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New Raid 5 setup 12 TB, Is my comp builder retarded?

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May 3, 2011 3:18:42 PM

Hello,

I recently saved up enough money to build my "dream" computer.

I had a friend of a friend and a local computer business owner build this setup for me to the tune of $1500 bucks.

Setup is as follows
Aztec 300 mini tower gaming case
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700 w ATX Power supply Modular
MSI 870A-G54 ATX AM3 870 DDR 2PCIE-16 CrossFire
IPCI-EI 3PCI SATA3 USB3.0 GBLAN Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 6 Core Processor 2.8Ghz
G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2x4GB DDR3-1600 Memory
AMD Sapphire Vapor RADEON HD 5770 860MHz 1GB
4.8 GHz GDDR5 PCI-E 2xDVI HDMI Display Port Video Card.
6x Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green 2TB SATA2 3GBPS 64MB Cache 3.5in Hard Drive.
x6 Raid 5 Configuration
LG GH22 Black 22x SATA DVD writer
Windows 7 home premium

My intention with this computer was to have a massive media storage device that was designed to stream media throughout my house, specifically to xbox / tv setups.

While switching my data from the old computer to this one (950 GB transfered as one large file)
It took 27 hours.

During this time I was unable to even play a very basic low quality movie already previously saved on computer on the raid drive portion. It would freeze and pause over and over making it unwatchable.

Also I have suffered from 2 blue screens. Once when initialing powering it up and secondly after the file transfer was done I woke up to a blue screen.

Kernel_Data_Inpage_Error

Ill try to get a ss of the full error.

Right now I'm feeling pretty dissapointed and very concerned.

Am contacting the builder today as everything is on warranty.

Any input from your resident panel of genius's would surely be appreciated.

Thanks all.
a b G Storage
May 3, 2011 3:21:36 PM

i wouldnt do a raid 5 in a desktop..
they are notorious for being um.. undependable without a hardware raid card solution (one that has a processor and memory on it)

also anything that would cause a rebuild would make your computer slow to a crawl for many hours
without the hard drives and windows that looks to be about 600$ worth of hardware.

so you got a decent price.

I think I would have used 1-2tb hdd and maybe 1 80-120gb ssd.

if you need 12tb of storage I would have made a dedicated small NAS box for it.

also i wouldn't put an OS on a raid 5.

1 separate hdd for os and programs.. and a separate raid 5 for storage.
May 3, 2011 3:26:43 PM

Quote:
I think I would have used 1-2tb hdd and maybe 1 80-120gb ssd.


Not sure what that means...

Additionally to clarify.. The HD with my OS on it is 500gb and seperate from the raid 5 configuration

So 6X 2 TB drives and 500 gb allocated for os and programs, 11.5 for raid 5
Related resources
May 3, 2011 3:29:57 PM

With respects to building a box or a domo type device this was considered....
Unfortunently we didn't go that route.
Is there any way to make this particular setup work for me?
I just picked it up 4 days ago so I'm sure I can swap out parts if need be?
May 3, 2011 3:37:07 PM

I appreciate your help Rand and will try my best to keep up. My computer lingo and skills are definently not as advanced as you guys.
Also this is my first attempt and experience with a raid system and very much relied on the builder's expertise to put it all together for me:) 
a b G Storage
May 3, 2011 5:49:30 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID

i'm not a big expert on raid 5 but what i do know is that it normally isn't suggested if you don't have a dedicated raid card. what they said about it being unreliable without one could definitely be the case. this is one thing you should think about.

--

what was the reasoning for going raid 5?

data striping only improves performance for multiple disk r/w or for large file transfers. your caviar green drives are a 5400rpm drive if i'm not mistaken which are rather sluggish. this undermines what you were trying to gain.

data redundancy is a good thing but there are other ways to accomplish this besides raid. a weekly update to external storage for example.

at this point in time unless you wanted to swap out hardware, which i'm not sure if any restocking fees/return policies apply, having a raid card might be the way to go. i'm sure someone else on the forum will advise as well, just be patient and bump the post if necessary.
May 3, 2011 6:48:12 PM

Thanks, for the reply I'll keep my hopes up.

I was hoping to have a raid 5 system for the security of possibly swapping a drive out if one goes bad. Raid 5 was suggested as it provided some protection if one drive failed while at the same time allowing maximum use of my hard drive space. Additionally I wanted to be able to stream media to xbox's in a couple different room's in the house with a very clean file system that would appear as one drive as opposed to seeing each hard drive and navigating folders.

We had discussed an external box for the drives but he suggested we could save money and make my dream machine do it all type deal.

I am somewhat commited to the current setup and need some advice as to where to proceed from here:) 

I'm sure I have some room to navigate when it comes to hardware as he is a friend of a friend type deal and will provide good service. Just tell me what route to take and I'll make it happen.

Appreciate the help.

