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      Getting Help   11/07/17

      If you're experiencing problems with the software, the best way to get ahold of us is to head to https://stablebit.com/Contact, especially if this is a licensing issue.    Issues submitted there are checked first, and handled more aggressively. So, especially if the problem is urgent, please head over there first. 
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m&m

External Options for DrivePool Disks

Question

I have a bunch of older 3, 4 and 6TB drives that aren't currently in my main system that i want to make use of.  What are some suggested options to externally adding these to a drive pool?  I saw this in one post IB-3680SU3 and have seen something like this before as well Mediasonic H82-SU3S2  is there anything i should be aware of to make this work optimally?  I'll also have a few drives in my main system that would be part of the pool as well.

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No issues.

I would recommend eSATA over USB, if you have the option (it's more stable, for long term storage).

Also, you may want to read up on the hierarchical pooling in the beta. (store one copy internally and one externally)

http://blog.covecube.com/2017/09/stablebit-drivepool-2-2-0-847-beta/

 

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I have a question on external drives

 

I have a computer with about 14 Drives giving me 40 TB of movie space and duplications and running Windows Server 2012 Essentials. I purchased a Newer Synology NAS running four 8 TB Red drives because I have a lot more movies to load. I was trying to decide how to hook the NAS to DrivePool.  Since DrivePool does the duplication, can I just set those four Red drives to Basic so each drive is separate and allow DrivePool to do it's thing?  My question is what is the best way to get DrivePool to see those four drives so I can add them to the pool, since they are in the NAS and not in the server?

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Not a problem.  And that you didn't need to read the manuals is a testament to it's simplicity. :)

That said, iSCSI does work, and work well.  And so does StableBit CloudDrive, using the "File share" provider.  And both wouldn't let you access the existing data, unfortunately. 

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On 11/29/2017 at 5:13 PM, m&m said:

I have a bunch of older 3, 4 and 6TB drives that aren't currently in my main system that i want to make use of.  What are some suggested options to externally adding these to a drive pool?  I saw this in one post IB-3680SU3 and have seen something like this before as well Mediasonic H82-SU3S2  is there anything i should be aware of to make this work optimally?  I'll also have a few drives in my main system that would be part of the pool as well.

I have the MediaSonic 8-bay you mention, and the earlier 4-bay version of it. I initially tried USB 3.0 connections with it, but found the connection a bit unstable (random disconnect about once a week), but it's solid under eSATA. I do not know, but kind of suspect that the USB instability was partly me being a pretty early adopter in USB 3 land, and drivers and possibly USB hardware being less stable then. Another caveat with these enclosures, they do not support UASP, so you don't get optimal performance on USB 3. I believe driver and hardware support of USB 3 to be much more mature and reliable now then it was when I first tried 4-5 years ago.

I just purchased another 8-bay unit, but this time the StarTech equivalent (S358BU33ERM), otherwise mostly the same. It has a bit less manual options (fan speed, connection) but I don't really find that to be an issue. I'm going to give it a try USB 3 first, partly because this unit DOES support UASP (One of the main reasons I switched from the MediaSonic) so I should get better performance. So far it seems very reliable and performant, but if I encounter any hiccups I will just move it to eSATA as well.

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, m&m said:

After you use it a bit can you let us know which of the two external devices you'd recommend?

I'll try to remember to follow up. I can say right now, the MediaSonic 8-bay as an eSATA device has been perfectly fine.  The bigger challenge when I was setting it up was making sure I had pieces that supported everything properly. eSATA with JBOD external boxes early on had really similar challenges to USB 3, and at the time I first got these things going, most on-board SATA chip sets didn't support port multipliers. The add in eSATA card I originally was using, early drivers and versions of SIL3132 chipsets I think were wonky. I ended up just buying the card MediaSonic recommended, which had the same SIL3132 chipset in my first card, but has been stable and reliable compared to my first card. That's all a long way of saying, if you are going to connect it via eSATA, the 8-bay MediaSonic has worked very well for me as long as all the pieces in your setup support it (i.e. port multiplier with your SATA chipset is reliable).

It was in USB3 I had problems with it, but I've never gone back and re-tried it, so I can't say that USB3 attached now wouldn't work perfectly fine.  I also can't say for certain if the USB problems I had then were drivers, USB chipset on my system, USB support in the device or OS (I've upgraded my server OS and hardware since then). But I can say, as I noted earlier, that it doesn't have UASP, so I am less inclined to connect it that way now.

It's only been a couple days of course, but the StarTech has worked great since I installed it, and I plan tonight to migrate the disks from my 4-bay to the StarTech enclosure, so that should really help me test the USB connection out.

