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Dilemma in upgrading


Robot

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Hi all!


First of all I'd like to apologize my English. Although good, it is not native, so something might get lost in translation.

Also... long post. SORRY

 

I've had an UNRAID server for around 2 years now, and I LOVE IT.

That being said though, I haven't maintained it very well. OS hasn't been updated in ages, I barely have done any parity checks, etc.

 

I recently started to run out of space, and also I had the chance to get a 3900X to upgrade the 1700X the server is running. So I decided it was time to upgrade the server, and also (finally) update everything and configure it properly.

 

SERVER CAPACITY

I have 7x Western Digital Red 4TB drives. I'm using 2x Parity Disks and 5x Data disks. I'm thinking I might've overkilled it and that I could take one parity disk out and make it data disk.

 

  • Is this a good idea? Almost every UNRAID system I see has just 1 parity disk.
  • In case I go for it, what should I do? I'm guessing just stop the array, remove it from parity, and add it as data disk 6?
  • Any things I should do prior to that? (Like a parity check of something?)

 

Also I'd like to add a couple more disks. My 804 has space for 10 drives in theory, 2x 4 drives cages and the possibility to install 2 more drives at the bottom of the case, near the graphics card.

 

I don't know why I only installed 7 drives, but I should be able to add one more drive there. I could also take a look at adding those 2 bottom drives, although it apparently needs rubber feet and honestly I don't know where I might've put those... maybe amazon has some generic ones?

 

Another possibility is upgrading to a Define 7, but it only fits 6 drives by default and the expansion trays are impossible to find anywhere it seems.

 

Honestly I don't feel like going the rack server route... specially noise wise. Also it would be a much more expensive upgrade, considering I don't have a rack cabinet or anything else for that matter.

 

HARD DRIVES

As I said, my server is rocking WD Red drives. I recently learned about the SMR/CMR issue with them, but I don't know how to check if my drives are one way or the other.

 

  • Should I go for Seagate IronWolf this time?
  • Any advantaged for going 8TB or more? 4Tb drives have the best $/TB ratio there is, both WD Red and Seagate IW.
  • If I went for higher capacity disks, I should get at least two, right? (Because the parity disk needs to be the highest capacity if I'm not mistaken?)

 

TWEAKS AND "stuff"

When I created my server, I remember Ryzen wasn't all that widely supported, and I remember doing several tweaks to the system. Adding a Trim tweak (although I have a TRIM plugin installed, that might be it). I also added some stuff to a terminal file, some config file, like disabling c6 states and something else.

 

  • What should I do with all these tweaks? Specially since I don't remember exactly what I did.
  • I even considered building the server from scratch, just to write everything down... Although this is probably a very bad idea.

 

I probably have a lot more questions, but my head is a mess right now after days of looking around, and also I don't want to make the post even longer than this.

 

 

Thank you very much to anyone who read the post (or part of it).

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4 hours ago, Robot said:

6.7.2.

That's not so old that it should cause any problems updating to latest version. Some new features in 6.9+, especially multiple pools to better take advantage of faster (SSD) storage not in the parity array.

 

Your current drive count maybe doesn't really justify dual parity, but you are already talking about going for more drives.

 

Personally, I prefer small form factor, so when I need more capacity I upsize disks instead of add disks. Each additional disk requires more hardware to support it, and maybe more importantly, each additional disk is an additional point of failure.

 

The disadvantage of that approach is you may have to retire (or repurpose) smaller disks, and you don't get as much extra space upsizing a disk as you would if you had simply added that new disk to a new slot. And, of course, larger disks take longer to rebuild or parity check.

 

My repurposed drives go in my backup server. I don't bother to backup some things so don't need as much capacity there. Or I repurpose them for offsite backup of the really important stuff.

 

 

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On 8/30/2021 at 4:12 PM, trurl said:

That's not so old that it should cause any problems updating to latest version. Some new features in 6.9+, especially multiple pools to better take advantage of faster (SSD) storage not in the parity array.

 

That's good to hear. Yes, the new multiple cache pool feature will be super handy for me :)

 

On 8/30/2021 at 4:12 PM, trurl said:

Your current drive count maybe doesn't really justify dual parity, but you are already talking about going for more drives.

 

Personally, I prefer small form factor, so when I need more capacity I upsize disks instead of add disks. Each additional disk requires more hardware to support it, and maybe more importantly, each additional disk is an additional point of failure.

 

Yes, indeed. After investigating a bit with my little free time, I've come to the conclusion that it will probably be for the best if I upgrade the disks themselves.

My Node 804 is nice, but I need to go full ATX. I need two graphics cards for two VMs, and also I plan on adding 10Gbe connection, so another PCI-E port needed there.

My current option is going for a Fractal Design Define 7. I prefer this one over the Meshify 2 because of noise, the Define 7 has a lot better noise reduction. Yes, it also has lower thermal performance, but being honest that's not the main goal of an UNRAID server.

 

I'll probably buy 4x Seagate Ironworf 14TB drives and leave one as parity, for a total of 42TB of usable storage capacity.

 

The case has space for like 14-16 drives (if you find stock of the accessory that is), so I'll be covered if in the future I want to add more 14TB drives.

I've thought about adding all my 4TB drives as well, but then that would be 11 drives with just one as parity... (one of the 14TB ones). Doesn't seem very ideal...

 

On 8/30/2021 at 4:12 PM, trurl said:

The disadvantage of that approach is you may have to retire (or repurpose) smaller disks, and you don't get as much extra space upsizing a disk as you would if you had simply added that new disk to a new slot. And, of course, larger disks take longer to rebuild or parity check.

 

Hand't thought about that... I hadn't had to rebuild any disk in these two years, but it might very well happen in the future.

Now considering again 4TB disks... haha

 

On 8/30/2021 at 4:12 PM, trurl said:

My repurposed drives go in my backup server. I don't bother to backup some things so don't need as much capacity there. Or I repurpose them for offsite backup of the really important stuff.

 

I've considered doing this as well, having an offsite server somewhere (parent's house for instance), but I'm afraid it might be a hole which attackers might use to get into my data.

 

(I'm basing this fear in the fact that an accessible server is a weaker point than none)

 

 

Thank you very much for your help!

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