It's frustrating i wish I would of discovered this place before simply relying on this "experts" advice.

a c 415 G Storage
May 3, 2011 10:28:06 PM

Sorry to say, but this is what you get for rushing into RAID without fully understanding it...

RAID 5 has very, very poor write performance. This is because writing a new sector requires reading the old sector, reading the old parity information, then updating and writing the new parity information as well as the new data. It's not at all unusual for it to take ages to fill up 12TB, and if it's the volume that has the OS on it then your whole system will be dead slow during the whole time.

What's worse, 12TB is probably too large to guarantee the safety of your data with RAID-5. This is because if you loose a drive in a RAID-5 array the RAID system will have to read EVERY BIT of EVERY REMAINING DRIVE in order to reconstruct the lost data. The problem is that a lot of hard drives have an unrecoverable read error rate of about 1 per 10^14 bits read - and lo and behold a 12TB array has around 10^14 bits. This means you have as poor as even odds that you'll get a read error trying to reconstruct the data, in which case you're toast.

For that much data you should use RAID-6 - it uses two parity drives and can recover even in the face of multiple unreadable sectors.
a b G Storage
May 3, 2011 10:54:33 PM

Yes it is as sminlal says. A poor write performance and demanding overheads makes RAID 5 a very poor option indeed. IMHO the only RAID worth running is RAID 1 for its redundancy. RAID 0 only offers real world performance gains under very limited circumstances although it does have its place for the specialist tasks a Power User may encounter.
a c 746 G Storage
May 4, 2011 12:12:57 AM

WD Green drives are not suitable for raid either. The EARS versions may need special formatting depending on the controller. Many people use them successfully but WD take the stance that if you have problems 'oh well, too bad, we warned you.' The only drives they recommend for raid arrays are their RE series (RE3 and RE4 currently) which is why I went with Samsung F3's and F4's and so far they are working perfectly.

If you dont have a descrete controller you may find that you will have issues if you ever need to upgrade your array. many onboard controller are not sophistacated enough to allow you to, say, upgrade drives. Instead you would be faced with backing up all that data, upgrading the drives, and then copying all that data back in. A good controller would allow for upgrading drives or moving, controller and all, to a new pc.

btw - I think you have way too much power for a simple media server; A 1055T and a 5770... and no tuner card? really now. I run 4 tv's while recording 2 channels all with an old Pentium D. Also I hope your network is gigabit. Upgrade if its not.
May 4, 2011 12:27:44 AM

Appreciate all the input and help guys. Now the question remains... where do i go from here?

What do you guys recommend?
Scrap the whole raid idea and just go with single drives?
Will this at the very least allow my computer to perform to its potential?
May 4, 2011 12:29:25 AM

I did kind of jump into the raid thing without fully understanding it:( 
Sadly the guy that built the comp for me seemed to know what he was doing and was like raid 5 is definentyl what ya want.

I kinda just went with what he said..
May 4, 2011 3:29:47 AM

sminlal said:
Sorry to say, but this is what you get for rushing into RAID without fully understanding it...

RAID 5 has very, very poor write performance. This is because writing a new sector requires reading the old sector, reading the old parity information, then updating and writing the new parity information as well as the new data. It's not at all unusual for it to take ages to fill up 12TB, and if it's the volume that has the OS on it then your whole system will be dead slow during the whole time.

What's worse, 12TB is probably too large to guarantee the safety of your data with RAID-5. This is because if you loose a drive in a RAID-5 array the RAID system will have to read EVERY BIT of EVERY REMAINING DRIVE in order to reconstruct the lost data. The problem is that a lot of hard drives have an unrecoverable read error rate of about 1 per 10^14 bits read - and lo and behold a 12TB array has around 10^14 bits. This means you have as poor as even odds that you'll get a read error trying to reconstruct the data, in which case you're toast.

For that much data you should use RAID-6 - it uses two parity drives and can recover even in the face of multiple unreadable sectors.


Appreciate the info...
So should I switch hard drives out and go with raid 6 setup or just forget about the whole raid application for my setup?

Any data that is very important to me is backed up on laptop and external hard drive.

Thanks for all the help.
a b G Storage
May 4, 2011 3:45:18 AM

oxymoronn said:
Quote:
I think I would have used 1-2tb hdd and maybe 1 80-120gb ssd.


Not sure what that means...

Additionally to clarify.. The HD with my OS on it is 500gb and seperate from the raid 5 configuration

So 6X 2 TB drives and 500 gb allocated for os and programs, 11.5 for raid 5



I think you misunderstand your hard drive setup.. or merely used wrong terms..

you dont have a separate hdd for os.. if its part of the raid array

you have a separate PARTITION for the os.

with your existing setup there are several options

1) you need to put the os on a separate hdd thats not part of the raid.
2) you picked low power green drives that have wierd power saving options that arent meant for raid.-- replace all these with a samsung F4 or similar raid drive for best results.

you should also consider a hardware raid card. something that has a processor and memory built in these run several hundred dollars.

