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Made the move from Flexraid-F to Flexraid-F & Drivepool..I'm All In!!


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Hello All,

 

I have actually posted on another site and Drashna said it was fine that I posted here since there are many that have done this. I want to continue to use Flexraid-F for parity and use Drivepool to manage my pool.

 

I need your help, here is my current setup;

 

1 - Norco 4220 20TBs UNRaid Server running latest version all disks xfs, and running NFS as the protocol. This is my backup to my Windows 2012 Essentials Server, and I have to say that running the NFS protocol to my Windows 10 Kodi HTPC, ran flawlessly, no buffering whatsoever.

 

2- Windows 12 Essentials running FlexRaid-F, it has all my Movies, TV-Shows, and some other files I run FreeFileSync to Compare and copy any files to my UnRaid Server, but this is the server where I do all my work. Sadly, I figured out that FlexRaid-F does not support NFS, and FlexRaid-T Raid does. Apparently, I must be out of the time frame that they were offering a discounted price to current members, which I have been one since 2013, so I'd have to shell out the 100 dollars to get T-Raid. I refuse to do that.

 

This is where DrivePool comes in. back in 2013 I looked at DrivePool, DriveBender, sad to hear about them by the way, and FlexRaid. I already had UnRaid running. I chose FlexRaid because I liked the idea of parity, similar to what UnRaid was giving me, and I know it worked because I had rebuilt a few disks before, on UnRaid that is. I'd hope if there was a failure, Heaven forbid on my Windows Server that FlexRaid would work the same.

 

FlexRaid-F has worked well for me I can't complain, never could get an answer why my Verify would always fail though, but that's another story. I'm disappointed that after being a loyal member for so long that I have to shell out all that money for T-Raid. Also, if you make major changes to your server you have to buy another license. This is where DrivePool seems more appealing to me.

 

It is my understanding that DrivePool can use the built in NFS Server role in Windows Server, as well as other software such as HaneWin NFS Server, Drashna schooled me on that earlier, which will be great for streaming to my HTPC.

 

So now that I've given you some background, here is my question, and yes I have looked this up on the DrivePool forum and even tried to google it not sure if I used the right search phrases because I come up with nothing. So, this is where you guys come in. There is no formal guide that I have found, if there is one please point me to it, that points out how to use FlexRaid-F as parity, and DrivePool.

 

I have read the links from here: http://community.covecube.com/index.php?/topic/52-faq-parity-and-duplication-and-drivepool/&do=findComment&comment=3542

 

I believe I did it, however, I read this link after the fact, http://forum.covecube.com/discussion/720/dp-with-flexraid-raidf-comments#Item_30 towards the middle Saitoh183 wrote:

 

 

saitoh183 October 2012

Resident Guru
no you dont need a new partition, you go on your C drive, Create a folder and in disk management you remove the drive letter and choose NTFS folder(right-click on disk and choose "Change Drive Letter and Paths..". As for naming convention i use the disk location like Disk0, Disk1, etc. that corresponds to what i see in my disk management

 

Unfortunately, I didn't read that part and was curious, if I could remove the drive letters now, or do I have to go through the entire process all over again?

 

I would appreciate all and any advice. Thanks for helping this 'Ole Grumpy Marine..

 

-Semper Fi

gyrene2083

 

***Update***

 

I actually made the move after I tested and everything just went smoothly. I also was a twitter giveaway winner for a Drivepool License so how could I not do it! I don't regret it not one bit. Thanks to the Stablebit Team, Drashna for his patience, and time to walk me through things as you will read, and many others whose threads I've read to get me to this point......

 

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Welcome!  And yup, no issues posting about FlexRAID here. ;) 

 

If you're using NFS to stream to your HTPC, in most cases SMB/Samba/CIFS/WIndows File Shares will work in 99.99% of cases. Though, whether this is better or not heavily depends on your config. 

 

As for the quote and mount points, I think you're looking for something like this: 

http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool_Q4822624

 

StableBit DrivePool has absolutely no issue with changing or removing the drive letters or mount points. This is because it uses the Volume ID, which is unique (barring cloning) and never changes.  So you can change the mounts as much as you want. 

 

I'm not sure how FlexRAID handles it, but our software has absolutely NO issues changing it here. 

 

And checking FlexRAID's site, it's not clear if it has an issue with changing the mount points or not.  So without testing, I couldn't give you an answer to that. 

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Drashna,

 

Thank you for the warm welcome, and that is exactly what I wanted to do and I'm glad that I could do that on Drivepool, however as you pointed out Flexraid isn't as informative about this. I'll have to delve a bit deeper or just try it out.

 

For me the main reason I want NFS is because, on Kodi it seems to work better when streaming blurays. When using the SMB protocol I seem to have stuttering and buffering issues. I have tested both my Windows 2012 Essentials Server using SMB and my UnRaid running NFS streaming the BluRay - The Dark Knight Rises, it looked choppy and stuttered and even stopped at a few points when using the Windows Server. When I ran it using UnRaid, it ran flawlessly.

