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Old 06-23-2013, 11:54   #1
Drjones
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The NAS I want to build

Hi. I have a couple Netgear NAS, and for a variety of reasons, am sick of them. I'm also not impressed by the other NAS offerings I've found, so I'm going to build a dedicated Windows PC and use it as a NAS.

The biggest driver of this is that I want reliable, NO-BS backups. I am going to have at least one, possibly two PC's offsite and use CrashPlan to backup the contents of my new NAS offsite, and use Cobian which also is very reliable & sends email alerts, to backup to USB locally.

No NAS maker I've read about seems to have anything as clear-cut, reliable and with the features of CrashPlan for off-site backups, so screw it; I'm going with Windows.

I wanted to get some final feedback & then I’m going to buy parts.

Below is the config I’ve dreamt up for my main NAS - as opposed to the crashplan destination box I’m also going to build for an off-site backup - that obviously won't need to be very high-powered at all.

I’m going to run Plex, have a lot of ISO, HD MKV & other files, so I’d rather err on the side of too much power. Usually it’s just me streaming a movie to my iPad or something, but on occasion we’ll run two streams.

CPU: Intel i5
RAM: 8GB
Mobo: Unsure, any recommendations for a solid unit with at least 6 SATA ports? I’m thinking an Intel board?

Hard drive: I’m thinking of using WD Red drives for each. What do you think? Could I use a WD Red to run the OS on as well? I’ve seen so many drives fail lately, I’d be willing to pay a little more if the WD Reds would be more robust. On amazon, a WD Green 3TB is $125, the Red is $149, so not a huge difference.

I’m strongly considering having the OS on its own disk, not sure if I want to also store any stuff on the OS disk, or leave it plain so that if it crashes or dies for any reason, I don’t have to worry about any data, just reinstalling the OS.

Likewise, I do not think I want to bother with any sort of RAID; I think I want to dedicate a disk to each media/file type. If the disk dies, I restore that content from one of my two backups.

Separate 3TB disk for movies.

Separate 3TB disk for music.

Separate 3TB disk for random files & pictures.

Each disk/share will be backed up via Cobian to a corresponding USB drive, or perhaps to one of my Netgear NAS, for local backup.

The entire device contents will be backed up to one or two remote PCs via crashplan, for offsite backup (which I really don't have now for the bulk of my media files.)

Thoughts, comments, suggestions?

Do you think I’d be better off going with a barebones kit from TigerDirect, or just buying each part on Amazon?
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:59   #2
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First, I know my home built NAS is different than what you're doing (as I use Linux), but I would HIGHLY recommend your OS drive be separate from your storage drives. I used to hate that about OMV... but the more I used it, even though I never really have problems, the more I realized why this made 100% sense (mainly through helping others troubleshoot their problems). I don't know the system requirements for the Windows OS you plan to use, but I would think that 3tb is absurd. I'd probably look in the 160-250gig range.

I'm not aware of any Intel boards that have 6 sata ports. Gigabyte and MSI have a few though.

I would buy each individual component, but I'd go Newegg instead. Main reason, almost any "kit" cheaps out on the Power Supply, and you end up replacing it anyway. I used to be a big proponent of TD, but I've not had very good experiences with them here lately, and have switched exclusively to Newegg.. even if their shipping does take a little longer. Newegg also usually has a better selection of motherboards IMO.

Also take into account the case. Make sure that 1. It has proper cooling with all those drives, etc. Also if you intend to keep this say, in your living room, make sure you pay attention to noise.

As for the Red Drives, I've heard mixed reviews. I've got 2, 2tb "Green" drives... no RAID... been very happy with them. As for my "backup plan"... it's pretty simple. Files (be it movies, music, whatever) get backed up to appropriate folders.. all of which are located on Drive A. I then have some automated rsync jobs that back up Drive A to Drive B. I have a 2tb USB drive, that I bring home and mount on my NAS, and rsync Drive A to the USB (Drive C in this instance I guess). The USB is kept at my parents house in a closet.. and basically is my offsite backup.

