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How are you using unRAID Server?


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We would like to get an idea of how people are using their unRAID Server.  Among other things, this will help us prioritize future product development.

 

If your primary application is not listed, please let us know what it is and we'll include it in the list.  Also feel free to elaborate in a post.

 

Thanks!

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I primarily use it to serve up videos/pictures/music.    I have a WinXP PC connected to my HDTV and unRaid server in another room (office).  Everything is connected internally via cat5e Gigabit.

 

However, I also store backup data on unRaid.  I have found it to be a very nice alternative to USB external drives, or NAS storage devices.

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I choose other HTPC since I use both XP and Vista.  I also use it as a backup for all my data and storage of my pictures.  With a soon to by USB HD sitting in a safe offsite with my important data on it.

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Although my original and primary use is for digital media (HTPC) storage, almost as important at this point are file storage for non-media (e.g., central backup repository) and host for virtual machines (so I only have one always-on machine).

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We would like to get an idea of how people are using their unRAID Server.  Among other things, this will help us prioritize future product development.

 

If your primary application is not listed, please let us know what it is and we'll include it in the list.  Also feel free to elaborate in a post.

 

Thanks!

I use my unRAID server for both media storage and for data backups of the other PCs on my LAN. 

I have a mix of Windows PCs (Win2k, WinXP, and WinVista) and several dedicated media players (AlTech MG-35's) that access the media.

 

I will soon be experimenting with Linux-Media-Center once I get some free time and the required hardware.  The basic idea will be to still use unRAID for the media storage, and the Linux-MCE PC to deal with everything else, including the network booting of the MCE-Client PCs.

 

Joe L.

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I use Sage on XP for video and Sonos for audio.

 

Plus the standard common repository for pictures and general files on a primarily XP network with some Mac OS.

 

Gog

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I use mine to serve media - TV shows and Movies to my Popcorn Hour A-110.  My files are a mix of iso, m2ts, and mkv.

 

I also store my backup files from my PC, my iTunes folders/musc, and other random files

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Tom, welcome back!  It's great to see you active  here again!!!

 

I use my PC to store a variety of media including ....

 

- Movies

- Photos

- Home video

- Music

- Scanned images (I scan and destroy most paper records)

- PDF files related to personal finances, product manuals, eBooks, etc.

- Backups

 

With the new mySQL addon, I may start using it as a database server.

 

Things I plan to use unRAID for in the future:  Music server (slimserver or similar), automated backups (I do them manually now), storing data from PVR (possible).

 

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Mine is pretty much the same

- Movies

- Photos

- Home video

- Music

- Scanned images (I scan and destroy most paper records)

- PDF files related to personal finances, product manuals, eBooks, etc.

- Backups

 

Mysql server may be interesting too

 

The biggest thing you could add would be email notifications of drive failures or other problems with parity (something easy to setup for us lynux challenged), most of us buld a box, run it headless in some isolated area and want to forget about it unless there is a problem

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Movies, Music and Pics streamed to Windows Vista HTPC, Windows XP, Popcorn Hour NMT and occasionally XBOX1...

 

All run all of my system nightly system backups of all my PC's to goto a \\Backup share, storage of anything and everything I can't or don't want to leave on any of my individual PC's.

 

SW2

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I think the poll cannot cover us in any way.

 

I personally use unRAID as my main on-line storage (i.e. for everything) - for three other machines.

Examples of use:

 

- storing of backups

 

- all my (huge) emulation collection (working)

 

- programs that don't need setup (esp. disk recovery programs and such, as it may help one of the other computers in time of need)

 

- ...and such games (usually mini games, started this for my HTPC but why not everywhere?)

 

- all my media are there (MP3/Photos/Videos) for serving either "casual" play in my two machines or "formal" HTPC play in my living room HTPC machine (MediaPortal mainly if you have to know), separated in folders according to category (plus a huge non-cleaned up folder for each :P)

 

- private (hidden) storage

 

- disk-images storage (I don't install anything using physical disks, I only make them to images and use those)

 

- main "downloads" area (whatever I download for use, goes there)

 

- P2P storage (have to use physical drives not user shares because of many problems with speed and sudden off-line issues... I have user shares for "viewing" those in a unified way though)

 

- virtual machines stored there

 

...that's it roughly.

