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RussellinSacto

Seems to me unRAID is NOT cheap.

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Hey Guys,

 

Seems to me that UnRaid is not exactly cheap, unless you need OODLES of storage...  I've really been excited to do this, but now I'm wondering if there's a much better path for many of us.

 

Lime's top server is $1,400 with no drives

(which seems to be very, very fairly priced - about $100 more than if you bought all the parts yourself off the shelf - I'd pay that for assembly and knowing it works ANY DAY)

Plus drives - 1 TB is about $110, 1.5TB is about $130 (from Fry's Electronics or NewEgg.com)

 

But I can buy a 4TB Buffalo Station (RAID 5 - only 3TB usable) for $730

(http://shop4.frys.com/product/5782802)

 

Let's take a look, depending on how much storage we need:

 

3 TB      Buffalo $729        Lime + 1 TB Drives = $1840                Lime + 1.5 TB Drives = $1790

6 TB      Buffalo $1458      Lime + 1 TB Drives = $2170                Lime + 1.5 TB Drives = $2050

9 TB      Buffalo $2187      Lime + 1 TB Drives = $2500                Lime + 1.5 TB Drives = $2310

12 TB    Buffalo $2916      Lime + 1 TB Drives = $2830                Lime + 1.5 TB Drives = $2570

15 TB    Buffalo $3645      Lime + 1 TB Drives = $3160                Lime + 1.5 TB Drives = $2830

18 TB    Buffalo $4374      Lime + 1 TB Drives = NOT VIABLE        Lime + 1.5 TB Drives = $3090

21 TB    Buffalo $5103      Lime + 1 TB Drives = NOT VIABLE        Lime + 1.5 TB Drives = $3350

24 TB    Buffalo $5832      Lime + 1 TB Drives = NOT VIABLE        Lime + 1.5 TB Drives = NOT VIABLE

 

Just giving everyone something to think about.  :-)

 

Seems that all options are about break even at 12TB and you sure as heck better be buying the 1.5 TB drives!

 

Please let me know if I'm missing something.

 

Thanks,

 

Russell

 

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You are comparing a bus to a Volkswagon beetle based on using it for carrying around 2 people.

 

And just how do you reuse the Buffalo Station mobo in the future when you upgrade?  From what I see, it has a Marvell Orion CPU, and 128MB.  Wow... that's such power!

 

How do you recover deleted files in an emergency on the Buffalo Station?

 

If the mobo in the Buffalo Station dies, can you take out the drives and put them in another machine and access the data?

 

What happens when you want to add more storage to the Buffalo Station?  You are comparing a case that hadles 16 drives to a case that can only hadle 4.  How fair is that?

 

UnRAID gives you painless expandability, better fault tolerance, and better fault recovery.  The hardware is not even comparable.  If you want to make a fairer comparison, get an inexpensive mobo, ram, and CPU, and a clone case... all about $350.  Add four 1TB drives for about $350.  So a 3TB unRAID is LESS than even the 3 TB Buffalo Station.

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Not to mention is you start out with an older hardware it will be a lot less.  I just spent about 350 for a mobo, cpu, memory and 4 in 3 rack.  Granted I have the 4 SATA drives already but still this was an upgrade.  As bubbaQ mentioned a lot easier to change components along the way.  Also when have you seen other companies give you new versions of an operating system for free.  If MS would do that I would still have that old 3.1 license from 15 years ago.

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Ah, where to start...  You do like pushing others buttons, eh!  ;)

 

First off, many or most of the unRAID users who read these boards are do-it-yourself'ers, and you are trying to sell an automatic transmission to a bunch of stick-shifters.  Telling them it would be cheaper is not going to raise the slightest bit of enthusiasm.  Even those who don't plan to screw motherboard to case, and will buy one of those systems from Lime Technology, are expecting to install drives and cables themselves, and perhaps pull old drives from their other systems.

 

Just where do we install our old drives?  We have all sizes, brands, ages, and types, some SATA, some PATA.  And when we see a local or online sale of hard drives, we expect to take advantage of it.