Be interested to see what you come up with... I've built several NAS's (mine and some for other folks) and I'm interested to see what you come up with.
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Old 06-23-2013, 13:04   #3
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Also, just curious.. what's wrong with the ReadyNAS's? You were pretty high on them not to long ago.
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Old 06-23-2013, 14:39   #4
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Hi & thanks for the post...I was hoping you'd reply, as I value your opinions, IGF.

Thanks for not just telling me to install Linux.

I'll take your advice about keeping the OS separate; I just want to maximize storage and drive bays.

Also a good call on the PSU; I had thought of that too. Most of the PSU's in the kits seem kinda iffy...how powerful a PSU do I need for like 4-5 hard drives? No separate graphics or anything. I was thinking around 650-700w?

What mixed things have you read about the RED drives?

As for the Netgears, yes I was pretty enamored with them.

What's changed...

- I've had a ReadyNAS Duo for several years now, running like a top. Recently started getting email alerts that a drive was showing SMART errors. A few days ago, the drive must have totally gone out, because now it won't boot. I'm in the middle of troubleshooting that and getting it running again. I don't really see the purpose of a box like this if it's going to totally die/stop responding when a single *supposedly redundant* drive goes out.

- At one clients office where I've installed a ReadyNAS Ultra 6, I installed a third drive to expand the volume size & it never finished expanding. One of the disks has thrown occasional SMART errors, so at the urging of Netgear's support, I replaced the drive. It still hasn't expanded the volume & their last response to me was to reset the device to factory defaults. Not. Gonna. Happen.

It's just been acting strangely as well; taking forever to boot & randomly going offline.

- Had problems with Replicate (Netgear's solution to allow one NAS to backup to another off-site NAS) and while Netgear resolved the issue, sort of, in the process they deleted all my Replicate jobs. To manage Replicate, you use a web-based control panel. It seems to me they got in the backend there and did something to delete all my jobs.

Also, not sure if this is something they did or just a bad coincidence, but now the OTHER NAS in this equation is not working properly with Replicate.

I've never been totally thrilled with Replicate, for a lot of reasons. It works pretty well once it's going, but obviously there's a back-end that only Netgear has access to.

Those are some of the issues that have cropped up very recently.

I just feel like I'd have total control over a windows box; no strange/proprietary file systems or software; I'd like to have hardware and software that I can totally control, fix, and troubleshoot.

I've implemented CrashPlan in a few scenarios and am pretty impressed with it so far, much better than Replicate for off-site backups.
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Old 06-23-2013, 16:19   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drjones View Post
Hi & thanks for the post...I was hoping you'd reply, as I value your opinions, IGF.

Thanks for not just telling me to install Linux.
Believe me, I was tempted...

Quote:
I'll take your advice about keeping the OS separate; I just want to maximize storage and drive bays.

Also a good call on the PSU; I had thought of that too. Most of the PSU's in the kits seem kinda iffy...how powerful a PSU do I need for like 4-5 hard drives? No separate graphics or anything. I was thinking around 650-700w?
I would think 450-550w would be fine. I'm not sure if there's different power requirements on the green and red drives... but I've got a 500w powering 3 drives, and it's fine. Also, I'd highly recommend a modular PSU and a case with good cable management (to help with airflow). NZXT and Fractal Design have some great cases with excellent cable management.

Quote:
What mixed things have you read about the RED drives?
On Newegg reviews and occasional posts on the OMV forum about DOA's. Does seem to be more prevalent with the 3tb drives, though, than the 2tb.

Quote:
As for the Netgears, yes I was pretty enamored with them.

What's changed...

- I've had a ReadyNAS Duo for several years now, running like a top. Recently started getting email alerts that a drive was showing SMART errors. A few days ago, the drive must have totally gone out, because now it won't boot. I'm in the middle of troubleshooting that and getting it running again. I don't really see the purpose of a box like this if it's going to totally die/stop responding when a single *supposedly redundant* drive goes out.

