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Upgrading from RAIDiator 3.x to 4.x on the ReadyNAS

By dbott | December 13, 2009

RAIDiator is the name of the firmware that is used on the ReadyNAS product line. In late 2007/early 2008 the ReadyNAS team released a new 4.x version of the RAIDiator firmware. The changes between v.3 and v.4 of the firmware are as follows:

It is quite easy to upgrade from v.3 to v.4 — just install the latest version of firmware and you’re done (after backing up your data, just to be safe).  The downside is that upgrading from v.3 to v.4 does not change the block size or provide online expansion which can result in a decrease in performance.  The only way to get all of the benefits of v.4 is to perform a factory default, which entails the following:

Have a look at this thread for some ideas on how to accomplish a firmware and disk upgrade:

* these options are only available after performing a factory default on v.4

Note: The block size only affects the sparc-based units.  If you have a Pro, then block size is (and always has been) 4 K. The current version of RAIDiator supports up to 64 TB volumes on both the x86-based units and the sparc-based units.

FWIW, on all Intel x86-based units (Pro, NVX, 2100 and 3200), the block size is 4 k.

Sparc-based units (600, X6, NV, NV+, 1000s, 1100) running version 3.x of RAIDiator the block size is 4 k.  New sparc-based units (Duo, NV+, 1100) running version 4.x of RAIDiator and older models that have been factory defaulted with version 4 will have a block size of 16 k.

Sparc-based units that have been upgraded to version 4 from version 3 without a factory default will still have 4 k blocks.

To verify your block size on sparc-based units, download the from FrontView > Status > Logs > Download All Logs.
Open the zip file, then view the volume.log.

Look for a line that says Block size.

RAIDiator 3 Upgrade:

Block size:               4096

RAIDiator 4 Factory:

Block size:               16384

Update: Version 4.1.7 of RAIDiator now includes support for >2TB drives with 4k sectors (which is a completely separate issue from the 4K vs. 16K data blocks noted above).  Most current generation drives (pre-2010) use 512-byte sectors, however, there is a limitation as to what the maximum capacity can be (2 TB).  To address this limitation, drive manufactures have switched to 4K sectors for their >2TB drives.  The problem is that the sectors of the new drives do not align properly with RAIDiator 4.1.6 and older and can cause a reduction in performance.

Anyone that wishes to install these new large drives with 4k sectors will need to factory default after upgrading the 4.1.7. See this thread here for more information.

Topics: Ramblings | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Upgrading from RAIDiator 3.x to 4.x on the ReadyNAS”

  1. MrCyberdude Says:
    May 10th, 2010 at 6:39 am

    The ReadyNas may have 4k block size but it appears that they are not aligned with WD “Advanced Format” 4k sectors causing cluster overlap.

    A test for you to try with the x86 Pro

    Version 1.96 ------Sequential Output------ --Sequential Input- --Random-
    -Per Chr- --Block-- -Rewrite- -Per Chr- --Block-- --Seeks--
    Machine Size K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP /sec %CP
    RN-Pro 2G 760 88 20656 4 17189 4 734 55 147995 26 218.3 3
    Latency 9958us 2174ms 1951ms 1518ms 101ms 100ms
    ------Sequential Create------ --------Random Create--------
    -Create-- --Read--- -Delete-- -Create-- --Read--- -Delete--
    files: max:min /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP
    RN-Pro 256 239 99 302797 99 21390 19 259 99 314931 99 325 49
    Latency 406ms 664us 432us 444ms 60us 4932ms

  2. MrCyberdude Says:
    June 17th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Firmware 4.2.12-T9 or newer fixed the WD20eaRs 4KB cluster overlap problem.

    Version 1.96 ------Sequential Output------ --Sequential Input- --Random-
    -Per Chr- --Block-- -Rewrite- -Per Chr- --Block-- --Seeks--
    Machine Size K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP /sec %CP
    ReadyNasPro 8G 745 88 127790 22 82582 22 1477 98 213548 34 484.9 12
    Latency 9936us 593ms 267ms 32760us 137ms 102ms
    ------Sequential Create------ --------Random Create--------
    -Create-- --Read--- -Delete-- -Create-- --Read--- -Delete--
    files:max:min /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP /sec %CP
    ReadyNasPro 256 239 99 313784 99 83281 69 257 99 322636 99 649 98
    Latency 458ms 376us 426us 439ms 1307us 5947us

    16210752+0 records in
    16210752+0 records out
    8299905024 bytes (8.3 GB) copied, 50.3665 seconds, 165 MB/s

  3. Mike Furman Says:
    September 11th, 2010 at 6:40 am

    I upgraded firmware without factory reset and using method above volume.log states that my block size is 16384. Should I still do a factory reset?

  4. dbott Says:
    September 16th, 2010 at 9:32 am

    A factory default is not required, as your NAS has already been factory defaulted with version 4 of RAIDiator. Having said that, there is a new beta version of RAIDiator (4.1.7) for the sparc-based systems (Duo, NV+, 1100, plus the older X6/600, NV & 1000s) that will add support for new >2 TB drives. These new drives have 4k sectors (which is unrelated to the 4K vs. 16K block-size of the ReadyNAS). Any users wishing to install these new >2 TB drives with 4k sectors will need to upgrade to 4.1.7+ and then factory default to align the sectors for maximum performance.

    There is a thread here that covers some of the pertinent details.