unRAID Gives You Ultimate Control Over Your Data and Applications
What was once an operating system designed to give you ultimate control over your storage now extends that benefit to all of your computing hardware and software. unRAID Server OS 6 is a scalable, consumer-oriented, server operating system. Traditional approaches to personal computing technology place limits on your hardware’s capabilities, forcing you to choose between a desktop, media player, or a server. With unRAID, we can deliver all of these capabilities, at the same time, and on the same system.
Scale Your System
What differentiates unRAID from traditional solutions is our ability to scale in capability with that of your system. Have a low end processor with no virtualization support? No problem. Utilize unRAID as a powerful NAS appliance that requires very little power to manage a massive storage array. Add some better hardware and increase your system capabilities to include transcoding media and other CPU intensive functions. With virtualization-capable hardware and you can add the capabilities of a workstation and gaming rig to run right on top of your NAS. And even better, when upgrading unRAID from “just a NAS” to a “multi-purpose computing powerhouse,” all you need to do is attach your storage devices to the new system, boot up, and unRAID will pick up right from where it left off. You can check out our hardware recommendations for more suggestions on how to select components for use in your system and our community members to actively discuss their experiences on the Lime Technology forums.
Control Your Data
At the center of unRAID is it’s capability to store and protect any type of data using a capacity-centric array. Unlike a traditional RAID, data in the array is stored on individual devices allowing you to control where your data lives. Data devices are protected by a single Parity Disk. Should a device fail, simply replace it and unRAID will rebuild the lost data automatically. To simplify management, unRAID also allows for the creation of User Shares, which can spread data written to them across multiple devices in the array, using policies you define.
unRAID’s NAS capabilities give you the following benefits:
- Protect an array of up to 24 devices and utilize 100% of their capacity.
- Mix and match devices of different sizes, speeds, brands and protocols in a single array.
- Utilize different file systems across individual devices in the array.
- Expand your array on-demand without having to re balance data.
- Prevent simultaneous multi-device failure from causing data loss on other devices.
- Only spin up drives actually in use, reducing power and heat and improving device longevity.
On arrays with three or more devices, write performance typically peaks at about 30-40MB/s. To obtain faster write speed, HDDs or SSDs can be used to create a performance-centric Cache. The cache receives all write-operations as performed in real-time, but does so transparently. Data still appears under the appropriate share, and is automatically moved from the cache to the array at a time and frequency of your choosing. Data in the cache can also be protected by using more than one device to create a cache pool. Similar to the array, pooled devices can vary in speed, size, brand, and protocol and can be added at any time to increase your cache storage capacity. For a more in-depth overview on the unRAID array, cache, and user shares, please visit the Network Attached Storage page.
Control Your Applications
Traditional approaches to serving applications on a personal server have always had two major flaws: no universal management of application access controls (to network and data) and no method to install applications not written for the OS you’re using on the server. With Docker Containers on unRAID 6, its easy to install and manage a variety of service-driven applications on your system. Thanks to our community of container authors, templates to install these applications are easily accessible through the web interface, reducing the time it takes to get an app up and running on your system. With Docker’s pre-built image repository, unRAID’s application support has grown dramatically.
To increase application support even further, Virtual Machines remove the boundaries of Linux from unRAID, allowing you to install any application you want, regardless of the operating system for which they were written. Virtual machines are ideal for technology professionals or developers that need a tunable operating system for their needs and for users that just want a familiar platform (e.g. Windows) in which to manage 3rd party applications.
In short, running a wide variety of applications on unRAID is a breeze and our community developers are constantly pushing the limits of what applications on unRAID can do. For more information, please visit the Application Server page.
Control Your Hardware
Want to run a desktop workstation directly on your NAS? Get all the benefits of virtualization but with no sacrifice to user experience and consolidate hardware at the same time. Building a media monster for the living room? Eliminate buffering and play movies directly from your system. Want to extend your PC gaming experience throughout your house? With in-home streaming technologies by NVIDIA, Moonlight, Razer, and Steam, you can. These use cases and many more are doable thanks to I/O virtualization support on unRAID 6. Individual PCI devices can be assigned to disparate VMs, allowing them to supply driver support independent of the host OS, and isolating them from one another.
Virtual machines on unRAID 6 enable you to:
- Write data faster with direct-attached storage speed.
- Leverage underutilized system resources to other common personal computing tasks.
- Create dedicated virtual appliances attached to physical hardware.