- At one clients office where I've installed a ReadyNAS Ultra 6, I installed a third drive to expand the volume size & it never finished expanding. One of the disks has thrown occasional SMART errors, so at the urging of Netgear's support, I replaced the drive. It still hasn't expanded the volume & their last response to me was to reset the device to factory defaults. Not. Gonna. Happen.

It's just been acting strangely as well; taking forever to boot & randomly going offline.

- Had problems with Replicate (Netgear's solution to allow one NAS to backup to another off-site NAS) and while Netgear resolved the issue, sort of, in the process they deleted all my Replicate jobs. To manage Replicate, you use a web-based control panel. It seems to me they got in the backend there and did something to delete all my jobs.

Also, not sure if this is something they did or just a bad coincidence, but now the OTHER NAS in this equation is not working properly with Replicate.

I've never been totally thrilled with Replicate, for a lot of reasons. It works pretty well once it's going, but obviously there's a back-end that only Netgear has access to.

Those are some of the issues that have cropped up very recently.

I just feel like I'd have total control over a windows box; no strange/proprietary file systems or software; I'd like to have hardware and software that I can totally control, fix, and troubleshoot.

I've implemented CrashPlan in a few scenarios and am pretty impressed with it so far, much better than Replicate for off-site backups.
Interesting....

Good luck.
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Old 06-23-2013, 21:56   #6
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I agree with IGF about keeping the OS drive seperate but....
I would go for a true hardware RAID controller and 4 drives + the OS drive.

Many motherboards come with semi hardware / software RAID controllers and most I have seen are crap.
Look at an Adaptec or LSI with 4 internal SATA connectors and RAID 5 on a PCI-e card.

With a hardware RAID you can lose your OS drive and still retain your data. You will get a warning if a drive is failing.
You can totally lose one drive and not lose any data.
Really, a hardware RAID controller is very easy to configure.

I back up source code, home accounts and mail on a few systems and all use a good name brand hardware RAID.
Sure it's a few extra bucks but what is your data worth?

Motherboards.... I am always, always a fan of Intel MBs. They are not the fastest and they don't have the most features but they do last, IMHO.
I like the WD 2TByte Green and have no experience with red and or 3TB drives.
If you have 4 each 2TB drives in RAID 5 you would have 6 TB of storage. My goodness, how much do you need.

Power supplies. Hum, my servers have a lot more than 4 or 5 drives so I go big, generally in the 700 w range. A little extra never hurts and as has been said, you do want a number of large, slow fans.
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Old 06-23-2013, 22:32   #7
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Thanks for the input. I'd love to do that - in theory - but am a bit hesitant to introduce that complexity (and cost!) into this setup.

I'm looking at the LSI & Adaptec cards that will do RAID 5 & they seem to be around $300, is that right? I think that's a bit more than I'd be interested in paying.

The way I've structured this setup, if I lose a disk - any disk - I either rebuild the OS if I lose my OS disk, or install a new data storage disk & restore my data from my backups, which will be happening at least twice per day, per disk; once with Cobian, Crashplan will be running constantly too.

I would, however, be interested in a good RAID setup for my CrashPlan destination, as you cannot split crashplan's backup files among disks; it has to be contained on one (logical, I hope) disk.

How would this setup look, if I decided to go with RAID for my NAS? One disk for the OS only then 4 disks in a RAID 5 with the controller?

Also, do any of these RAID cards work with Windows 7? I'm not interested in playing with a server OS for my personal use, at this time...

And yeah, 6TB would last me for a good long time.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:30   #8
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I'll give you my take on the hardware for what it's worth, since I build a lot of NAS boxes as well as ultra high performance gaming rigs and video processing/photo rendering systems for rendering farms. I always match the hardware to the task as I have to be competitive price wise, provide the best performance for the buck, and it has to be very reliable over the long term.

