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Running unRAID Without Parity as a Backup Server


SLRist

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I have a spare server I want to use as a plain old backup server for other machines on the network. It's not important to have disk failure protection in this scenario. In the case of failure, it will likely be faster to rebuild the data by running a backup than from parity. I'll also gain extra capacity from the extra drive. Also, being a backup server, my main concern is that I want to get maximum possible write performance. If a drive does fail, I'll toss it out, replace it with another and re-run the backup. I plan to run with a Split level of 999, so files are spread right across the array.

 

So in summary, what I want is:

 

1. Good write performance

2. Read performance is unimportant

3. Data loss only for the drive which fails

4. Present the drive array to the network as a single logical drive

5. Maximise storage capacity - i.e. no redundant storage

 

Has anyone had experience of running unRAID in this type of situation?

 

I would consider running the disks in a Raid 0 array, but I'd rather not have to repopulate all data just because of a single drive failure, which is why using unRAID appeals.

 

Suggestions for any other configurations which will fulfil my requirements would be appreciated.

 

Thanks!

 

 

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Well, if you don't, have parity protection, especially with split at 999...

 

I can see 2 possible problems:

1. a drive fails (and it will eventually), you then have to back up every machine again.

2 A Client fails and you go to restore and you get a CRC fail on one of the backup server drives while  restoring the data. without parity, that data is forever lost on both machines. Most drive failures in unraid seem to be found during read, not write.

 

I think a parity drive is a good investment in your scenario.

If your data is important enough to back up, it should be important enough to restore in a failure. especially with the price of 2TB drives going for $60 on sale.

 

Questions.

how much data are you saving on the backup server?

how much data are you throwing at it each day?

how big is your Array?

 

maybe you can do a hybrid unRAID array? Have a your unraid server array behind a 2 or 3 drive RAID0 (or RAID10, RAID5 for data protection) array for the cache drive.

You would get massive write speeds for your nightly backup while the unRAID backup sever then migrates the data to the unraid array in the AM.

 

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Thanks for the replies. It's mainly going to be backing up a QNAP 639 Pro NAS running raid 6. I also maintain offsite backups for the most critical 2TB of irreplaceable data. Its mostly for convenience in case the Raid box suffers some sudden, unexpected demise. If I turn on parity that's one fewer data drive available plus it totally kills write performance, so I need to use yet another bay for a cache drive. I have various assorted spare drives and a box with only 5 slots. Maybe I could be a little more clever with the split level... For backups I use SyncBack Pro. It's fantastic.

 

What happens when one fork of a high (0/1) split level runs out of space on one drive but there's room elsewhere? Will it move to another drive in spite of the split limitation?

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as I recall, with 0, if you have not manually made a folder on a second drive named the share name, it just says it is out of drive space an craps out.

 

split 1 (or any split level) that can not comply with splitting the data per your settings also dies with an out of space error.

 

 

 

I do a similar back up at a very simple level. I backup several windows servers to my unraid backup server.

I have a simple script that uses robocopy to make a sync of the server to the unraid server. the script also deletes the any files on he unraid that are 30 days old and no longer on the windows server.

 

My unraid backup server has a cache drive to catch the data. I dont move enough in a night to fill up a 2TB7200RPM cache drive.

my share is set to "fill up" and my split level is set to something crazy high. Each drive has a headroom seting of 50gig incase i try to copy a bluray rip or something and there is no room.

 

I am thinking about turning off the unraid backup server and only doing a weekly back up.. turning it on once a week.

my desktops are backed up daily with WHS2011. My unraid backup server just is for backing up my main unraid and windows server boxes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

 

I have question related to this post, what would be my benefit of running unraid without parity over any other OS for example Ubuntu Jeos. I'm thinking that by taking parity out of unraid there is nothing special about unraid that could not be achived on other Linux's. Is this true? Thank you.

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I guess whats the big deal with having fast write performance if its a backup that sits in the corner and isn't used for anything other than a backup. My backup is done late at night and I'm in bed anyways so I don't really care when or how long anything takes because cron does it all anyways.

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Hi,

 

I have question related to this post, what would be my benefit of running unraid without parity over any other OS for example Ubuntu Jeos. I'm thinking that by taking parity out of unraid there is nothing special about unraid that could not be achived on other Linux's. Is this true? Thank you.

You're correct.

There is no real advantage. You could run any other *nix for a server or a windows box. He is just going with what he is comfortable with I guess.

 

If you really want performance and inexpensive, I'd use open Indiana or freenas.

 

I guess whats the big deal with having fast write performance if its a backup that sits in the corner and isn't used for anything other than a backup. My backup is done late at night and I'm in bed anyways so I don't really care when or how long anything takes because cron does it all anyways.

 

As I said earlier. You are correct. By not verifying your backup and without parity you're setting you're self up for possible disaster. The backup is the one thing that should be reliable. If you need the backup, that indicates it's your only copy. If that's bad, you're up a creek.

 

 

Besides. With 2 tb drives going for $50-$60 right now, there is no excuse to have a surplus of protected data. A large cache can offset speed if needed.

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