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WinoOutWest

Current Flexraid (pooling only) user looking for an alternative

Question

Edit - I've found a few of my own answers - can anyone help me on the remaining Q's?  I really need to figure out whether I am staying with Flex or moving to Stablebit.

I have been using Flexraid for drive pooling for over 3 years and have been reasonably happy with the pooling.

 

Registration issues are forcing me to reconsider - and urgently as I have been down for more than a week now waiting for them to sort a re-activation issue.  I've already paid twice for the product b/c it was just less hassle to buy a new license with my last rebuild but I refuse to buy it a 3rd time just to resolve my issue (their activation issue/strategy)

 

I am looking for DrivePool experiences to verify my option of moving to DrivePool.

 

I currently have 9 drives in a single 23TB pool.  I've added and swapped out different drives over the years and not really had any hiccups with that.

My important data is backed up automatically nightly offsite so I am really only looking for a non-destructive pooling like I have with Flexraid.

 

This is running on Windows 10 machine and I have windows shares set up from within my pool with some different rights i.e. kids don't get access to the "Movies-R" folder.

 

Questions:

1) Is my assumption correct that DrivePool doesn't really care about my controller/drives as long as Window can see them beforehand?

1b) Is my assumption correct that I can take my Flexraid drives out of the Flexraid pool and add them to my DrivePool without any data loss/issues?

2) Can I add drives to increase my pool painlessly?

3) Can I remove a drive from the pool, copy files over to a new, say larger drive, then re-add the new drive to the pool?

4) Does DrivePool prioritize continuity of files are not spanned across multiple drives?

5) Does my DrivePool license belong to me or my hardware?  For example if I re-do my server in 2 years and replace a MB, some drives etc do I use the same license or do I need to re-purchase/upgrade?

6) Have any users here come from Flexraid (or vice versa) that can share their experience?

7) any caveats or other advice based on my hardware or other information provided that would cause concern?

 

Thanks in advance.

Cheers!
Darren

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Buy it. You won't regret it. You don't get screwed over for hardware changes like Flexraid and the product does so much more than just pooling and again much better than Flexraid pool.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Proper non tapatalk post!

 

Yes, I used FR and also got licence-cheated (IMHO)...  DrivePool works well, offers SSD caching. Licence belongs to you not your hardware. Support is more active than FR (go to forums and compare Drashna vs Brahim).

 

Offers duplication of files (not avail under FR).

 

Add SnapRAID (Free) if you want parity protection too.

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First, I'm sorry to hear that you've had some bad experiences with FlexRAID (and from what I understand, this isn't too uncommon....)

 

I know you've mentioned that you've already answered some of your questions, but let me answer all of them. I've posted some links below, that may compliment some of the answers you're looking for, as well. 

  1. Yes, correct. As long as the drive shows up properly, DrivePool has no issues with the drive. 
    b. As for FlexRAID, I believe so, I'm not entirely sure, as I'm not very familiar with FlexRAID
     
  2. Yup. Just connect a disk, it should show up as "non-pooled", and you just add it.  If files need to be moved around to optimize space, the balancing system will handle that invisibly.  Very, very painless. 
     
  3. Yes, technically.  Though, if you add the disk, and then remove the old disk, chances are that this will accomplish the same thing. 
    Though, this is a bit more technical, and I can go into more detail if desired. 
     
  4. Depends on what you mean. It's a file based solution, so each file is completely on a single disk. Also, with stuff like the "Ordered File Placement" balancer plugin, you can fill up a single disk at a time, and this should help keep folders together. 
     
  5. The license belongs to you. Period.  We do associate it with the hardware, so that it's not activated on a bunch of systems at the same time (you know, unless you have multiple licenses :) ). 

    But if you have to reinstall or you opt to upgrade hardware, there is absolutely no issue with doing so.  We do have a build in deactivation system, but worst case, you can always contact us and we can deactivate it. 

    http://stablebit.com/Support/DrivePool/Licensing
     
  6. We do have a thread about parity, that has a number of links for FlexRAID and SnapRAID users. Though, more of it is how to use both peices of software together to get parity and easy pooling. 
    http://community.covecube.com/index.php?/topic/52-faq-parity-and-duplication-and-drivepool/

    It may be worth checking out, regardless. 
     
  7. Caveats or the like? We highly recommend duplication, that way if a disk fails, you haven't lost anything, and can immediately continue to use your pool.  (remove the missing disk, and the software will automatically attempt to reduplicate the missing data. 
    As for caveats, we don't actually store a list of the contents on the disk, and we leave that up to the disks. This can cause issues if duplication isn't enabled, as we don't have a master list.  The latest beta builds (2.2.0.676) include some auditing tools that should allow you to essentially create lists manually. 

    Aside from that, we don't support parity natively.

 

 

 

 

 

As for the kids thing, NTFS permissions should be able to accomplish that, if needed.  Or create a hidden share and use Plex/Emby/etc to stream the content (just add "$" to the end of the share name to make it hidden). 

 

 

Additionally, we have a seeding guide for moving the data from a pooled disk, if it is not showing up in the pool:

http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool_Q4142489

(eg for adding disks with existing content) 

 

Also, if you want to hide the disks, but keep access to them, just in case:

http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool_Q4822624

 

 

 

And if you have any more questions, do not hesitate to ask. 

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