 

Many of us want to reuse our old systems, boards, drives, memory, fans, cables, heat sinks, etc, at no extra cost.

 

And since with larger and larger capacities, you are adding 4 drives and another CPU and board for every 3 unRAID drives, the monthly power bill is going up and up for those Buffalo's.  And that's assuming they can spin the drives down.  Can they?  Certainly not individually, but perhaps in groups of 4?

 

Although roughly comparable in the primary usage, file serving, they are quite different in the software and feature set.  That means individual choice will be important, as users select products that meet their individual needs, irregardless of cost.  Why buy something that is cheaper if it can't do something you need?  And the feature set for unRAID is expandable, more tools and apps can be installed.

 

And how about support?  What's their company and community support like?

 

Many more differences, some already mentioned by others, more I'm very sure will be brought up.  Me, I'll stay a Limey, others can roam with the Buffalo.

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Thank you Gentlemen for the replies...

 

I'm still wanting to do a Lime system, I just can't justify it in my own mind...  That's the point of this thread I guess.

 

I understand the "do it yourself" mentality, whereby "because I made it, it's better"...  but for CONSUMERS - just guys that need backup, I can't figure out where it shines.  Rob, incase you're curious, I have no issues building systems...  frankly it's tedious beginner work from my standpoint.  At the same time, I don't want to join the Linux Legion just to back my crap up.  Not only that, why have to know so much (see this thread: http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=2878.0) just to back up your data?  Just reading this thread takes 15-20 minutes, understanding it all, probably far more...  My time is more valuable than that.  I just need it to WORK.

 

I guess if I had a bunch of crap hardware I wanted to pool together and make something of it... sure...  but what I want is RELIABLE DATA STORAGE... and few would argue that the best option for reliability is NEW HARDWARE - be it a Lime configuration or something else.  Yes, Rob, Buffalo's spin down too - probably in sets of four.

 

So, there's pros and cons... but I don't see the overwhelming pros... someone please help!

 

Buffalo - plug it in and it works.  Almost no config.  No need to learn Linux and command line stuff.  Self monitoring, no need to schedule maintenance or anything.

 

Lime - I can pool together old hardware that I've already spent money on.  What are the "cool expandable features" that might matter?  I just want data storage - not something that can store my images and make me a Caesar Salad and Steak Dinner at the same time.

 

Bubba, you're comparing now to the future - as if things won't change...  Three years ago I bought a 2 TB (1.5 TB usable) Buffalo station for $1500...  Now I can get twice the usable space for about half the money.  The upgrade is simple - I add another TeraStation in two years...  and continue using the ones I have now as well.  Eventually, I guess I move off of them as their capabilities get larger, I loose the older smaller ones...  much like you'll be doing - replacing drives and eventually motherboards and stuff.  Same difference.

 

I'm really glad you asked about how I recover data in a worst case scenario...  First of all, unlike many here, I consider any of these technologies to be for ACTIVE use, not for BACKUP.  I have BACKUP also...  So typically, I'd just get a new system and restore my backup.

 

In addition, if I were locked to my system without backup, the Buffalo units seem to have some professionals I can call upon.

Run a google search for "Buffalo Station Recovery" and you'll get lots of hits from companies familiar with their system.

A google search for "unRaid Recovery" gives me a ton of matches from forums and stuff where people are trying to recover their data - not data professionals.

Search for "ReiserFS Recovery" and you'll find a ton of people bitching about how RStudio won't work.

 

The hardware you guys all mention could be done cheaper - but why wouldn't I want to go with exactly what Lime suggests?  The whole point is to have redundant, reliable data storage - with cost as a minor factor, I still can't justify the Lime system... though I really find it intriguing, I still need someone to justify why it's a better way to go.  I really do want to do the Lime... I swear...  Educate me.