Red vs Green vs Black
When active the power consumption on all of these is about the same. The black will use 10 watts, the red and green 8.4 watts. WD provides the 5V and 12V power requirements right on the label. The big difference is the red and green use WD Intellipower and therefore don't always run at full power, and the green will also park the head after a short period of inactivity and go to "sleep" (that makes it green). The red drives are faster at streaming/writing large files, but slower than the green for small random read/writes. The red uses high density 1tb platters, so you'll have 1, 2 or 3 platters depending on whether it's a 1, 2 or 3tb drive. The high density platters work great for large files but small file I/O suffers. The green parks the heads after a short period of inactivity and initial access is slower than the red, so I use green drives for backup, since initial delay is not as important, backups usually consist of a lot of smaller files (rsync reads/writes deltas rather than complete files), and green drives are cheaper. I never use green for RAID due to the slow initial access which can cause problems.

As to drive capacity you can figure DVD at about 4gigs for the movie only, 6~8gigs each if you rip the entire DVD including menus and extra features. BluRay is about 25gigs per movie, or 35~50gigs for the whole disk. CD music files are wav files so about 30megs per song, where mp3's only run about 3megs per song.

Red - 3 year warranty, 5400RPM Intellipower, good for streaming video files, not as fast for serving images or mp3's.
Green - 2 year warranty, 5400RPM Intellipower, better at small file I/O, not as good for streaming large files, short delay on initial access.
Black - 5 year warranty, good for large or small files, runs at 7200RPM so makes more noise and consumes more power (heat), also costs more.
So I end up with a mix of drives in the NAS, each type selected for the purpose they will serve.


NAS Power
I figure 10watts plus 33% per drive. Most of my NAS boxes have 6~10 drives, giving me 150watts needed at most.
For an NAS I take the CPU TDP and double that for the motherboard/CPU needs. An i5 is going to be 95 watts (though as a file server it will probably never exceed 30). 95 x 2 = 190 watts. That will provide more than enough for RAM, PCI and USB power in addition to the CPU. Case fans are generally in the 3~6 watt range, so I add 25watts for 4 of those. In my opinion a 450watt PS is plenty for a NAS, and your actual wattage during use probably won't exceed 150, as you don't have any power sucking graphics adapters.

CPU/Motherboard
To be honest I don't build any Windows based NAS boxes. All mine are FreeBSD since I looooove the ZFS file system with it's snapshot backups and rsync. But an i5 with 8gigs should certainly be adequate. That would work for a FreeBSD NAS using ZFS double parity which is CPU and RAM intensive, so it should be fine for a Windows system. You shouldn't have any problem finding a motherboard with 6 SATA ports, though some of the ports will be SATA II rather than SATA III. They will have two SATA controllers, an Intel Northbridge (i.e. Z77) and a second Marvel controller on most boards. You'll want to have the system boot off the Intel controller for best results.

I would agree with Indy that the OS should be on a separate drive from your data drives. Down the line you'll be glad you did. I also like the Fractal Design soundproofed cases for an NAS, they are very nice. And large fans turning slower will be much quieter than smaller high RPM fans, so keep that in mind as well.

I'd look on Newegg for a motherboard/cpu combo or a motherboard/CPU/RAM combo. Then choose your power supply and case separately.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:58   #9
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Look up my server build thread. I used a Jetway jnf9a mobo and it's been great. It was the only 6 sata mini itx board available at the time. I realize you said you don't want to mess with a different os, but seriously, spend a day and try OMV before you install windows. It's SO simple, stable, and low overhead. Did I mention simple? Auto raid configuration and an easy browser based setup makes it a no brainer to at least try it out.

There are a few psu calculators out there, but you ought to be fine with 300w or so. GPU's are the huge power draws. I'm using an old 250gb drive for the os, a ssd would be nice, but it doesn't really matter as boot speed is a non issue. With an ssd you can just sticky tape it anywhere in the case. It doesn't matter. Then you can use all the bays for storage drives.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushflyr View Post
Look up my server build thread. I used a Jetway jnf9a mobo and it's been great. It was the only 6 sata mini itx board available at the time. I realize you said you don't want to mess with a different os, but seriously, spend a day and try OMV before you install windows. It's SO simple, stable, and low overhead. Did I mention simple? Auto raid configuration and an easy browser based setup makes it a no brainer to at least try it out.

