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My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

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nfldrepublic
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My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#1

Post by nfldrepublic » 16 Jul 2019 01:30

Apologies - this is long winded...

I've been trying out XigmaNAS. My goal is to replace my Synology DS211j (old, just used for my ESX 6.5 as an iSCSI target), DS216+II (main file store, runs my internal DNS and docker for my UniFi controler) and my QNAP TS-219II (dlna server for movies, music) with ONE NAS. I need good dependable file storage (Synology does that quite well - but to upgrade to a 6+ bay Synology is a 'lil bit expensive) with iSCSI and dlna. Docker would be very nice, but not critical. Since I will be migrating from my Synology/QNAP boxes in phases (I need to feel comfortable) as I will be repurposing the WD Red drives over to the XigmaNAS.

XigmaNAS will likely be a Supermicro X9DR3-LN4F+ with 2x Intel Xeon E5-2620 V2 , 64GB DDR3 (8 x 8GB - DDR3 - REG), LSI 9210-8i HBA in IT mode.

I am using testing on my old PowerEdge 2950 II homelab machine with a LSI SAS9220-8i in IT mode. I only have a couple of disks in the 2950 and have installed on a 16 GB USB 2 thumb drive. Outside of having to use the XigmaNAS-x64-LiveUSB-GPT-11.2.0.4.6123.img (likely to the age of the 2950) things have been going well. (On a side note, OpenMediaVault won't cut it as since in version 4 the iSCSI target option has been removed; FreeNAS won't even install correctly on the USB thumb drive...)

Anyway, my question is on the type of RAID to use. I'm not quite sold on ZFS for home use especially since my WD Red's are different sizes (3TB and 4 TB) and in looking at the ZFS volume groups, pools, data sets it seems like (a) it won't work and (b) is overkill for home use. That said, I do need some type of RAID even if it is 2-disk mirrors (I won't be any worse off since the 3 current NAS boxes are 2 bays with mirroring now).

Suggestions?

Thanks!

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apollo567
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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#2

Post by apollo567 » 16 Jul 2019 08:08

For clarification:
How much Space do you need/want ?
How many discs of which size do you already have ?
Why are you using such a strong Hardware ? Was it simply available or are using it also for other pirposes than NAS only ?
my NAS and its development until today: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=39&sid=039fed830cf ... 4d0abe4a04

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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#3

Post by nfldrepublic » 16 Jul 2019 12:40

Thanks for getting back to me..

How much Space do you need/want ?
- As much as possible :-) That said, I need to feel comfortable with the storage.
How many discs of which size do you already have ?
- Right now I have 2 x 4TB, 2 x 3TB and 2 x 2TB (DS216/Ts-219/DS211). I will eventually be expanding with another 2 x 6SB (or larger)
Why are you using such a strong Hardware ? Was it simply available or are using it also for other pirposes than NAS only ?
- I needed a 2U case with 6+ 3.5" hot swap bays. It was about $100 more to get the board/processor/RAM/HBA.

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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#4

Post by nfldrepublic » 16 Jul 2019 14:22

I should also note that I am starting off with two 4TB WD Reds (my spare drives) with the intent to add the rest of the drives moving forward.

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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#5

Post by apollo567 » 16 Jul 2019 15:37

4TB Disks are currently the Sweet spot, perhaps it makes sense to add some of these and use the other drives for backup purposes ?
my NAS and its development until today: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=39&sid=039fed830cf ... 4d0abe4a04

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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#6

Post by nfldrepublic » 16 Jul 2019 17:47

Thanks - I might just do that.

I was reading through some of the XigmaNAS docs and it seems that ZFS is the only RAID type available. Is that correct?

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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#7

Post by apollo567 » 16 Jul 2019 17:56

I think the Softraid Version is curently going to be EOL
my NAS and its development until today: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=39&sid=039fed830cf ... 4d0abe4a04

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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#8

Post by was-armandh » 19 Jul 2019 00:48

I've always used ZFS for my home NASs
did you wish redundant mirrors or not redundant drives
mine are all mirrors

bit of a learning curve but easy the second time.
and BULLET PROOF [if redundant]
I highly recommend a SSD for the OS over a USB stick

best wishes
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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#9

Post by apollo567 » 19 Jul 2019 06:35

was-armandh wrote:
19 Jul 2019 00:48
I highly recommend a SSD for the OS over a USB stick
Why ? you loose a sata-Port while USB-Ports are usually enough available.
The downside of an USB-Port might be the longer boot time, which is usually not so much the problem.
my NAS and its development until today: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=39&sid=039fed830cf ... 4d0abe4a04

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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#10

Post by Hijacker56 » 19 Jul 2019 19:03

apollo567 wrote:
19 Jul 2019 06:35
Why ?
Hola, apollo567)!
I am not, was-armandh, but I'll try)
I saw some deep level research about modern usb flash memory and MTBF of memory type. FE, from other cite .
Flash-Endurance-1.png
If we suggest withSWAP installation on TLC based usb, we rest against about 500 write cycles border.
I read about 2 examples of embedded system die after 6 and 11 month of use due usb flash (I meant exactly TLC cells run out of it service life). This a live, non statistical, not even a proof example, But it makes me think. If you have free SATA, space why note?
On other case, I look at topic starter specs and wondering " hypervisor based?".
In my case, much more poor config (1230v2 + 16 GB ECC) and I wish for Windows XP 32bit + Victoria HDD guest machine. As nfldrepublic I definitely do so. In this case SSD not optional but required.
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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#11

Post by JoseMR » 20 Jul 2019 11:59

apollo567 wrote:
19 Jul 2019 06:35
was-armandh wrote:
19 Jul 2019 00:48
I highly recommend a SSD for the OS over a USB stick
Why ? you loose a sata-Port while USB-Ports are usually enough available.
The downside of an USB-Port might be the longer boot time, which is usually not so much the problem.

