Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

  • Dave
     Share

    During the last couple of posts on RAID, I talked about both software and hardware RAID.  Since that time I had a small issue which sent looking for a better solution.  Specifically, I had a power outage the other day which caused my test server to shut off (yours truly forgot to hook up the USB cable from the UPS).  When I powered it back on after I got home from from work, I noticed that the software array had been disturbed and that it was rebuilding itself.  Granted, this is exactly what it is supposed to do if it detects a  problem but it kind of bugged me that it took something this small to set it off.  To make things even worse, the rebuild took as long as the initial build which around 96 hours.  I had a hardware array on this systems as well and nothing happened to that so it was only the software array.  At this point I realized that an array this large is probably not practical done in software as it is just to slow if has to rebuild.  So I set out to find a decent hardware controller that would not require a second mortgage to purchase and that would provide for around 8 sata ports.

     

    In my frequent travels to newegg.com, l discovered the Highpoint RocketRAID 2680 which happened to be on sale for around $139, a $140 off the normal price.  After doing some homework it appeared to be a decent controller and supported 8 sata ports through a breakout cable (see below).  The card itself has twos SFF-8087 connectors which allows the card to be very small.

     

    HighPoint RocketRaid 2680

     

    P1010371

     

    SFF-8087 Sata Fan Out Cable

     

    The concept here is that you plug the SFF connector on to the controller and attach the drives to the breakout.  Each cable supports 4 sata drives and there are two connectors on the card for a total of 8 sata drives supported.

     

    P1010373

     

    4 Sata ports per cable.  Each us labeled nicely and cables are very pliable.

     

    P1010375

     

    SFF-8087 connector that plugs into the controller card.

     

    P1010378

     

    Card is a 4x PCI express.  Heatsink gets hot after hard use.

     

    P1010380

     

    Package Contents.  Also came with SFF to SFF cable to chain controllers together.

     

    P1010382

     

    This is what it looks like inserted into the motherboard with the breakout cables attached.

     

    P1010385

     

    The control BIOS which is accessed by “CTRL+H” during boot up.  You do most things from here or the software screen depending on your preference and situation.

     

    P1010386

     

    The first array I created was using 5 older 2T “EADS” drives in a single array for a total of 8T of available storage.  The array took 37 hours to build which is still a long time but dramatically faster than the software array which took 96 hours for a smaller array (4x2T).

     

    New Highpoint Controller

     

    I also took the last three ports and added 3 2T “EARS” drives for a second array of 4T.  This gave me a total of 12T (8T + 4T) which should be enough for even the most demanding users.

     

    Two Array

     

    Drive Management

     

    Conclusion

     

    All in all, I found the experience to be fairly painless.  The controller itself seems very fast and overall is straightforward once you get past the terminology.  Compared to other controllers, I saw it as very cost effective (assuming you can get it on sale) especially when compared to 4 port controllers.  The end result turned out better than I expected and I feel better with regards to the safety of the data.  During my experimentation, I was able to set it up, delete the OS and re-install a different OS, load the drivers and everything re-appeared with out incident.  Swapping the motherboard also yielded the same result.  Considering the RAID 5 protection, not having to worry that I have the right motherboard if something goes bad, or worrying that something will go wrong because I installed a new OS, I have a much better feeling about using this technology.  Also, the first RAID array has 4 identical disks and 1 of a different vintage and it seems to work without an issue.  This particular server I am testing will become my Vail test box when the next refresh comes out so I will publish an update once I install Vail and see how it interacts with this RAID configuration.  I plan to install Vail it on an ICY box using two laptop drives in a mirrored configuration.  Stay tuned and let me know if you have any questions or comments.

     

    Pro’s

     

    1. Speed

     

    2. Not motherboard dependent

     

    3. Expandable

     

    4. Not OS dependent (Tried WHS, Server 2008, and Win7 without issue)

     

    5. On sale, it is relatively low cost

     

    Con’s

     

    1. Requires the purchase of separate cables ($29 for each breakout, 4 Sata plugs)

     

    2. Although much faster than software, initial build and rebuilds do take time

     

    3. Although not very difficult, it does require a moderate technical skill

     

    4. Controller did run a bit hot for my taste especially after about a few days of solid copying, but a small fan resolved the issue quickly.

