Jump to content
Covecube Inc.
  • 0
essential

Ideal OS for DrivePool

Question

I'm a bit new to NAS.  I've been reading for weeks trying to figure out what to buy/build.  I've narrowed my choices down to either buying a Synology, or building a mitx box and running either Unraid or an OS with DrivePool.

 

Since DrivePool requires and OS that's another layer of semi-maintenance (updates, security, etc) but from what I've read DrivePool is also the fastest solution and, like Unraid, I like that everything is stored in NFTS (just in case).

 

Whatever I build will just be for serving media files to HTPCs, documents/pictures/files to user PCs, and backing up files from user PCs to the box.

 

If you were starting from scratch today and money wasn't an issue, what is the ideal OS for DrivePool and Scanner?  Are they all basically the same or do some just "work better" with the software? I'm trying to get as maintenance free as possible, which is why I originally looked at Synology, but I read about how to recover data in the event you loose more than one disk and I'd prefer to stay with NFTS if possible, which brought me to DrivePool and Unraid.

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

There really isnt' a best OS. It depends on what you want out of the box, actually. There is definitely a "best for you", though.

 

 

I generally recommend Server 2012 R2 Essentials. However, it's an expensive OS (at $400). But it's a domain controller, a file server, a web server, a remote desktop gateway (secure RDP proxy basically), and a backup server, out of the box. It is a little heavier on resources though, because it does more.

 

Though, if you can find it, Windows Home Server 2011 is a great OS. It has the above list of features, except for the domain controller. Would be ideal for what you want, I think. But it's very hard to find any copies of it anymore.

 

However, you absolutely could use Windows 8 as the file server, as well. If you got Windows 8 Pro, slapped Start8 (or other start menu replacements), and set up file sharing.

 

 

 

Though you do mention that you want it to be as "maintenance free as possible". From the most part, once you have ... well, any of these OS's set up, they're fairly maintenance free. However, the Server operating systems include the "Server Backup" feature. This takes a snapshot of the system, which you can restore to if something goes wrong (or the system disk fails).

Also, Microsoft offers a 180 day trial of Windows Server 2012R2 Essentials. It may be worth looking into, to see if you like it.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials

 

 

And no, there is no preferred OS for either product. We have versions that work on any OS.

And with the newer versions, we support remote control of the software natively.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

...I am running my TV-Recorder based on Win7-HomePremium and a 3x3TB Disks with DrivePool for over a year now.

It is, to me, complete free of hassles...I activated Windows-auto-update and never have touched the OS since.

 

2 remarks to what the OP said regarding unRAID, NTFS and speed.

 

- unRAID does *not* support NTFS for disks inside the array..so "staying with NTFS" is not an option with unRAID (no marketing, I am a user of both products...and others)

- speed...this will essentially only depend on the speed of your disks

   I am running 7.2k Seagate baracudas in my Pool and can saturate a 1GB NIC for read and write with my small Celeron-847 board and without duplication.

   ..it won't do that when running all green disks, not with DrivePool, unRAID or ZFS or else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thank you for the reply.

 

A quick look on eBay shows I can get a WHS2011 disc/license for under $100, and I can do Windows 8 Pro easily.  $400 for the 2012 R2 Essentials would blow my budget.  I'll look in to the other options.

 

Also, my mistake, I could have sworn I read that unRAID used the NFTS format ... my fault.  That would take it out of the running I suppose.

 

My speed issue came from reading that unRAID can have slow write speeds and recommends a cache drive if possible, and I've read a lot about slow transfer speeds for Synology devices especially with smaller files.  From my understanding, DrivePool maxes your hardware speed, basically, which is good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

....for writes, in unRAID (and I believe in DrivePool too) you will only get to the speed of a single disk (no striping)..for a single file/user.

So the speed of the disk, where the file is written to, is what matters.

Both products offer the concept of a cache drive / feeder disk...choice of a faster SSD should help here....with good spinning disks, this is not needed IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

For DrivePool, writes would be limited by the slowest drive being written to. And yeah, it's not striped.

 

However, that is why the SSD Optimizer balancer comes into play. It uses a cache disk, and then moves the files off of it. Great for boosting write speeds. However, you will want two SSDs for this.

 

As for the writes, these are more intensive, and more likely to slow down. Even on SSDs suffer from this, though it may not be noticeable in actual normal usage.

 

While you will definitely be less likely to experience performance issues, not everyone wants to use 7200 RPM drives in their system as they do tend to use more power and produce more heat. In the case of Green drives, or even NAS drives, the caching option may be a good idea (depending on use case).

 

On think that you don't mention p3x-749, is that the speeds also depends on the network hardware, as well. At least for files over the network. A lot of consumer NICs are ... well garbage and some of the reliability and performance settings will actually slow down the network speed.

 

 

 

And yes, WS2012R2 Essentials is definitely expensive. It's also newer, and works better, IMO. But I understand that not everyone wants to spend that much money. (but as I said, 180 eval period, if you do want to try it out).

And if you're able to find a good copy of WHS2011, then power to you! But to be blunt, I wouldn't trust eBay for that. The licenses are OEM, and are only good for the machine they're initially activated on. So using those copies may be a violation of the EULA, if they've been used already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I totally agree with what you said regarding NIC make and model.

Usally the ones based on intel chips are a safe buy...

 

However, my actual mini-box where I use DrivePool on, employs an onboard RealTek NIC

and with that  I can sustain 112MB/sec read *and* write to the pool over the net...this is without any tweaks in the OS, only installed the driver from the board manufacturer.

So I am quite happy but maybe I was just lucky this time (I did choose the motherboard with the capability in mind to add another NIC if need be, based on experience from earlier builds).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

 

A quick look on eBay shows I can get a WHS2011 disc/license for under $100, and I can do Windows 8 Pro easily.  $400 for the 2012 R2 Essentials would blow my budget.  I'll look in to the other options.

 

I had every intention of buying a copy or two for same keeping prior to it going EOL around the holidays last year, completely forgot,  great OS, even better OS for the money, I paid, in the $30 range for the two copies I'm running.  What a shame.  

 

I received a coupon in June from Newegg, 20% off all MS Server OS's, would have been a good deal to get WSE 2012 R2, but I didn't really have a need to upgrade. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I bought a license for whs2003 years ago, according to a ms Rep when I called in having problems they thought it was a technet key I was sold. If I knew then what I know now I would not of called. Either way ms Rep didn't do anything about it lol. Just more of a warning about buying from eBay.

 

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Yup, unfortunately that is a possibility.

 

Specifically, WHSv1 (aka WHS2003) and WHS2011 are both "OEM only" products. That means that there is no retail version.

 

Why is this important? Because the license is only valid for the first machine it's activated on. Also, the license should could with a disk and a COA sticker. If it doesn't, then it's not legit. Period. End of story.

If you don't get both, then contact PayPal because the seller is is breaking the law. Also, see about getting a refund, because ... well, yeah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...