 

Thanks,

 

Russell

 

 

 

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The Lime system is built to expand.  The BS is not... you are buying multiple BS machines to expand, and you can't pool the storage.  Multiple PSUs, multiple Mobos, multiple NICS... you are increasing likelihood of failures every time you add mode.  Plus your "NOT VIABLE" option is misleading, unless you put "NOT VIABLE" on all BS options over 4TB.  You can just as easily install multiple unRAID servers as multiple BS.

 

1 extra TB costs you much more with TS rather than unRAID.  You make jumps 4 TB at a time, which is an unfair comparison since that is the "sweetspot" of BS, and not for unRAID.

 

The upgrade is simple - I add another TeraStation in two years...  and continue using the ones I have now as well.  Eventually, I guess I move off of them as their capabilities get larger, I loose the older smaller ones...  much like you'll be doing - replacing drives and eventually motherboards and stuff.  Same difference.

 

Apples and oranges.  I can keep the same mobo for 10 years, and have no performance issues... just new drives.  I started my unRAID with the 250GB WDs from my prior media server.  That was some time ago... I now have nothing under 500GB and those will disappear next year.... so I essentially never have drives over 3 years old in the system.

 

You talk about recovery and commercial vendors for it.  You must be made of money and can live without all your data for an extended period of time.  I will never store my data in a proprietary system where I can't take out the drives and put them in another system to recover data.  IIRC, that voids the warranty on the BS.

 

Personally, $1400 for Lime's server hardware is way overkill for a small system.... but that's just me.

 

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Bubba,

 

Thanks for the reply...

 

Am I really reducing the likelihood of failures with multiple units?  Isn't that not exactly the same concept that Lime is using when they say if you loose two drives, you still have access to SOME of your data?  Same thing...  If I have one unit fail, I can't access that data, but the rest are still operational.  But on the Lime system, albeit easier to fix - network adapter, motherboard, flash drive, RAM, the number of single point of failure devices for the entire dataset... the list is almost endless.

 

While the "NOT VIABLE" wasn't intended to be misleading - you can continue additional Lime systems - but a $1,400 investment before you have ANY additional storage in your configuration is a big bite to take.

 

No bull$hitting here, with your ten year old motherboard.  I'm trying to be open to this amazing new technology - but don't BS me that you're running ANY hardware from 1998 in your environment -  cause you and I, both, don't believe it.

 

Ignoring "cool factor", leftover hardware reuse, and bragging rights, it seems to me, like I originally presented, that this boils down to just one thing:

 

How much Data do you need?

 

You think $1,400 for Lime's system is overkill for a "small system"...  Well, what's a small system?  What hardware do you suggest that significantly lowers the price?  As far as I can tell, most of the price is for three drive cages ($330), the pair of Adaptec SATA cards ($240), Power Supply ($130), Case ($200), Motherboard (with Processor and RAM) ($260).  Where would you possibly skimp and not impact the reliability of the system?  Maybe shave off some RAM or cram it in case with limited airflow?

 

I guess if you knew ahead of time your usage needs, you could buy a smaller case, fewer drive cages, and one less SATA cards - but that pretty much shoots yourself in the foot when you do need more storage - time to buy another case, new drive cages, another SATA card, maybe a new Power Supply.

 

I think I'll be needing around 12-14 TB of storage in the coming year, where the numbers just start to slight towards the Lime system...  But I think users with smaller needs than mine shouldn't even consider Lime, and I can probably find better hardware options at this level too...

 

This is a really pointless exercise if your data is not genuinely unique (backups of movies, games, etc.) - if you can reobtain it again, the whole concept is overkill. 

 

Now, for me, it's a reliability issue - and there doesn't seem to be any solid data to backup either option.

 

Thanks, and still unsure,

 

Russell

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Not only that, why have to know so much (see this thread: http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=2878.0) just to back up your data?  Just reading this thread takes 15-20 minutes, understanding it all, probably far more... 

 

:'(  I apologize if my thread encouraged anyone away from unRAID - that was not my intent.  Many of those questions are for features you might not necessarily want, and many others you'll already know how to do if you have used any Linux distribution before.  Unless you need the extra speed for doing realtime video encoding or something, unRAID seems (at least to me) to be the easiest storage solution out there (well, unless you want to spend $60k for Kaleidescape). 

