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unRAID Project Roadmap Announcements

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Hi everyone!  JonP here with Lime Technology and some exciting new announcements with respect to the unRAID project roadmap.  While we have remained rather tight-lipped about things lately, today we are spilling the beans with our plans for the future of this project!  Buckle up kids…this is going to be a fun ride!

 

But before we begin, I just want to take a second to thank you, our community of users, for all your feedback and support.  Thank you to all who have posted bug reports, been helping others on the forums, and to our plugin authors who have taken to Docker with much enthusiasm!  Please keep up the great work!  That said, let’s jump into the juicy details!

 

Announcement #1:  New Features!

The Lime Technology team is proud to announce today some of the new and exciting features coming to unRAID 6!

 

Cache Pool Support

Leverage BTRFS to the max by creating a pool of multiple devices to add either capacity or protection to your cache-based data.

 

Support for Multiple File Systems

Assign various types of file systems to array devices including REISERFS, BTRFS, and XFS (potentially more!  stay tuned!)

 

Improved Plugin Management with Docker Containers

Plugins will be able to install and configure custom applications using Docker containers.

 

E-mail Notifications

Native support for being alerted to key system activities such as hardware failures and other events.

 

UPS Monitor / Shutdown

Native support for UPS monitoring and event triggering to safely shutdown your unRAID server.

 

In addition, this list only represents our plans for initial release, but does not include features we may have planned for additional releases thereafter.

 

Announcement #2:  unRAID 6 to be released in Q3 2014!

That’s right folks, we are going to be releasing a final version of unRAID 6 in the upcoming quarter.  With the latest beta, we have already seen a number of key bugs reported and squashed by our development team which makes us confident enough to put this announcement out there.  In addition, all existing paid customers of unRAID 5 or earlier will continue to see this benefit as they upgrade for free to unRAID 6!

 

Announcement #3:  Xen and KVM will be "experimental features" in unRAID 6

Our primary goals for unRAID 6 have remained constant since the beginning:  upgrade to a 64-bit architecture, improve support for Plugins, and add core features.  We do not see a need for either Xen OR KVM in order to achieve these goals.  The simple truth is that with Docker, Plugin-controlled applications can be better contained and more easily maintained by their authors than either Xen or KVM virtual machines.  In addition, Docker’s limited impact on system resources (both IO and compute) make it ideal for our users with lower-end system specifications.  As such, when unRAID 6.0 final is released, Xen and KVM will remain, but only as experimental / beta features for the initial release.

 

However, we also believe that machine-based virtualization does have a future in unRAID.  One of unRAID’s core benefits is giving you ultimate control over your storage.  We believe that with the proper implementation of a hypervisor, we can expand that benefit to cover your entire hardware system.  Stay tuned to the unRAID forums and our blog for more information on the goals of this initiative in the weeks ahead.

 

Lastly, we wanted to make a statement with respect to the future of Xen within unRAID.  Xen will continue to be included in our releases, but KVM has proven to be far more stable and we are leaning toward eliminating Xen at some point.  That being said, no final decisions have been made just yet.

 

Final Thoughts

Thanks to all for taking the time to read this and please let us know what questions you have and we'll do the best we can to answer them!

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Parity checks only using idle clocks still in the works? Would be nice to be able to watch high bitrate content when parity check is going, but they tend to stutter.

 

I'm excited about the native UPS support. Will it require a compatible UPS? This is what I use:

http://www.amazon.com/CyberPower-CP1500PFCLCD-Sinewave-Compatible-Mini-Tower/dp/B00429N19W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1404007288&sr=8-2&keywords=cyberpower+ups

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Can you add IPV6?

 

EDIT: I'd also like to see Xen stay or provide a means to easily convert a Xen VM.  If Xen stays as a boot option that would be fine.  I spent a lot of time building a Xen VM (with ownCloud) that I use now in my business and I don't want to have to build it from scratch for KVM.  It is running in b5a perfectly.

