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  • macromark
    replied
    For what it's worth, I just picked up a Lenovo IX2 network storage box on Newegg.com for $89. It's a 2-bay unit that supports RAID 0 and RAID 1. The unit is manufactured for Lenovo by Iomega (remember Zip drives?).

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  • Pete
    replied
    Good news.

    You will like the feature set presented by the use Windows Home Server.

    A DIY post of your build would help others thinking along the same path (think Charlie was?)

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  • NeverDie
    replied
    It turns out that so called "bit rot" can set in from infrequently reading files on a disk. If the files are read with enough frequency, then the regular error correction can fix problems and re-write the files to better blocks of disk. So, from a bit rot perspective, leaving drives sit unplugged and unused can be worse than using them a lot. This suggests that going forward I'll also need to periodically scrub and re-write backup files as needed, which is something I haven't been doing. In fact, none of the PC backup software I've ever used has ever even offered scrubbing as a feature. I wonder why not? It does make me wonder whether or not Carbonite and similar solutions are actively managing the bit rot problem, or whether a lot of offsite cloud backups are actually bit rotting away. Unless you periodically download your entire cloud backup and do a bit-for-bit comparison against your own well preserved backup files, I don't know whether you can ever be completely confident your backups aren't bit rotting while in cyberspace.

    As a starting point, my near term plan is to migrate to Windows Home Server 2011 (thanks Bandook and Pete for suggesting it) because it's easy and because it helps with regular backups (thanks to those who pointed that out). I'll supplement that with Stablebit (thanks bandook for suggesting that) to get drive pooling and scanning, since Stablebit is relatively inexpensive.

    I'll consolidate my files on that platform, and then as time permits I'll look more deeply into other options like ZFS via FreeNAS (thanks for that suggestion), Storage Spaces, and ReFS to purposefully create a redundant server on a different technology platform. ZFS is considered stable, but I don't know whether Storage Spaces and ReFS have enough mileage on them yet to fully trust them.
    Last edited by NeverDie; December 18th, 2013, 02:09 PM.

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  • NeverDie
    replied
    Apparently, ReFS is Microsoft's answer to ZFS by adding the data resiliency that NTFS lacks. ReFS is already available on Windows Server 2012. It turns out ReFS is also in Windows 8.1, but locked from use unless Windows 8.1 is being used as Windows Server 2012.

    However, there is a fairly easy way to unlock ReFS on regular Windows 8.1, and then bang, you can have ReFS on regular Windows 8.1: http://winaero.com/blog/how-to-forma...8-1-with-refs/

    Combine that with Windows 8 Storage Spaces formatted as ReFS, and then you should be getting the same improved data resiliency that, officially, only Windows Server 2012 provides.
    Last edited by NeverDie; December 18th, 2013, 11:12 AM.

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  • Pete
    replied
    By the way: Is there any reason not to be running HomeSeer on the Home Server?
    The only issue I had was modding the OS with W7 stuff so that I could utilize my TTS stuff. Other than that it did fine.

    That and my preferences with HS2 and NAS boxes was to run them separately. I would prefer that all of the CPU / memory ETC be dedicated to say one NAS box doing multiple HD streaming.

    Drifting now to the realm of other stuff....

    I keep my MythTV box with live video feeds on its own server as well as my streaming internet TV box.

    MythTV is running on Ubuntu and streaming on the internet tv services box (PlayOnTV) is running on wintel.

    That said multiple clients connect to MthTV and same with my PlayOn TV box.

    I have shut off the blue ray player but never did plug it into an internet connection. (same with a smart tv)...but that is me.

    MthTV is here:

    http://www.mythtv.org/

    Anything running XBMC now can stream live or recorded TV from the MythTV box or the PlayOn TV box (wintel, android, linux stuff).

    PlayOn TV takes care of the internet TV stuff (one stop shop).

    http://www.playon.tv/

    IE: Netflix, hulu, HBO GO, Amazon VOD, NFL Game Rewind, MLB, NHL, Fox, Pandora, YouTube, ESPN, ESPN3, NBC, ABC, CBS, so forth and so on....

    Today HS2 boxes are running on Windows server standard 2003. Primary HS box has 20 plus serial connections and a few USB connections. I make it do stuff that I wouldn't want to share with other processes on the same computer.
    Last edited by Pete; December 18th, 2013, 10:46 AM.

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  • NeverDie
    replied
    My family and I are mostly Windows based at the moment. ZFS sounds great, but how compatible is the ZFS in FreeNAS with storing Windows NTSF files? For instance, is all the meta-data from an NTSF file lost if it's copied or backed up? Or, does ZFS "encapsulate" the NTSF file prior to storing it? There would seem to be the need for some kind of conversion process.
    Last edited by NeverDie; December 18th, 2013, 09:30 AM.