     

    -Mike-

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Excellent article Doc. Was there any mention of the ability to grow the array with another disk? Lets say someone starts out with 2x2TB and want's to add another 2TB drive or even two more. 37 hours. Wow, still seems like a long time. Will this be acceptable to the enthusiast community? Common user? Are you brave enough to attempt a "power loss" test on this array?
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Well, this is encouraging. In my initial dealings with WHS 2011 RC, I've not been pleased with the idea of figuring out which folders should go on which drives. Consequently, there's been a lot mumbling and muttering about the loss of DE. But after reading your article, it's seems that RAID 5 w/RAID card is good way to go and not so difficult. Thanks for taking the time to write this up!
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    After a month of testing various configurations, I finally isolated the root cause of my problem. My problems do not stem from the Highpoint RAID controller (2640x4) with the WD EARS drives, but rather, my new SSD drive. I bought the Adata S599 128 GB SSD for my new boot drive and found out that the firmware preloaded on the retail version (3.1) was flaky and caused a lot of BSOD and didn't allow computers to resume from a suspend state. Once I upgraded the firmware (v3.4.6 RC4), my server has been up and running without any BSOD, lock-ups, or "boot drive not found" errors. Thanks to those who had to put up with my frustrations, but sometimes the unsuspecting components the toughest to isolate! Bottom line: 1. Highpoint RAID controller (2640x4) does work with WD20EARS drives - idle time was not changed (matter of fact, couldn't get WDIDLE3 to work), sector size for RAID volume changed to 4K; and 2. Anyone who purchased an Adata S599 SSD should upgrade their firmware once the official release is available.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    After reading this article, I ordered a Highpoint 2680 SGL card w/ fan out cable. I have a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P motherboard, but wanted a dedicated hardware RAID controller vs. onboard Intel chipset. Will be running WHS 2011 on the PC with a Q9550 and 8 GB RAM. I plan to install the WHS 2011 OS using your Icy Dock method in RAID 1 mirror with 2 x 250GB 2.5 in. 5400 RPM laptop drives and objective was to run 4 x 1.5 TB 7200 RPM Seagate HDDs in a RAID 5 config. Questions: - seems this HP 2680 RAID card isn't a hardware raid card, but I got it for $99 from newegg. I was hoping to avoid spending $250+ if overkill for a home server on a UPS. Has anyone installed this card that would discourage it? - Is there another card that will do RAID 0, 1, 5 (6 even) that isn't as expensive as the Adaptec 5405? - should I install 3 x 1.5 TB drives in RAID 5 array and add the 4th as a spare? I was hoping to use all 4 HDDs in the RAID 5 array to maximize my available space. - does this card require a add-on fan? would be installing in an Antec Three Hundred case w/ decent airflow.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Dam, 16x 3TB drives. You must have a healthy budget for your setup. I'm looking to use this card in my new WHS2011 build. I will be using a spare system (was my old workstation till I built a 2x Quad Core Extreme Skull trail rig), which currently is my handbreak rig used to convert blu-rays. The system has 4GB mem, Q6600 G0, and a 320 VRaptor, but I'll be swapping that out for an SSD. I'll also be using 2 x ICY Box Backplain systems (IB-554SSK) with 4x 2TB drives in each. Great article. Thanks.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • I throw this out every once in a while.  Is anyone interested in writing up "semi-formal" reviews here on the forums?  I say semi-formal because they don't have to be pro level, just a good attempt at telling the story about the gear.  Something you have purchased lately.  You don't have to go buy stuff, just incorporate what you have already have purchased.  Hit me up with any questions.  You never know where it will lead!
      • 3 replies
    • D-Link has dropped a couple of new products and additions to their lineup of smart home gear.  Hold on because there is a lot of gear!
      Let's start with cameras.  D-Link has new Wi-Fi cameras, the Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8302LH) and Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8526LH).  These are not just new, and good looking cams, they can now perform people detection and glass break detection.  The new cameras also feature expanded ways for customers to save video, including ONVIF Profile S, which enables custom storage and streaming options to personal NAS devices, built-in storage microSD capacity up to 256 GB, as well as free and paid cloud storage options. 
       

       
      This year's camera models include both an indoor and an outdoor model. The outdoor model features a spotlight and siren that can be triggered when motion is detected, deterring potential intruders. The indoor model pans around to give a full 360-degree view of any room and tracks motion. Both include two-way audio. 
      Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8302LH), available in Q2, 2020, and retail pricing will be $99.99.
      Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8526LH), available in Q3, 2020, and retail pricing will be $119.99.
      One of my favorite products is Wi-Fi.  D-Link has a whole lot of new products coming including Wi-Fi 6, Mesh, Alexa and Google Assistant integration, IFTTT, Parental Controls, and more!
       

       
      There are so many new SKU's that I can't make heads or tails of them!  I'm going to be speaking with D-Link more this week and will sort all of these out. I do want you to see all they are offering and what the release date and projected retail pricing will be.

      AC1900 Scalable Mesh Wi-Fi Router (COVR-1900-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1750-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1900 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1950-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1755-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1950 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1955-US), Q1 2020, $109.99
      Smart AX1500 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1560-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      Smart AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $139.99
      Smart AX2400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X2460-US), Q3 2020, $159.99
      Smart AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X5460-US), Q1 2020, $279.99
      AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (DAP-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $129.99
      AX1800 Whole Home Mesh System (COVR-X1872-US), QX22020, $269.99
      • 0 replies
    • RESET Merch Shop
      Get ya Merch here!  I've created a T-Shirt shop with the famous RESET paperclip. I've pasted that clip on just about everything so you can wear it around town!  Cable bags, Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, and more. 
       
      https://reset.threadless.com/
       
      or you can get it it via
       
      https://reset.fm/store
       
      Here is the main design.
       