As I said in my OP, the biggest driver here is that I want a rock-solid backup system. Cobian and especially CrashPlan for my off-site, run on Windows. CrashPlan has a linux version - but will that work on OMV?
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:53   #11
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Jimmy, thanks for the great mini course on NAS devices! I'm saving this one, for sure...

A couple of things....

1. I strongly agree with keeping the OS on a separate device.

2. Full hardware RAID is the way to go.

3. I've heard great things about OMV.

4. Don't skimp on memory quality. Bad memory can corrupt data. Ask me how I know.

5. I think that the max partition size under Windows is 2TB. If you use a larger disk I'm guessing there is software to take care of that. Just something to be aware of.

Good luck. I'll be following your process....
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:12   #12
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Quote:
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As I said in my OP, the biggest driver here is that I want a rock-solid backup system. Cobian and especially CrashPlan for my off-site, run on Windows. CrashPlan has a linux version - but will that work on OMV?
OMV is Debian based, so anything Linux will work with it. OMV has a pretty html configuration utility, but you can install whatever you want from the cli.

Mine has been running for months without a hiccup. I originally installed Ubuntu, but it wasn't playing well with mdadm raid. So I installed OMV on igf 's suggestion. Easy, powerful, stable. My only gripe is that I haven't been able to get zoneminder running on it.
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Old 06-24-2013, 14:16   #13
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I think that the max partition size under Windows is 2TB. If you use a larger disk I'm guessing there is software to take care of that. Just something to be aware of.
Glad it may be some info you can use. Things are slow today and I've had too much coffee so I'm a bit verbose. So bear with me while I ramble on a bit more.

The drive size is limited to 2TB for disks that use an MBR because of the addressing scheme of 2^32*512=2,199,023,255,552 (2.2TB). For larger disks it has to use a GPT partition table. You can even boot Windows 7 from a 3TB or larger drive that uses a GPT, since it also has an MBR ...... as long as the GPT is in the first partition on the boot drive, you're using 64bit Windows, and the motherboard BIOS supports EFI/UEFI so it can locate the boot sector. If you're missing any of those it probably won't boot, though it will read/write to the drive without any issues.

External drives over 2TB are not a problem since the enclosure hardware takes care of the extended address space needed for systems that can't handle anything larger than 2TB. *NIX and Mac systems, even the 32bit versions as far as I know, can boot from drives over 2TB even if the motherboard doesn't support EFI/UEFI.

I agree that a hardware RAID would be best with Windows. In my opinion the only software RAID worth considering is ZFS, since it's not only RAID but a complete file system designed specifically for RAID. But you have to run some *NIX variant to use ZFS.

I think RAID 1 works well, as it's essentially a mirrored drive. If one fails you can boot and run off the second drive, make a backup image, then rebuild. Write times are a bit longer, but reads are quicker with a RAID 1. Easy, simple, and rebuilding the array doesn't take too long.

I've had some bad experiences with RAID 5, so if it gets to that point I'd use RAID 6 if it's Windows, or preferably ZFS Z2 on a NIX system. Especially if it's an enterprise application. Here is the problem, one I have experienced twice over the years.
You build a system with RAID 5 and it goes into service. A number of years go by and a drive fails. No problem, plug in a new drive and rebuild. BUT.... all the other drives in that array are just as old and abused as the one that failed. Rebuilding a RAID 5 array is very disk intensive and they will run continuously for many many hours to complete the task. This intensive use may (and in my case twice did) cause a second drive to fail during the rebuild and if that happens all the data is lost. Granted a RAID is redundancy, not backup, but it's still better to be able to rebuild the array instead of resorting to backups. You can still use the system while it's rebuilding, but if you lose the array the system is down until you repair it and restore from the backups. RAID 6 and ZFS Z2 are double parity, so you can lose a second drive during the rebuild process and still be OK. Although ZFS Z2 doesn't suffer as much, since the filesystem is designed for RAID, you will take a performance hit with RAID 6 on Windows.

