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Balancer not moving enough data to new drive in pool


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My drive pool was nearly full so I added a third 10 TB drive this week.

It just finished balancing this morning but the dark blue line for Unduplicated data is much shorter than for the first two drives. For some reason, the data is not being distributed evenly across all three drives.

Does anyone have any idea what's going on?

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On 1/8/2021 at 6:05 PM, Mr Ethernet said:

What I needed was the Disk Space Equalizer plugin, which actually shows up as "All In One" under the Balancers tab:

Wait a second... No it doesn't! My bad!

Sorry for any confusion. I was in a bit of a rush earlier and had apparently clicked on All In One when I intended to install Disk Space Equalizer. I hadn't installed what I thought I had. Either would have worked.

I am a minimalist, so I have now removed All In One and replaced it with Disk Space Equalizer, as that's all I need to get the aggressive balancing I want.

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7 hours ago, Mr Ethernet said:

Does anyone have any idea what's going on?

FWIW, I have seen the same thing on my DrivePool when I add a drive. DrivePool will "balance" the pool, filling up the new drive to a certain point, and then stop. My pool drives never really show up as perfectly balanced, either. I had assumed this was because I have a mix of 3TB to 8TB drives and maybe DrivePool was using some magic formula to balance them, doing the best it could with drives of various sizes.

Over time, my new drive will populate first and eventually the drives in the pool look fairly well balanced. It is certainly not as "balanced" as my hardware RAID system, but about as "balanced" as Windows Storage Spaces drives when I was using that system. 

Some people prefer not to have their pool drives "balanced" at all. There is a system for file order placement, where DrivePool will fill up the oldest drive first, and then move on to the next drive in the list. I have not used that method of file order "balancing" on DrivePool, but that system offers some advantages that I am considering might be a better option for me and my data.

DrivePool also offers file and folder placement rules to send assigned files/folders to designated drives. Which, for some people, I am sure is a great option.

There is an option in DrivePool to manually initiate a re-balance task. I would be curious to know, if you manually initiated a re-balance task, if your drives would look more balanced upon completion. Since all 3 of your drives are the same size, that would be an interesting test.

There is always the option to manually move a chunk of data from PoolPart on drives 1 and 2 to PoolPart drive 3 with less data. That would work for the unduplicated data. I don't think you want to touch your duplicated data unless you plan on having DrivePool recheck duplication after you move the files around. But you might be able to force a balancing on your own terms that way.

For me, I'm OK with the way DrivePool handles the balancing. Over time, the drives will all look pretty much the same. 

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7 hours ago, gtaus said:

I had assumed this was because I have a mix of 3TB to 8TB drives and maybe DrivePool was using some magic formula to balance them, doing the best it could with drives of various sizes.

I have three identical-model 10 TB drives, so I think I can rule out different drive capacities as being the problem here.

Interestingly, the third drive is 49.56% full. I wonder if DrivePool's trying to stop the third drive going past 50% for some reason?

I tried disabling all balancers apart from Volume Equilization but nothing changed.

I don't know what the logic is behind this behaviour but, as far as I can tell, it's not balancing the way it's supposed to.

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3 hours ago, Mr Ethernet said:

I have three identical-model 10 TB drives, so I think I can rule out different drive capacities as being the problem here.

Interestingly, the third drive is 49.56% full. I wonder if DrivePool's trying to stop the third drive going past 50% for some reason?

Yes, I noticed that you have 3 10TB drives. I don't know if 50% is some magic number for balancing new drives. I just wanted to comment that when I add a new drive if starts to fill up part way, but stops far short of "perfect" balancing the drives in the pool. Maybe the developers will comment on what we should expect on this balancing issue when we add a new drive. As I said, DrivePool balances the pool drives about as good as I saw with Storage Spaces. Not perfect, but good enough for me. Over time, they seem to level out.

 

3 hours ago, Mr Ethernet said:

I tried disabling all balancers apart from Volume Equilization but nothing changed.

I don't know what the logic is behind this behaviour but, as far as I can tell, it's not balancing the way it's supposed to.

Well, again, that's an issue for the programmers of DrivePool. I don't know how they set DrivePool to balance the drives when you initially add a new drive. It is my understanding that DrivePool defaults to adding files to the drive with most free space reported at the time. In that manner, your drives should be in balance over time. That is what I see on my DrivePool, and it works for me.

I have read, and re-read, the Stablebit DrivePool manual on this issue, but I find the information rather general in nature and it does not appear to dig down as far as you want. But maybe give that a look and something might pop up for you.

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I Googled it and what I needed was the second result - a page from 2018:

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The Volume Equalization plugin doesn't do what I thought it does. None of the default plugins do - you actually need to install one!

What I needed was the Disk Space Equalizer plugin, which actually shows up as "All In One" under the Balancers tab:

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This plugin immediately solved my problem by providing functionality that I previously assumed was the default right out of the box:

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2 hours ago, Mr Ethernet said:

What I needed was the Disk Space Equalizer plugin, which actually shows up as "All In One" under the Balencers tab:

This is a very new plugin. The guy who wrote the plugin started a thread here a number of weeks ago and has been working on his "All In One" balancer plugin. I know he recently submitted a minor update to fix a small bug, but I hear it's working good. I have been having some HDD failures and subsequently am swapping out dead drives with new drives. Once I get my DrivePool back up and running "normally", I will be trying out that plugin, too. It sounds like a better option than having 3 or 4 balancer plugins fighting each other.

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