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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 88472 16-Aug-2011 23:40
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Hi.

I've just bought a 4 bay Thecus N4200Pro NAS and 4 x WD 3TB drives.

I'm currently building a Raid 5 array and would like some advice please.

I wish to use NFS shares on my TViX M6500 mdeia player, Win7 Pro PC, Win XP PC, and DLNA server for my Oppo Bluray, Yamaha reciever and sumsung phone. I would prefer my media to be on one 7TB partition if possible with the remaining 1.3TB space for OS backups.

I havn't got to the partitioning part yet (still building raid array) but I believe windows has a 2TB partition size limitation for NTFS. Is there any way I can create a 7TB media volume and have NFS shares and DLNA access the entire volume or do I need to split it into 2TB volumes?

I am using Ext4 with default 64kb stripe size. 

Any advice appreciated. 

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  Reply # 507649 17-Aug-2011 00:44
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you can use GPT instead of MBR for partitions on windows and create larger partitions than 2TB. Not sure how compatible it is with all the devices you mention though...




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  Reply # 507658 17-Aug-2011 05:54
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i am not familiar with all the devices. i use twonky media server so that my LG tv can stream videos from it flawlessly. i have n4200 with 4 x 2TB on raid 5.





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  Reply # 508050 17-Aug-2011 16:15
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The NAS will have no problem creating a large volume with Ext4, I believe the limits on the size of nfs shares and files shared by nfs (and samba too) in the current versions of protocol are massive and you are unlikely to run into them.

On the NAS I would just make one large raid 5 volume using the 4 disks in Ex4 format (sounds like you are already doing this). 

Then I would make two top level folders/shares/mounts eg: media and backup. You can make backup accessible only by a backup login/account and configure your backup software to use that account so that's it's not accessible other normal users on the network via network share.



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  Reply # 508221 17-Aug-2011 20:57
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Ragnor:
On the NAS I would just make one large raid 5 volume using the 4 disks in Ex4 format (sounds like you are already doing this). 

Then I would make two top level folders/shares/mounts eg: media and backup.


Hi Ragnor. Not having setup a NAS before I started the Wizard which wanted to setup raid 6 by default, so I changed it to Raid5 on 3 disks, couldn't choose Raid 5 on 4 disks from Wizard. Took a few hours to build.
Went back into Raid setup afterwards, removed Raid and rebuilt Raid5 over all 4 disks. I didn't tick "Quick" option and so far it's been 22 hours or so. Currently says 97.3% built with 23 mins remaining.

I'm a bit shocked at the available space though. I thought Raid 5 usable space was n-1 so 9 TB usable for 12 TB of disk? config software says available space 8377GB and Data Capacity 0.3GB/7459.9GB Data Capacity. What are the 0.3GB/7459.9GB figures and what is the 5% "Unused" space for? Thecus N4200Pro

Regards Allen.

Edit:

P.S. I should probably read the manual? 

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  Reply # 508305 18-Aug-2011 00:44
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Your WD 3TB drives are 3,000,592 MB formatted capacity, their marketing department calls this 3TB but computer operating and file systems use binary ie: base 2 not base 10 counting system so 1TB is 1024GB (not 1000GB) so the 3,000,592 MB formatted capacity of each of your drives is nearer to 2.9TB then there is some overheard from the bios/os/formatting of the drive.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 508387 18-Aug-2011 10:12
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AllenG: Hi.

I've just bought a 4 bay Thecus N4200Pro NAS and 4 x WD 3TB drives.

I'm currently building a Raid 5 array and would like some advice please.

I wish to use NFS shares on my TViX M6500 mdeia player, Win7 Pro PC, Win XP PC, and DLNA server for my Oppo Bluray, Yamaha reciever and sumsung phone. I would prefer my media to be on one 7TB partition if possible with the remaining 1.3TB space for OS backups.

I havn't got to the partitioning part yet (still building raid array) but I believe windows has a 2TB partition size limitation for NTFS. Is there any way I can create a 7TB media volume and have NFS shares and DLNA access the entire volume or do I need to split it into 2TB volumes?

I am using Ext4 with default 64kb stripe size. 

Any advice appreciated. 


You now have 9TB of usable drive space in a RAID 5 config???

