Time to go 16TB drives. Hardware question


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Hi guys, long time UnRaid user here (must be over a decade by now).  I have two Unraid servers - one active NAS and a backup server.  My backup server has about 52TB in it, and it is mainly using 12TB + 8TB drives.  I'm down to about 15% capacity left, so I want to begin the process to move this to larger disk storage, starting with Parity drive.  Although my Mobo is seeing the 12TB drives, I'm not sure if it will see the 16TB drives now available.  On the chance that it can't (and if you have any experience with Mobo compatibility with these 16TB beasts please chime in), do you guys have any recommendations for gutting this system and rebuilding it from scratch with a decent Mobo/Chip/RAM combo that would give me some headroom for the future?

 

Thanks in advance for any advice, experience, ideas, etc.

K

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In principle if your disk controller can see and handle the 12TB drives correctly it should have no problems handling 16TB drives as well.

 

Having said that I am not sure that I have seen any forum posts where a user has started using 16TB drives.  My suspicion is that this is because the cost/TB is not yet favourable to 16TB drives and Unraid users tend to be a little cost conscious.  Bear in mind that no data disk can be larger than a parity drive so you would first have to move parity to using 16TB drives.  One thing to be aware of is that the time for operations such as parity checks is going to increase by a third as the time is determined primarily by the size of the largest parity drive.

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I have started to use two 16 TB drives from Seagate, one of each for the parity drives:

- Seagate Exos X16 ST16000NM001G 16 TB SATA

- Seagate Exos X16 ST16000NM002G 16 TB SAS

 

I did chose Seagate simply because they are the only ones from which it is currently easy to get 16 TB drives in the open market. The competitors seem to sell everything above 14 TB almost exclusively to data center operators and storage vendors. Interestingly the SAS drives at that size are sometimes cheaper than the SATA, it seems that they sell more of those. I chose one of each, hoping to minimise the possibility that they come from the same manufacturing lot. While they don't provide the best TB/$ relationship if you look only at the drive itself, for me they have become cost efficient when I also take the cost of the disk slot into account (hot swap bay plus controller port).

 

They were recognized, I could do a full disk write/read with the Preclear plugin and recalculate parity, which obviously took longer than ever, as mentioned by itimpi. Controller is an LSI 9201-16i (now Broadcom).

 

So far I did not have any issues with the new drives. Alas shortly after the upgrade a 12 TB data drive (form HGST) started to create issues and I shut down the server, so there is not a lot of runtime experience I could share. If somebody with more knowledge regarding "pending sectors" and "uncorrected errors" and disk layout could have look and give me some tip, I would be grateful :-)

https://forums.unraid.net/topic/89193-parity-swap-procedure-with-dual-parity/?do=findComment&comment=845421

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4 hours ago, tstor said:

I have started to use two 16 TB drives from Seagate, one of each for the parity drives:

- Seagate Exos X16 ST16000NM001G 16 TB SATA

- Seagate Exos X16 ST16000NM002G 16 TB SAS

 

 

Thanks for this information.  These are exactly the same drives I had my eyes on.  I've been monitoring pricing and my original thought was to buy more 12TB drives, but surprisingly I found the 16TB drives were about $50 cheaper than the 12TB.  I guess it depends on what stock people have, etc. but clearly the economics right now seem to favor going all in with 16TB drives.

 

If I can use my existing hardware for 16TB drives (and I'm happy to punt - buy one and try it), I'll replace parity out first and rebuild.  If that is successful, then I can start to migrate out the existing drives (6 total) in my backup server over to 16TB and just gain capacity with each drive replacement after parity.  I suspect that once this is completed, I should have about 3 more years of capacity needed, although who really knows how that goes.  

 

If you do have some more information on how things are fairing, I'm all ears.  But I think even with this information, it is enough for me to feel comfortable just diving in and doing it.

 

K

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58 minutes ago, StevenD said:

I am using the Toshiba 16TB drives with a 9400-16i and they work prefectly.

 

Just be prepared for VERY long parity checks/rebuilds.

Thanks for the info.  Parity rebuild times are not a problem.  This is a backup server and not front-line production, so if it is slow for a week during parity rebuilds, I'm fine with that.

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  • 5 months later...
On 4/17/2020 at 5:15 PM, StevenD said:

I am using the Toshiba 16TB drives with a 9400-16i and they work prefectly.

 

Just be prepared for VERY long parity checks/rebuilds.

 

Hi

 

Looks like I have to move all my data back to a new unRAID server - so tell me, how long for parity build with 16TB drives and how long for parity check with 16TB drives? The price per TB seems to make 16TB drives sensible now.... I can live with long initial build but a weekly or monthly parity update could be an issue if it kills my Plex server!!

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2 hours ago, methanoid said:

 

Hi

 

Looks like I have to move all my data back to a new unRAID server - so tell me, how long for parity build with 16TB drives and how long for parity check with 16TB drives? The price per TB seems to make 16TB drives sensible now.... I can live with long initial build but a weekly or monthly parity update could be an issue if it kills my Plex server!!

Its LONG!  IIRC, a rebuild approaches 48 hours.  I use the party check tuner, and I have it set to run for 7 hours per might until it finishes.  The Parity Check History seems to be messed up when using the tuner, but I think it takes 6-7 nights to complete.

Edited by StevenD
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1 hour ago, StevenD said:

Its LONG!  IIRC, a rebuild approaches 48 hours.  I use the party check tuner, and I have it set to run for 7 hours per might until it finishes.  The Parity Check History seems to be messed up when using the tuner, but I think it takes 6-7 nights to complete.

That seems odd. I'm at 12TB parity and that takes me about 24-26 hours. 

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