3) realize you cant just throw random stuff together and have it work perfectly.
Ive built over 50 computer in the last 10 year and many have had issues. without complex raid setups.. You/the builder have not troubleshooted the issues yet.. they could be unrelated.. to the raid setup.. but if I was betting.. I wouldnt take that bet.


4) I know it has to suck to buy a new computer and have it not work well. I usually research every part from motherboard to videocard, powersupply, memory and hard drive for known compatibility before I order anything.

Did you choose the parts or did the builder?
May 4, 2011 3:57:06 AM

The builder chose everything:( 
a c 415 G Storage
May 4, 2011 7:10:34 AM

oxymoronn said:
Appreciate the info...
So should I switch hard drives out and go with raid 6 setup or just forget about the whole raid application for my setup?
Here's the thing about RAID - it can protect you against a drive failure, but it can't protect your from a whole bunch of other risks that can wipe out your data just as surely - risks such as viruses, corruption, power hits, theft of your computer system, etc. etc. If your data is valuable then you really need to have a strategy to back it up to external media. If you don't have that in place, then I'd recommend scrapping your RAID setup and putting at least some of those disks in external enclosures and using them for backup.
a b G Storage
May 4, 2011 1:08:04 PM

I answered a PM from you, but yes, your builder was either retarded or had a bad day.
a b G Storage
May 4, 2011 1:29:08 PM

as mentioned before... the only raid setups which are commonly used without a dedicated raid card are 0 and 1.

0 can offer 115-150% gains during certain limited applications but performs a little worse than a single drive in most day to day activities. raid 0 does link all of your drives into one big "space" but offers zero protection against failure. which means if one drive fails, its a nightmare.

1 doesn't offer any performance gains but does allow hard drives to die and still function. the downside is that for each 1 drive of storage space you need 1 drive of backup space. you lose out on space but for hassle-free operation it is nice. i use this.

even with a raid array, as others stated, back up your data elsewhere. don't keep all of your information stored on one box.

---

to answer your question...

if you had one hard drive set up as a master (with the OS) and the rest set up as slave drives (not in raid) then chances are you would have absolutely zero issues i'm guessing. well, besides green drives being sluggish.

---

as for where you should go from here on out....

its up to you if you wanted to try a raid card, seeing as how you bought items on a lower budget (which is why you got green drives not black or blue drives, or spinpoints) i'm not sure if this is what you wanted to do. even with a propper raid 6 (as was suggested) with those drives performance is still going to be slow.

raid 0 would work, but read my description and the wikipedia.

raid 1 would work, but read my description and the wikipedia. realize the space lost this way.

single drives would work, but realize that they will appear as different disks and not one big space. you could divide the disks up and name them according to what you store on them.. such as A-G, H-N, O-T, U-Z for music... etc.. so there are ways around this to make it more user friendly.

---

in general, do your research first. even if a friend of a friend gave you information if you personally don't know if it is sound advice consult with at least one other person or do your own research on the matter. i would say the same about any one of us here. if we offer something to you in terms of information then yes it may be valid and good advice.. but don't just take our word on it. it is always a good idea to check up on this yourself (and we expect you to).

---

look at everything and decide how you would like to proceed.
a b G Storage
May 5, 2011 8:08:06 PM

Sorry, if this is too late for you

Here is the 40TB Media Server that I built, mainly streaming BD.ISO, DVD.ISO, MKV.... Not so much of audio, but that is easy to do by just enable the iTUNE server service.

This 40TB media server transfers above 80MB/sec (B not b). It is currently streaming to five (5) TVIX HD media players and consume less the 180W of power and running Bit-Torrent 24/7

You can do the same thing with your system and using 3.0TB HDD then you would have 60TB or more instead. Keep in mind each SATA port sees 15TB via SPM39x

When you see a slow transfer in the network, which can cause by: switches, cable, NICs and setup.

To trouble-shoot, here is what you need to do.

1_ Check the speed of the RAID volume using IOmeter, if the raid can delivery over 200MB/sec and CPU load at 2~5%, then you are good. Otherwise use HW raid

One parameter that NO ONE knows, the IRQ of raid controller/HDD sends to host CPU. This turns out to be the biggest problem with software/hardware assist raid.

With current 2x, 4x, 8 Cores CPU to calculate raid parity it only takes a fraction of CPU power but there are x clock per seconds, and if there are many IRQ were send by raid engine and HDD, CPU will run out of time to do other processes. Especially the raid engine does not support NCQ.

This is why some Windows systems have very slow respond although CPU sit at 3-12%, and all high performance servers use HW raid.

Highly recommend to use HW raid controller instead

2_ Connect direct between a computer and the server. by pass the network switches/hub
3_ Set both as STATIC IP and using CAT5e cable minimum
4_ Change MTU, tcp, udp parameters

With the above trouble shoots you should be able to see the problem.
!