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An Opinion Needed From The unRAID Community


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Currently, I have a small media server (3TB) running Ubuntu 10.04 and a software raid 5 (mdadm). Problem is, I have outgrown this box, and its hardware, and its time to rebuild my media server. I have spec’d out the hardware I am going to use for my unRAID box, but I wanted your opinions on whether unRAID is right for me based on what I do.

 

I need a server that is accessible to the outside world via FTP. People will be downloading and uploading to it pretty regularly and I upload/download about 500GB of bandwidth monthly. I figure the daily uploads will go to the “cache drive” so that the write speed isn’t noticeably slow. Also, the files need to be accessible to other network devices such as PCs and a WDTV LIVE I have on my network. There will be zipped and/or rar’d files on the server that I will extract to other machines on the network. This does require CPU power but the server will have a decent CPU in it.

What I like about unRAID is the ability to grow the size of my server by adding unmatched drives. Hypothetically, I could on a monthly basis, replace a drive to something bigger and better so the server really never runs out of space (or at least not for a while). I also like the ability of being able to lose drives but not data, though I do have this currently with my software raid 5.

 

My question for the community is, does this sound like a good application for unRAID?  I know this is the unRAID forums, but if you don’t feel this is the right use of unRAID please point me in the right direction.

 

I appreciate your help.

 

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I need a server that is accessible to the outside world via FTP. People will be downloading and uploading to it pretty regularly and I upload/download about 500GB of bandwidth monthly.

unRAID is not designed to be accessible from the outside world via FTP and the like.  There is an FTP server installed (vsftpd) but it is not configured in anything like a secure manure, you will have to do that yourself.  My suggestion is put your network behind a VPN (on a router using DDWRT, or something similar) and then make the users VPN into your network to access/upload the content.

 

I figure the daily uploads will go to the “cache drive” so that the write speed isn’t noticeably slow.

Most all internet speeds will pail in comparison to what a hard drive, even one in the protected array, can achieve as far as speed goes.  Using the cache drive for this purpose is not really a necessity.

 

Also, the files need to be accessible to other network devices such as PCs and a WDTV LIVE I have on my network. There will be zipped and/or rar’d files on the server that I will extract to other machines on the network. This does require CPU power but the server will have a decent CPU in it.

Should be fine.  Some of us run SABnzb and the like on our unRAID servers so rar files are nothing new.

 

My question for the community is, does this sound like a good application for unRAID?  I know this is the unRAID forums, but if you don’t feel this is the right use of unRAID please point me in the right direction.

You can use unRAID for what you are talking about. You will just have to figure out the best way to secure unRAID from the outside world (VPN being my suggestion).

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Thanks for your reply. The FTP is actually the least of my concern. I will run glftpd on a different box, map the unraid drive to that box, and the FTP should be able to access it.

 

One other question I did have is, how will other computers see the unRAID share? Like I said, I currently have a software raid 5 and that share looks like 1 drive on all of my other machines? Does unRAID work the same way or do the drives remain independent dries, just protected?

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I currently have a software raid 5 and that share looks like 1 drive on all of my other machines? Does unRAID work the same way or do the drives remain independent dries, just protected?

 

Both ways. When you access the usershare share name, it will provide a consolidated view of the respective directory on all drives.

So if you have a share/directory on every drive called movies and you access \\tower\movies  All the drives will be visible as if it were in one access point.

 

You can also access \\tower\disk1\movies and only the files in movies on disk1 will be accessed.

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