How would you setup a 4tb, 2tb and 1 tb drive? - individual, mergerfs?

  • I have a server, that primarily hosts files (both backup files for computers, and just documents shared among others). I recently upgraded to a 4TB hdd which is about 30% capacity.


    All drives are inside the desktop tower attached with sata to the motherboard

    OD Drive 480gb ssd -

    Drive A: 4tb (NAS drive) - has 4 shared folders on it

    Drive B: 2tb (desktop drive) -

    Drive C: 1tb (desktop drive) -


    What would be the best method to use these drives. the 4tb is the newest. the others are a couple of years old, and currently good, but will be the first to go.

    Should I mergerfs drives B & C to create a 3TB pool, and backup data from the 4tb drive? Or use the 3tb pool and backup to the 4tb?

    Should i create one large pool of 7tb?

    Should each drive stand on it's own and just hold data?


    I currently backup the existing data on a usb drive on a monthly basis.


    I should backup my OS too... which I currently don't. Should I back that up to my data disks, which are backed up to usb drive?


    I could use some thoughts suggestions on usage scenarios. I currently don't know how to create a mergerfs either. So that would be a learning curve.

  • sak.rice

    Added the Label OMV 7.x
  • sak.rice

    Changed the title of the thread from “Recommendations for hdd usage?” to “How would you setup a 4tb, 2tb and 1 tb drive? - individual, mergerfs?”.
    • Official Post

    I think I'm leaning towards a mergerfs of the 1tb and 2tb allowing me to learn how to do it, while making my 4tb the main drive. Any thoughts on that?

    The above brings forth a few questions:

    - About how much data do you plan to store? (I realize, at this point, you might not have even a rough estimate.)
    - Are you planning to backup as much as 7TB?
    - How large is the external USB drive?

    I should backup my OS too... which I currently don't.

    While it's not hard to rebuild OMV from scratch, remembering configuration details and other considerations can make the clean rebuild route a bit more difficult. My preference is booting from a USB thumb drive. It's easy (as in dirt simple) to clone and test a thumb drive.

  • The above brings forth a few questions:

    - About how much data do you plan to store? (I realize, at this point, you might not have even a rough estimate.)

    I recently upgraded from 2tb to 4tb, so I doubled my current storage amount and think I'm good for a while.

    Quote

    - Are you planning to backup as much as 7TB

    No, 4tb should be sufficient for a while. I did think about backing up the 4tb to the 3tb pool (I realize it would be a little short). Or running the 3tb pool (1tb+2tb) and backing those up to the 4tb. I'm not really sure the best use scenario. I don't need 7tb of space.

    Quote

    - How large is the external USB drive?

    Only 4gb... so I want to keep current max size at 4tb for the time being.



    Rebuilding it all from scratch would be a pain. I have 5 users on 5 different machines that access the server, and 4 shared folders. It would take me a while to get everyone setup and running again. They don't really understand what I did to set them up, and I don't remember what I did either. :D It has worked well over the few years it has been running.

    • New
    • Official Post

    Based on what you've said:
    You have 5 users so, while an outage wouldn't be the end of the world, being able to recover quickly would be a bonus.

    Further:
    Backing up data, some of which might not be replaceable, is far more important that backing up the OS,, so...
    I believe I'd setup rsync between the 4TB internal drive and the 4TB external drive.

    The reasons being:
    - Rsync will create a full backup of the internal drive, to the external drive, on an interval of your choice.
    (Don't set the replication interval to a matter of hours. Disk failures are not like flipping a light switch. You'll need time to discover that the primary drive is failing AND to intercede before corrupted data is replicated to the backup drive. Once a week would be enough.)
    - If (actually when) the internal drive fails, you could quickly fail over to the external drive (10 minutes or so) and use it as your data source until the primary drive is replaced.
    - The above techniques are relatively simple. You don't have to be a Linux expert to implement them.

    The particulars of how to use rsync to replicate a data drive are AND how to recover to the backup drive are -> here.

    For the 1 and 2TB drives:
    I'd think about using them in a mergerfs pool for creating a backup server (maybe using an SBC or an old PC?). Assuming that your data store doesn't exceed 3TB, if they're healthy, the age of the drives wouldn't matter much if the backup server replicates the primary once every month or two and is powered down. I have a 4TB USB external drive that is over 10 years old but, since it's only powered on for maybe a day, once every two or three months, it's skipping through time in a healthy state. As little as the drive is in use, it may outlast me.

    If you're interested in the above, creating a full backup server, there's a doc for that as well.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    OS backup is another matter.
    If the OS fails, an OS rebuild using your preexisting data drives would restore data. "But", if you're extensively configured and forgot how you set it up, getting back to where you were might take awhile. For OS backup, I believe that cloning thumbdrives is the way to go. It's easy do, test and it simply works.

    Since you appear to be using another form of media to boot OMV, there are other possibilities for OS backup like the backup plugin, Clonzilla and others. (Search the forum.) However, none of them are as simple as cloning and swapping out an external thumbdrive (or other form of USB connected boot drive).

  • Completely agreed, and that is what I currently do. I back up the 4tb drive to the usb 4tb drive. (I probably should have mentioned that).



    I'm using an old desktop as my server now, and just stepped up from a 20year old box I was using. So, I don't have a spare box anywhere. All the drives are internal. They are all connected in the one server box I have. I thought about just syncing them to mirror the data. Perhaps I could set them to spin down, and only have them spin up once a month? I'm not sure that would help.


    Thank you for the input, it is appreciated as I brainstorm through how to put these to use.

    • New
    • Official Post

    Perhaps I could set them to spin down, and only have them spin up once a month? I'm not sure that would help.

    Without actually powering the older drives down, they'll continue to age. Further, since the major stress on a motor is when power is applied, frequent powering on and off will create a good amount of wear and tear as well.

    The balance to be struck is powering them on once every month or two to keep the drive's spindle bearings from drying out while minimizing wear. With those conditions in mind, installing them in separate device that could be powered off most of the time would provide a tangible benefit as a backup last resort.

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