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Recommendation of OS/storage solution for Plex NAS?

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Hello, I'm thinking of creating a NAS for Plex and start with two 18TB HDDS. But I would like to "easily" add more HDDs in the future without wiping any data.
And I only need at most 1 redundant HDD.

Any OS/storage solution (trueNAS?) recommendations?

(sry for the probably commonly asked question)

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Unraid should be pretty flexible in that regard. Truenas works with ZFS, you can't just simply add a drive to the pool without restructuring all the data.

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2 minutes ago, Sjaakie said:

Unraid should be pretty flexible in that regard. Truenas works with ZFS, you can't just simply add a drive to the pool without restructuring all the data.

Ah oke, but restructuring (rebuilding?) the data would not delete anything, it would just take a while?

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It may be possible but as far as I know it is not as easy / simple as Unraid. Maybe someone with some hands on Truenas experience can chip in here.

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Can vouch for Unraid's ease of use. Adding drives down the line is as straightforward as plugging them in and adding them to the array (and letting Unraid clear the new drives).

Crystal: CPU: i7 7700K | Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z270F | RAM: GSkill 16 GB@3200MHz | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti FE | Case: Corsair Crystal 570X (black) | PSU: EVGA Supernova G2 1000W | Monitor: Asus VG248QE 24"

Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9370 | CPU: i5 10510U | RAM: 16 GB

Server: CPU: i5 4690k | RAM: 16 GB | Case: Corsair Graphite 760T White | Storage: 19 TB

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6 minutes ago, tikker said:

Can vouch for Unraid's ease of use. Adding drives down the line is as straightforward as plugging them in and adding them to the array (and letting Unraid clear the new drives).

Ah oke, that seems pretty nice. Do you know if there any significant downsides with Unraid compared to like TrueNAS?

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3 minutes ago, Mambans said:

Ah oke, that seems pretty nice. Do you know if there any significant downsides with Unraid compared to like TrueNAS?

It not being free I guess. I haven't used TrueNAS myself. I started with a bunch of mix and match drives in terms of capacity, so Unraid was perfect for me as it handles that easily.

Crystal: CPU: i7 7700K | Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z270F | RAM: GSkill 16 GB@3200MHz | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti FE | Case: Corsair Crystal 570X (black) | PSU: EVGA Supernova G2 1000W | Monitor: Asus VG248QE 24"

Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9370 | CPU: i5 10510U | RAM: 16 GB

Server: CPU: i5 4690k | RAM: 16 GB | Case: Corsair Graphite 760T White | Storage: 19 TB

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2 minutes ago, tikker said:

It not being free I guess. I haven't used TrueNAS myself. I started with a bunch of mix and match drives in terms of capacity, so Unraid was perfect for me as it handles that easily.

Ah oke.
Oh wait, it can handle different sizes drives, without downgrading the larger drivers? So if I have 2x 8TB and 218TB i will give me ~52TB?
(But the drives have to be formatted/wiped before install right?)

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9 minutes ago, Mambans said:

Ah oke.
Oh wait, it can handle different sizes drives, without downgrading the larger drivers? So if I have 2x 8TB and 218TB i will give me ~52TB?
(But the drives have to be formatted/wiped before install right?)

Yes it can use different drive sizes. The constraint is that data drives cannot be larger than the parity drive(s). You'd have to use one of the 18 TB drives for parity, leaving you with 18+8+8 = 34 TB of usable storage. Unraid will give you the option to (more like make you) clear them before they are added to the array. No formatting or wiping on your end needed.

Crystal: CPU: i7 7700K | Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z270F | RAM: GSkill 16 GB@3200MHz | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti FE | Case: Corsair Crystal 570X (black) | PSU: EVGA Supernova G2 1000W | Monitor: Asus VG248QE 24"

Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9370 | CPU: i5 10510U | RAM: 16 GB

Server: CPU: i5 4690k | RAM: 16 GB | Case: Corsair Graphite 760T White | Storage: 19 TB

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1 minute ago, tikker said:

Yes it can use different drive sizes. The only constraint is that data drives cannot be larger than the parity drive(s). You'd have to use one of the 18 TB drives for parity, leaving you with 18+8+8 = 34 TB of usable storage. Unraid will give you the option to clear them before they are added to the array. No formatting or wiping on your end needed.

