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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:28 pm 
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I recently significantly increased the storage space on my MSS by adding an 8 bay Sans Digital TR8U-B USB enclosure and filling it up with 8-1.5 TB Seagate drives. I already had a Sans Digital TR4M-B 4-bay external esata enclosure attached full of 1.5 TB Seagate drives. My MSS is now at 21 TB total storage space. I was concerned as many are about the performance of my MSS after adding the USB enclosure. The first thing I did after adding all 8 drives to the storage pool was to turn on duplication of my video share which was at 6.5 or so TB. I closely monitored the "Disk Management" addin while the duplication was ongoing. I started the duplication of the video share on Friday, 3/27/2009 at 6:15 p.m. WHS finished duplicating the video share (6.5 TB) on Monday, 3/30/2009 at 9:39 p.m. Or a little over 75 hours to duplicate 6.5 TB of large m2ts files. I know that seems like a lot, but I took "Disk Management" addin screenshots during the process showing the source drive, the target drive and the disk activity speed. I've attached the screenshots below with explanations of each.

File copy speeds from my PC over the network to the MSS's USB attached drives are still between 25,000 - 40,000 KB/s, which is about the same as copies to the MSS's internal drives and the attached esata drives. While the duplication was ongoing, I was seeing drive activity speeds over 100,000 KB/s between the internal MSS drives and the esata drives.

Streaming a blu-ray movie that is stored on one of the USB attached drives is flawless. (I will have to say, though that I could not stream a blu-ray movie from the MSS to the Popcorn hour while the duplication was active, regardless of which drive the movie was stored on. The movies would freeze both the video and audio. I think there was just too much drive activity and the MSS couldn't handle it.) But now that the dulication has finished, I'm back in business as far as watching blu-ray movies stored on the MSS via the Popcorn Hour. The bottom line is; I don't think the TR8U has negatively affected the performance of my MSS in any way.


Attachments:
File comment: Before duplication started.
mss disk management 20090327.JPG
mss disk management 20090327.JPG [ 124.35 KiB | Viewed 10663 times ]
File comment: Copying a m2ts file from PC to attached USB drive.
mss disk management 20090328 21TB.JPG
mss disk management 20090328 21TB.JPG [ 131.27 KiB | Viewed 10662 times ]
File comment: Duplication from internal MSS drive to external esata TR4M.
mss disk management 20090330 fast transfer internal to esata.JPG
mss disk management 20090330 fast transfer internal to esata.JPG [ 132.18 KiB | Viewed 10658 times ]
File comment: Duplication from internal MSS drive to external USB drive.
mss disk management 20090330 transfer internal to usb.JPG
mss disk management 20090330 transfer internal to usb.JPG [ 132.36 KiB | Viewed 10660 times ]
File comment: Duplication from external esata TR4M to external USB TR8U.
mss disk management 20090330 transfer esata to usb.JPG
mss disk management 20090330 transfer esata to usb.JPG [ 132.27 KiB | Viewed 10659 times ]
File comment: Streaming blu-ray m2ts file from external USB TR8U to Popcorn Hour.
mss disk management 20090331 streaming from usb.JPG
mss disk management 20090331 streaming from usb.JPG [ 133.11 KiB | Viewed 10659 times ]
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Comp1962, desjar, JohnBick, jsjames, klieber, pfirnett, SeaRay33, yakuza

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:43 pm 
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Thank you for this post! That is great news. I just ordered mine . . . .


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:34 pm 
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Thanks for all the effort there! I know a number of folks will be appreciative!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:26 pm 
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I just discovered something that the MSS won't do. I don't think this is related to the external USB enclosure, but, I never tried this exact scenario before tonight since I wasn't duplicating the video share. I think its a limitation of the WHS software. I copied a new blu-ray m2ts file to the video share tonight about 10 minutes after a normal storage balancing. I then ripped another blu-ray to my PC and about an hour later went to copy the movie m2ts file to the video share. I started the copy then looked at the "Disk Management" addin to see which drive the file was copying to. It appeared that another balancing had also started duplicating the first m2ts file just before I started the new file copy. About 1/3 way into the copy, the transfer speed slowed to a crawl and then stopped, giving me an error message that the file could not copy because the location was no longer available. I waited until the balancing finished, then re-started the 2nd file copy. It then copied over without any problems. So, it appears that the MSS cannot handle duplicating a large m2ts file and a network file copy at the same time. Not a real problem, now that I know the limitation. I just have to watch and time my file copies. It doesn't seem to have any problem with normal balancing, but can't handle a large file copy at the same time as a duplication of another large file.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:43 am 
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Cavediver - great writeup. Have you had to remove/replace a drive from either of the Sans Digital towers yet? Curious if it goes as smooth as if doing the remove/replace directly in the MSS or if you have to do any additional steps.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:35 am 
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dbone1026 wrote:
Cavediver - great writeup. Have you had to remove/replace a drive from either of the Sans Digital towers yet? Curious if it goes as smooth as if doing the remove/replace directly in the MSS or if you have to do any additional steps.