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  • bandook
    replied
    Originally posted by NeverDie View Post
    I replaced the 500GB HDD that came with my new laptop with a 240GB Samsung Pro SSD that I already had. Not only is the laptop obviously faster, but it's also cooler. I was going to add the 500GB drive back to the laptop as a secondary drive, but I decided not to. For seldom accessed stuff, I think I'd rather just connect to the server and have no HDD's on my laptop. So, I was wondering what it would take to have equivalent performance.
    If you mean you want to access your server files, which are on a HD, from your laptop, which has an ssd, you will still be limited to the transfer rates of your servers hard drives. Gigabit lan will be fine. Now if you are storing your server data on ssds then you could have a bottleneck on a gb lan if you are transferring large media files. If you are just transferring a lot of smaller files ssd-ssd gb lan will still be fine.

    Just depends how precious your time is to you. I can still transfer a full Blu-ray rip in about 7 minutes using hard drives on gb lan.

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  • NeverDie
    replied
    Originally posted by bandook View Post
    I'm not sure if you are talking about running programs from the server or just transferring files. But in my experience my hard drives are the bottleneck in my gigabit network. I was seeing around 115 Mb/s when the drives were new, sequential read/write, which was the max I seen between the drives on the same computer, WD 1tb blacks. With full 1tb drive I am seeing around 90Mb/s. Max theoretical speed of gigabit lan is 128Mb/s. Transferring between two sata 3 ssd's you will obviously have a bottleneck in a gigabit lan.
    I replaced the 500GB HDD that came with my new laptop with a 240GB Samsung Pro SSD that I already had. Not only is the laptop obviously faster, but it's also cooler. I was going to add the 500GB drive back to the laptop as a secondary drive, but I decided not to. For seldom accessed stuff, I think I'd rather just connect to the server and have no HDD's on my laptop. So, I was wondering what it would take to have equivalent performance.

    Leave a comment:


  • NeverDie
    replied
    By the way: Is there any reason not to be running HomeSeer on the Home Server? i.e. Are there good reasons for running HomeSeer on a different machine (e.g. Maybe so that it can monitor the Health of the Home Server, and/or visa versa)?

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  • Pete
    replied
    Yup; here still image(snapshot) and backup of the HS2 Wintel boxes.

    That said I am treating the rest of the PCs utilized as just consoles / terminals; not much else these days and I showed my wife how to save anything important to her own personal NAS share.

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  • chewie
    replied
    So I will throw in an additional vote for FreeNAS here. You can take advantage of the snapshot feature in it for keeping daily backup copies in case you fat finger something. I also have a Robocopy job that runs to copy everything to a couple of 4TB external drives on one of my other computers just in case the whole thing dies.

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  • Pete
    replied
    I went back to paper and pencil....

    ...upgraded Gb LAN from unmanaged to managed Gb switches, moved my personal computers to Ubuntu (but still have Wintel). Wife's desktop is still Wintel.

    Built a new firewall using PFSense and currently 6 network interfaces.

    Here is a neato little application to test your network transfer speeds with your Gb connected NAS boxes. (its free)

    http://www.totusoft.com/downloads.html

    Leave a comment:


  • bdraper
    replied
    Actually I have also used WHS to just restore a file. My wife and I help run the local baseball and softball league in White House. We create and maintain a number of files, sometimes she copies over one and needs to get it restored from backup. I showed her how to use WHS to mount up a prior backup and navigate to the file location and retrieve the backup... Very cool stuff. She thought it was magic...

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  • bdraper
    replied
    Yep, I was also skeptical, but a friend of mine at work told me to give it a try... and I am glad I did. I consider it money well spent, after multiple flawless restores I was hooked. Now if something weird happens on one of my kids workstations or wifes laptop, don't give it a second thought, get the cd and restore to last nights backup. Done, end of story... LOL... no telling how much troubleshooting time that has saved me over the last few years.

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  • bandook
    replied
    Originally posted by bdraper View Post
    Pretty cool thread here that Pete started a while back. At least I thought the title was pretty cool, mentioned going back to paper and pencil, see http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=161762

    As for Windows Home Server, I am using Windows Home Server 2003 for backups and my NAS. I bought a HP MediaSmart Server EX487 a number of years ago, see http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/pr...rDataSheet.pdf
    I will totally agree about the ease of restoring a disc image with whs. I was very skeptical that it would work as well as it has, considering how many failures I've gotten trying to use Windows built in "System Restore". But the drive recovery has been 100% successful. Actually just had to restore a drive on my htpc last week after Windows "System Restore" totally corrupted my drive.

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