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Thanks for the update.  I, personally, don't plan to ever go back to version 5, and the future of version 6 looks promising.  I'm looking forward to the next release with hopes that the issues with GPU passthru are much improved :)

 

However, it won't be long before they come screaming for the update on the roadmap for version 5, and whether it's not feature locked, or if any of this well be backported to version 5.  Your previous posts indicated that there would be more information on the future of v5, so you might want to address that before you get yelled at ;)

 

I also want to see this!!

Parity checks only using idle clocks still in the works? Would be nice to be able to watch high bitrate content when parity check is going

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It is LT's place to give a solid answer, but I think a reasonable guess would be anything compatible with apcupsd which means most APC and Cyberpower UPSs

 

EDIT to ask: Will the native support look like something similar to what we have now with powerdown 1.06 script?  That is to say the ability to create custom kill scripts for dealing with VMs / plug-ins?  I'm guessing docker being the default "plug-in" system and Xen/KVM being experimental only that probably changes the shutdown picture slightly.  But that sort of info will be nice to know for planning.

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what about a garbage bin (aka integrate the vfs plugin natively) ?

and the possibility to partition your cache drive in 2 or more partitions from the GUI (especially since btrfs doesn't support swap file so a second partition with reiserfs or ext to get a swap file)

or swapfile natively (aka when you hav a cache disk format btrfs for 95 % and use the remaining 5% for raw swap)?

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jonp - Thank you to you and Tom for this update. I have to say that in the 3+ years I've been around this is the clearest road map I've seen, and one that seems clearly defined and obtainable - which again is a great change.

 

I agree with at least one of the comments above that you still need to address version 5. Personally I don't ever plan on using 5.0 again, however I have built other systems for friends/family that rely on 5.0.5 today and it would be helpful to understand what, if any, roadmap is out there for them.

 

While I know myself and a number of others are very vocal about our thoughts on UnRAID and what is right and what is wrong... in the end we are all just passionate fanboys (and girls) trying to voice our opinions, which haven't always seemed to be heard (or maybe they've been heard, but not addressed). LT starting to lay out solid objectives with obtainable goals, that take into account user feedback (like UPS and notification) is a great reassurance to many of us I am sure.

 

It is very positive to see LT being treated like an actual company with proper, and defined structure. I think we've all appreciated Tom's efforts to get us to this point, but can only imagine how challenging it has been for a single individual to keep up. I think I can speak for many of us in saying that we are happy to have the new talent onboard and that we are seeing such positive change already.

 

Now hopefully you guys can deliver on it. :)

 

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This all sounds GREAT!  I hope it actually comes to fruition.  Now what about those of us who experience streaming interruptions when accessing spun down drives?  Any chance of that getting fixed???

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This all sounds GREAT!  I hope it actually comes to fruition.  Now what about those of us who experience streaming interruptions when accessing spun down drives?  Any chance of that getting fixed???

 

That tends to be a hardware limitation on current PCs and how base Linux responds. It is not an unraid specific issue. I don't see the folks at LT being able to fix that at all.

 

To fix your issue with delays during drive spinups, don't spin down your drives. ;)

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What kind of hardware limitation?  I've run across this in 5 completely different systems (ranging from a Pentium 4 based Celeron with 1GB RAM to my current Xeon E3-1230 w/32GB RAM) and across many different versions of unRAID,  I can appreciate that you and others my not have experienced this issue, but others of us have and it sucks.

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What kind of hardware limitation?  I've run across this in 5 completely different systems (ranging from a Pentium 4 based Celeron with 1GB RAM to my current Xeon E3-1230 w/32GB RAM) and across many different versions of unRAID,  I can appreciate that you and others my not have experienced this issue, but others of us have and it sucks.

 

Just for clarification, how/when does this happen? I've had a delay when starting a video on a spun down disk, but that is expected. Once the drive is up I've never seen any issues. If you are playing a video how are you also accessing a spun down disk? Or is this a second client connecting to a spun down disk, which is causing you issues on video playback you've already started?