       
      Below is a part of the order that I put in!  
       
       

       
      The Heather Grey above is the Extra Soft version and it is awesome.  I highly recommend the softness!    The "Chili Red" is the Tri-Blend and probably my favorite feel and color.

       
      This is the Zip-Up Hoody, Heather Indigo, Sponge Fleece, Men's, Large.  In my podcast I couldn't remember what style it was but it is Sponge Fleece. It's REALLY soft on the inside. Soft outside as well. The only problem is with the zip up hoody the logo is on the back. Regular hoody, it will be on the front.
       
      https://reset.threadless.com/
       
      or you can get it it via
       
      https://reset.fm/store
       
      Thank you for supporting this community. Everything you purchase will help keep the lights on the hard drives spinning.
       
      • 0 replies
    • OneDrive Personal Vault and expandable storage
      Microsoft's OneDrive has a few new features and options worth pointing out.  Personal Vault and Expandable Storage.
       
      Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS. 
       
      Personal Vault gives you an added layer of protection for your most important files, photos, and videos—for example, copies of documents such as your passport, driver’s license, or insurance information—should someone gain access to your account or device.
      Plus, this added security won’t slow you down. You can quickly access your important documents, photos, and files with confidence wherever you are, on your PC, OneDrive.com, or your mobile device.

       
      Beyond a second layer of identity verification, Personal Vault also includes the following security measures:
       
      Scan and shoot—Using the OneDrive app, you can scan documents or shoot photos directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less secure areas of your device, like your camera roll.
      Automatic locking—No need to worry about whether you left your Personal Vault or your files open—both will close and lock automatically after a period of inactivity.
      BitLocker encryption—On Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive automatically syncs your Personal Vault files to a BitLocker-encrypted area of your local hard drive.
      Restricted sharing—To prevent accidental sharing, files in Personal Vault and shared items moved into Personal Vault cannot be shared.
       
      Taken together, these security measures help ensure that Personal Vault files are not stored unprotected on your PC, and your files have additional protection, even if your Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or someone gains access to it or to your account.
       
      Expandable Storage
       
      If you are and Office 365 Subscriber you get 1 TB of OneDrive storage space with all the other Office goodies like Word, Excel, etc.  I know personally that I have gone over the 1TB limit and have always wanted to be able to add additional storage to my account.  Now you can!

       
      Pick and option and keep on hoarding, errr, I mean saving! Cancel anytime, upgrade at any moment.
      • 1 reply
    • Ubiquiti adds new items to the Unifi Line including UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine
      Ubiquiti has been busy.  There area ton of new items to recently released and I'm going to share two of my favorites.
       
      The UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine. The Flex HD is a mouthful of descriptors like most of UI gear is.  It's a 2Ghz 2x2 MIMO, 5GHz 4x4 MU-MIMO, POE, Indoor/Outdoor, multi mount, mesh point that is no bigger than a can of Coke.

       
      You will still need the Unifi controller although you can configure it with basic functionality with the Unifi App.  I've always found it's best to configure with your controller and then use the app as an add-on.  There are several mounting options that include sitting it on a shelf! That is something that Unifi has not had before unless you count the ceiling AP I have awkwardly mounted placed on top of a few books.  It can be found on the Unifi store for $179.
       
      https://store.ui.com/collections/wireless/products/unifi-flexhd
       
      The Dream Machine is an altogether different beast that I hope lives up to its naming.  This is the gateway drug, for lack of a better term, to the Unifi world.  The starter kit.  It is an Access Point, Gigabit Switch, Security Gateway, and the Cloud Key all in one package.  The latter being the most significant as this is something that has deterred new users from getting started with Unifi.  Requiring new users to purchase a $100 item just to run the AP's has been somewhat of a roadblock in the past.  Granted, that is improving every year with the ability to run it in the cloud, on a NAS, a Pi, Docker, MacOS, and of course Windows, it is still a barricade to getting up and running when manufacturers such as Eero offer simplicity in an app.
       

       
      The switch includes 4 LAN Ports and 1 WAN port.  All of which are Gigabit and security services such as IPS are rated at Gigabit speed. It's $299 in the Unifi store but I'm unsure how nicely it will play with other Unifi gear.  This may be a nice "first AP" with its built in Cloud Key if you can add additional units or other Unifi access points.
       
      https://store.ui.com/collections/routing-switching/products/unifi-dream-machine
      • 4 replies
×
×
  • Create New...