I REALLY want to have a look at your setup! 




My HTPC - Case Antec Fusion Remote, MOBO Intel DH67BLB3, CPU Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5 GHz, RAM 8GB  DDR3 1333, HDD 120Gig Corsair Force Series 3 SSD system | WD Caviar Black 2TB data, Tuners Black Gold BGT3595 dual DVB-S/S2, dual DVB-T, Video nVIDIA GeForce GT 520, 1024MB, Sound Intel® High Definition Audio (onboard), OS Windows 7 x64



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 508722 18-Aug-2011 20:03
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blur: 
You now have 9TB of usable drive space in a RAID 5 config???

I REALLY want to have a look at your setup! 


8377.6 GB Wink

Never married, no kids, I can buy toys Tongue out

Regards Allen.

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  Reply # 508749 18-Aug-2011 21:28
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I'm in the market for something similar - prob as my Christmas project. I was looking at a cheap Lian Li EX40 option, but the documentation says max 2TB for drives. Just out of interest:
- How much did the Thecus set you back?
- What brand drives are you using?
- What sort of transfer rates are you experiencing?
- Now that you have it up and running, are you happy with it?

I was tempted to go with a 6 drive array in a raid5+1 setup (ie 5 disks in raid5, with the sixth as a hot spare), but the pricing on those boxes is outrageous. I could get a full commercial grade server for that sort of money, and the budget doesn't stretch that far - I also have major expenses on the house to cope with at the 'mo.

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  Reply # 508767 18-Aug-2011 22:04
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JimmyH: I'm in the market for something similar - prob as my Christmas project. I was looking at a cheap Lian Li EX40 option, but the documentation says max 2TB for drives. Just out of interest:
- How much did the Thecus set you back?
- What brand drives are you using?
- What sort of transfer rates are you experiencing?
- Now that you have it up and running, are you happy with it?


price for n4200 Pro http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=775651

price for n4200 Eco http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=791594

i highly recommend thecus. i have had it for a year now (mine is the original n4200 - i spent close to $1200 at that time!). i use 4x2TB WD green drives (they have not fail me so far). 2 drives DOA - returned to computerlounge and the replacement units works fine so far. 

there are lots of reviews available online for n4200! try google if you want to know transfer rates/speed/benchmark
 







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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 508784 18-Aug-2011 23:08
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JimmyH: 
- How much did the Thecus set you back?
- What brand drives are you using?
- What sort of transfer rates are you experiencing?
- Now that you have it up and running, are you happy with it?



Hi Jimmy,

The 4200pro has a dual core Atom processor 1G ram, mini ups, Dual Gigabit Lan, VMware ready + software modules for Itunes server, Twonky DLNA media server, mail server, Torrent client (Other thecuses do so I assume it will), ftp server, photoweb server, print server, web server, MySQL server, Surveillance server, 4 x 2.5/3.5 hot swap sata bays, 6 x USB, 2 x Esata, PCIe slot, etc

Thecus 4200pro Bare from Paradigm PC  $935 incl GST & free freight
4 x Western Digital 3TB SATA6GB/S Pwr-S Carviar GRN (WD30EZRX ) from Alpha City
$842.89 incl gst & freight. I emailed tham and they knocked about $40 off for buying 4 drives

Have had great service from both these stores. next day delivery from both. Don't use PC Online Shop. Ever. Terrible service. Don't even respond to sales enquiries or RMA requests from their website.

I'm using samba shares to win7 pro 64 bit. Win7 Add/remove features is broken on my PC and I can't add NFS to PC at the moment. Currently copying 1.3TB from a directly attached TViX media player connected as a usb drive at the same time as copying 500GB of VOBs from my PC. Windows file copy says  69MB/Sec Gigabit Lan averaging around 65% utilisation. 650Mbps

Browsing to the NAS shows it's CPU at 80-90%

Only had it 2 days, but so far very happy. 

Setup an NFS share on NAS for a media folder and briefly tested MP3 playback on Tvix M6500A media player. Havn't tried vobs or MKV yet. Also, havn't looked at DLNA yet either.

Just trying to sort all my content will take me till christmas!