 

Although I haven't tried it out yet, it seems like you can spend 15 minutes reading the documentation and set up a basic server.  I read all the documentation and wiki entries, the FAQ and quite a bit of the forums, plus posted that topic (because I always try and exhaustively research something before I buy it), and that took me less than a week of free time (for a system that I'd probably keep for a decade) - even then, most people will probably be fine just looking through the docs for a day and then trying it out.  (To give you some idea of this, I looked at digital cameras online for over a week too, narrowing the one I wanted to buy to 5 choices, before ever stepping foot into a store to try them out - I am not a good 'average time required to use electronic item' person to base this sort of judgment upon)

 

Summary: Whenever I buy an electronic product, I take waaay more time researching beforehand than most people - don't use me as an average example :)

 

(It's late, so I'm not sure how coherent that post was - but I had to say something)

Zithras

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Am I really reducing the likelihood of failures with multiple units?

 

Yup.  Doubling it in fact.

 

Isn't that not exactly the same concept that Lime is using when they say if you loose two drives, you still have access to SOME of your data?

 

Nope.  Drives are just one component.. you are doubling the number of Mobos, PSU, NIC, RAM, FLASH, etc.

 

but a $1,400 investment before you have ANY additional storage in your configuration is a big bite to take.

 

Agreed, *if* you don't need or want to ever expand.  It's like buying an SUV with 4WD, for Tallahassee Fla., and knowing you'll never need it or want it.  Of course a MiniCooper is less expensive and provide everything you'll need.

 

No bull$hitting here, with your ten year old motherboard.

 

Ahem... I happen to have a 386SX in operation right now... runs my home automation system.... as well as a Pentium II, I think is running at 200mHz.

 

But my point is that whatever mobo I have in unRAID today, can still be around in 10 years.

 

As far as I can tell, most of the price is for three drive cages ($330), the pair of Adaptec SATA cards ($240), Power Supply ($130), Case ($200), Motherboard (with Processor and RAM) ($260).  Where would you possibly skimp and not impact the reliability of the system?  Maybe shave off some RAM or cram it in case with limited airflow?

 

Try

 

1 drive cage  ($130)

1 mobo w/ 6 SATA ports BIOSTAR TFORCE TA780G AMD Motherboard  ($75) 

1 AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6GH ($60)

1 Kingston HyperX 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel ($14)

1 COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-500-PCAR-A3 500W ATX12V V2.3 Active PFC Power Supply ($40)

1 LIAN LI PC-A17A Silver Aluminum ATX Mid Tower ($170)

 

That's $489.... and I went overboard on the case just because I love the Lian Li 9-bay aluminum case.  You could save $100 here... so that's under $400 for the budget minded... plus drives.

 

$400 plus 5 drives give you a 5TB system for under $1000.  You would need 2 BS to do the same thing.... at a cost of $1500.  And the components I chose will run at under 50 Watts, idle.

 

See I warned you about the sweetspot thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I've done a lot of research prior to purchasing the 2 Pro accounts (a couple of days ago), and I have been tremendously happy so far.  There were minor glitches in the beginning (old unstable MB, old HD that had NO PLACE in a server, etc), but these were very minor.  They could have easily been avoided with new hardware - which I purchased :)

 

New MB, CPU, Case, Backplane, Memory - all less than $400 total for hardware specs light years ahead of a BS.  The reason I built this system and using lime is because of EXPANDABILITY.  There really is NOTHING out there, save the Drobo, that will allow you to drop in a new HD and get instant increase in storage pool.  The problem with the Drobo is 1) it is $$$, 2) limited to 4 slots (at the time), and 3) proprietary.  If the Drobo it self dies, you can kiss all your data goodbye.  Ever wonder why they closed the forum to public access?  Its because of all the inherent dangers in PROPRIETARY hardware/software related problems that they didn't want the public to know.