Oh that's awesome. Unraid seems like the best choice for me, I'll try it out.
Thanks for all the help!

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24 minutes ago, Mambans said:

Oh that's awesome. Unraid seems like the best choice for me, I'll try it out.
Thanks for all the help!

Note that they offer a 30-day trial license so you can determine if it's for you before you buy one of the licenses. The licenses determine how many drives you can use. That's the other downside I guess. The basic license only allows up to 6 devices, but if you are going to be using 8-18 TB drives that may not be much of an issue at first.

Crystal: CPU: i7 7700K | Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z270F | RAM: GSkill 16 GB@3200MHz | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti FE | Case: Corsair Crystal 570X (black) | PSU: EVGA Supernova G2 1000W | Monitor: Asus VG248QE 24"

Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9370 | CPU: i5 10510U | RAM: 16 GB

Server: CPU: i5 4690k | RAM: 16 GB | Case: Corsair Graphite 760T White | Storage: 19 TB

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6 hours ago, Mambans said:

Ah oke, but restructuring (rebuilding?) the data would not delete anything, it would just take a while?

 

6 hours ago, Sjaakie said:

It may be possible but as far as I know it is not as easy / simple as Unraid. Maybe someone with some hands on Truenas experience can chip in here.

 

5 hours ago, Mambans said:

Ah oke.
Oh wait, it can handle different sizes drives, without downgrading the larger drivers? So if I have 2x 8TB and 218TB i will give me ~52TB?
(But the drives have to be formatted/wiped before install right?)

To just respond to all of this at once...

 

ZFS you can't add drives to vdevs after the fact, and each vdev has its own parity requirements.

 

In ZFS to build a pool, you create vdevs. Each vdev is a group of discs, can be 1 drive, can be many many more. But each vdev has its own parity needs, so you can't just create a new vdev with say a single drive, add it to the pool, and have it inherit any amount of redundancy. Actually, if you do this and add that single drive vdev to an existing pool regardless of what the other vdevs have redundancy wise, that single drive in that vdev, if it dies, your entire pool is SOL.

 

Basically, the only way to expand storage in ZFS is to add more vdevs (which again, need their own redundancy, so you would want to add a group of discs with whatever level of redundancy you deem good, or a single disc in its own pool, basically making that new vdev its own pool will allow it to have its own redundancy needs and not affect previous pools), or replace all the drives in a vdev 1 by 1 until all are the larger size, then the pool will grow to the new harddrives size.

 

Unraid allows you to throw more drives at it at any point in time, of any size, and it will "magically" just work and you will get all the useable space and will retain the redundancy you previously had. The drawback.... the array is a lot slower since the data was not actually split across drives, and you don't get the magical check summing and data protection ZFS provides. ZFS will go to extreme lengths to make sure your data remains intact and not corrupted more than any other file system will.

 

For your use case, unraid is likely the best option.

Rig: i7 10700k @ 5.1Ghz, 4.8 Ring - - Z490 Vision G - - EVGA RTX 2080 XC Ultra @ 2025Mhz - - 4x8GB Vengeance Pro 3000Mhz 15-17-17-34 @ 3500MHz 16-19-19-38 - - Samsung 950 Pro 512 NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Samsung 830 Pro 256 RAID 0 Lightroom + Photo work - - WD Blue 1 TB SSD for Games - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - EK Supremacy Evo - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK Full Cover GPU Block - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 64 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - 10TB WD Red for expendable data - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone Xs - 2018 MacBook Air

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On 8/14/2022 at 12:19 AM, LIGISTX said:

 

 

To just respond to all of this at once...

 

ZFS you can't add drives to vdevs after the fact, and each vdev has its own parity requirements.

 

In ZFS to build a pool, you create vdevs. Each vdev is a group of discs, can be 1 drive, can be many many more. But each vdev has its own parity needs, so you can't just create a new vdev with say a single drive, add it to the pool, and have it inherit any amount of redundancy. Actually, if you do this and add that single drive vdev to an existing pool regardless of what the other vdevs have redundancy wise, that single drive in that vdev, if it dies, your entire pool is SOL.

