raid!
 

carlmart

Gawd
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Sep 17, 2006
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671
So which list in Servethehome is not MSR?

It looks as if the model I'm picking (WD80EFAX) is not on the SMR list, am I right?
 
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carlmart

Gawd
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Sep 17, 2006
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671
Sorry again, but can you explain what is MSR and why I should avoid MSR disks? This is the first time I heard about this term.
 

Kardonxt

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Apr 13, 2009
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3,219
SMR is poorly suited for RAIDs. Best case scenario they can result in a significantly worse performance, worst case they can randomly drop from arrays or fail to rebuild. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/202...-for-sneaking-smr-disks-into-its-nas-channel/

It's mostly a problem because WD lulled users into not checking this garbage by giving us handy color coded drives. green, blue, black, red, gold. all with specific uses and features.... easy. Now that consumers are used to the system they started slipping in drives not suited for the "colors" indicated purpose.
 
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_Gea

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WD80EFAX is cmr and ok
https://nascompares.com/answer/list-of-wd-cmr-and-smr-hard-drives-hdd/

To inform about msr, read the whole STH article.
Due a large ramcache and a cmr type mediacache area newer msr disks are as fast as the cmr models but only for a quite short time until the mediacache is full. After this their write performance go down dramatically. In a normal benchmark this behaviour is not visible. In a nas or multiuser environment a nogo.

Their "advantage" is a higher capacity with same disk technology. But as they are not cheap enough, this advantage is only for WD as they can sell higher capacity with same disks. You as a user have no advantage only disadvantages.
 
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