To Raid or not To Raid

  • You have seen this a million times, but i have a question no one seems to quite answer


    fast background:

    - running OMV 4.1, G2020 core-duo @2.9GHz, 8 GB ram

    - ALL IMPORTANT DATA IS BEING SYNCED TO AN EXTERNAL DRIVE. every thing else is expendable.

    - HDD layout (all drives WD RED and NTFS: why? previously in windows rig):

    |--- 1x 2TB (hardware failure): it wants to change careers and become an angle grinder

    |--- 2x 3TB (working normally - 2-3 years old - probably same batch)

    |--- 2x 4TB (newly bought - probably same batch)

    |--- 1x 4TB 2-3 years old and had MFT corrupted. Restored to external and newly wiped


    I will be moving everything to ext4 after i deal with the below question


    When i lost my 2TB drive i didn't care much for the data (anime + movies), but it is irritating to just lose data from hardware failure.

    I found out how raid 5 works and i though it is a good idea (i have 3x4TB drives ready)

    after reading the forums, i realized that raid is problematic and a pain to deal with


    QUESTION 1: i am willing to buy 1 extra drive for every 2 storage HDDs i have, but is RAID 5 a solution to my situation? I just want to have a REASONABLE protection from hardware failure, nut a full backup. I also don't care about uptime, i just want to be able to get my date back if possible.


    QUESTION 2: is there a better way (snapshot backup, non-raid striping, whatever.......) to keep redundancy other then full blown 1-to-1 backup? I want to be efficient with storage capacity, 1.5-to-1 ratio is acceptable


    QUESTION 3: memory is limited to 12 GB ram max (mix and match). Which File system is recommended to move forward to. ext4? BTRFS? ZFS?


    QUESTION 4: since i am going to be removing most references to shared folders and the such, is there any reason to upgrade to OMV 5 while I'm at it?


    LAST NOTES:

    |--- I am a programmer, and i am trying to move to linux as my daily OS (manjaro KDE Plasma), but i am an UTTER NOOB at it, so i don't know which tools to use in linux.

    |--- all non-backuped data on the server are large video files and games files (bit degradation is not a big problem.... not much)

    |--- 4mbps internet => off-site backup is not an option

  • i realized that raid is problematic and a pain to deal with

    Yes and no, the problem comes to when it goes wrong, if you look through the raid section a number of issues have been related to a power outage that in itself can cause hardware issues particularly with hard drives. Most systems with a raid after a power outage are switched back on and the raid has 'disappeared' from the WebUI, but in fact the raid has returned a inactive, in this state the only way to recover is via the command line.

    Changing a failing drive can be done using the WebUI it's simple and it works because you have to instruct mdadm (software raid) what to do, mdadm is not hot swap so if one simply 'pulls' a failed drive and replace it the raid becomes inactive, back to the command line.


    Personally if someone wants to use raid fine, but be prepared for a very steep learning curve and potentially some command line work. Have you read this in this section.


    I have dropped my Raid5 and have moved to mergerfs and SnapRaid, still a learning curve but it meant I could use some of my current drives and upgrade others as it does not require the drives to be of the same size. I have also added a larger hard drive and use rsync to backup, this is set to run at night in the early hours. If you search the forum you'll find information about both.

    Raid is not a backup! Would you go skydiving without a parachute?

  • That is extremely insightful. Thank you very much. I have already read the post you linked.


    Can you also have a quick look at the above questions 2, 3, and 4? In the meantime, i will be looking at how mergerfs, SnapRaid, and rsync work

  • Question 2: OMV offers you two options, rsync which is what I use, I backup all my shared folders to separate drive and run this once a week overnight as a scheduled job. Rsnapshot as I don't use it it would be inappropriate to comment, however, google says :)


    Question 3: Your 12Gb of ram is more than enough, if you go with mergerfs and SnapRaid stay with ext4, never used btrfs, have used ZFS but not on OMV, but I have tested it in a VM, straightforward to set up but I believe the functionality is limited.


    Question 4: If you are starting from scratch then use OMV5.

    Raid is not a backup! Would you go skydiving without a parachute?

  • Question 2: OMV offers you two options, rsync which is what I use, I backup all my shared folders to separate drive and run this once a week overnight as a scheduled job. Rsnapshot as I don't use it it would be inappropriate to comment, however, google says :)


    Question 3: Your 12Gb of ram is more than enough, if you go with mergerfs and SnapRaid stay with ext4, never used btrfs, have used ZFS but not on OMV, but I have tested it in a VM, straightforward to set up but I believe the functionality is limited.


    Question 4: If you are starting from scratch then use OMV5.

    AWESOME!!! Most helpful forum interaction of my life!!!! Yo, my dear sir / ma'am, deserve a cookie. :thumbup:

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