Tools and other software Drive pooling? (1 Viewer)

nzdreamer55

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    Hello everyone,

    I have gotten to the point where my computer that stores my media files is becoming hard to track. Right now I have 2 3TB drives and 3 2T drives on it. I have movies and TV shows spread across these drives. It is becoming really hard to keep things simple.

    I have considered a RAID solution, but this seems like a lot of work and problems if any thing crashes. I just found out about Drive Pooling software after scanning the forums.

    Are there any free solutions for drive pooling? my "server" computer is just running windows 7 x64 so if I upgraded to say windows server 2011 would this be an options within the OS?

    Anyone had Drive Pooling fail and lose a lot of data?

    Any help would be appreciated from the real world of HTPC set ups and serving.

    -S
     

    kiwijunglist

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    Take a look at snapraid , it's not drive pooling though.

    http://snapraid.sourceforge.net/

    SnapRAID is a backup program for disk arrays.
    SnapRAID stores redundancy information in the disk array, and it allows recovering from up to two disk failures.
    SnapRAID is mainly targeted for a home media center, where you have a lot of big files that rarely change.
    Beside the ability to recover from disk failures, the other features of SnapRAID are:
    • You can start using SnapRAID with already filled disks.
    • The disks of the array can have different sizes.
    • You can add disks at any time.
    • If you accidentally delete some files in a disk, you can recover them.
    • If more than two disks fail, you lose the data only on the failed disks. All the data in the other disks is safe.
    • It doesn't lock-in your data. You can stop using SnapRAID at any time without the need to reformat or move data.
    • All your data is hashed to ensure data integrity and to avoid silent corruption.
    Main advantage is you can start with already filled disks, the disk's file format doesn't change so you can unplug a HDD from your PC and use it in another PC without doing any recovering operations.
     

    nzdreamer55

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    Thanks kiwijunglist! So this is only for back up. I will most likely get this on board as I add more drives. I don't have any way to back up stuff if a drive dies.

    What I hope someone will chime in with is a program that treats all my drives like one big drive when my programs look for stuff. That way I don't have to spend a lot of energy worrying if a drive is getting close to capacity and only have to set one path for searching for files, etc.

    Thanks for the tip about SnapRAID as I will get this going too! So many fun projects, so little time to play hooky from work :)
    -S
     
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    kiwijunglist

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    If that storage spaces is good + reliable/stable it may put some of the commercial solutions for windows based raid / drive pooling software out of business
     

    elsmandino

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    This is a really interesting idea - I had never considered doing anything like this for my current set up, which has two 2TB Samsung F4s and a 500GB 2.5" Samsung F8.

    I can see the obvious benefits of having this set up - i.e. not having to worry about a particular hard drive filling up but how would a "drive pooling" program divide files between hard drives?

    Also, what are the downsides's to having one single, theoretical drive?

    The things that might put me off is that if the Drive Pooling program spreads files evenly over the disks, it might end up recording to my very slow laptop hard drive which has terrible performance compared to my F4s.

    Also, I have one dedicated hard drive for recording TV and the other two are really for storage, including TV recording that I want to keep. I have all of them to spindown after 20 mins of inactivity so the recording Hard Drive is the one that often gets used a lot more. Would a Drive Pooling program interfer with this and have all hard drives spun up all the time?
     

    nzdreamer55

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    elsmandino,

    My system falls into two areas of drive use, 1) slow long term unchanging storage (movies, archive TV programs e.g. Wings, Cheers, The Bill Cosby Show) and 2)fast (time shifting, recording TV). The use of drive pooling seems like a risky idea when it comes to fast needs so a dedicated HD is what I have, but for archive storage it seems really smart. Right now I manually manage 5 hard drives for space. What a pain! When I fill one up, then I can not think about it, but I really don't keep them filled to the very last byte. There are some small changes every now and then, maybe I find a better copy of a movie that I want or go from standard def file to an HD file or discover that I have 2 copies of a file.

    Ideally Drive pooling isn't about writing multiple bits across multiple drives (this is what a RAID configeration is for), it is about presenting the user and applications within a network or computer with 1 point that has the data of multiple areas. It isn't about security or redundency (again this is what a RAID system is for-see Kiwijunglist's comments about SnapRAID).

    I'm not in the computer industry so I don't keep up with stuff like some, but I suspect the Drive Pooling idea is starting to make it to regular people as the size of data that people store goes up and the number of drives increases. Microsoft tried to do make it easier on users by giving us libraries (central area where we could link to all our different drive locations for stuff, pictures, videos, documents, etc) but this still fails to blend the different directories together and present them as a unit.

    Here is a nice discussion on another forum about the ideas. I just posted here becasue I trust the folks on team-mediaportal and if they are using something then I usually give that a try first.

    http://www.avsforum.com/t/1413524/drive-bender-or-drive-pool-which-one-is-better

    Thanks everyone for your input. Looking forward to the windows 8 stuff. might pay for the driveblend since it seems to be popular until windows 8 is out a while and see how others are using it.

    -S
     
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    chriszero

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    Just for reference: "disk pooling"

    I've been using a selfbuild NAS which is running Ubuntu Server for ~2 years
    It uses "greyhole" for drive pooling. Which is opensource.
    You can exchange drives with new, bigger ones. Supports also a pseudo like RAID (saves multiple copy's of the files across multiple drives)

    An easy to use distribution is called "amahi"
     

    Lehmden

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    Hi.
    I'm using Hard Links a while. So I can stay in control what is stored where but also have a single place to access all my files. It looks as If I have a single, 20TB Drive in my server.
    Z-Drive.jpg
     

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