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Q/ for FreeNAS (and other software raid) experts. Which drives...?


wappinghigh

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I am after the ideal drive specs for a large array (12 bay)

I trolled the net but can't seem to get a definitive answer, so I am turning to a tried and tested forum. You guys...

5400 RPM vs 7200 RPM?? IS 5400 OK?

32 vs 64 bit Cache is 32 OK?

TLER vs no TLER but does it matter if you don't use a RAID card? (FreeNAS)

Does it really matter if the drives aren't "Enterprise rated"?

The new WD Red's have put a cat amongst the pidgeon's but they have TLER, so are suited for small NAS boxes with RAID cards. In any case they aren't supported by WD for array's greater than 5 BAYS, so I am reluctant to use these..

So what to use??

I'm thinking Hitachi Deskstar's 7K3000 7200RPM/64bit (proven performer, but loud and power hungry) vs the Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 5940/32bit (but I can't get these, but I can get this variety: CinemaStar 5K2000 -- 3.5''/ 2TB/ SATA 6GB/ s/ COOLSPIN/ 32MB...) I can also get WD GREEN's... EARX 5400/64Bit...

So I guess my question is, is there *ANY* low spinning power conserving quiet drive proven to be suitable for a 12 BAY NAS running FreeNAS?... Or should I just stick with the 7K3000's ?

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Couple things...

Raid configs are tricky, and biggest point, THEY ARE NOT BACKUP DEVICES! Always have a solid backup plan in case your Raid fails.

5400 vs 7200, go with the faster drives, faster drives means faster access, which means faster rebuild times.

With the size of raid you are looking at, you are looking at 72+ hours of rebuild time during a single disk failure. During that rebuild time, all discs will be under heavy load, potentially causing another drive failure.

Another issue with Raid is all drives are running when any data is accessed, thus increasing your power usage and wear and tear on all drives equally.

Always have 1 or two same size drives on hand for spares, especially if they are in high demand.

Raid is great, can be a royal time suck in maintaining... If you are just storing static data on a Raid, like movies and music, then Raid isn't always the best option.

What I'm doing (and loving the simplicity) is just large 3TB drives via Hot swap ESATA and keeping an online volume and swapping out a backup volume. Once the volume is full, I have a full copy offline in case of failure.

Currently, I'm serving up over 16tb of space and its all backed up to cheap discs offline. Takes only about 3 hours to duplicate a 3TB disc and with incremental backups, you only copy what has changed, so its quick. Best of all, in case of a drive failure, just swap the backup in, fix your mounts and get a new drive to start backing up the old. The other upside to this solution is unless I'm accessing a specific file, the drive stays in sleep / low power mode. Sure there is a slight delay as the OS spins up the disc if data is needed, but the lack of wear and tear should make up for it.

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Couple things...

Raid configs are tricky, and biggest point, THEY ARE NOT BACKUP DEVICES! Always have a solid backup plan in case your Raid fails.

5400 vs 7200, go with the faster drives, faster drives means faster access, which means faster rebuild times.

With the size of raid you are looking at, you are looking at 72+ hours of rebuild time during a single disk failure. During that rebuild time, all discs will be under heavy load, potentially causing another drive failure.

Another issue with Raid is all drives are running when any data is accessed, thus increasing your power usage and wear and tear on all drives equally.

Always have 1 or two same size drives on hand for spares, especially if they are in high demand.

Raid is great, can be a royal time suck in maintaining... If you are just storing static data on a Raid, like movies and music, then Raid isn't always the best option.

What I'm doing (and loving the simplicity) is just large 3TB drives via Hot swap ESATA and keeping an online volume and swapping out a backup volume. Once the volume is full, I have a full copy offline in case of failure.

Currently, I'm serving up over 16tb of space and its all backed up to cheap discs offline. Takes only about 3 hours to duplicate a 3TB disc and with incremental backups, you only copy what has changed, so its quick. Best of all, in case of a drive failure, just swap the backup in, fix your mounts and get a new drive to start backing up the old. The other upside to this solution is unless I'm accessing a specific file, the drive stays in sleep / low power mode. Sure there is a slight delay as the OS spins up the disc if data is needed, but the lack of wear and tear should make up for it.

I agree with this.

I have a 2TB raid config with just 2 drives for some stuff on my freenas, but the rest of the drives just get backed up to duplicates as well. All my movies and music do not reside on a raid config. On my network i tested performace between a western digital black and a green driver and for read speeds they were about the same over the network. The black was slightly better for writing.

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Couple things...

Raid configs are tricky, and biggest point, THEY ARE NOT BACKUP DEVICES! Always have a solid backup plan in case your Raid fails.

5400 vs 7200, go with the faster drives, faster drives means faster access, which means faster rebuild times.

With the size of raid you are looking at, you are looking at 72+ hours of rebuild time during a single disk failure. During that rebuild time, all discs will be under heavy load, potentially causing another drive failure.

Another issue with Raid is all drives are running when any data is accessed, thus increasing your power usage and wear and tear on all drives equally.

Always have 1 or two same size drives on hand for spares, especially if they are in high demand.

Raid is great, can be a royal time suck in maintaining... If you are just storing static data on a Raid, like movies and music, then Raid isn't always the best option.

What I'm doing (and loving the simplicity) is just large 3TB drives via Hot swap ESATA and keeping an online volume and swapping out a backup volume. Once the volume is full, I have a full copy offline in case of failure.

Currently, I'm serving up over 16tb of space and its all backed up to cheap discs offline. Takes only about 3 hours to duplicate a 3TB disc and with incremental backups, you only copy what has changed, so its quick. Best of all, in case of a drive failure, just swap the backup in, fix your mounts and get a new drive to start backing up the old. The other upside to this solution is unless I'm accessing a specific file, the drive stays in sleep / low power mode. Sure there is a slight delay as the OS spins up the disc if data is needed, but the lack of wear and tear should make up for it.

Wow. What an answer. That is *just* what I was after. A "Best Practice"..Thanks PST!!! I'll go with the Hitachi's then..

When you say Hot Swap ESATA, you have another small drive box connected to your NAS by an ESATA cable and you just hot swap the incremental backup drives in that (one at a time), copying over the NAS volume. Is that what you do?

Alternatively, if I'm going ZFS/2, I could leave two bay's free in my 12 Bay NAS box to do the same... right?... Is there a way in FreeNAS (like a "copy all")..to just copy the Zpool over like that...? Or would I have to create 2 vdev's to do that?...

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Wow. What an answer. That is *just* what I was after. A "Best Practice"..Thanks PST!!! I'll go with the Hitachi's then..

When you say Hot Swap ESATA, you have another small drive box connected to your NAS by an ESATA cable and you just hot swap the incremental backup drives in that (one at a time), copying over the NAS volume. Is that what you do?

I have 2 hotswap HD bays in the case that can be ejected while the power is on. Each bay holds 5 SATA drives.

Then for backup, I use a Startek ESATA external drive bay where I can drop a raw disc in and backup and then take the drive offline easy.

Alternatively, if I'm going ZFS/2, I could leave two bay's free in my 12 Bay NAS box to do the same... right?... Is there a way in FreeNAS (like a "copy all")..to just copy the Zpool over like that...? Or would I have to create 2 vdev's to do that?...

Not sure about this, not too familiar with FreeNas and its setup. But all I can say is, have a good backup strategy and test it early and often.

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