 

What could REALLY improve my relationship with unRAID? (since probably this is one of the reasons you make the poll)

 

- a working ftp (i.e. proper user and security info used by it)... esp. because of the following...

 

- some way that could make slow-transfers more effective... something is not optimized in there and even things that SHOULD be possible, almost are not (i.e. I cannot even stream MP3 even through VPN - and I am talking about 1MBit outgoing from both directions and gigabit ethernet locally in unRAID - and even a copy of 40Kb files can take minutes over VPN... if Windows are to blame, since Windows is your main target (read: SAMBA) then find the reason and make it work better!

 

- trying to access more than one things (esp. big files) can freeze traffic to/from unRAID for quite a few seconds (freeze as in ZERO)... when programs have long time-out I am lucky, when they don't...

 

- it would be great if I could have torrent client in there (bubbaRAID moves towards there), would help the environment too (one less PC switched on for days)

 

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I use unRaid mainly for digital media (itunes, dvds, avi, pictures) together with Mac clients (mostly desktops and one dedicated to htpc functions). I also use hellanzb (using the cache drive). What I am missing is better integration with OS X, for example avahi (zeroconf). 

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I own two unRAID server. MD1500/LL and MD1510/LL. The older one is my "private" server and the "newer" is for my shop.

 

The "private" server is used for media of all type. Thousands of pictures are stored here side by side with backups of all my CDs, DVDs, and BLURAYs. The day the BLURAY vs. HDDVD war was over I bought nearly every HDDVD on the marked (at very low prices). With my HTPC (OrigenAE X15e) running MediaPortal 1.0 I do access all my media from one single remote/keyboard. And now with my mySQL unMENU package I dropped MS SQL Server from the HTPC. My music software (Helium: http://www.helium2.com) uses mySQL now and MediaPortals TVServer uses mySQL as well (needed a fix from MP, but is working perfect now).

 

The "shop" machine hosts hundreth of projects and trillions of lines of source code. A lot of GB-sized databases are hosted here. For this machine I mainly needed mySQL, Perl and PHP. I could add these three with the help of unMENU.

 

 

I see the "natural" expansion of unRAID in two parts:

 

First part- the unRAID server itself: I'm very happy with your product. What I would like to see is spin up/down based on times like "spin down between 8:00PM and 6:00AM". And a mechanism that would help to survive two drives failing in one machine would be cool too. And to bring it to an extend: How to combine two unRAID server? Think about the last point. When we started using RAID systems we were using 4 drives. Whow, that was many. Now we put 15 drives of 1,5TB each in machines. I bet it won't last long and we will need more. At this point we need 30 drives or so and that won't fit in most cases. So we need to expand systems - not drives. If you have a solution then, you are the first on the market!!! The combining mechanism should run on the unRAID servers itself. If we need additional machines to combine them, that would break the idea.

 

Second part - add-ons or applications. For me an unRAID server should have (L)AMPP (Apache, mySQL, Perl, PHP) and some sort of UPnP server. I don't need, but I realize that people may need, some sort of torrent tools. I think this is the natural expansion. Put the server apps were the data is. That way just one machine has to be switched on, all other machines are dumb clients.

 

Thanks for listening

Harald

 

 

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I have 10 1tb data drives in my system.  Disk10 is for "files"... all of my digital photos, all of my downloaded non-media files and torrents, backups of the 6 other machines on my network, etc... Disks 7-9 contain Video media... .mkv's of my 1000+ dvd's, HDTV recordings of special interest, and other video media downloads... Disks 1-6 contain my huge .wma lossless music collection.  Doesn't quite fit the poll's niches...  ::)

 

 

 

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I have a 5.5TB unRAID Server networked to 3 XP based PC's (one is a dedicated HTPC). I store my DVD collection, FLAC's (my CD collection), MP3's, photo's & backup's on it. I use J River Media for my FLAC's, WMP for MP3's and MediaPlayer HC for Video. Works great.