 

 

 

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On 12/20/2017 at 9:55 AM, JasonC said:

I'll try to remember to follow up. I can say right now, the MediaSonic 8-bay as an eSATA device has been perfectly fine.  The bigger challenge when I was setting it up was making sure I had pieces that supported everything properly. eSATA with JBOD external boxes early on had really similar challenges to USB 3, and at the time I first got these things going, most on-board SATA chip sets didn't support port multipliers. The add in eSATA card I originally was using, early drivers and versions of SIL3132 chipsets I think were wonky. I ended up just buying the card MediaSonic recommended, which had the same SIL3132 chipset in my first card, but has been stable and reliable compared to my first card. That's all a long way of saying, if you are going to connect it via eSATA, the 8-bay MediaSonic has worked very well for me as long as all the pieces in your setup support it (i.e. port multiplier with your SATA chipset is reliable).

It was in USB3 I had problems with it, but I've never gone back and re-tried it, so I can't say that USB3 attached now wouldn't work perfectly fine.  I also can't say for certain if the USB problems I had then were drivers, USB chipset on my system, USB support in the device or OS (I've upgraded my server OS and hardware since then). But I can say, as I noted earlier, that it doesn't have UASP, so I am less inclined to connect it that way now.

It's only been a couple days of course, but the StarTech has worked great since I installed it, and I plan tonight to migrate the disks from my 4-bay to the StarTech enclosure, so that should really help me test the USB connection out.


 

Please let us know your result. I personally was investigating USB 3 with UASP, the problem I found was some users complaining of corrupted data, drives wiped, etc, in reviews. I found this across the board with many enclosures. Seems they also go to sleep which may be a power setting issue in the OS.

I have extensive experience with eSata and many enclosures, but the tech is dated, the controller cards are now a small selection and problems with drivers on Windows newer OSes for older cards. On my main system [file host] I moved to SAS and for expansion a DAS SAS enclosure [both homebrew]. Works great, but I have a need to create a small drive expansion for a NUC to use it as a server, and I can't seem to find a small USB 3 enclosure [2 to 4 drives] with USAP that doesn't have some negative reviews from purchasers, mostly based on drives wiped or quick enclosure failure. Also they all seem to have weak or no effective cooling, the last thing I want is hot drives.

On 12/20/2017 at 9:55 AM, JasonC said:

 

 

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Well, I've migrated the 2 disks I had in my 4 bay over to the new StarTech. I forgot I re-organized my disk layout a while ago, so I only had 2 SSDs in the 4 bay, so I can't yet speak to heat.  I don't recall how the StarTech is setup, I'll say this for the MediaSonic's, I thought they had excellent cooling in them.  But I also have my equipment in the basement where the ambiant temperature is always fairly cool.

Now, the sorta good news, the SSDs are holding virtual disks for VMs, so they are very sensitive to disconnects. It's only been about a day, but no issues so far, and the performance seems good.

Quote

I have extensive experience with eSata and many enclosures, but the tech is dated, the controller cards are now a small selection and problems with drivers on Windows newer OSes for older cards.

I know what you are saying here, but I've had a different experience, the drivers have become mature, there aren't updates because there's nothing to update. They are stable and performant enough, that is, you are held up by disk speed or fundamental bus speed of SATA at this point, there's nothing left to optimize. I'm not sure what issues you have, I'm running Sil3132 based SATA controllers on Windows Server 2016 with no issues connecting eSATA with port multipliers. I've gone pretty good runs without reboots, it's more been external events (power failure) or Windows patching that's made me reboot.

I had almost done what you did, if port multipliers didn't pan out, I was looking at going to SAS, but boy was it expensive at the time.

 

 

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Update: I've switched back to eSATA.  I was noticing what I think are sporadic time-outs occurring on the disks connected through USB storage.  I suspect that this is a result of USB having some trouble under high load. The thing is, I'm also not sure this isn't a fault of my setup, as I'm not 100% certain what happens as far as drivers and such when you pass-through a USB attached disk to a VM, so it's entirely possible that I'm not getting the benefits of UASP. Windows makes it somewhat hard to tell what is happening at that point, in the chain of how things are connected and attached and communicating. I'm curious enough that I may see if I can get an answer out of Microsoft or if someone here knows for certain, I'd be interested in hearing the answer.

 

 

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...Startech eSATA user here, with the Startech Avermedia based eSATA PCIe card - solid as a rock thus far, was not my experience over USB3.0 with my previous enclosure.  DriveScanner sees everything as if it were an internal card drive too which is nice.

 

 

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