Anyone tried FlexRaid or other alternatives?

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by Adrgha, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Adrgha

    Adrgha
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    26
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Ratings:
    +1
    I'm in the process of putting together a home server and I've been looking at different software alternatives. UnRaid seems great, especially due to it's low-storage cost redundancy, but it's too limited in terms of the OS itself as I need this box to perform some other tasks in addition to just being a NAS. So with that in mind I think I'd prefer some kind of Windows solution (Windows because it's what I'm used to...). I'd also like some kind of drive pooling because keeping track of 10 different harddrives is old-fashioned and annoying. WHS v1 has this, but the OS itself is getting old and dated (?), I guess.

    So, I was looking at just installing Win7 or some of the other newer Windows server variations and then installing a 3rd party software solution that could mimic unRAID's redundancy/pooling. I understand there are some alternatives here, but from I've read so far, FlexRaid seems perhaps the most promising? I have 8 full drives of data so I don't want to mess with the file system or do anything that could damage the data that's already there.

    Has anyone here tried this, or any of the alternatives? Just adding one 2TB drive for parity sounds very nice when HDD prices are as silly as they are these days!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  2. MikeK

    MikeK
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,231
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +316
    Flexraid can do the pooling as well as the parity protection.

    Disparity and Snapraid can do the parity protection, but you'd need a 3rd party app for the pooling (I think there are one or two but none are free AFAIK). You could use Flexraid's pooling feature though I suppose!
     
  3. bilbonvidia

    bilbonvidia
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Messages:
    149
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +8
    I use Flexraid for pooling and parity and it works fine for me. I use this for the same reason you want to, the machine it runs on is also the main family computer and performs various other functions.

    The snapshot RAID functionality is my preference ie run a parity update every so often manually. If a disk fails I can replace it and restore from the point I last ran a parity update. Tested and it works. I believe there is a realtime raid aswell.
     
  4. djdhrubs

    djdhrubs
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    6,552
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    SW London
    Ratings:
    +1,096
    Forgive my ignorance, I've just gone the expensive route and paid a company to do everything for me (Tranquil PC). Don't really know what I'm talking about, but is this sort of thing a possible solution for you?!

    WHS2011 MonStor (Storage Manager) Add In - Tranquil PC Limited Store

    Particularly the bits about duplicating whatever you specifically select.

    I had mine set up a few days ago and am slowly getting my head round things.
     
  5. Adrgha

    Adrgha
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    26
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Ratings:
    +1
    Thanks for the feedback. So you've not run into any issues with it? I see it's still beta (and free... I assume this is going to cost something when it's done. Which is fine by me as long as it's worth it), so I'm just a bit sceptical of letting it take control over my HDD's, haha.

    Snapshot raid was what I was looking at too. This will mainly serve/store my media which is streamed in the living room with a PCH, so running a parity synch 2-3 times a week should be enough. I understand this can be scheduled from within FlexRaid so you can run it at night or similar.

    May I ask how many HDD's you have in the pool, and how large it is all together? How long does it take you to do parity sync? Also, how long did it take you to rebuild the data from the missing HDD when you tested the parity?

    That looks like a WHS Drive Extender copy, which is neat, but it only has mirroring which is too expensive for me to do right now due to HDD prices, and frankly I don't think it's necessary to to a 1:1 mirror on this kind of data. 1 drive parity is good enough for my needs. I don't have any redundancy at all with my current configuration, so it'll be a big step up either way.

    I ordered the remaining parts I needed for the build last night so I should have a working server up and running soon. Looks like I'll be giving FlexRaid a go!

    Does WHS 2011 have any advantages over Windows Server 2008R2 and vice versa?
     
  6. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    23,717
    Products Owned:
    2
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Fylde Coast
    Ratings:
    +13,247
    Price? WHS 2011 can be got for less than £40 about 10 times less that 2008R2.

    WHS 2011 definitely needs 64 bit processor architecture to run. I tried to tun it on the same hardware that I run the v1 WHS (P4 3.2 GHz with Hyperthreading) but WHS 2011 just threw its hands in the air in disgust!

    I like the v1 software. Does a job. Could even run PS3 Media Server on it to stream to my PS3! As well as having the media extender for W7 clients Windows Media Centre.
     
  7. Adrgha

    Adrgha
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    26
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Ratings:
    +1
    Hah yes, you're right, WHS2011 is really cheap, but I can get 2008 R2 at a really good price, too, so if we take the price out of the account, what are really the differences? I understand WHS2011 runs 2008 R2 as core, and I read somewhere you could make 2008 R2 into WHS2011 if you wanted. Does WHS2011 add anything useful?

    This is going to run on fairly new hardware so resources isn't really a problem.
     
  8. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    23,717
    Products Owned:
    2
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Fylde Coast
    Ratings:
    +13,247
    I'm not familiar with 2008R2 so can't really comment. However, my main use for my WHS is backup of the PC's on the network. The fact that WHS just keeps a single copy of any file that's duplicated across multiple PC's is brilliant when you're backing up the same OS across PC's. It's oh so easy to then get back to any previous version and just restore a single file if you needed. For home use, WHS for backups couldn't be simpler IMHO. Sling it on a GBIT network and you can restore a 60GB OS partition in next to no time.
     
  9. Padi

    Padi
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    64
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Torquay Devon.
    Ratings:
    +2
    Sorry to take this off course a little, but I'm just about to order. Micro server, but not feeling flush enough to fill it with drive in one go! Am I right in sayingwith Flexraid you can add extra hdds at a later date into the pool?

    Cheers Chris.
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice