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e_merlin

Raid setup for home use - what do you recommend?

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itGeeks

I wasn't aware this forum called "Home Server Show" was populated by IT Professionals discussing enterprise level solutions. Rather, I was under the distinct impression that this was for home users trying to get advice about home solutions.

 

You guys are more than welcome to use RAID, and you seem to be very thorough. I certainly have never come across so many people that have spares of every last component in their home setup. That is fantastic, and I do not doubt that you have a very robust setup. But come on, that is not a realistic solution for 99% of home users. Most home users simply need/want a Synology, and a tiny proportion of those want to go the extra step of owning a MicroServer so they can tinker a bit more. Please don't give out misleading information saying "RAID is best, RAID is awesome, you should RAID all the things", when it's clear that most users a) do not understand the complexities and the drawbacks, b ) cannot afford to hold spares of everything, and c) may or may not have the technical abilities to troubleshoot when things go wrong.

 

Also, it would be nice if you would lay off the ad-hominem attacks, just because someone offers a different view to yours. You are clearly old-timers (not age-wise, I mean just looking at your post count), but I came in here all enthusiastic and all you have managed to do is put me off.

First off if know one welcomed you back on Oct 7 2015 to the forums then welcome to the forums!.

 

Toning it down a bit, Yes this is called the "Home Server Show" but over the years its become a much broader community and that's a very positive thing. This is a great community and everyone's views are welcome including "yours" I am personally very sorry if I came off strong to any of your post, Sometimes like in any other community conversation gets rough so again I am very sorry and mean no harm. This is a great community with users of all different skill levels so your bound to get different tones on responses. I would personally like to thank you for taking the time to share your views and setup, There is always more ways then one to do things and you have decided not to use RAID because that works for you as others including myself would never not use RAID.

 

I hope this post gives you a more welcome response. Please stick around as this is a great community & with the knowledge base you get here I would argue that you would be hard pressed not to get a resolution to any problem.

 

Have a great day!

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rotor

Toning it down a bit, Yes this is called the "Home Server Show" but over the years its become a much broader community and that's a very positive thing. This is a great community and everyone's views are welcome including "yours" I am personally very sorry if I came off strong to any of your post, Sometimes like in any other community conversation gets rough so again I am very sorry and mean no harm. This is a great community with users of all different skill levels so your bound to get different tones on responses. I would personally like to thank you for taking the time to share your views and setup, There is always more ways then one to do things and you have decided not to use RAID because that works for you as others including myself would never not use RAID.

 

I hope this post gives you a more welcome response. Please stick around as this is a great community & with the knowledge base you get here I would argue that you would be hard pressed not to get a resolution to any problem.

 

Have a great day!

Thanks very much, I appreciate it!

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jmwills

I remember someone telling me once, "don't mistake passion for aggression".  We are all passionate about technology and try to make our points as passionately as possible.  I don't think anyone here means and disrespect to any one opinion but I think we are all passionate about making our opinions.

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Joe_Miner

-snip-

I certainly have never come across so many people that have spares of every last component in their home setup. That is fantastic, and I do not doubt that you have a very robust setup. But come on, that is not a realistic solution for 99% of home users. Most home users simply need/want a Synology, and a tiny proportion of those want to go the extra step of owning a MicroServer so they can tinker a bit more.

-snip-

 

There's a term for that called the "Full Fo-Shay" that is entered in the Urban Dictionary and is named after one of our very own -- :) --

 

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=The+Full+Fo-Shay

 

The Full Fo-Shay

1. Spending a good chunk of change on the purchase of a premium product or products when something lesser would serve just as well.

2. Purchasing a few similar premium products, such as 3 or 4 mics or SSD's, in order to check them out, to satisfy a curiosity about the minor differences.

