View Full Version : [ubuntu] MAID (Massive Array of Idle Drives) Server?

September 29th, 2010, 01:28 AM
Is there any kind of MAID (Massive Array of Idle Drives) Server systems that can be deployed using ubuntu? I have a large library of stock HD video that I'd like to not have to power up and down my file server to access.

September 29th, 2010, 02:58 AM
I guess you will have to explain why you are taking down the file server. I've been running a RAID array on my file server since day 1 and it's not failed me. Granted, my array is only 4TB, but I've not even used half of that.

Do you want to consolidate everything, or what exactly do you want to accomplish?

September 29th, 2010, 03:49 AM
I have a 48 Terabyte system that consumes about 2000 watts and it's in my house. I really don't want to pay for the electricity bills on that :wink:

September 29th, 2010, 03:58 AM
I have a 48 Terabyte system that consumes about 2000 watts and it's in my house. I really don't want to pay for the electricity bills on that :wink:

Good lord. For something that large, I don't know what you'd do tbh.

September 29th, 2010, 04:02 AM
Ya :-\ I'm a digital Pack Rat. hehe.

I've herd of MAIDs but theres no documentation on them except a wikipedia article. I could probably kill most of that wattage if I could get my hard drives to spin down when i'm not using them.

September 29th, 2010, 04:23 AM
Take a look at hdparm (http://www.debianadmin.com/tune-your-hard-disk-for-high-performance-using-hdparm.html) for some info on how to see if the drives will spin down when not in use.

September 29th, 2010, 04:43 AM
I've been hashing hdparm with an individual on another forum, but I haven't had a good answer...

Doesn't Ubuntu use this by default...? I mean, doesn't Ubuntu spin down my disks when they're not in use anyways...?

Oh, dude. What kind of a rig do you have 48tb in? Do you have a freakin data center rack in your basement? I so want one (mainly for a lab environment, among other things...), I have a feeling the girlfriend would kill me LOL!

September 29th, 2010, 05:06 AM
I have a four disk array and use the following to keep my disks spun down aggressively.

In /etc/rc.local:

hdparm -B 10 /dev/sd{a,b,d,e}

I'm not even sure how disks are named after /dev/sda--/dev/sdz. If you can give me a schema, this will be better

for i in {a..z}; do
hdparm -B 10 /dev/sd$i
That will give you the first 26 devices.

Note that not all drives support spin-down.

September 29th, 2010, 07:21 AM
if you're talking about automatic spindown of harddisks; usually all drives support spindown (standby/sleep) after a configurable timeout.. advanced power management is one that not all drives support.. i wrote the following `/etc/init.d/hdparm' replacement to configure all drives in my server (with detectable filesystems on them) to disable advanced pm and just use sensible spindown timeouts and acoustic settings.. hth!


shopt -s extglob




loginfo() {
echo "$*"
logger -t "${ME}" -p user.info "$*"

logerror() {
echo "$*" 1>&2
logger -t "${ME}" -p user.error "$*"

maybe() {
if [[ "${OPT_NOACT}" -ne 0 ]]
eval $@
echo "# $@"

/sbin/hdparm -iI ${1:?} 2>/dev/null | awk '
aam = 128 # quiet
apm = 255 # off

set_aam = 0
set_apm = 0

/AdvancedPM=[Yy][Ee][Ss]/ {
set_apm = 1

/^[ \t]+Recommended acoustic management value:[ \t]+.*$/ {
sub(/^[ \t]+Recommended acoustic management value:[ \t]+/, "")
aam_recommended = $1

sub(/[0-9]+, current value:[ \t]+/, "")
aam_current = $1

if (aam_current != aam_recommended) {
set_aam = 1
aam = aam_recommended

if (set_apm) {
printf("APM=%d\n", apm)
if (set_aam) {
printf("AAM=%d\n", aam)


if [ `id -u` -ne 0 ]
logerror "need root priviliges"
exit 1

while getopts "n" OPT
case "${OPT}" in
shift $(( ${OPTIND} - 1 ))


DEVS=`awk '$4 ~ /^sd[a-z]+$/ { print $4 }' /proc/partitions | sort -u`

case "${1}" in
for DEV in ${DEVS}
unset AAM
unset APM

eval $(get_aam_apm "/dev/${DEV}")

loginfo "setting hd parameters for \`${DEV}'"
maybe /sbin/hdparm ${AAM:+-qM} ${AAM} \
${APM:+-qB} ${APM} \

for DEV in ${DEVS}
loginfo "putting \`${DEV}' to sleep"
maybe /sbin/hdparm -Y /dev/${DEV}

loginfo "need something to do"
exit 22

test ${RET} -eq 0


September 29th, 2010, 07:56 AM
I have a 48 Terabyte system that consumes about 2000 watts and it's in my house. I really don't want to pay for the electricity bills on that :wink:

Ha ha. Sure let others pay the bill to archive your files. Makes sense if you can find willing participants. I read once about such a scheme but can't recall the name now. I'm sure Google would turn up something though.

Ideally you'd use some form of distributed file system where each user is a sharing member that benefits from joining and sharing their space all together.

Hmmm. 2000 Watts @ 0.10/KwH = 0.20 x 24 x 30 = $144/mo.

On Amazon S3 you'd pay 0.10 x 48000 = $4800/mo. (reduced redundancy mode).

So if you were to charge for your MAID array you could make money.

This may interest you: GlusterFS (http://www.gluster.com/community/documentation/index.php/Main_Page). Surprisingly, it's actually in the Ubuntu repos!