 

Basically, the only way to expand storage in ZFS is to add more vdevs (which again, need their own redundancy, so you would want to add a group of discs with whatever level of redundancy you deem good, or a single disc in its own pool, basically making that new vdev its own pool will allow it to have its own redundancy needs and not affect previous pools), or replace all the drives in a vdev 1 by 1 until all are the larger size, then the pool will grow to the new harddrives size.

 

Unraid allows you to throw more drives at it at any point in time, of any size, and it will "magically" just work and you will get all the useable space and will retain the redundancy you previously had. The drawback.... the array is a lot slower since the data was not actually split across drives, and you don't get the magical check summing and data protection ZFS provides. ZFS will go to extreme lengths to make sure your data remains intact and not corrupted more than any other file system will.

 

For your use case, unraid is likely the best option.

I second unRAID in this use case. Expanding a storage pool for unRAID is much easier than truenas or other zfs solution. And for free users and just file access, the performance will be fine.

I use truenas personally which is much better for running 10 or more vms on and sql server but can't easily just add disks. I upgraded from 3tb disks from when I started to 8tb disks and needed to migrate it all to other disks and swap the drives and migrate back since I could not attach all of them to the same machine at the same time.

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4 minutes ago, m9x3mos said:

I upgraded from 3tb disks from when I started to 8tb disks and needed to migrate it all to other disks and swap the drives and migrate back since I could not attach all of them to the same machine at the same time.

Just an FYI, you can remove a disc from an array and resilver it with a larger one. Do this one at a time until all of them are the larger size, and you just grew your vdev to the new larger disc's size. Not sure if you knew that based on that remark, could be useful in the future 🙂

Rig: i7 10700k @ 5.1Ghz, 4.8 Ring - - Z490 Vision G - - EVGA RTX 2080 XC Ultra @ 2025Mhz - - 4x8GB Vengeance Pro 3000Mhz 15-17-17-34 @ 3500MHz 16-19-19-38 - - Samsung 950 Pro 512 NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Samsung 830 Pro 256 RAID 0 Lightroom + Photo work - - WD Blue 1 TB SSD for Games - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - EK Supremacy Evo - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK Full Cover GPU Block - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 64 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - 10TB WD Red for expendable data - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone Xs - 2018 MacBook Air

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18 minutes ago, LIGISTX said:

Just an FYI, you can remove a disc from an array and resilver it with a larger one. Do this one at a time until all of them are the larger size, and you just grew your vdev to the new larger disc's size. Not sure if you knew that based on that remark, could be useful in the future 🙂

Yeah, that approach was something I was thinking about a while before I did it. I chickened out due to fear of having one of the 5 year old drives tank while dieting l doing the resilver process. Anything important is backed up on secondary medium but would have needed to reinstall and setup my vms again.

It wasn't too bad to due zfs send to an external disk for each of the datasets and then send them back after the disks were swapped.

Learned that approach from someone who was doing that to clean up fragmentation.

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On 8/14/2022 at 6:19 AM, LIGISTX said:

 

 

To just respond to all of this at once...

 

ZFS you can't add drives to vdevs after the fact, and each vdev has its own parity requirements.

 

In ZFS to build a pool, you create vdevs. Each vdev is a group of discs, can be 1 drive, can be many many more. But each vdev has its own parity needs, so you can't just create a new vdev with say a single drive, add it to the pool, and have it inherit any amount of redundancy. Actually, if you do this and add that single drive vdev to an existing pool regardless of what the other vdevs have redundancy wise, that single drive in that vdev, if it dies, your entire pool is SOL.

 

Basically, the only way to expand storage in ZFS is to add more vdevs (which again, need their own redundancy, so you would want to add a group of discs with whatever level of redundancy you deem good, or a single disc in its own pool, basically making that new vdev its own pool will allow it to have its own redundancy needs and not affect previous pools), or replace all the drives in a vdev 1 by 1 until all are the larger size, then the pool will grow to the new harddrives size.