3. Any so-called extravagant purchase which brings pleasure to the mind and pain to the wallet.

4. Anything done to the max!

 

I've "Played" with RAID but for my production Server I prefer Stablebit DrivePool & Scanner -- I'm very conservative when it comes to protecting my data -- but with a QNAP 4 Bay device (the question in the OP) DrivePool is not an option so a RAID solution is the next best thing but IMO I would always look to a 3-2-1 backup strategy http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4551-how-do-you-back-up-your-hp-microserver/page-3?entry49671 

Edited by Joe_Miner
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pcdoc

Thanks Joe_minor, I though everyone forgot about that dictionary term...(though I am still trying to adhere to the strict definition)  There are valid points throughout and if everyone thought the same there would be no forums.  I am happy to see that we all have a passion toward tech as I know I do. I remember numerous heated debates on raid for several years now and not much has changed.  There people on both sides of the fence  There will always be different view points.  I respect everyone that has a strategy if it works for you, it does not have to be like mine or anyone else.  We have all had our data loss stories, our recovery stories, and our sleepless nights, and we all have our comfort levels with different tech, but at the end of the day it is what works for us that matters.  The one thing we have in common is we all agree on backups and that is the most important thing.  As for the rest of the discussion, find a solution that makes you sleep at night and do not stop exploring.  Peace and thanks for the opinions...

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Joe_Miner

Thanks Joe_minor, I though everyone forgot about that dictionary term...(though I am still trying to adhere to the strict definition)  -snip-

 

Ever since that term made it into the dictionary I've done my best to live up to that ideal :) I certainly meant no disrespect -- it is a term I use regularly getting me strange looks at first from professional colleagues (until they look it up :) )

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pcdoc

Ever since that term made it into the dictionary I've done my best to live up to that ideal :) I certainly meant no disrespect -- it is a term I use regularly getting me strange looks at first from professional colleagues (until they look it up :) )

 

I think it is great.  Thanks for remembering.  I worked hard to earn my rightful place into that dictionary...

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ShadowPeo

True & those are the same people that want to run true server OS's on Desktop mother boards then complain somthing is not working. I been in this game for 30+ years and made my share of mistakes by trying to do things on the cheap side only to later spend 2 to 3 times the money later on to do it right. Now I purchase the correct hardware for the application and things work much better now. This includes purchasing extra parts to have on hand in case of component failure.

 

Seen this many times myself, and I have done it myself in my "greener" years. These days I go with Buy Once, Cry Once. I am just sick of people doing things half-arsed. You either want to do it, at which point you do it correctly the first time, or you don't do it. Whilst I understand that not everyone wants to afford better hardware, many will when you can clearly point out the benefits of it. There are also other ways of saving money such as not populating all the HDD bays at once. I recently deployed some Synology devices to sites for clients, a  8 bay and a 12 bay are specifically the ones I am thinking about. In each case the client was the extra storage that each can provide, but did not have the cash to do it up front. With Online Capacity Expansion (OCE) technology, which has been around for a good while now and is now reliable, it is possible to add extra disks to the devices and expand their storage when needed. Currently both only have half their bays populated, long term we can add the same or a greater amount of storage space again to the systems if we desire. This has been "done properly" and still on a budge

 

I wasn't aware this forum called "Home Server Show" was populated by IT Professionals discussing enterprise level solutions. Rather, I was under the distinct impression that this was for home users trying to get advice about home solutions.

 

I do not think that they are trying to push enterprise level solutions, I think it is more there is a flaw with a mentioned design implantation, that these people here have seen (as you mentioned yourself many of them are professionals) and they have seen issues arise from what your are trying to do in the past, and are trying to save you the learning curve and potential heartache and BS when things go tits-up.

 

 

You guys are more than welcome to use RAID, and you seem to be very thorough. I certainly have never come across so many people that have spares of every last component in their home setup. That is fantastic, and I do not doubt that you have a very robust setup. But come on, that is not a realistic solution for 99% of home users. Most home users simply need/want a Synology, and a tiny proportion of those want to go the extra step of owning a MicroServer so they can tinker a bit more. Please don't give out misleading information saying "RAID is best, RAID is awesome, you should RAID all the things", when it's clear that most users a) do not understand the complexities and the drawbacks, b ) cannot afford to hold spares of everything, and c) may or may not have the technical abilities to troubleshoot when things go wrong.

 

Is RAID required? no. Is it best practice? yes. As I said above people here are trying to help others avoid making mistakes that they have seen or made themselves and to avoid the at least some of the learning curve. There are many issues in not utilising RAID as well for the home user.

 

For instance have to create a share for each disk is a huge PITA if you ask me. But also back on the fault tolerance, if one disk dies, it is less likely that they are going to be able to get the data back themselves as they will not have the knowledge or the tools to do so, and getting data back can costs thousands of dollars.

