SnapRAID help...

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D

Deleted member 88227

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Anyone here familiar with setting up SnapRAID? I need a little help with it. Okay, okay. I need a lot of help. I have no idea where to begin other than reading documentation that is above my head apparently because I am still lost.

Background information:
I built a dedicated NAS specifically for running SnapRAID for my HTPC/Media Server needs. The NAS consists of 7 hard drives currently in the following configuration:
1x250GB Operating System drive
3x3TB Storage drives (empty, brand new)
3x3TB Storage drives (information already stored on them, need to transplant them from my HTPC)

How do I set this up so that the 6x3TB hard drives act as a single drive that I can then map on my network to the HTPC so I can store my media on it?
 

TType85

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To make it look like one drive I would look in to StableBit Drivepool. I am running SnapRaid, drivepool and stablebit's monitoring software and it works great.
 
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Deleted member 88227

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Can SnapRAID not do that on it's own? I thought once you setup SnapRAID it would basically make all the drives one drive, but data would be stored on them separately?

Now I am even more confused. :/
 

JoeComp

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It sounds like SnapRAID is not the best choice for you. Maybe FlexRAID would be more your speed. It comes with a GUI and also has more flexible pooling built-in. Of course, it is not free.
 

JoeComp

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Has this approach of being unwilling to do some basic research and reading served you well during your 11.1 years here? Do people really do your homework for you and take their time to spoon feed something to you so you can avoid doing your homework yourself?
 
D

Deleted member 88227

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Has this approach of being unwilling to do some basic research and reading served you well during your 11.1 years here? Do people really do your homework for you and take their time to spoon feed something to you so you can avoid doing your homework yourself?

I do it for people here when I know something they don't. Not sure what the issue is here. This is a forum where people discuss topics of interest. It generates page views for the site owners to make money.

edit
After doing some more reading it seems that FlexRAID is actually called tRAID. How confusing. *sigh* Seems an unlimited license is $100.
 

SirMaster

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I do it for people here when I know something they don't. Not sure what the issue is here. This is a forum where people discuss topics of interest. It generates page views for the site owners to make money.

edit
After doing some more reading it seems that FlexRAID is actually called tRAID. How confusing. *sigh* Seems an unlimited license is $100.

FlexRAID is a family of products of which there are 2 different models. RAID-F and tRAID both which work very differently.

RAID-F is RAID "over" the filesystem and it works just like SnapRAID. The primary mode of operation for RAID-F is snapshot RAID, the real-time RAID-F isn't worth using. tRAID is Transparent RAID and it works at a block level "under" the filesystem. It always works in real-time.

I would still use SnapRAID personally as i've found it to just be more reliable and higher performance.

There isn't much to do for SnapRAID, just set up your config file to define what disks are data and what disks are parity and where to store the content files. Then you just run the exe with the command you want to execute like scrub.
 

fluke420

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Snapraids drive pooling feature sucks but that's not really what the program was made to do. If you want one large drive consider Drivebender or Drivepool. Both have this feature at the expense of disk space due to mirroring of your data.
 

Ryokurin

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If I'm following you, you just want a drive pool, with no redundancy? If so, yes Flexraid can do that, and it does have an advantage of Drivepool in that it can handle multiple pools, DP has been promising support for multiple pools for forever, but it still hasn't happened.
 
D

Deleted member 88227

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FlexRAID is a family of products of which there are 2 different models. RAID-F and tRAID both which work very differently.

RAID-F is RAID "over" the filesystem and it works just like SnapRAID. The primary mode of operation for RAID-F is snapshot RAID, the real-time RAID-F isn't worth using. tRAID is Transparent RAID and it works at a block level "under" the filesystem. It always works in real-time.

I would still use SnapRAID personally as i've found it to just be more reliable and higher performance.

There isn't much to do for SnapRAID, just set up your config file to define what disks are data and what disks are parity and where to store the content files. Then you just run the exe with the command you want to execute like scrub.

Thanks. That clears up all my confusion. Seems what I am looking for is RAID-F. It's also a little bit cheaper.

Just so I am clear. RAID-F will allow me to pull all 8 of my 3TB drives together as "one" drive letter AND it will provide data protection should one drive fail?

Do I need to start with "new" drives or can I add the drives that have data to the pool without issue?
 

Y2K SE

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I just setup a new server to replace a WHS v1 system. Storage is a 256GB PCIe SSD for the OS (Server 2012 R2 Essentials) and programs and 6x 6TB WD Reds for storage.

I eliminated Storage Spaces as having a poor reputation for performance. I tested FlexRAID's tRAID but wasn't satisfied with the write speed and didn't trust its reliability. tRAID will pool the drives together like you want. I also considered using the onboard Intel Matrix RAID. I didn't feel comfortable doing a 6 drive RAID5 setup and RAID10 only supports 4 drives. I considered setting up a 2 drive RAID1 for user shares and a 4 drive RAID5 for bulk storage but didn't want to allocate that much space for user storage and don't even know if it supports having two such arrays at the same time.

I ultimately went with Stablebit Drivepool. I have one pool (netted about 32.7TB usable) with selective folders configured for duplication. The other advantage of Drivepool is integration with Stablebit Scanner. Drivepool will add drives without losing data already on the drive. Or, you can create the pool with enough drives to handle the files you have, move them over the pooled drive, then expand the pool with the now-empty drives.
 

SirMaster

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Thanks. That clears up all my confusion. Seems what I am looking for is RAID-F. It's also a little bit cheaper.