 

I also looked at FreeNAS.  Which is very similar to unRAID in a sense that its a *nix-based RAID system.  I almost went with freeNAS but it suffers the same problem - easy expandability.  Sure I can set up multiple RAID 0,1,5,etc.  But these technologies require the same make/model HDs etc etc.  You can't just expand a RAID.  You need to make another RAID, that is bigger, and copy the old stuff over.

 

Lastly, concerning your BS.  Does it not run a form of scaled down Linux as well?  I know some (most??) of the standalone NASes are linux based.  

 

As someone pointed out earlier, recovery is a big deal for me.  I don't have the $$ or time to send it to the pros.  If shit hits the fan, I want to be able to pull those drives apart and recover whatever I can.  If you fried a couple of drives in a standard RAID 0,5,etc setup, you are SOL due to the striping.

 

Seriously, unRAID really is the superior and cheaper way to go.

 

I am building a brand spanking new server for my family business for less than 1k.  My only gripe with unRAID is the writing speed.  But this is a minor issue, as I will be reader more than writing once everything is copied over.

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Zithras,

 

Your posting was not a deterrent... but a service to this community...  I had many of the same questions and couldn't have possibly put them together in a central repository for answering and consumption...  Quite honestly, your post and the subsequent answers caused me to take another look at this solution which seemed to be fully within the Linux Legion of Geekdom.

 

I only want to touch Linux the same way I touch my Tivo...  through a pretty little easy interface.

 

[bashing welcome, but I assure you I'm capable...  I'm simply uninterested in learning Linux and don't have to.]

 

I guess I come from a slightly different prerogative than your intensely technical approach...  I'm looking for a home-based, out of the box, solution for 10-15 TB of fail safe storage.  If I go this route, I'll be buying the Lime-put-together-ready-to-go-package.  :-) 

 

I want low maintenance, high reliability, easy resolution to any problems that may come.

 

I don't want to learn anything new - I just want it to work.

 

Is this the solution for me?

 

Thanks,

 

Russell

 

P.S., Zithras...  Are you going digital SLR or point and shoot?  I'd be happy to recommend some options.  :-)  Thanks again for your well put together posting.

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I only want to touch Linux the same way I touch my Tivo...  through a pretty little easy interface....

 

I don't want to learn anything new - I just want it to work....

 

Is this the solution for me?...

 

 

Yes this solution is for you.  When I first bought the system I had very little Linux knowledge and wanted a raid system for my storage needs.  It will work out of the box you'll just have configure your network settings.  Unraid is very flexible in you can but don't have to do anything to it.  The only thing you'll want to do is a. check the interface page once in a while or b. get the Firefox plugin that monitors the system.  And of course you'll need to update it when you add or change drives. 

 

The reason the Lime version is so much is the backplane.  You get a quality case with all the necessary 5 in 3 enclosures to support the 16 drives.  I would say this part is almost half the cost.

 

BTW:  I've gone months not touching my system and at other times I've been tinkered with it daily. 

 

Erik

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@RussellinSacto:  Unless you chose to, you never see any "Linux" as configuration in unRAID is all done through the simple web interface in your browser.

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One other thing.  The last few months have seen some big advances in "friendly" 3rd-party user interfaces to unRAID.... such as unMenu, and BubbaRaid.

 

The latest version of unRAID has added wget to the stock distribution... that is one leg of a three legged stool.  The other two are 1) a web server, and 2) CGI scripting language (i.e. php).

 

Once a web server is in the stock unRAID distro, along with a CGI scripting language for doing dynamic html, you will see an explosion of utilities for unRAID.... all the things that currently are bash scripts, and that have to be edited by hand, can all have a slick web-based GUI wrapped around them.  Things like:

 

- e-mail/text-message notifications of problems

- scheduled maintenance and testing

- unattended (or attended) upgrades

- UPS interfaces and configuration

 

Every utility that now exists, can have a web interface that writes/edits the script and its configuration files.

 

Instead of editing scripts, you can have a web page where you enter your mail server, login, and the e-mail addresses to be sent notices of problems on your server.

