PDA

View Full Version : Hard drive storage suggestions



dlsdo
2008-10-23, 11:13
I have my music collection stored on a 250gb hard drive. It is almost full. I have at least 5 more similar sized hard drives available. I would like to start filling up the other HD's but am not sure how to get my Squeezebox to recognize more than one HD @ a time.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

GlenL
2008-10-23, 12:21
Squeezecenter only recognizes one path to the music files so you cannot add a 2nd,3rd ... etc path.

What you can do though is add a shortcut in your existing music folder that points to the music folder on any new disk you add.

e.g If your existing music is held in C:\Music and your new disk (D:) also contains a music folder (D:\Music) then you need to create a shortcut in C:\Music that points to D:\Music.

When Squeezecenter performs a scan for new music, it will then follow the shortcut and scan any music in D:\Music.

If you are using a Linux based OS running Squuezecenter I imagine some sort of symbolic link would achieve the same thing.

peter
2008-10-23, 12:22
dlsdo wrote:
> I have my music collection stored on a 250gb hard drive. It is almost
> full. I have at least 5 more similar sized hard drives available. I
> would like to start filling up the other HD's but am not sure how to
> get my Squeezebox to recognize more than one HD @ a time.
>
> Any suggestions?
>
Check out this forum. Question was asked only yesterday or the day before.

Regards,
Peter

ModelCitizen
2008-10-23, 13:35
Check out this forum. Question was asked only yesterday or the day before
It has been a consistently re-occuring query. I guess the reason is that *all* other comparable programs anyone will have used previously have allowed them to choose any number of folders.

What is reason that SqueezeCenter only allows the user to select one folder?

MC

JJZolx
2008-10-23, 13:43
What is reason that SqueezeCenter only allows the user to select one folder?

It's simpler.

Phil Leigh
2008-10-23, 14:37
It's simpler.

Well... except that it patently isn't or we wouldn't find ourselves answering this question again and again...and again. :o)

CatBus
2008-10-23, 15:11
What is reason that SqueezeCenter only allows the user to select one folder?

Can't you just set up some symlinks within the folder pointing to all of the drives?

ModelCitizen
2008-10-23, 15:18
Can't you just set up some symlinks within the folder pointing to all of the drives?
Yes, that is how SlimServer currently accesses my music, spread over four drives.

The question I was asking is what is the *reason* that SlimCenter doesn't work in the same way as every comparable program I know and allow you to select multiple paths. I am curious. I imagine it might something to do with the cross-platform nature of the server, but would like this confirmed (or not) and to know more.

MC

CatBus
2008-10-23, 15:24
I imagine it might something to do with the cross-platform nature of the server

I'm guessing it's not anything so exciting. I imagine the only big roadblock is they'd have to rewrite the "Browse Music Folder" UI to accomodate multiple paths. It currently seems designed for navigating a single directory tree.

dlsdo
2008-10-23, 15:52
Can't you just set up some symlinks within the folder pointing to all of the drives?

Alright. Help me out here please. What are symlinks? Could you talk me through the steps necessary to direct SC to scan more than one HD?

Sorry for the lack of understanding.

CatBus
2008-10-23, 16:04
Alright. Help me out here please. What are symlinks? Could you talk me through the steps necessary to direct SC to scan more than one HD?

Sorry for the lack of understanding.

A symlink is just a filesystem shortcut to another location. Note that it is NOT the same thing as a GUI-style shortcut you'd create on your desktop. I only know for sure about how to do this in Linux, but I'm pretty sure the syntax is the same on a Mac.

In Linux, you type "ln -s <target> <link name>". For example, if your SC music folder is at /home/username/music and you want to add a drive at /dev/sdb, you type "ln -s /dev/sdb /home/username/music/sdb"

I believe Vista recently added symlink-ish capabilities to Windows, but I'm not sure how to use them.

SuperQ
2008-10-23, 16:23
Multi-path music is a feature planed for the squeezecenter database rewrite. I don't know if there is a timeline for this yet.

If you want a simple solution, I suggest a NAS or a Drobo. You get the added bonus of some failure redundancy.