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The issue occurs when you are already streaming media and concurrently access a spun down drive.  When you do, the stream will stop for up to 4-5 seconds.  I've posted this video on here before and Tom has even seen it, but here it is again.  This video shows me playing some music off my server through J. River Media Center while trying to scrape information for new movies (also on the server) using Ember Media Manager.  To do so it scans each disk for new movies.  When it does, the stream stops. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Lj-ISONmBo

 

This also happens whenever SickBeard or Couch Potato copy files to my server.  Also if I simply browse the directory via Windows Explorer or copy files to a spun down drive.  If all the drives are spun up there is no problem.

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This is awesome!  I can't wait to have BTRFS as a filesystem!

 

+1  Wouldn't that also mean we would be protected from bitrot?

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Exciting times ahead.  Thank you for the announcement(s).  More power to you!

 

Docker would sound to offer a perfect forward path to support addons - I need to spend some time time to investigate the possibilities.  However, I have at least one application which I would like to run 24/7, but requires a gui.  A VM with vnc has offered a good solution.  I'm guessing that a docker container cannot provide similar support.

 

Some time ago, Tom ran a poll to ascertain the demand to retain nfsv3 support.  If I understood correctly, his proposal was to eliminate nfsv3 support in favour of nfsv4.

My question is: Isn't it possible for the nfs daemon to support both v3 and v4?

 

What would it take to add v4 support?  Tom's arguments for moving to V4 were sound - just that some people have clients which don't offer v4 support - XBMC was one of these.

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However, it won't be long before they come screaming for the update on the roadmap for version 5, and whether it's not feature locked, or if any of this well be backported to version 5.  Your previous posts indicated that there would be more information on the future of v5, so you might want to address that before you get yelled at ;)

 

Apart from those people who are still running on 32-bit hardware, I cannot understand the resistance to moving to a 'final' release v6 - especially if that really happens within the next three months.

 

Perhaps maintenance/support would be easier if v6 was released in both i386 (with some functionality stripped out) and x86_64 builds, rather than separate v5 and v6 branches?

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Just an FYI to those that asked/brought this up...  I will be addressing v5 this week as well.  Tom and I felt it would be best to get these announcements out there first, then a Q&A to address all the logical questions that we knew would come up.

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"Support for Multiple File Systems"

 

Lack of this feature and the problems with ReiserFS were the reasons I left unraid. Native dockers on a native COW FS out of the box has potential far beyond the SOHO NAS market.

 

Thanks and keep up the communication.

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I'm disheartened that Q Parity isn't on the list.  That's a feature that was mentioned years ago, and comes up every so often in the forums.  It would be awesome.  And I don't want this statement to start any kind of debates amongst the people with various opinions on the matter.  Just making a statement that I'm disappointed, that's all. 

 

Lack of any kind of redundancy is why I haven't put a cache drive in my system yet.  So I'm very excited about that coming. 

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I'm disheartened that Q Parity isn't on the list.  That's a feature that was mentioned years ago, and comes up every so often in the forums.

Could this be added to the road map?

Maybe for v 6.1?

 

Sent from my GT-I9305 using Tapatalk

 

 

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I'm disheartened that Q Parity isn't on the list.  That's a feature that was mentioned years ago, and comes up every so often in the forums.  It would be awesome.  And I don't want this statement to start any kind of debates amongst the people with various opinions on the matter.  Just making a statement that I'm disappointed, that's all. 

 

Lack of any kind of redundancy is why I haven't put a cache drive in my system yet.  So I'm very excited about that coming.

Keep in mind, the above feature list is what we have planned so far that we feel we can realistically achieve by our release date.  This does NOT reflect the complete list of features we have planned overall for unRAID.

 

At the end of the day, we know there will be some folks disappointed that X or Y feature isn't on this post.  That said, know that our four core pillars of development are protection, capacity, performance, and capabilities.  Out mission is to constantly improve upon these four aspects as a team.

 

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What kind of hardware limitation?  I've run across this in 5 completely different systems (ranging from a Pentium 4 based Celeron with 1GB RAM to my current Xeon E3-1230 w/32GB RAM) and across many different versions of unRAID,  I can appreciate that you and others my not have experienced this issue, but others of us have and it sucks.

 

It's just the way that Linux interacts with ALL PC hardware and hard drives that can spin-down and take a while to spin-up. As I said before, if you don't want to be bothered by this issue, do not spin down your drives.

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