Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
RookieKiwi

Pre-sales questions, interested in Unraid

8 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

Hey Team,
I am building a NAS for my house and have been debating FreeNAS vs UnRaid and after finding Spaceinvader One's Youtube channel im definitely leaning towards Unraid with the ease-of-use i have seen from many of his videos.

 

My use case is i basically want a nice server that i can store all my "legitimate backup" copies of movies and music but also spin up some VMs for node apps and seedbox/vpn tools etc, i just wanted to ask a couple pre-sales questions about the setup first before finally committing.

 

My setup is an oldschool Lenovo x3100 M5 Tower server with 16gb of ECC ram, Xeon quadcore E3-1231v3 processor, 1x 128gb SSD and 4x 4TB drives, now my questions are as follows

 

Q - Is there any performance issues using a USB3 stick to boot Unraid and also in the event the USB stick dies do i simply format a new USB stick whack it in and it will have all my settings etc stored on the array itself?

 

I want my SSD setup as a cache drive, 1x4TB drive as a parity and the remaining 3x4TB for data storage a couple of things i just want clarification around

 

Q - is it worth getting a second SSD to raid0 for space/speed increase on the cache disk or does data not normally stay on this drive for long periods of time?

Q - Does the USB flash or unassigned drives count towards the license or only the drives actively involved in the array/cache count?

Q - is there a ratio required for your parity drive size to insure 1-drive failure?

Q - when allocating memory to a VM is it 100% allocated to that VM or only when the memory is in use within the VM

Q - if a share is set to "Prefer" cache disk is the data backed up onto the array at all 

 

Sorry for all the questions just want to make sure i understand everything before i commit the money! thanks in advance!

 

James

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

Hi, welcome to the forum, and unRAID. I’ll take a stab at your questions;

 

It’s recommended to use a USB 2.0 device for the OS. These are found to be more reliable. There is no real performance penalty, as the system boots from the drive but th OS resides in memory and the boot drive is rarely accessed thereafter.

 

Your license is tied to your USB key UUID, so if it fails, you need to go through a process online to re-license the new key. I believe you can do this once every 12 months for free, but lime tech are a reasonable company to deal with.

 

UnRAID includes a facility to manually back up your boot drive contents and configs for easy restore. I believe this will become automated in future versions.

 

how you configure your shares will dictate how long data stays on cache. Also, if you store your docker data, vm data there or not will impact size requirements. I’ve found multiple cache drives to be a little unreliable in my setup so reverted to a single SSD.

 

UnRAID counts drives in the array, cache and parity towards license. USB key and unassigned devices are not counted.

 

Your parity drive must be at least as large as the largest drive in your array. That’s the only requirement. Parity does not store any of your data, that’s all on the array drives. The parity drive simply stores a parity bit that allows for the recalculation of data on any failed / removed drive. You can add a second parity drive to protect against 2 simultaneous drive failures.

 

parity is NOT backup. You should plan to store additional copies of any valuable/irreplaceable  data on separate systems as well as on unRAID.

 

memory is allocated 100% to a VM while its running and cannot be used by any other processes. Once the VM is stopped, it becomes free again.

 

A share set to prefer will have its data stored on cache and it will not be parity protected. You could set up a scheme to duplicate it to your array, but this is not inherent functionality. Further, any share set to prefer will actively move its data from the array to cache, if there’s space. Here’s the specific help note on this share type;

 

Prefer indicates that all new files and subdirectories should be written to the Cache disk/pool, provided enough free space exists on the Cache disk/pool.
If there is insufficient space on the Cache disk/pool, then new files and directories are created on the array.
When the mover is invoked, files and subdirectories are transferred off the array and onto the Cache disk/pool.

 

Hope that helps! Do grab the free time limited version and have a play with it.

 

good luck!

 

Edited by meep
Typos, hope I caught them all

Share this post


Link to post
38 minutes ago, meep said:

UnRAID counts drives in the array, cache and parity towards license. USB key and unassigned devices are not counted.

That’s incorrect.

 

All connected drives, other than the USB boot drive, count towards the license count.    This limit is checked when the data array is started.

 

However once the array is started additional drives can be added to be used as unassigned drives.   If the system is rebooted, these additional drives will count towards the limit so may need to be temporarily removed in order to get below the limit in order to start the data array

Share this post


Link to post
20 minutes ago, remotevisitor said:

That’s incorrect.

 

All connected drives, other than the USB boot drive, count towards the license count.    This limit is checked when the data array is started.

 

However once the array is started additional drives can be added to be used as unassigned drives.   If the system is rebooted, these additional drives will count towards the limit so may need to be temporarily removed in order to get below the limit in order to start the data array

Yes, of course, except for the pro license which has no such  limitation on attached devices

https://unraid.net/pricing

 

You get get sort of used to that.

Share this post


Link to post

As for VM's  I think some people put them on a unassigned ssd drive.

Use cache for docker and a cache for shares. Advantage = fewer times array spins up.

Example: downloads and CCTV are written to cache and move to the array at night.

Share this post


Link to post

Hey Guys,

Thanks so much to @meep and the rest of you for all your help you have answered all my questions :D exactly what i needed to know!

Share this post


Link to post

Is the boot drive/key locked to one computer? or when i upgrade can i just take out everything and put it into the new computer and it will just work?

Share this post


Link to post

@BlueMpoopSir No, The Key is locked to the GUID of the USB stick.  You can move it to new hardware just fine.  I did it 3 or 4 times since I purchased Unraid in 2014.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this