Regards Allen.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 508832 19-Aug-2011 08:11
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AllenG:

8377.6 GB Wink

Never married, no kids, I can buy toys Tongue out

Regards Allen.


Sounds like bliss!

We spent money on going to DTT for the HTPC. The frustrating is that she thinks it's a waste because she claims she can't tell the difference!!!




My HTPC - Case Antec Fusion Remote, MOBO Intel DH67BLB3, CPU Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5 GHz, RAM 8GB  DDR3 1333, HDD 120Gig Corsair Force Series 3 SSD system | WD Caviar Black 2TB data, Tuners Black Gold BGT3595 dual DVB-S/S2, dual DVB-T, Video nVIDIA GeForce GT 520, 1024MB, Sound Intel® High Definition Audio (onboard), OS Windows 7 x64

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 508839 19-Aug-2011 08:33
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Hi Allen

A couple more questions (if you don't mind!) as this seems to be somewhere where I'd like to end up with my media collection.

Ok, understand you have a stand-alone NAS with total of 12TB, configured with RAID-5 (parity), giving (approx) 9TB usable.

Can you tell me (and this may be an obvious questions by the very name - NETWORK Attached Storage), how you intend to connect to this with your HTPC? Network is the obvious thing - so can you tell me a little more about your network? Switched Gigabit? etc.

The other thing, is what sort of storage do you have on your HTPC itself? This is the system partition I mean, and is this the drive that you intend to use to record television on, or will this be stored on the NAS also?

I've just ordered a 120GB SSD drive for my system partition, and would ideally like a NAS sitting somewhere that can hold my media. At this stage it will just be a 2TB drive sitting IN my HTPC, but I'd like to get it out of there for acoustic and thermal reasons. This drive is a WD Caviar Black, and these tend to be quite hot and noisy.     




My HTPC - Case Antec Fusion Remote, MOBO Intel DH67BLB3, CPU Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5 GHz, RAM 8GB  DDR3 1333, HDD 120Gig Corsair Force Series 3 SSD system | WD Caviar Black 2TB data, Tuners Black Gold BGT3595 dual DVB-S/S2, dual DVB-T, Video nVIDIA GeForce GT 520, 1024MB, Sound Intel® High Definition Audio (onboard), OS Windows 7 x64

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  Reply # 509107 19-Aug-2011 17:34
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AllenG:

Thecus 4200pro Bare from Paradigm PC  $935 incl GST & free freight
4 x Western Digital 3TB SATA6GB/S Pwr-S Carviar GRN (WD30EZRX ) from Alpha City
$842.89 incl gst & freight. I emailed tham and they knocked about $40 off for buying 4 drives



A DIY build is compelling if you have the tech nous imo, eg:

Note: pricing used is from playtech and computer lounge you can probably get parts cheaper from an etailer with no retail store, also normally you can get a decent discount from Playtech or Computer Lounge if you buy all the parts from them:

Case: Lian Li PC-Q08 ~$210
Mobo/Cpu/Gfx: Asus E35M ~$210
Power Supply: Antec Neo 520w ~$99
Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2x4) ~$120
OS Disk: Any USB or Compact Flash disk or an old spare hard drive ~$0-50
Storage Disk: WD Green 2TB x5 ~$527 ($115 x 5)
OS: FreeNas 8 ~$0

Total: ~$1200-1300

With FreeNAS 8 you can use ZFS for the file system which means you can use the awesome ZFS raid z.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 509114 19-Aug-2011 17:45
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Ragnor:

With FreeNAS 8 you can use ZFS for the file system which means you can use the awesome ZFS raid z.


Ragnor, Blur. I wanted an out of the box solution and was prepared to pay for it. Could have built it but would have had no support and steep learning curve. Also the Thecus is very quiet, compact and not too power hungry.

N4200pro does Ext3, Ext4, XFS, ZFS

I'm getting 70+ MB/s with Raid 5 & Ext4. What does ZFS give me?

Blur, I'll answer your other queries in a bit. 

Regards Allen.

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  Reply # 509132 19-Aug-2011 17:58
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Fair enough, custom builds do take a fair bit of time and tweaking.

Depending on what version they have implemented: Snapshots, deduplication, data verification integrity (that avoids the RAID5 write hole problem) etc.

You can read more about ZFS here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZFS

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