So for Windows systems I pretty much stick to RAID 1. On my gaming systems I do offer two Intel 520's in a RAID O as an option for the system drive. That is insanely fast with 6 second boots and 3 second shutdowns, but not very trustworthy given the current reliability of SSD's. So I also include a backup drive just to store daily images of the system drive if they go with the RAID 0 option.

For an NAS I use FreeBSD and ZFS Z2 which also does data integrity checking and automatic error correction. I have never had to restore any files from backup to a Z2 RAID, as I've never had one fail completely. I'm sure it can and may happen, it's just never happened to me yet.
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Old 06-24-2013, 16:15   #14
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Jimmy, thanks again for schooling me in NAS. Learned a lot. I've never had to deal professionally with the huge drives available these days.

I've got a friend who keeps trying to get me to help with upgrading all the PCs in a small law office. It may be in a couple of months and he knows that if I do it, he's out of the picture..and lawyers make the worst customers..

I may need to consult with you professionally in the future.
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Old 06-24-2013, 20:04   #15
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Quote:
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External drives over 2TB are not a problem since the enclosure hardware takes care of the extended address space needed for systems that can't handle anything larger than 2TB. *NIX and Mac systems, even the 32bit versions as far as I know, can boot from drives over 2TB even if the motherboard doesn't support EFI/UEFI.
The RAID controller handles addressing but I guess I'm kind of shocked that Windows has such a small address space.

Quote:
I agree that a hardware RAID would be best with Windows. In my opinion the only software RAID worth considering is ZFS, since it's not only RAID but a complete file system designed specifically for RAID. But you have to run some *NIX variant to use ZFS.
I am a huge ZFS fan. I have 3 servers that have 48 each 1 TB drives plus an OS drive. Data drives are striped across 4 controllers. To balance things out I have 1 hot spare and 7 data drives per controller. Love those hot spares.

Quote:
I think RAID 1 works well, as it's essentially a mirrored drive. If one fails you can boot and run off the second drive, make a backup image, then rebuild. Write times are a bit longer, but reads are quicker with a RAID 1. Easy, simple, and rebuilding the array doesn't take too long.

I've had some bad experiences with RAID 5, so if it gets to that point I'd use RAID 6 if it's Windows, or preferably ZFS Z2 on a NIX system. Especially if it's an enterprise application. Here is the problem, one I have experienced twice over the years.
You build a system with RAID 5 and it goes into service. A number of years go by and a drive fails. No problem, plug in a new drive and rebuild. BUT.... all the other drives in that array are just as old and abused as the one that failed. Rebuilding a RAID 5 array is very disk intensive and they will run continuously for many many hours to complete the task. This intensive use may (and in my case twice did) cause a second drive to fail during the rebuild and if that happens all the data is lost. Granted a RAID is redundancy, not backup, but it's still better to be able to rebuild the array instead of resorting to backups. You can still use the system while it's rebuilding, but if you lose the array the system is down until you repair it and restore from the backups. RAID 6 and ZFS Z2 are double parity, so you can lose a second drive during the rebuild process and still be OK. Although ZFS Z2 doesn't suffer as much, since the filesystem is designed for RAID, you will take a performance hit with RAID 6 on Windows.
Still like RAID 5 and have had good luck with it.
However, we do a lot with streaming media and really large file sizes. For those servers I use hardware RAID 3. I trust it more and get better performance than ZFS.

Very interesting conversation. Thanks.
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Last edited by Linux3; 06-24-2013 at 20:05..
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Old 06-24-2013, 21:31   #16
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Jimmy; what would you do for an off-site backup for a NAS, about 1.5TB of data?

