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iSCSI Migration Questions


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I am currently in the process of moving my storage drives to a new separate 24-bay enclosure. My original plan was to have Drivepool running in that storage box, and map the pool as a network drive to my new machine that I am building. However, I've realized that mapped drives have some limitations for my particular scenario. It would work, but it would be BETTER if the drives appeared as physical drives to the new machine instead of mapped. (Plex Media Server has a partial scan feature that can run a mini scan based on seeing if the contents of a folder changed. Works on normal drives, but not mapped network drives).

 

So I did some research into iSCSI as a solution. I've seen posts that say I should have no trouble adding iSCSI disks to a pool. At the same time, what I've learned about creating an iSCSI Target using Windows Server requires VHD's. Which I take to mean I will need to make a drive sized VHD on each physical drive, add those to the VHD target, then connect to the target from my new machine and add those iscsi connected drives to Drivepool running on the new machine. Am I correct with that course of action?

If I am correct, I will need to do this drive by drive in order to preserve my data. Basically my plan is:

 

1) Empty a drive from old pool.

2) Create VHD on empty drive that is the size of the whole drive.

3) Add VHD to iSCSI Target.

4) Connect to Target using new machine as Initiator, and add drive to new Pool on new machine.

5) Empty another drive from old pool onto the NEW pool and repeat the process.

 

END RESULT: 
-All drives reside in large enclosure

-All drives mapped to new machine via iSCSI

-New Drivepool running on New machine see's all drives as physically attached

 

Does that sound like a correct plan, or am I needlessly complicating things? 

 

 

 

I assume the following:

 

A. I cannot add a drive with existing data to iSCSI Target, because it needs VHD's, which is not how the drives are currently setup.

 

B. I cannot make a single VHD for the Target from the pool itself because a pool sized VHD is impossible; cannot have a VHD be bigger than the individual drives in the pool.

 

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts!

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But IIRC, plex can do the fast access over a network.  And more importantly, using the UNC/SMB/CIFS/etc path means that local clients *should* actually play directly from the share (direct play or direct stream) rather than require transcoding from Plex.   

 

 

 

 

Confirmed it. Last night I replaced my library paths from mapped drive letter to UNC paths. Plex's partial scanning capability is functioning properly. Much thanks. This is much better. With the mapped drive letter, Plex doesn't receive a flag that the contents of a folder changed, so no partial scans, which means I had to run frequent WHOLE LIBRARY scans to ensure content was added to Plex in a timely manner, which is just not a good method.

 

So cheers! Thanks for saving me days of copy time, as well as an OS format and other such nonsense!

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Yup, that's pretty much spot on, on all accounts.

 

 

And yes, this sounds like a complicated plan.

 

I'd just use network shares, and eschew iSCSI and mapped drives.  

Plex should have no issues with network shares, and I believe that the fast scan does work over SMB/Samba/CIFS

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I'd just use network shares, and eschew iSCSI and mapped drives.  

Plex should have no issues with network shares, and I believe that the fast scan does work over SMB/Samba/CIFS

 

 

 

Oh I hadn't realized that mapped drives would function differently than network shares. Just to be clear, you mean sharing the folder then telling Plex the UNC path instead of the mapped drive letter?

[e.g. \\Server\Movies]

 

Thanks a bunch for your help. If this allows fast scan to work again, you've saved me many hours of copying!

 

 

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Well, the mapped drives don't really work differently, IIRC.  They're just there for convenience. 

 

But IIRC, plex can do the fast access over a network.  And more importantly, using the UNC/SMB/CIFS/etc path means that local clients *should* actually play directly from the share (direct play or direct stream) rather than require transcoding from Plex.  

 

So, by using the network share paths, you may save some CPU power on your plex system. 

 

 

And by hours, you mean days.... :)

Because it's about 4 hours per TB for a straight copy.  Depending on how many TBs this is.... that may have been a week long project. Which, yeah....

 

 

 

 

And yeah, I use a similar setup, actually.  I used to have both the storage and media on the same system, but ... that had issues (too many things on one box). 

Plex and Emby seem to work fine over the network, so...

Also, I run a dedicated NIC for each, so the media server is directly connected to the storage server. And I've configured things so it always uses this "private segment" for access, but use the path substitution for reporting to clients.  It's complicated to set up, but it's a nice optimization, IMO, 

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