 

Instead of editing cron schedules and scripts, a web page with check boxes for scheduling preventive maintenance activities.

 

Real-time system monitoring and graphing disk, CPU, RAM, and network I/O (i.e. sysstat with a  graphing package).

 

I know, I don't ever buy things based on vaporware, and you shouldn't either.... but watch for it.

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One of the key reasons I went with unRAID are it's simple upgradeable expandability of drives.

 

I've had a number of nas devices including the READYNAS and Thecus 5200BR. 

These are great lil devices for a small home server not needing allot of space.

Yet as you add more media and need more drives, the cost jumps at a higher incremental.

What you also loose is the single view of a large number of drives.

 

From what I'm reading, you don't want to know anything under the hood.  Perhaps one of the proprietary boxes are for you.

One thing I did not like about them is having to strip the data. When I spin up drives to request a file, all the drives have to power up.

 

When I want to expand (readynas is good at this), I have to replace each drive individually and it takes many hours.

Only after I had all 4 drives of the same size was the volume expanded. I think the new X-RAID handles this better.

Still, the array is unavailable for many hours.

 

Another point is the price can vary greatly over time. I bought a readyNAS for about $600.. Now they are almost $1000 (Diskless).

There is no guarantee that the unit you purchase today, will be available to expand to at the future time you elect. (There is always the used market).

 

unRAID provides one of the easiest incremental upgrade options I've ever worked with.

You can start with 2 drives on unused hardware from your closet (if you have) and expand up to 16 drives. +1 for parity and if need be, +1 for cache.

Comments have been made that the future holds expandability to 32 drives.

When upgrading or replacing a drive, You can choose to replace the drive in the same slot, or assign the disk to a larger one in an empty slot. All from a very basic browser interface.

 

There are not allot of bells and whistles in unRAID, yet the community adds them on an as needed basis.

 

One point you should consider from your chart below.

 

Expanding to 24TB would require 6 units or so. There may be points to consider regarding power utilization and UPS protection.

Many of the boxes support being on a UPS, but will you get 6 UPS or have to fiddle with the inner workings/operating system of a BS to link them all to a master UPS application?

 

 

 

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I know this might go better in the hardware section, but since it was brought up...

 

Here's the case I'll probably end up using - 20 hard drive bays, and space for a thin floppy and cd drive, plus 7 80mm fan slots for cooling.

 

No space for additional cd-rom drives or a card reader, unfortunately, but unRAID can't use em anyways.

 

For under $300, it's a very viable alternative to a lian-li case + backplanes (anyone had any experience with this case, by the way?)

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811219021

 

It's a rackmount, but I'll probably just put it on the shelf or on the floor.

 

Hope this helps,

Zithras

 

(side note: Wanted a pocket-sized (ish) point-and-shoot for a completely technologically illiterate family member: settled on the Lumix TZ5 and am quite happy with it).

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No space for additional cd-rom drives or a card reader, unfortunately, but unRAID can't use em anyways.

 

Sure it can.... you can use one of the card-readers that fits in the floppy bay.

 

plus 7 80mm fan slots for cooling.

 

And sounds like a jet engine taking off.  Plus each fan will pull about 6 Watts, and your fan headers on the mobo can't deliver that kind of wattage, so you will have to power them via a molex connector, which means.... you can't vary them dynamically with software.

 

I prefer the similar cases that have three 120mm fans rather than five 80mm fans in the middle partition, and 120mm exhaust fans.

 

One note... these type of backplanes usually have very restricted airflow.  So you need to make SURE that all air intake along edges and seams is blocked so air HAS to be pulled in over the drives.  This also means that the top has to fit down snug to the middle partition (I put some weatherstripping from Lowes on it), and you need to block the openings in the middle partition under the fans to prevent backflow (I use the DAP white expanding foam or duck tape).  Cover those side vent holes with tape too.  Also cover the front ventilated covers for the CD and floppy.  Consider taping up unused bays on the front too, to force air to be taken in over the bays that do have drives.  If you don't need more than 12 drives, I'd alternate a used slot with an unused slot.