Obviously I'm sold on CrashPlan; going to have both boxes on the same LAN for the initial sync, then any changes going forward will be incremental...
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:18   #17
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As I said in my OP, the biggest driver here is that I want a rock-solid backup system. Cobian and especially CrashPlan for my off-site, run on Windows. CrashPlan has a linux version - but will that work on OMV?
I just looked at Crashplan. The Linux version looks like it requires a GUI... so you'd need an OS w/ a GUI. In theory, (instead of paying for Windows)...

You could install Debian Squeeze.
Install OpenMediaVault on Squeeze (so you'd have the webUI for your NAS)
Install Crashplan. You could then remote the NAS, and do whatever it is you're wanting to do w/ CrashPlan.

This of course, is all in theory, as I know nothing about Crashplan.

Well, just before hitting submit, I decided to google this.. and wouldn't you know...
http://www.jermsmit.com/crashplan-on...debian-server/
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:46   #18
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Jimmy; what would you do for an off-site backup for a NAS, about 1.5TB of data?

Obviously I'm sold on CrashPlan; going to have both boxes on the same LAN for the initial sync, then any changes going forward will be incremental...
I use another NAS, since I have them in three locations. No monthly fees so it's cheap, and the files don't have to be encrypted for security at the remote location, since they have access to all of it anyway. I have two NAS boxes here in my home office, one for all my media on the home LAN, and one for backup. Then I have another at the business office about 50 miles away, and another that resides at the company President's house.

Mine backs up my business PC and the webservers, then that NAS backs up to the one at the President's house.

The office NAS backs up all the PC's on that LAN then backs up to the one at the President's house. So all business backups are stored on two different NAS boxes, one local and one remote.

I use rsync so backups go very quickly, which is a real benefit when backing up to a remote location over the WAN. Rsync is easy from NIX to NIX box, but can be a bit of a chore getting permissions and authorization worked out when going NIX>Windows or Windows>NIX. I use Deltacopy to provide rsync on Windows boxes.

With rsync the amount of data is only an issue for the initial backup. After that only new or changed portions of files are backed up. For instance I have 6 business email accounts. Some of them may only get 1 or 2 emails a day. A typical backup program would then copy the entire inbox file for that account since it has changed. But rsync breaks files into deltas and only copies the delta that has changed. So rather than copying a 30 meg inbox because it had a new email it only copies the last delta that changed. Instead of taking many minutes rsync is able to back up all my email in 10 seconds or less, as it's only copying a few megs from each file rather than 100's of megs.
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Old 06-25-2013, 14:08   #19
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The RAID controller handles addressing but I guess I'm kind of shocked that Windows has such a small address space.

I am a huge ZFS fan. I have 3 servers that have 48 each 1 TB drives plus an OS drive. Data drives are striped across 4 controllers. To balance things out I have 1 hot spare and 7 data drives per controller. Love those hot spares.

Still like RAID 5 and have had good luck with it.
However, we do a lot with streaming media and really large file sizes. For those servers I use hardware RAID 3. I trust it more and get better performance than ZFS.

Very interesting conversation. Thanks.
RAID 5 works for almost everyone, it's just that I had two bad experiences with it so that really turned me off. Yes having the hot spare is nice, as well as a cache device. Adding a cache device to the pool will improve read speeds, but the cache device needs to be faster and have lower latency than the storage pool. So that means an SSD or compact flash adapter, and the memory allocation for ZFS needs to be increased as well if you add a cache device.

I stream BluRay and DVD from a ZFS Z1 pool. It will stream movies to two TV's simultaneously without any stutters or pauses, but I have a 64gig cache for an L2ARC and ZFS has a 4gig memory allocation. It's also a 64bit system, I doubt it would do that well on a 32bit system.

As you know tuning ZFS for best performance is more art and magic than science, since what works on one system may degrade performance on another. So my tuning usually involves some chicken bones, an eagle feather, sweat from an electricians brow (very hard to come by) and some chanting. Some would probably call it cursing, but I like to think of it as chanting.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:35   #20
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Jimmy, thanks again for all your input.

How do you manage rsync jobs; from the NAS GUI?

Do you get any notifications or alerts for completed or failed jobs?

Is it difficult to setup over a WAN?
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