 

So I wanted to test how NFS would run off of the Windows Server to see if I woulld get the same or close to similar results.

 

-Semper Fi

gyrene2083

 

 

***UPDATE***

 

I just found this link on the flexraid wiki http://wiki.flexraid.com/2011/09/29/tips-mounting-your-drives-as-folders-on-windows/

This allows you to mount files as folders as opposed to drives. Let's see what happens when I have them already in Flexraid...

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Yeah, FlexRAID really isn't good about posting the info on this. 

 

As for SMB, I can definitely understand that..  But as a long time WIndows Home Server user, there are probably some networking issues causing the stuttering and buffering. If you're interested in "playing" with things, I have a "small" list: 

 

 

For the Network Adapter (in device management or "Configure" on the properties page):

 
Flow control: on (client and server)
"checksum" or "Offload": Off (client and server)
jumbo frames: off or default (client or server)
Green Ethernet: off (this decreases the power used, and for me seems to cause issues, Client and Server)
Interrupt Moderation: off (client and server)
 
run "netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=highlyrestricted" in an elevated console on the client machine (if Vista or Windows 7). (client)
 
Under network connection, where "Internet Protocol Version 4" is, make sure "QoS Packet Scheduling" is turned off or removed on all clients. (Client and Server)

 

 

Doing this may fix the SMB issues you're seeing.  But it may not.  But it may be worth at least trying, as it may help with NFS performance too!

 

I don't use raw blurays, but MKV (H.264) files on my network.  I don't have any issues with playback. Everything is as "smooth as butter" In part, because I do all fo this pre-emptively on all of my systems.

 

 

 

***UPDATE***

 

I just found this link on the flexraid wiki http://wiki.flexraid.com/2011/09/29/tips-mounting-your-drives-as-folders-on-windows/

This allows you to mount files as folders as opposed to drives. Let's see what happens when I have them already in Flexraid...

 

I had found that as well, but I didn't bother to include it because it didn't mention if it breaks the config or not, if it's meant to be done BEFORE you configure FlexRAID. 

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Drashna,

 

First let me say thank you so much for your dedication, and the time you have taken to help educate me. Also, allow me to say that you could change the title of this thread from wanting to make the move from flexraid-f to drivepool, to I'm all in!!! 

 

I just won a license from you guys on twitter. I freaking never win anything! So, I am all in Drivepool right now. I got Flexraid-F running via Expert mode so I have the parity all setup, and everything, seems to be looking good in DrivePool. I'm going to purchase the Stablebit Scanner as well. I just need a wiki so I could just print it out and read and study both the programs.

 

I will try your suggestions for the Network Adapter tomorrow, as I am free, and I plan on doing nothing but working on my Server, if your around, I hope I could pick your brain.

 

Again Drashna, I can't thank you and your group enough. You guys really made my day in freaking winning something. I really needed something good as it's been a rough few weeks for this 'Ole Marine. Thanks again.

 

-Semper Fi

gyrene2083

 

Oh and by the way my blurays are ripped in MKV (H.264) as well.

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You are very welcome! 

And I'm glad to hear that you won on the twitter giveaway!

 

Though, I'm not sure shich part you want/need a wiki for.  But we do have an online manual, that features most everything for how the program works:

http://stablebit.com/Support/DrivePool/Manual

 

And we do have a "seeding" guide for quickly moving everything into the pool (without taking hours or days to complete):

http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool_Q4142489

 

 

 

Oh and by the way my blurays are ripped in MKV (H.264) as well.

 

Then there is *definitely* a network issue.  I can stream 2-3 MKV files over the network without any issues, and do so regularly. And that's not counting the web based streaming that happens at any given time.

 

So yes, definitely check out those network settings, as it should definitely help (or fix) the issues. 

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For the Network Adapter (in device management or "Configure" on the properties page):

 
Flow control: on (client and server)
"checksum" or "Offload": Off (client and server)
jumbo frames: off or default (client or server)
Green Ethernet: off (this decreases the power used, and for me seems to cause issues, Client and Server)
Interrupt Moderation: off (client and server)
 
run "netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=highlyrestricted" in an elevated console on the client machine (if Vista or Windows 7). (client)
 
Under network connection, where "Internet Protocol Version 4" is, make sure "QoS Packet Scheduling" is turned off or removed on all clients. (Client and Server)

 

Drashna,

 

Thank you for everything I am going to buy Scanner today as I said I have the time. Now I started setting up the server with the modifications you recommended and came across the following and wanted to know your thoughts. I have an Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter in the Server.

 

Under "checksum" or "Offload", I have several instances where they show up below are where they are on the list:

 

IPv4 Checksum Offload

Large Send Offload V2 (IPv4)

Large Send Offload V2 (IPv4)

TCP Checksum Offload (IPv4)

TCP Checksum Offload (IPv6)

UDP Checksum Offload (IPv4)

UDP Checksum Offload (IPv6)

 

I don't have IPv6 enabled, I had that turned off, but should I turn off all of these?

 

-Semper Fi

gyrene2083

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