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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:48 pm 

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Hello to all,

I am, like all of you guys, in front of a dilemma. Growing needs of storage. More and more TB. And needing to store this with a sense of security. With your help, I wanted to list the advantages/disadvantages of the different storage solutions one might have. Some of them give a false sense of security, while others I didn't know exist.

The point here is that everyone could find the solution he needs.

OS First, the OS. The first choice should be the OS because it will give you the flexibility you need. Some people are more windows, all their software work in windows, others are mac. So you should first choose your most natural OS to work with. For each OS, you have the corresponding file storage solutions.

  • Win 7 (NTFS) : Each Drive By Itself, Junctions, SnapRaid, FlexRaid, disParity, Drive Bender
  • Linux (EXT4) : Unraid, Flexraid.
  • Mac (GPT) : dunno, need help.
  • Windows Server (NTFS) :
  • WHS 2011 (NTFS) : Storage Spaces, Drive Bender, DrivePool, Drive Harmony
  • Windows Server 2012 :
  • Win 8 (NTFS) (Refs) : Storage Spaces
  • Solaris (ZFS) : Raidz, SnapRaid

Requirements These will guide you with the selection of your file storage methods.

  • NTFS File system
  • Able to remove the drive, any drive, plug it in an enclosure, and have everything readable and writable in windows
  • Be able to avoid the silent data corruption, or write hole.
  • If not able to avoid it, make it touch only one file and not mess up the hole array in case of rebuilding (so raid5 is a no go, since it halts when it discovers a read error)
  • Be able to expand with one volume or drive letter and not having to play around with letters
  • performance is not a problem, I can live with low performance
  • Being able to directly SMART the hard drive and have access to it
  • Minimize the logical layers as much as possible. I don't want the hard disk lost in an array on top of an OS, on top of a software raid, and on top of that use windows explorer on it
  • I do not need data availability since in case of a problem I shut down the server anyway and wait for the new drive to come in. My family can wait a couple of days for stuff to get fixed
  • I at least need data redundancy. And not realtime, in case my children delete a file
  • I need data redundancy with versioning

Storage Systems

  • Plain Native FileSystem : Drives connected directly to the motherboard, using the native filesystem of the PC. Needs backup, versioning. No write hole protection ?
  • Raid 5 : 1 Drive parity. Very prone to problems when reconstructing 1 drive. If write hole and read error, the hole process stops
  • Drive Pooling : Basically, the OS sees one drive, but the software you use dispatches everything to the corresponding drives using the native filesystem
  • Raidz: ?
  • Raid 6 : Double Parity, but each drive is independant. At least, that's what I think it is

Let us start by setting up the premises here, correct my actual info, add to that and see if we can get this correctly. Then we can think of the different needs. and pros/cons of each route. We can update this list as news and research come alive.


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