Yes. I had a drive failure a couple of weeks ago that prompted me to add all the extra storage space so I could duplicate my video share. The drive that failed was in the TR4M (esata) box. Neither the TR4M or the MSS would work properly with the failed drive in the box. Once I took it out and added a new drive, I was able to remove the failed drive (even though it wasn't physically in the box). But, I removed all of the drives from the TR4M via the "Server Storage" tab, back in December when I was updating the firmware on the Seagate drives. I re-added them back to the storage pool after the firmware update. No additional steps were necessary.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:58 am 
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Cavediver I have almost the same setup as you with a EX470, TR4M-B, TR8U-B and 10 Seagte 1.5 Drives. I still have 5 bays open in the TR8U as I'm still ripping my Blu Ray collection. I have tested my system with 2 different popcorn hours streaming 2 streams of a blu ray movie (different movie) and the popcorn hour plays them both without any problems. I don't have the same problem as you however when the system is balancing. I wonder if it has to do with you using M2TS files and I'm using TS files. I stopped doing M2TS as I saw the TS plays smoother when the sytem is balancing.

I bought my MSS in Feb and have not had any failures yet but I have 50% available space and I'll contiinue to add drives. Whats nice is that we can continue to add drives as there are other USB ports we can use additional TR8U's.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:19 am 
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I don't have the problem with normal balancing. Only when the system is duplicating a large m2ts file. M2ts and ts are so similar. I have both types in my video share, and I don't see any difference between them as far as playback. But, I've not tried to play a ts file when the system is duplicating a large file. I'll try this next later this week when I copy over another blu-ray file. Most of my blu-ray's are m2ts, because that's the way they are on the disks and for non seemlessly branched titles with the main movie contained in one large m2ts file, I just copy the file over without any processing. I'd have to run it through tsmuxer or ToNMT to get it into a ts container and its just simpler to copy the m2ts file over to the server.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:26 am 
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I do the ToNMT processing because it supports all the high end audio codecs and because the final movie is smaller than the M2TS. My average Blu ray rip is 20Gb or less. The only one I have as M2TS is Apocalypto because I need to get the subtitle working and It works with M2TS but not TS for some reason.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:33 am 
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I guess I've had the opposite experience. USB drives drove me nuts, I need to be able to copy stuff to my server in a certain amount of time.

I won't be adding a 8 bay USB enclosure, I'll be building a new box with more processing power and go with multiple esata external enclosures. I want to have my squeezecenter scans not bring streaming movies to a hault, same for nightly backups and drive reorganization processes.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:45 am 
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Jeff Flowerday wrote:
I guess I've had the opposite experience. USB drives drove me nuts, I need to be able to copy stuff to my server in a certain amount of time.

I won't be adding a 8 bay USB enclosure, I'll be building a new box with more processing power and go with multiple esata external enclosures. I want to have my squeezecenter scans not bring streaming movies to a hault, same for nightly backups and drive reorganization processes.


.02


I've also been considering building a DIY WHS myself lately. I don't see any of the big companies offering my ideal WHS box which would include multiple esata ports with port multiplier support. But I think I'm going to wait until MS releases a 64 bit version of WHS.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:10 am 
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cavediver wrote:
Jeff Flowerday wrote:
I guess I've had the opposite experience. USB drives drove me nuts, I need to be able to copy stuff to my server in a certain amount of time.

I won't be adding a 8 bay USB enclosure, I'll be building a new box with more processing power and go with multiple esata external enclosures. I want to have my squeezecenter scans not bring streaming movies to a hault, same for nightly backups and drive reorganization processes.


.02


I've also been considering building a DIY WHS myself lately. I don't see any of the big companies offering my ideal WHS box which would include multiple esata ports with port multiplier support. But I think I'm going to wait until MS releases a 64 bit version of WHS.


Same boat here. I am starting to look further into recording live tv. My fear is that the MSS is not a) powerful enough to handle recording hd content directly to the MSS and b) if recording directly to the MSS it would bring the other functionality of the MSS to a halt while recording. Also, it would be nice to have a BluRay drive in the server. Do you know when WHS x64 is due out?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:38 am 
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cavediver wrote:
Jeff Flowerday wrote:
I guess I've had the opposite experience. USB drives drove me nuts, I need to be able to copy stuff to my server in a certain amount of time.

I won't be adding a 8 bay USB enclosure, I'll be building a new box with more processing power and go with multiple esata external enclosures. I want to have my squeezecenter scans not bring streaming movies to a hault, same for nightly backups and drive reorganization processes.


.02


I've also been considering building a DIY WHS myself lately. I don't see any of the big companies offering my ideal WHS box which would include multiple esata ports with port multiplier support. But I think I'm going to wait until MS releases a 64 bit version of WHS.


At first I was going to wait for the next version as well, but now that the 16TB limit myth has been disproven, I'll be moving before the next WHS release. Sometime in 2010 is too far away still. :(


Last edited by Jeff Flowerday on Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:32 pm 
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Jeff/Cavediver,

So we don't get off the topic of the original post I am going to start a separate thread regarding MSS alternatives. I will link it up here once I post it

HERE IS THE LINK TO THE SEPARATE THREAD:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3908

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:16 pm 
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Dear all,

Thanks for detail testing on the TR8U enclosure. We do not have as many as equipment and testing that you guys did is highly appreciated. I can throw out our product bandwidth number here:

1, TR8U model is about 20MB/s.

2, TR4M, or other eSATA PM model, the max. bandwidth speed is about 200MB/s per cable. This apply to multiple drives using at the same time.

Those number are internal transfer rate. The overall performance in your network environment need to took into account. Gb Ethernet limited to 125MB/s vs 100/10 network is 12.5MB/s. In 10/100 environment, USB should not be your bottleneck.

Thanks,

Stanley

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