Just so I am clear. RAID-F will allow me to pull all 8 of my 3TB drives together as "one" drive letter AND it will provide data protection should one drive fail?

Do I need to start with "new" drives or can I add the drives that have data to the pool without issue?

Both RAID-F and tRAID will allow you to do exactly what you said. The difference being with RAID-F a snapshot update process needs to run periodically to update the parity data. Whereas with tRAID it's always happening in real-time and the parity data is always in sync.

This means that if you lose a drive with RAID-F you need to run a restore process before you will be able to get access to any of the data on the lost disk. With tRAID all your data will be accessible even during a disk failure because it can rebuild the missing disk in real-time from the parity data.

Both can use disks with existing data on them and both offer pooling functionality. tRAID has a slower write speed because it has to write the parity in real-time when you are writing data to your pool whereas RAID-F you defer the parity update to a later time when you want to run it.
 
D

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Alright. That makes sense. Adding new drives is easy right? I have 6 drives now, but I intend to buy more later. Do any of them have a limit on the number of drives I can add?

Do all the drives need to be on the same SATA controller? Does it require hardware RAID? I have a motherboard with 6 SATA ports and an PCIe card with 2 SATA ports that I will be using. I believe the motherboard has two controllers and obviously the PCIe card has it's own controller.
 

SirMaster

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Alright. That makes sense. Adding new drives is easy right? I have 6 drives now, but I intend to buy more later. Do any of them have a limit on the number of drives I can add?

Do all the drives need to be on the same SATA controller? Does it require hardware RAID? I have a motherboard with 6 SATA ports and an PCIe card with 2 SATA ports that I will be using. I believe the motherboard has two controllers and obviously the PCIe card has it's own controller.

Adding drives is easy.

There is no drive limit.

You can use any number of SATA controllers.

The point is this is software RAID. Hardware RAID would just get in the way.
 
D

Deleted member 88227

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You are the man SirMaster. I've got RAID-F up and running with all six drives. Two of them are parity drives and the other 4 are data drives. Out of the six 3TB drives I have 10.9TB of useable storage. Finally got KODI setup to read from the new mapped network drive. Sadly I lost my "already watched" history, but it's no big deal.

Running the 21 day trial, but I am pretty sure I'll end up buying this. I suddenly want to buy more drives. Any draw back to adding a mix of drive sizes? I've got one more SATA port available, but two 3.5" drive bays available and 1 2.5" bay. Might buy another SATA controller, too.
 

CamaroZ28

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I highly recommend against using any Flexraid products. I had used it in the past and after finding out how unreliable it was in Windows, attempted to switch to Linux only to find out the "license" doesn't allow switching OS and I would have to purchase the product all over again.

I have been using Snapraid for over 2 years now and it has been rock solid. I use AUFS for storage pooling and have never had a single issue! But that are many other great recommendations for storage pooling software in this thread.
 
D

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The only thing that concerns me with your post is the reliability. How was it not reliable?

SnapRAID is too complicated to setup using a command line or installing third party software. I don't have time to fool around with it. I was up and running with FlexRAID in less than half an hour.
 

CamaroZ28

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The only thing that concerns me with your post is the reliability. How was it not reliable?

SnapRAID is too complicated to setup using a command line or installing third party software. I don't have time to fool around with it. I was up and running with FlexRAID in less than half an hour.

It hard locked my entire system once every few weeks and required force restarting. I was using it on a windows server 2008 on OEM hardware that had zero issues until flexraid was installed. Installed Linux + Snapraid on the system after attempting to diagnose flexraid's problems with no success, and everything was rock solid again.

Sure snapraid probably does take longer to setup, but I'd gladly spend the extra time to set it up on the front in and literally not have to touch it for 2 years straight than deal with Flexraid killing my computer every few weeks. I can assure you the amount of time I spent on Flexraid forums trying to diagnose the reliability issue was many times more than what I spent setting up snapraid.....
 

RyC

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I've used FlexRAID (both tRAID and RAID-F) and SnapRAID + DrivePool, and FlexRAID RAID-F works (successfully recovered failed drives) and was reliable (no crashes or memory issues), but I kept getting weird messages in the logs that the developer never really explained to me when I asked on the forum. As far as I could tell, they didn't actually affect anything, but it was still weird. tRAID also has successfully recovered failed drives, but once a month or so, the parity seems to get out of sync. I'm looking for a replacement for tRAID that runs on Windows.

If FlexRAID is working for you now, you're probably fine. My issues seem to be minor and I only switched away because I tested SnapRAID + DrivePool out of curiosity and found it works better for my setup.
 

wirerogue

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Thanks. That clears up all my confusion. Seems what I am looking for is RAID-F. It's also a little bit cheaper.

Just so I am clear. RAID-F will allow me to pull all 8 of my 3TB drives together as "one" drive letter AND it will provide data protection should one drive fail?

Do I need to start with "new" drives or can I add the drives that have data to the pool without issue?

you can have data on your drives when you create the pool. use the raid-f and snapshot.

you will need at least one empty drive for parity if you want any kind of redundancy.

real easy, drives that you want data stored are called "data risk units" and drives you want to assign parity are called "parity risk unit"

once the drives are allocated, create raid and wait for all the calculations to complete.

if you want to add more drives later, just delete your configuration and create a new one.

i run 12 - 2TB drives and 4 - 4TB drives with flexraid. there's an additional step when running different size drives but, it's not hard at all.

the snapshot is when it does parity calculations. you can choose a schedule or do it manually. i just do mine manually after i've added a bunch of new data and i don't have alot of plex users active.
 
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