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bmorejojo
2008-06-17, 18:28
Well - it took me almost 18 months of daily work, but I have essentially completed my conversion project. All of my CDs are fully processed. I went the EAC/FLAC route. I absolutely love the SqueezeCenter server and my 2 Squeezeboxes. It's a great joy. My Collection stands at 3356 albums/42766 songs and it's about 95% FLAC. I have upgraded internal drives several times, but I wanted to keep things simple, so I have one internal drive dedicated to the music library. It's a 1TB drive and it's full.

I like the single drive (and single external for backup) because of low cost and simplicity. I was wondering if others faced this situation and how they expanded past the 1TB storage level. Is a RAID array really the easiest/most secure way to go? Multiple internal drives with shortcuts to music folders? Are there issues with an external array if I only have USB 2 connections? I have 0 problems right now - everything works great and was relatively simple and cheap. I'd like to preserve that as I move beyond the 1TB mark. One option would be to stop ripping, but I don't think my personality will allow that now.

Thanks for any suggestions.

pfarrell
2008-06-17, 18:43
bmorejojo wrote:
>Is a RAID array really
> the easiest/most secure way to go?

Raid is not backup.
If you want backup, get another drive or a couple more.

External, internal, makes very little difference. External and then
storing the drive at your buddy's house is much more secure.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

bobkoure
2008-06-17, 19:01
Raid is not backup.
Absolutely.

Just get another drive, and another backup drive (or two) to match it - and if you can't get it to your buddy's house, at least store it somewhere else in yours.

In the early '80s I was working for a PC software company. We got broken into on one of those nights when we weren't working all night (did I actually do that kind of thing?) all the servers got stolen including the backup tapes.
We did have a set offsite, lost about a week's work, but we were all pretty surprised about all the tapes being gone - and I learned a lesson...

eq72521
2008-06-17, 20:40
1TB, I'm impressed. I've still not broken the 500GB barrier, currently on one external drive, and I think at this point storage availability will always outstrip my ability to fill it. However, back when drives were smaller and more expensive, I had to span my collection across multiple drives. I'd split my collection alphabetically among the drives. As I ran out of space, I would replace the smallest drive in the set with a new one. In my last setup, I think I had a 320G, 200G, and 160G. This was something of a pain, but I was not willing to spend the money on a single drive to hold the whole collection until last summer.

This was all in FreeBSD, so I was able to have my actual music folder be just a directory of soft links to the actual artist directories on the music drives. This was nice because when browsing the music folder it was as if I had one big drive (at the expense of having to maintain the soft links). It sounds like you're in Windows, and I don't think it has such facilities available. If you did something like this using Windows I think you'd just have shortcuts to the two (or three) music folders on the different drives, so your main music folder would look like this:

A-M (drive 1)
N-Z (drive 2)

Or you could wait for 2TB drives to come out.

peter
2008-06-17, 22:23
eq72521 wrote:
> This was all in FreeBSD, so I was able to have my actual music folder
> be just a directory of soft links to the actual artist directories on
> the music drives. This was nice because when browsing the music folder
> it was as if I had one big drive (at the expense of having to maintain
> the soft links). It sounds like you're in Windows, and I don't think
> it has such facilities available. If you did something like this using
> Windows I think you'd just have shortcuts to the two (or three) music
> folders on the different drives, so your main music folder would look
> like this:
>

I'm in Linux, but I'd just add another physical drive, extend a logical
volume over it
and end up with one big logical drive. Surely freebsd & windows must
have something like that?

Or you could use RAID 0 (striping, but no redundancy) or RAID 5 or any
other RAID level that allows you to add disks together.

Regards,
Peter

hickinbottoms
2008-06-18, 00:04
For an opinion on the external array question. I run such a RAID5 array
on Linux, with three external drives in USB2 enclosures, actually
connected to 4-USB port PCCard in a duffer old laptop. In such a setup,
because the data is spread over the three drives you'll lose write
performance due to it being written to multiple drives. However, if
you've already ripped your music then I don't imagine you'll be writing
a huge amount to it very often, so that's probably not a concern.

Even with FLAC stored on such an array, USB2 over multiple drives will
still have plenty of bandwidth to spare for reading from the array, and
write performance shouldn't be too uncomfortable unless you're in a real
hurry, so I don't see a problem with that for this application.

One thing to be aware of with RAID in Linux (and probably others, too),
which is particularly relevant to an external array setup is what will
happen if one of those drives is turned off. To the host this will look
like a drive failure and so it will pull the device out of the array
even though it's not failed. You can add it back with no data loss (but
with a lengthy rebuild time on a large array [but the array remains
online while this is going on]), but it might be a pain. Worse, in my
application with those drives connected to a laptop, is that if there's
a power cut then the drives all go but the laptop still runs because of
its battery. This can cause all drives to be marked as faulty, which
can't be automatically recovered from. You can manually force those
'failed' drives back into the array (which I've done several times,
never with any noticed loss), but it's more complicated. I suppose I
should remove the battery from the laptop so it will all 'fail' at the
same time.

Just something to think about. In my experience kernel RAID in Linux
works extremely well and it's never let me down.

As others have said, though, it's not backup so you'll still need your
external disk to periodically take an 'off-site' snapshot.

Sorry for the ramble,
Stuart


bmorejojo wrote:
> ...Are there issues with an external array if
> I only have USB 2 connections? ...
> Thanks for any suggestions.

funkstar
2008-06-18, 01:56
I suppose I
should remove the battery from the laptop so it will all 'fail' at the
same time.
Or you could get a UPS for the drives. Wouldn't have to be a big one and they aren't that expensive these days, not like they used to be.

hickinbottoms
2008-06-18, 02:30
You're right, that would be the correct way of doing things - I'm just
too stingy! (hence the duffer old laptop!).

Stuart

funkstar wrote:
> hickinbottoms;313059 Wrote:
>
>> I suppose I
>> should remove the battery from the laptop so it will all 'fail' at the
>>
>> same time.
>>
> Or you could get a UPS for the drives. Wouldn't have to be a big one
> and they aren't that expensive these days, not like they used to be.
>
>
>