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Question Re: evacuation of unduplicated data from the damaged disk.


RussellS
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Hi, I am currently evaluating StableBit Scanner to decide whether to purchase that or HD Sentinel Pro which I already have one license for on another system. However I have a question regarding Scanner that I cannot find the answer to in the FAQ or the forum. Firstly though let me just outline my system.

I have two systems, a Media Server and a Backup Server both around 10TB in size. Both systems are running SnapRAID for parity protection and Drivepool. The SnapRAID parity is calculated on the Media Server every night at around 2am and then every Sunday at around 3am any added or changed files on the Media Server are backup up to the Backup Server and then SnapRAID parity is calculated on that.

Due to the parity protection and the backup of data I have no need nor do I want any file duplication or any files moving between disks. It is for this reason that I was concerned about the following statement in the DrivePool FAQ regarding StableBit Scanner and a failing drive:

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If you have some unduplicated files on the pool, and the StableBit Scanner is installed, it will try to detect the disk failure as early as possible. At the first sign of damage it will send a message to StableBit DrivePool instructing it to begin immediate evacuation of unduplicated data from the damaged disk.

I really don't want this happening at all and would just want Scanner to notify me of the failing drive so that if necessary I can just replace the drive and then either regenerate the drive data from the parity with SnapRAID or restore the data from the backup. However, I could not find any setting in either Scanner or DrivePool to disable this 'evacuation of data'.

Is it possible for Scanner/DrivePool to just notify of problems but take no action itself.

 

Thanks

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7 hours ago, Shane said:

Yes; the response handled via a balancer in DrivePool, which you can configure or disable as you desire.

Thanks Shane. So just to be sure, by having 'Do not balance automatically' ticked in Balancing settings the 'evacuation of data' feature will be disabled.

Also, I was wondering if you or anyone else for that matter had any thoughts to help me decide between StableBit Scanner and HD Sentinel Pro to keep an eye on my drives. As I said earlier my Media Server has HD Sentinel Pro and it has worked very well and keeps me informed of any issues although it did recently report one of my drives suddenly dropped from 100% down to 11% overnight and warned of imminent failure. However after replacing the drive I then checked the reportedly failing drive with Scanner and it's reporting it as healthy albeit with a couple of non critical SMART warnings.

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The StableBit Scanner balancer in DrivePool has a number of options, too.  It may be worth "fine tuning" the settings (such as only evacuate unduplicated data). 

As for StableBit Scanner vs HD Sentinel, both are good utilities.  However, my biggest issue with HD Sentinel is the "percentages" for health. They're basically meaningless, since the SMART data stuff can be inaccurate or non-critical.   Additionally, it displays the raw values, and not human readable info...  

Also, HD Sentinel relies on black box "SMART" self tests.  It does have a surface scan test you can run, as well. 

But StableBit Scanner monitors the SMART data, will send notifications if issues arise, and monthly run both a file system scan, and a surface scan.  It doesn't wait on you to initiate a scan.

 

But again, both will serve you well. 

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Thanks Christopher,

1 hour ago, Christopher (Drashna) said:

As for StableBit Scanner vs HD Sentinel, both are good utilities.  However, my biggest issue with HD Sentinel is the "percentages" for health. They're basically meaningless, since the SMART data stuff can be inaccurate or non-critical.   Additionally, it displays the raw values, and not human readable info...  

That's the conclusion I came to when HD Sentinel showed the health percentage for one of my drives drop from 100% to 11% overnight and gave it around 10 days until it died. I panicked and replaced the drive immediately but then when I checked the supposedly faulty drive it was fine. In fact I formatted it and it is now in use in the Backup Server as we speak.

1 hour ago, Christopher (Drashna) said:

But StableBit Scanner monitors the SMART data, will send notifications if issues arise, and monthly run both a file system scan, and a surface scan.  It doesn't wait on you to initiate a scan.

OK, you've twisted my arm, I'll go for StableBit Scanner :D. As an existing customer I can get it cheaper than HD Sentinel as well so that's an added bonus.

 

Thanks again for your help.

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On 2/18/2021 at 3:04 AM, RussellS said:

Thanks Shane. So just to be sure, by having 'Do not balance automatically' ticked in Balancing settings the 'evacuation of data' feature will be disabled.

No, as the evacuation feature overrides the Automatic balancing section (because if you're using the evacuation feature, you want it to get to work the moment it notices a problem). So you would also want to do at least one of the following:

  • configure the StableBit Scanner entry in the Balancers tab as you prefer (for example, you could turn off everything under File Evacuation while turning on Temperature Control)
  • un-tick the StableBit Scanner entry in the Balancers tab to disable it completely (if you don't want Scanner and DrivePool to interact at all)
  • un-tick the "Allow balancing plug-ins to force immediate balancing" in the Settings tab if you do not want ANY balancer to be able to override the Automatic balancing section of the Settings tab.

 

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On 2/19/2021 at 2:11 AM, Shane said:

No, as the evacuation feature overrides the Automatic balancing section (because if you're using the evacuation feature, you want it to get to work the moment it notices a problem). So you would also want to do at least one of the following:

  • configure the StableBit Scanner entry in the Balancers tab as you prefer (for example, you could turn off everything under File Evacuation while turning on Temperature Control)
  • un-tick the StableBit Scanner entry in the Balancers tab to disable it completely (if you don't want Scanner and DrivePool to interact at all)
  • un-tick the "Allow balancing plug-ins to force immediate balancing" in the Settings tab if you do not want ANY balancer to be able to override the Automatic balancing section of the Settings tab.

 

Thanks very much for clarifying that Shane, I wasn't aware those settings were there. I understand it a lot better now.

 

Thanks again

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