Nonreality
2008-10-24, 02:21
I've never had any problems with making a folder (ie Slimusic) and in it shortcuts, just drag and drop, to my music folders. I use a lossy folder and a lossless folder containing all my music organized by artist, album and tunes (tracks). It works just fine.

agbagb
2008-10-24, 08:14
I have my music collection stored on a 250gb hard drive. It is almost full. I have at least 5 more similar sized hard drives available. I would like to start filling up the other HD's but am not sure how to get my Squeezebox to recognize more than one HD @ a time.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

I don't want to sound all flippant, but why not just buy a 500gb HDD and use that as your source? True, if you have a bunch of spare 250s around, it may be crazy to go and buy yet another drive. But you could always use 2 of your 250s as a back-up for the new 500. Like most of us here, I guess, I live in fear of losing all my hard-ripped flacs (and I did have a total failure of my main music HDD drive a few months back), so I have several copies of the entire collection: the main Squeezecenter external HDD, a complete back up of that on another HDD (using running software to keep it current), and a complete off-site back up on yet another HDD, updated every month or so.....

I suggest this because my own 250 external music HDD is nearly full - but a quality 500 HDD is only going to run me 150 US just now, and my various 250s will make perfectly good back-up locations (splitting the new 500 to back up, say, all classical to one 250, and all modern to another...)

AGB

DeVerm
2008-10-24, 09:55
Hi there,

I see you all use symlinking/shortcuts to put a drive into your music folder. However, if your drive is for your music only, and I think most users have music-only drives, it's much easier to mount the drive directly into your music folder!

Under unix flavors this is done with the initial mount command (you'll find it in the rc scripts). After a lot of searching I found how to do this in XP too. You need NTFS formatted partitions but that's what you probably use in Windows. Here's how to do it:

create an empty folder in your music folder.

control panel->Administrative tools->Computer Management->Disk management

Here, all your disks show up. Right click on the music disc and choose "change drive letter and paths". Choose "Add", click the browse button and select the new empty folder. After that you can remove the drive-letter assignment.

I assume Vista has similar way to do it, but I banned Vista so wouldn't know.

cheers,
Nick.

androidtopp
2008-10-24, 10:12
...why not just buy a 500gb HDD and use that as your source? True, if you have a bunch of spare 250s around, it may be crazy to go and buy yet another drive.AGB

The geek in me also suggests RAID5 for all those 250GB drives. I currently have 4 200GB SATA drives in RAID5 on about a $100 controller card. So I see ~600GB of usable space for music, and I can (and have) survive a single drive failure with no data loss, just a performance hit until I rebuild the array. No corruption protection, but it does keep you from losing it all just becuase a disk drops.

Someone mentioned Drobo above - I have gotten rave reviews from several owners. That would give you the fault tolerance of RAID5 with the ability to swap in bigger disks as you need them, without having to break and rebuild the array like a traditional controller would require. Just more expensive for the enclosure.

Goodsounds
2008-10-24, 10:19
The geek in me also suggests RAID5 for all those 250GB drives. I currently have 4 200GB SATA drives in RAID5 on about a $100 controller card. So I see ~600GB of usable space for music, and I can (and have) survive a single drive failure with no data loss, just a performance hit until I rebuild the array. No corruption protection, but it does keep you from losing it all just becuase a disk drops.


Wouldn't you be better off with just one drive and another drive as a backup? Cheaper too. For now, you have 4 drives, but in what you describe, no backup.

With multiple drives, your risk of a drive failure is greater, isn't it?

androidtopp
2008-10-24, 10:36
Wouldn't you be better off with just one drive and another drive as a backup? Cheaper too. For now, you have 4 drives, but in what you describe, no backup.

With multiple drives, your risk of a drive failure is greater, isn't it?

I do have another backup. What RAID5 gets me is more speed (reads are from N-1 drives in the RAID set, as opposed to one big drive) and the ability to consolidate cheaper smaller drives into uniform file storage. Back when I made this, 200s were cheap, 500s were not.

Having multiple drives increases your risk of a drive failure at some point, becuase there are multiple drives to potentially fail, but having multiple drives doesn't accelerate individual drive time to failure. Basically, after 4 years, I still have 3 of the original drives, and I lost the 4th well into year 3. I've had single disks fail much earlier, and under less load, so in this instance, I'm not seeing increased failure rate. I guess, think of the failure as inevitable? Sooner or later, hard drives fail. This way, the failure doesn't mean your data is gone, and you don't have to resort to backups. It's doesn't even interrupt normal operation.

