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MangoSalsa

Pool share permissions wiped after reboot

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Hello, I'm experimenting with the trial of DrivePool, and it seems the share permissions for the pool get removed after each reboot. I am using Windows Server 2012 and sharing the pool over the network. How can I fix this? Is this related to the service starting too late or something to that affect? NTFS permissions are maintained. 

That's really my only issue so far, although I do have a few misc questions:

- I've read about issues pointing Plex to a pool, but I did this and haven't encountered issues so far. What type of problems would I encounter pointing it to the pool, and what is the recommended approach if I shouldn't point to pool - just point it to one of the physical disks?

 

- How does the software determine where to put new files on a duplicated pool? I currently have 3 drives in a pool. When I copy new files to the pool, it's been putting them on the same two drives. The only data on the 3rd drive is data I've specified for 3x duplication. I'm guessing this has to do with available storage - it automatically copies to whatever drives have most storage? 

 

- How does the data look when taking a drive out of the server and plugging it into a different machine? Does it show the same contents as when you open that physical disk instead of the pool itself? So the 'PoolPart....'? 

 

I'm quite pleased with the software so far. The functionality is great and I like that the UI looks similar to the rest of the Microsoft interface on server 2012. 

 

Thanks. 

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Plex doesn't mind if it's data (media) resides on the Pool and it is in fact recommended due to it's size.  But I've read multiple posts from different people elsewhere that strongly discourage putting the local Plex data folder (images, etc) on the Pool.  I haven't tried doing that, and due to warnings I probably never will.  So you don't have to actually point Plex to the individual physical drives when setting up a media Library, just use your Pool pathing.

For a more in-depth explanation of why not to put Plex's data on the Pool, see this post, and look for the mention of Plex's database.

It doesn't sound like you have the auto-balancer configured to spread new file copies between the physical drives, or you'd be seeing new stuff your add appear on all three drives. Then the duplicator looks to see which physical drive each file resides on, and copies that file to (X) other drives depending on your duplication settings (how many copies).  If you have three drives and a duplication factor of 3 (keep 3 total copies) on some content, each drive will have a full copy of the content (folders and files).

Depending on the balancer and your auto-balance settings, you'd either see a full copy of the folder/file structure when you connected the drive to another PC...   or just a portion of it (since the balancer without duplication spreads a folder/file structure between pool drives).  Mine for example only has one important folder I told it to use 2x duplication on.  The majority of my content has 1x duplication (none).  If I pulled a drive and put it in another computer, it would only show a portion of most of my files, since the other 2/3 reside on the other 2 data drives in my pool.  I have auto-balancing turned on so it spreads files around evenly.

You could either turn on the balancer (or force it to kick off manually) to spread files around your Pool disks, or use some sort of protection scheme on your drives in case you lose one.  I currently use Snapraid, as it only needs 1 drive itself to protect a Pool using parity, is very flexible, and can be added after the Pool is established.

I don't have an easy answer for your share permissions issue, perhaps Christopher or someone else could suggest a fix.

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On 4/29/2018 at 7:51 AM, MangoSalsa said:

Hello, I'm experimenting with the trial of DrivePool, and it seems the share permissions for the pool get removed after each reboot. I am using Windows Server 2012 and sharing the pool over the network. How can I fix this? Is this related to the service starting too late or something to that affect? NTFS permissions are maintained. 

That's unusual.  Eg, it really shouldn't do that.  

 

In fact, the permissions are stored on the underlying disks, and read from there.  So they shouldn't be changing with reboot, unless something is messing with it.    So, in this case, it may be worth running a CHKDSK pass of all of the pooled drives, just to make sure.  And then do this:
http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool_Q5510455

On 4/29/2018 at 7:51 AM, MangoSalsa said:

- I've read about issues pointing Plex to a pool, but I did this and haven't encountered issues so far. What type of problems would I encounter pointing it to the pool, and what is the recommended approach if I shouldn't point to pool - just point it to one of the physical disks?

This only applies to storing the database on the pool.   This is because Plex uses hardlinks for it's data rather than a database. And hardlinks are not supported on the pool. 

On 4/29/2018 at 7:51 AM, MangoSalsa said:

- How does the software determine where to put new files on a duplicated pool? I currently have 3 drives in a pool. When I copy new files to the pool, it's been putting them on the same two drives. The only data on the 3rd drive is data I've specified for 3x duplication. I'm guessing this has to do with available storage - it automatically copies to whatever drives have most storage? 

By default, new files are placed on the disk with the most available free space (absolute, not percentage).   So if one of the drives is much larger, or has more data already, it will avoid using it, until all three have about the same amount of free space.

 

There are some balancer plugins that do change this behavior though. 

On 4/29/2018 at 7:51 AM, MangoSalsa said:

- How does the data look when taking a drive out of the server and plugging it into a different machine? Does it show the same contents as when you open that physical disk instead of the pool itself? So the 'PoolPart....'? 

Well, the pool is everything "relative to" the PoolPart folders. So the contents of the pooled drives  should mirror the pool, in part, under this folder.

Though, all you'd really need to do is install StableBit DrivePool on the new system, and it will automatically rebuild the pool.

 

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Thanks Chris.

