23 February 2008

Best HD torrents

Some torrent directories have been moved more quickly seeding HD stuff than other directories. Here is my TOP-5 lists for High Definition material:

Torrent directories 1080+720=total HD

http://www.snarf-it.org/ 500+3800=4300 HD torrents listed;
http://www.thepiratebay.org/ 1000+1000=2000;
http://www.mininova.com/ 500+700=1200;
http://www.isohunt.com/ 700+500=1200;
http://www.bitenova.com/ 100+1000=1100;
http://www.torrentspy.com/ 20+300=320;
There are also some closed-communy torrent directories. Some of these exceeded user limit and they dont take new members.

Indeed, they differ in usability and ease of search. My personal favourite is http://www.mininova.org/

How to get HD stuff from Internet?

We all got HD equipment, but no content. Internet is one source to download 720p and 1080p movies, music videos, tv shows, fashion shows etc. If You never did it, here are short instructions:

1. Get torrent client software, like BitTorrent ;

2. Find interestinf content from torrent directories like:
http://www.snarf-it.org/ ; http://www.thepiratebay.org/ ; http://www.mininova.com/ ; http://www.isohunt.com/ ; http://www.bitenova.com/ ; http://www.torrentspy.com/

3. Start downloading. Volumes are big, starting from 0,5GB (compressed AVI files), usually ca 8GB per movie, so prepare to fill up Your server soon. I just expanded mine up to 2,2 TeraByte.

4. When needed (if you receive xyz.rar, xyz.r01, xyz.r02 etc), unpack spanned archive using WinRAR, WinZIP etc. Open first file with unzipper and it automatically unpacks and combines all parts of spanned archive, making one xyz.avi file.

19 February 2008

RAID upgrade speed comparision

HDTune 2.55 results for 4 x 160, total 0,5 TByte setup:

HDTune 2.55 results for 4 x 750, total 2,2 TByte setup:

Few comments. Some 10% better throughput and 30% better access time at the same CPU load. Main difference: 400+ percent more disk space.

18 February 2008

Major storage expansion to 2,2 TByte

So, downloading HD stuff from several torrents (post about best HD torrents will be available soon) filled up quickly my Half Terabyte server. So, I decided to switch frorm 4x160GB disks to 4x750GB setup, eg total 2,25 TB usable RAID5 storage.

RAID5 is essential in multy-disk setups, as single drive failure destroy's completely striped storage (RAID 0). Mirroring halves usable storage and is expeensive. So, RAID 5 is the winner. It is important to notice, that You may not want to use any entry-level RAID controller for RAID 5 as they use software parity calculation, overloeading CPU at large array writes. Instead usse HW accelerated version, for example RocketRAID 1810a.

My 2,2 TB media server in the nutshell

  • Intel P4, 2GHz, 100MHz FSB
  • 512 MB RAM
  • PCI bus 32bit
  • 40 Gb ATA disk for OS from integrated controller
  • 4 x 750 SATA II 7200 RPM disks from Hitachi
  • RAID5 controlled by HighPoint RocketRAID 1810a
  • Intel Gigabit NIC
  • Tower form factor (Dell Dimension 8200)
My 2,2 TB RAID migration process:
  • Installed temporary SATA controller and SATA drive 500GB for migration buffer;
  • Tested old partition performance, using HD Tune 2.55 (free);
  • Copied the contents from old RAID to single 500 GB SATA disk, attached to temporary SATA controller, using CodeSector TERACopy (took about 15 hours at average speed 6,5 MB/s)
  • Tested the integrity of copy using TERACopy
  • Took out 4 x 160 GB disks
  • Installed fresh 4 x 750 GB Hitachi disks
  • RAID 5 Zero build, using RocketRAID BIOS utility, block size 2048 (good for large sequential reads-writes as usual in video and audio media streaming), took 15 hours;
  • Created parrtition and formatted it, usine windows storage admin tools from Control Panel;
  • Copied all data back from single 500GB disk, using TERACopy;
  • Tested integrity of the copy with TERACopy;
  • Uninstalled temporary migration hard drive and controller;
  • Tested partition speed, using HD Tune.
It took total to c3 full days to complete the job, far more than I expected Thanks to slow disk-to-disk copy -- probably due to slow 100MHz FSB. Copy speed to single disk was in average 6,5 MBps, restoring to new RAD happened at 10 MBps pace. My next server will be >1000 MHz FSB and PCI-x configuration. For streaming purposes old system is good, but copying is painfully slow.

After the break -- places to get HD content, Victoria Secret 2007 show in 1080 HD and more..