 

I recently had one client where even I with the tools and alike could not get the data back (admittedly it was one of those stupid USB integrated disks) it cost her $2500 to get the data off it at a specialist recovery place, and although this may not be directly comparable due to the aforementioned case being a USB integrated disk I have seen other clients with straight SATA disks having to pay similar money for recovery. This is obviously many times more expensive than having implemented a proper RAID/Backup solution in the first place (these people/companies make great advocates/ambassadors for backup might I add).

 

This is all without weird and wonderful software being used to manage these kinds of solutions. There is a reason that all NAS' I have seen default to offering a type of RAID solution and strongly recommend one of the RAID levels rather than JBOD or "naked" disks.

 

As for your points

A: You are correct, and NAS' devices setups probably do not do a good job of explaining the risks of it, there needs to be a "cheat sheet" of what you do when a RAID array fails available for users.

 

B: you do not need to keep backups of everything in your system, even at the enterprise level we rarely keep things, that is what support contracts and monitoring are for, much of the core infrastructure at enterprise levels is under 4 hour or less response time for new components (or even whole new servers/devices) for the main components, and many of these kinds of environments will use one or more "failover clusters" and replication across multiple clusters of these devices, I have only seen one person in this discussion mention HA clustering and certainly he has not been pushing it.

 

If a component is failing there are ways to detect it, HDD's are done through SMART data, the Synology devices can report this information to you and you can get a disk before it fails, even if you do not manage to catch the failure or did not turn reporting on, you can run down the street and get another disk. As you mentioned many people will be satisfied by a NAS device for their home needs, but few are going to keep a spare of those, again its easier, and ultimately more cost effective to run down the store and get another if it fails. Having said that I have rarely seen a component fail outside either a PSU or a HDD, that's not to say it does not happen, but for sheer failure rate HDD's in my experience are the worst of all components which makes sense as there are more of them, and they are mechanical devices, keeping a spare HDD is then perhaps logical but RAID controllers, MoBo, Processor, not so much or easily justifiable.

 

With these NAS/Home Server devices you should have a UPS protecting it as well, how many people do this and explain this to the "home users" and when it is done, how many of these users actually put one in. Other expensive devices in the home should have a good surge protector at the least, not a cheap one, a good one.

 

C: This is again a valid point, but the devices do in general do a good job of doing it themselves, however a cheat sheet would be good as mentioned above.

 

 

 

Also, it would be nice if you would lay off the ad-hominem attacks, just because someone offers a different view to yours. You are clearly old-timers (not age-wise, I mean just looking at your post count), but I came in here all enthusiastic and all you have managed to do is put me off.

 

As I have said I think the others are trying to point out the flaws in designs that they have seen fail time and again, and save you heartache in the long run, they may come off in the wrong way but tone is hard to convey in the written form of the internet after all.

 

If you think what has been going on in this thread is bad, just do not go joining some of the other sites on the internet (not home server forums, but for differing topics) I am part of several other forms where you will get attacked personally by the old timers until you have proven that you have a thick enough skin to ignore them, and still post your thoughts and questions, this "hazing" is done to sort the wheat from the chaff given what the forum topic is, and when they finally accept you they are a great bunch of guys and gals that will invite you over to their place for a meal with their family, and help you and teach you from their years of hard won knowledge, but not until you have proven yourself.

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itGeeks

I think it is great.  Thanks for remembering.  I worked hard to earn my rightful place into that dictionary...

And the award is well deserved :)   All kidding aside I for one am very great full for all your hard work, You add massive value to this community. As they say one persons pain is another persons gain. You have saved me countless hours not to mention dollars from all your testing & the great documentation on your blog so all I want to say is "hats off" to the full Fo-Shay

 

Based on Mr Joe_Miner character I don't believe he meant any harm in posting what he said, I for one busted out laughing when I read it and said poor Mike. I think they call this all in fun :D

 

Happy Holidays!

Edited by itGeeks

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pcdoc

Thnanks.  Have known Joe_Miner for a long time and I never would take it that way.  Too much respect there.  Happy Holidays everyone and go buy some tech for the New Year!!

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