Could you elaborate a bit on the share permissions? For example, I don't think I've configured the same share permissions on each disk in the pool. I set share permissions on the virtual pool disk itself. I know each physical disk is shared, but I don't recall if they have the exact same permissions. Perhaps that is the cause of the issue - conflicting permissions. 

 

As for Plex, are we talking about the actual installation directory? Otherwise, I haven't configured anything in regards to a database location. 

 

Thanks. 

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Well, if you mean for the shares, you can check "fsmgmt.msc" to view everything. 

And that should let you see them.

Personally, I find that setting the permission to "everyone: full control" and then falling back to NTFS permissions is the easiest way to handle this. 

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Thanks Chris. So here's another question. I'm running Server 2012 Essentials, and getting an alert about moving server folders that are currently located on the C: drive. These folders are things like File History Backups, Folder Redirection, Users, etc. I would gladly throw them on the pool so I quit getting this alert, but I'm wondering if that's a bad idea similar to the Plex database. 

 

 

Thanks. 

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9 hours ago, MangoSalsa said:

x, are we talking about the actual installation directory? Otherwise, I haven't configured anything in regards to a database location. 

Yep - the default Plex data directory (for it's database, thumbnails, etc) resides in the "%LOCALAPPDATA%\Plex Media Server" directory for Windows, which usually resides on the C: drive.  If you haven't moved it, you're good to go.  

Don't know about moving the Server 2012 Essentials folder(s), so I won't steer you wrong there.

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15 hours ago, MangoSalsa said:

Thanks Chris. So here's another question. I'm running Server 2012 Essentials, and getting an alert about moving server folders that are currently located on the C: drive. These folders are things like File History Backups, Folder Redirection, Users, etc. I would gladly throw them on the pool so I quit getting this alert, but I'm wondering if that's a bad idea similar to the Plex database. 

The rest of these don't use hard links, at all. So there is no issue with having them on the pool.  In fact, I run them on the pool.

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Thanks Chris. Microsoft recommends putting it on a drive that does not contain shares. Have you experienced any problems with this? My entire pool is shared. I'm guessing they only recommend that in terms of keeping the data locked down, so I will likely move it to the pool anyways. 

On a separate note, I just noticed that DrivePool integrates with the Dashboard on Server 2012 Essentials. That is pretty nice, it fits right in.

 

EDIT: I've now downloaded the Stablebit Scanner as well, since I hear it interfaces with DrivePool quite nicely. Do I need to do anything to 'link' the two  together? How do the two programs communicate?

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I've not seen that recommendation,  But I think that's for the file history backup.  And if that is the case, I understand why. 
 

 

As for StableBit DrivePool and StableBit Scanner, it's automatic, actually.  If you check in StableBit DrivePool, there is a balancer for StableBit Scanner, and that's how it is managed. 

You will also see some information about the drives in tool tips in StableBit DrivePool

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Thanks again. I apologize for all the questions, but it's obviously important to understand and ensure everything is working correctly when it comes to data backups. 

 

Is there any issue with running Windows Server Backups on the DrivePool itself? Or is it better practice to backup the physical drives? 

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21 hours ago, MangoSalsa said:

Thanks again. I apologize for all the questions, but it's obviously important to understand and ensure everything is working correctly when it comes to data backups. 

It's not a problem.  It's what I'm hear for, in fact. :)

And yeah, absolutely agree.  So don't hesitate to ask questions. 

21 hours ago, MangoSalsa said:

Is there any issue with running Windows Server Backups on the DrivePool itself? Or is it better practice to backup the physical drives? 

Yes.  Windows Server Backup relies on Shadow Copies (VSS), which doesn't work on the pool. You'd need to back up the individual pooled drives, or use some sort of syncing software. 

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Chris, 

Good to know. That probably explains why my backups started failing with VSS errors. I'm not terribly pleased with Windows Server Backup, so I am going to setup Veeam. Do you have any experience / info about using Veeam with the pool? Or more generally, do you have any suggestions for getting backups to the pool? I am backing up the server OS and pool data to an external, but I've been backing up client PCs to the pool since I don't care about their data being on an external quite as much. Maybe I have to option to backup data without VSS with Veeam. 

Separate note about Scanner - I read that you can set some sort of throttle setting within scanner to prevent disks from getting constantly spun up, so I set that to 60. I turned on the start/stop automatically toggle, and none of my disks were checked. I then kicked off checks manually, and it only scanned about 40% of one of my 4TB drives, and 4% of my second 4TB drive. The OS drive was 100% checked, and another disk was not checked at all. Should I expect it to take a long time? This was over the course of 12 - 24 hours that it only got to 40%. Maybe that throttle setting threw things off? 

 

Thanks. 

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With Veeam, only some.  IIRC, it has the same issues with backup, at least using the disk backup option, since it also uses VSS.

In either case, you'd want to use a file based solution, or to backup the pooled disks and not the pool itself. 

 

 

For StableBit Scanner, yeah.  But disabling the Start/Stop Automatically will stop the drives from being scanned, without manually clicking the "start check" button.

Just throttling the SMART queries should be all you need to do here. 

As for the length of the scans... if nothing else is happening, then 4-6 hour per TB.  But if the disks are active, then it may take closer to 8-12 hours per TB.  This is because the scans use a background IO priority. Meaning that any other access to the disks take priority.  So, if the disks are active, then it may significantly delay the scans.  

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