There's a little geek factor here - it's overkill for most folks. As are the mirrored 10k RPM drives comprising the boot volume in this server. But why not?

bobkoure
2008-10-24, 14:34
Wouldn't you be better off with just one drive and another drive as a backup? Cheaper too.
And lower power usage, if you care about such things (I do). IMHO, a RAID is not a backup - it's a way to ensure uptime through hardware failures. I'm actually pretty OK with my music server being unavailable for a bit. (note that, with windows, if you've been doing "open" backups, you can just use drive management to give your USB backup drive the same letter as the drive that just failed - and copy everything from the backup to the replacement internal drive in the background.


With multiple drives, your risk of a drive failure is greater, isn't it?
Absolutely, but the repercussions are less.
Again, I don't bother with a RAID on a music server, but I buy drives in pairs, one internal and one external, and backup regularly (no point in doing it if I haven't added any music since the last backup, so it varies). And I should buy two or three externals for each internal (so if something goes wrong during backup, I've still got the data). I don't bother with that either, but probably will eventually get bitten...

androidtopp
2008-10-24, 15:37
You can never have too many hard drives!!! Soon I will be investing in an LTO4 head or something similarly stupid to perform backups.

In all honesty - if my server wasn't a lot more than an SC host, I probably wouldn't have the RAID. But the server runs Active Directory, Exchange, SQL, a bunch of VMs, some websites, and SC. So I need uptime. It's my sandbox for various IT shenanigans.

I know I should be greener, but my power bill is about $60 a month on average, and I'm running two PCs (one with 6 hard drives, one with 3) 24 hours a day. So it's not killing me yet.

bobkoure
2008-10-26, 12:05
If you're running RAID in windows, be careful that what you're using is actually a hardware RAID.
There are a lot of software-in-windows-driver raids that don't perform any better than the software raid that comes with the various windows server releases - but my experience with them has been 'way less than stellar - as in one drive failing causing the other drives to be "scribbled" on - two separate instances at different sites.
And in either kind of software raid, I'd strongly suggest raid 10 over a raid 5 - remember, parity is not being done in a dedicated processor.

If I just had a bunch of drives that I wanted to make look like just one drive, I'd look for an adapter that supported JBOD ("just a bunch of disks").

androidtopp
2008-10-27, 07:54
Definitely agreed - you want a hardware controller to handle all the RAID intelligence. And if possible, a hardware controller that does XOR calculations for RAID5 in a dedicated hardware engine - otherwise your machine processor will take a significant hit when writing to the RAID set and performing parity calcs. Unfortunately, that hardware XOR gets pricey.

peter
2008-10-28, 00:43
androidtopp wrote:
> Definitely agreed - you want a hardware controller to handle all the
> RAID intelligence. And if possible, a hardware controller that does XOR
> calculations for RAID5 in a dedicated hardware engine - otherwise your
> machine processor will take a significant hit when writing to the RAID
> set and performing parity calcs. Unfortunately, that hardware XOR gets
> pricey.
>

It also has another disadvantage. If your hardware controller breaks
you'll need to get the exact same controller or get it fixed in order to
get back your data. In today's computing market, you can't be sure of
that in two or three years. So, pure software RAID (Like Linux MD or
Windows software RAID) definitely has its advantages.

Of course backups are mandatory in any RAID setup.

Regards,
Peter

androidtopp
2008-10-28, 06:27
So, pure software RAID (Like Linux MD or
Windows software RAID) definitely has its advantages.

We're probably getting off topic here, but in my experience with Windows software RAID, it is a combination of epic fail and big bag of hurt. I don't even like to think about it, because it gives me the heebie jeebies. I've no experience with Linux and software RAID, but it'd be easy for me to believe that it works much better.

I agree with your point though - you will need the same RAID controller to read the disks in likely anything outside of a RAID1 implementation. If you buy mass market hardware with RAID capabilities (like a Dell/LSI SAS/PERC controller) you'll be able to get it (at likely great expense) for quite some time. Other hardware...yeah, probably not so much.

For reals - is the OP even considering RAID, or am I just proving how much of a loser I am? :-)