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Before this spirals wildly off target about hardware...  ;)

 

I must say that it's very impressive to see such a loyal group of users here.

 

Going over all of this, it seems that UnRaid may very well fit the needs for my uses...  I have a few suggestions for the marketing group:

 

1.  You're focusing too much on features - and not benefits.  The main page explains you can use different size drives...  but doesn't explain the benefit:  Here I am with my Buffalo Terastation, drive failure... now I've gotta find damn near exactly the same drive that was in it (three years old)...  YIKES!  Another example: explain the BENEFIT of not striping...  don't simply say the technical part: "we don't stripe."  More than the power benefit Erik gave, striping also means when you loose two drives you haven't lost EVERYTHING.  (Of course a hot spare would be a welcome addition too!)

 

2.  You should consider offering a "lite" version of your hardware solutions (I think you used to - but not very small - and not complete)...  For those without "trial equipment lying around" it's a big bite to drop $1,400 plus drives just to get in the game.  (Can you offer hardware you'd be comfortable with, drives, license and all, and compete at the same price point as off-the-shelf RAID solutions?)

 

The hardware suggestions you've provided BubbaQ, do not include the UnRaid license, but I like the concept...  Can I buy that, fully assembled, as my first go at an UnRaid solution?  (I think that's the path I'm headed down - take a nibble.  I have extensive backup and don't truly NEED access to my data so quickly, so a small solution may be my SweetSpot of trial.  Plus, that's the whole point of an expandable solution.  :)  If I can but one assembled, I'll do that.... if not, I'll see if I can reuse some of my scrap (I have several three year old Dells with 1 GB of RAM lying around here in my pile of donation stuff) and get that up and running (buy PCI SATA controller, power adapters for SATA, UnRaid Licenses, and drives and I think I'd be in business).

 

3.  Lots of prospects may have ZERO interest in going through the work to download, configure, install, etc.  just to try it out.  I'm not willing to do all of that.  The price point and the inability to trial it without a lot of work has been my primary deterrent.  A video showing how the software works, how easy it us, how you'll never need to touch Linux, etc. would be wonderful.  At the very least, some screen captures and explanation.  Then I'd go through the work, if I thought ODDS WERE GOOD that this would be a solution for me - but it may be difficult to get prospects to commit time, work, and the purchase of new hardware to "test drive" this solution.

 

4.  A professional, for-charge service who can assist in recovery procedures would serve the community well.  Frankly...  I don't want to be responsible for jack-diddly.  I just want it to work.  If I have a drive fail, I want someone on the phone to coach me through how to change the drive out and rebuild the array.  And YES, I'll PAY for that help.  Of course send away service could be an expansion on this offering.

 

5.  Perhaps a "non-techie" forum would be good for general consumers...  Maybe the market hasn't reached that level yet - but all the technical talk would sure scare off the casual guy who just wants reliable data storage.

 

6.  A discussion of the upgrade paths is warranted.  Do I buy once and get upgrades for life?  How do I apply upgrades as a "know nothing user?"  If hot features are guaranteed to be coming (more than 16+cache drives, acceptance of drives exceeding the 1.5TB size available now) be sure you broadcast that message!

 

7.  For those that take a deeper look, it seems that this is pretty close to a one man show...  What is the legacy left behind should he disappear and retire for the rest of his existence because he got rich at his "real job"?

 

8.  It may be interesting to offer users the ability to "RENT" out space on their machines - and have the software in place to make it possible.  I'd sure be interested in teaming up with someone - We'd both have a pair of unRaid servers - and both house one of ours and one of theirs - providing offsite storage to each other - quite possibly as a simple no payment exchange.  At other times, I've had a couple of TB of storage I'm not using (but still powering) that I could share out for a price.

 

Bubba, I appreciate the Vaporware offerings that sound to be coming soon via easy interface...  Most competing products have most of the examples you gave...  But the added webserver and CGI capabilities are new...  Not something I'll use - but make the necessary stuff (upgrades, email alerts, maintenance, UPS interface, etc.) EASY and you're a lot further down the road.