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I perform Internet backups for a few of my clients.  I use unRAID as a secondary backup for the data I receive nightly.  Data is copied off of RAID5 arrays daily and stored on the unRAID server.

 

I also have a client who wants their retired PC hard drives imaged and stored prior to secure erase.  My unRAID server is an inexpensive, expandable appliance for storing the images.

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I use it for serving media to PS3 and 2 vista PC for backup and transfer files.

 

Running Twokymedia on unraid.

 

My only problem is PS3 not supporting all codec compared to PCH. I get by - by using PS3 MediaServer to play files like MKV nad etc.

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I use it both for storage and as an application platform.

 

For Storage:

- Desktop and laptop backups

- Drive images

- Media files

 

Applications:

- web server

- media server

- NZB and torrents

- weather monitor/logging and home automation

- Windows VM for transcoding media

- EnCase image indexing

 

Soon it will also handle the phone system via Asterisk.

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I mainly use it as a place to store files, media, and other random things.  It stores my collection of DVD's (saved as .iso) along with many of the anime and scifi stuff i have ripped from DVD.

 

I connect to unRaid using 3 machines, all laptops.  1 windows XP, 1 Windows Vista, and 1 Mac OS X 10.5.  Everything works pretty seamlessly and I am happy with the way unRaid is working.  I have installed BubbaRaid over the top to get the torrent and media streaming functions that his distribution has.

 

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Things that would make unRaid better for a consumer:

1) AFP support.  This is on the laundry list of things to do, but it does not seem to be one of the things that is going to get done any time soon.  samba works pretty well on the mac side but it would be nice to have another choice.

 

2) Some sort of easier to use ftp server.  I am decent with computers and tech but the ftp server that is already there is a little to much for me to figure out.  Not that i probably couldn't if i wanted to but its just that it would be nice if it did not seem so difficult.

 

3) Talk to Joe and see if it possible to start using UnMenu.  It looks like it is a great utility and can really open up the possibilities for ne addons to the web interface.  UnMenu as the default web inteface, along with the package manager setup he has would be GREAT.

 

4) Some sort of torrent and streaming built in.  Obviously this could be turned off when not wanted but it seems a fair amount use there server to store media.  I would love to have something like firefly built in so that i can stream to all the computers on my network, or even over the internet.  I installed BubbaRaid primairly for the torrent and slimserver features that were included.  The torrent aspect has come in very handy and I rarely use my other computers to download stuff.

 

5) Some sort of standardized way of doing all these addon's.  UnMenu does a very good job when it comes to the web interface side of things.  We need you, limetech, to vocalize your opinion on this subject and take a look at the proposed folder structure for such things. http://lime-technology.com/wiki/index.php?title=Third_Party_Boot_Flash_Plugin_Architecture

 

 

Hopefully i did not make myself sound to needy.  I know these things take time, and some of it might seem like a headache to you, but i think i will make the product better in the long run.  Specifically take a look at points 3 and 5 as i think they would be most beneficially right away.

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...seems most people request about the same things...

(hear hear)

 

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I have been using Unraid off and on for a couple of years, mostly to store media for my media PCs (now running Sage server with 3 HD extenders and 2 PC clients).  For the last 6 months I've been using WHS instead (bought it when it came out, but didn't feel comfortable with it until the data bug was fixed).  Anyway, I just setup my Unraid server again and I'm now running both.  I keep trying to get everything running under 1 server, but that seems to be a pipe dream.  WHS and Unraid both excel in different areas, so I guess for now I just need to be content with running both.

 

One thing I would love to be able to do with Unraid is use it on a regular Linux system instead of as a standalone box.  In other words, I would love to be able to run a Ubuntu server (just what I'm most familiar with) and create an array using Unraid instead of MDADM.  I think I read that it's theoretically possible to do this, since the driver is supposed to be open source, but I want to be able to do it without a lot of hacking AND still have access to the web administration interface.  I really think there should be a way for licensed users to do this.  Having this flexibility would give me a lot of freedom to build a single killer server to do everything I need.

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