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Using unRaid in a scenario with heavy read and write

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I'm considering a step away from my current PC array (home desktop, laptop, win7 media center PC, and tablet), I'm planning to sell my desktop and laptop, and migrate to a high end 17" laptop - desktop replacement.


If I were to do this, I would most likely put a high end SSD drive in the laptop, and rely heavily on my home-unraid server for many things such as download folder, dropbox folder, large(er) application/game installs (for those thing I wouldn't use often)...  in addition to storing and serving my music/photos/videos (etc media)...


So I expect a fair amount of "fragmentation" to occur from the reading/writing of both very large and very small files.  I understand that unraid is supposed to be based on a "fragmentation free" filesystem, however I'm also under the impression that this useage scenario may pose performance degradation over time as a result of the mixed use of writing/deleting/moving lumps of small, medium, and large (>4gb) files. Among other things, I will backup bluray movies, transcode various formats, copy move delete large media files and iso's.


Will using unraid as almost an "external hard drive replacement" or a second workstation disk work? Is that feasible to use unraid beyond medium to long term file and data storage/serving?


If this doesn't provide enough clarity to illicit a knowlegeable answer I apologize, and if you tell me what other things you need to know I will answer!

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I haven't been using unraid for a very long time, about a year now. My array currently holds BluRay backups (iso), my entire iTunes Library, and has a drive dedicated to Time Machine for 3 Laptops. From personal experience I can say that if you were to do heavy read/writes from multiple computers at the same time (e.g. copying a 4GB file from your laptop to the array and transcoding a iso on the unraid with another pc) would slow down the throughput quite considerably. But again, that is only my experience - my home network is gigabit but not well laid out or anything, no expensive components, all drives are WD Greens (not so fast).

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thanks for the input. if i consolidate from a laptop/desktop to a single desktop-replacement laptop with a SSD, i will plan to use the unraid share(s) as a replacement for the lost storage on the laptop space (ie: going to a 125gb ssd vs a 700-1000gb sata hd)... so my concern stems from heavy useage from ONE pc on the unraid. i'm concerned with the deleting/moving/copying of large AND small files... (one pc only, not multiple)





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unRAID is not really a "high performance" NAS-like ZFS server solution.


It is meant for stable storage of large arrays of mis-matched drives with live parity to protect your data. while running on a large variety of consumer hardware with low electricity usage.


because of that nature, read performance from the array will be about that of the individual drive you are reading from at that moment (60-115+MB/s). Write performance will be between 15-50MB/s depending on hardware.


multiple files writing to the array at once will also be further reduced in speed because both files must have its parity information written to the single parity drive in real time.


that said, you can work around this limit. you can install a cache drive to your array. it is a non-protected drop zone that would allow you to write to the server at the cache drives top speed. once a night (configurable), the mover script moves the data from the cache drive into the protected array.


In addition. you could always mount a drive outside of the array to use for dedicated downloading or something of that nature. the files on that drive you would then have to be manually moved into the array or write a script.


now I am assuming that this "download" folder you mention is something like torrents. it you meant just the occasional file... then you can just use the cache drive or straight to the array.


Normally I would say a "green drive" for parity is fine. in your case, you might consider a 7200rpm parity drive.

In the end, unraid would work for you. but, you might have some times where you are waiting for file transfers.

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This is sort of what i do at the moment. (though i dont install apps to the unraid)


Small (60gb ) SSD , with my docs,videos, pictures,music all set to point to the tower.


It works for me (especially with the cache drive)


If the tower is not running , it (windows) runs REALLY slow (as its trying to access some of the folders)



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