 

Hopefully you'll take some of these ideas to heart (and with a grain of salt)...  This could be quite an amazing product - I just think it needs some adjustment to get to the next level.

 

Thanks for all your replies,

 

Russell

 

(Zithras, that looks like quite a nice p&s camera...  Have you/family member tried the wi-fi capabilities?  I've been looking at wi-fi for my photography, but it's another offering I've been unable to justify so far.)

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A professional, for-charge service who can assist in recovery procedures would serve the community well.

 

There are already dozens of them... since "recovery" is no different than any other ReiserFS desktop drive, than practically every decent data recovery form in the world can handle (hw & sw).  Not to mention, practically everyone knows some local computer geek that can to a sw-only recovery from ReiserFS.

 

It is the BS that requires a recovery service that specifically can handle it, and which by default they can not.

 

And I didn't see a mea culpa w/r/t the 386sx I still have in production.

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No space for additional cd-rom drives or a card reader, unfortunately, but unRAID can't use em anyways.

 

Sure it can.... you can use one of the card-readers that fits in the floppy bay.

 

That case has a slim floppy bay. I have not seen a card reader that fits in a slim floppy bay.

If you have, I would love to get one!  ;D

 

 

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Bubba,

 

Thanks for guiding me through this product...  I still don't believe you have a 386 up and running - and neither do you.  ;D

 

I have two Toshiba Librettos I can ship you...  and an original Sony Vaio laptop to add to your dinosaur collection.

 

If you could recommend a couple of ReiserFS recovery services, that'd be swell...  Since a search for it literally brings up a lot of crybabies pissed that RStudio doesn't support it.

 

Did you appreciate the other ideas?

 

Thanks for all the help,

 

Russell

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No thanks.... I just retired a "Rabbit" luggagable (286, w/ red Plasma screen) last year.

 

And I do have the 386... honestly, it could be a 486 -- I haven't messed with it for years other than rebooting it.... it runs Windows 3.1, and the X10 CP290 interface software.  It's on a slim little box (smaller than a miniITX) on the wall in the closet with the CP290.

 

When my wife gets back from Europe, I'll get you a pic of it.

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As an out of the box solution, unraid certainly isn't the cheapest or most feature rich solution.

 

As I see it, the upsides unraid has going for it are:

 

1) Easy and inexpensive expandability (mix and match drive size)

 

2) Added reliability by not striping.

 

3) Inexpensive if you build the server yourself. (unfortunately, see B, below for the related downside)

 

    3a) Unraid has a knowledgeable community.

 

    3b) Unraid is very open to user modification, allowing me to overcome its initial limitations, and expand features as needed.

 

The downsides, however, almost pushed me off unraid:

 

A) No email notification (had to implement a satisfactory solution myself)

 

B) For the DIYer, the hardware requirements can be troubling.  For example, even with a modern motherboard, I had to find my own solution for getting unraid to boot properly from a flash drive.  No existing solution from Lime tech. or the unraid community worked at that time.

 

C) There is currently no low cost, of-the-shelf way of getting your shoe in the door for those not wanting to build themselves.  Say, a pre-configured, ready to go, 5 SATA bay, 4 drive server, with room to add additional storage in the future by purchasing supported backplanes and SATA controllers from Lime Tech.

 

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C) There is currently no low cost, of-the-shelf way of getting your shoe in the door for those not wanting to build themselves.  Say, a pre-configured, ready to go, 5 SATA bay, 4 drive server, with room to add additional storage in the future by purchasing supported backplanes and SATA controllers from Lime Tech.

 

Here is an idea, maybe have an frequently updated page with just that.  A couple of low-to-high cost DIY unRAID server setups with links (to newegg) for the parts.  These would feature parts that are known to work reliably with none to very minimal tweaks to get it running off a stock USB of unraid.

 

This probably would have saved me some time and research for my own box.

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