I think this is a highly old recommendation/reference back when people used CF cards to build their NAS'ses with older and limited hardware.

For example modern hardware has many SATA/SAS ports that "Saving" a SATA port based on this reference does not worth the reliability/performance compromise.

Additionally, nothing installed on a "USB Stick" unless it is a HOME environment cannot be take seriously.

Edit: rant removed.

Regards
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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#12

Post by was-armandh » 20 Jul 2019 14:31

there are more problem threads started here over bad USB sticks than any other fault [IMHO]
more hours wasted getting the boot going the first time.
I always [save the temp use] used PATA or SATA connected boot medium
They are usually smart enough internally to re provision bad sectors
something I am not sure is ever found in a cheap USB stick
I have some small PATA plug in flash memory devices from the FN-7 days
they still work, sadly Xi is not going to work on 500mb.

but if you are out of HDD ports get the best uSB stick you can find
Last edited by was-armandh on 30 Jul 2019 00:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#13

Post by apollo567 » 20 Jul 2019 14:48

was-armandh wrote:
20 Jul 2019 14:31

but if you are out of HDD ports get the best uSB stick you can find
I have good experiences with this series:
https://geizhals.de/kingston-datatravel ... at&hloc=de
my NAS and its development until today: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=39&sid=039fed830cf ... 4d0abe4a04

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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#14

Post by apollo567 » 20 Jul 2019 14:51

JoseMR wrote:
20 Jul 2019 11:59


I have so... so... many SATA/SAS ports that for myself "Saving" a sata port based on this reference is plain worthless.

Secondly, nothing installed on a "USB Stick" unless a HOME environment cannot be take seriously.

Regards
Well with 12 disks in 3 pools in my NAS availability starts to be a topic.
But to be honest given the real use of it, I still consider it a 'home environment' :-)
my NAS and its development until today: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=39&sid=039fed830cf ... 4d0abe4a04

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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#15

Post by was-armandh » 20 Jul 2019 14:53

the nice thing about a HOME environment is
you won't fire your self if it is down half the day
nor have business interruption insurers
ready to hang you in effigy

IMHO usb is best left to keyboards and printers
by using this free advise, you, your heirs, etc
absolve, save, and hold harmless the advisor.
CAVEAT EMPTOR
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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#16

Post by JoseMR » 20 Jul 2019 17:37

apollo567 wrote:
20 Jul 2019 14:51
JoseMR wrote:
20 Jul 2019 11:59


For example modern hardware has many SATA/SAS ports that "Saving" a SATA port based on this reference does not worth the reliability/performance compromise.

Additionally, nothing installed on a "USB Stick" unless it is a HOME environment cannot be take seriously.

Edit: rant removed.

Regards
Well with 12 disks in 3 pools in my NAS availability starts to be a topic.
But to be honest given the real use of it, I still consider it a 'home environment' :-)


You do have a nice LAB, but you need to account what priority is, which is reliability and performance,

Recommending USB Stick for install media may be ok for budget setups, but with such gear and free SATA ports, I would use a small SSD but that just me.

Edit: rant removed.

Regards
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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#17

Post by apollo567 » 20 Jul 2019 18:30

JoseMR wrote:
20 Jul 2019 17:37
You seems to have a nice LAB, but you lack the knowledge what priority is, unless you getting sarcasm.????
--why do you consider a USB Stick to be an OK install media with your gear is beyond my mind, enjoy your UFS ;).
Regards
Well with an embedded installation without any additional software addon it is only important to have a copy of your config file of XNAS. Everything else can be replaced with short notice. Within 10 years of XNAS usage (and its predecessors) I never had issues with the USB-Stick as launch media. The Pools are of course ZFS1.
my NAS and its development until today: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=39&sid=039fed830cf ... 4d0abe4a04

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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#18

Post by JoseMR » 21 Jul 2019 18:40

I apologize for my rants, I'm just against recommending USB stick as installation media unless the hardware is severely limited.

Note that this product has been proven to be excellent and fully functional out of the box, but installing it on a USB stick just kills the NAS reliability unless the SWAP is placed on another disk.

Also 2.5" SSD's gone really cheap, and 2.5" HDD's can be obtained almost for free, and they just use 5V.

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Re: My plan and question on ZFS or other software RAID

#19

Post by was-armandh » 22 Jul 2019 08:20

in the good old days B4 swap became near mandatory
I would spin down the embedded boot drive
or use the small PATA or SATA flash plug in.
to day small SSDs are cheap enough
4 out of my 5 use them, the 5th, a way non critical use, boots from a micro SD chip

yes USB flash w/o swap can be trouble free... I just don't trust them

on my oldest Atom powered N4F to XigmaNAS rebuild. Now gifted to a friend.
[one PATA two SATA port board] saving the SATA for the mirrored drives
I replaced the [too small] PATA plug in flash with a 44 pin SSD and an adapter cable
not a great bios, I had to use the Legacy boot. but it works!!

even with port limitations of older hardware,
I'm going the extra distance to avoid USB connected flash for a swap file,
+1 it is not worth the reliability compromise.

one might consider a SSD in a USB adapter case
then the swap is only speed constricted, less of a reliability issue.
by using this free advise, you, your heirs, etc
absolve, save, and hold harmless the advisor.
CAVEAT EMPTOR
YMMV

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