 

Unraid allows you to throw more drives at it at any point in time, of any size, and it will "magically" just work and you will get all the useable space and will retain the redundancy you previously had. The drawback.... the array is a lot slower since the data was not actually split across drives, and you don't get the magical check summing and data protection ZFS provides. ZFS will go to extreme lengths to make sure your data remains intact and not corrupted more than any other file system will.

 

For your use case, unraid is likely the best option.

That ZFS security is tempting but highly overkill for what I'm storing.
How big is the performance hit on Unraid? Is it slower than a regular HDD in windows?

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Just now, Mambans said:

That ZFS security is tempting but highly overkill for what I'm storing.
How big is the performance hit on Unraid? Is it slower than a regular HDD in windows?

Unraid will perform about as fast as a single harddrive. I think there is a way to make it read faster, but I am not sure - I have never used unraid myself. 

Rig: i7 10700k @ 5.1Ghz, 4.8 Ring - - Z490 Vision G - - EVGA RTX 2080 XC Ultra @ 2025Mhz - - 4x8GB Vengeance Pro 3000Mhz 15-17-17-34 @ 3500MHz 16-19-19-38 - - Samsung 950 Pro 512 NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Samsung 830 Pro 256 RAID 0 Lightroom + Photo work - - WD Blue 1 TB SSD for Games - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - EK Supremacy Evo - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK Full Cover GPU Block - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 64 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - 10TB WD Red for expendable data - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone Xs - 2018 MacBook Air

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1 hour ago, LIGISTX said:

Unraid will perform about as fast as a single harddrive. I think there is a way to make it read faster, but I am not sure - I have never used unraid myself. 

Ah oke, that's not too bad.

If I have two seperate drivers in windows with ex 200ms/s and I hit them both, I would theoretically get 400mb/s.
But in Unraid, I would still only get 200mb/s (1 HDD's speed) if I had multiple drives?
 

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8 minutes ago, Mambans said:

Ah oke, that's not too bad.

If I have two seperate drivers in windows with ex 200ms/s and I hit them both, I would theoretically get 400mb/s.
But in Unraid, I would still only get 200mb/s (1 HDD's speed) if I had multiple drives?
 

In a traditional RAID which ZFS is, data is split out physically across all the drives in the array. This means reading data back can happen across all the drives, thus aggregating their speeds together (it isn’t linear, there is a good amount of speed loss involved, but you can anticipate maybe 60-70% of the performance of which each drive is capable of multiplied by the amount of drives). Unraid does not do this. Data is not split up between drives with unraid. So if your pulling data that just happens to live all on one drive, you only get the speed of one drive (or less, since multiple people may be unluckily hitting that single drive). 
 

For this type of situation, you probably don’t want to use unraid. It’s great for home users, but once you start talking about multiple people video editing from it, Truenas may be a better option. It’s less flexible since you can’t just add drives to it to increase space like you can with unraid, but it will perform better, and will “work harder” at keeping your data error and corruption free. 
 

*Edit: Oops, I just was talking in a different thread about something similar. Got my wires crossed. But, the info is still relevant and correct.*

Rig: i7 10700k @ 5.1Ghz, 4.8 Ring - - Z490 Vision G - - EVGA RTX 2080 XC Ultra @ 2025Mhz - - 4x8GB Vengeance Pro 3000Mhz 15-17-17-34 @ 3500MHz 16-19-19-38 - - Samsung 950 Pro 512 NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Samsung 830 Pro 256 RAID 0 Lightroom + Photo work - - WD Blue 1 TB SSD for Games - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - EK Supremacy Evo - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK Full Cover GPU Block - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 64 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - 10TB WD Red for expendable data - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone Xs - 2018 MacBook Air

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2 minutes ago, LIGISTX said:

In a traditional RAID which ZFS is, data is split out physically across all the drives in the array. This means reading data back can happen across all the drives, thus aggregating their speeds together (it isn’t linear, there is a good amount of speed loss involved, but you can anticipate maybe 60-70% of the performance of which each drive is capable of multiplied by the amount of drives). Unraid does not do this. Data is not split up between drives with unraid. So if your pulling data that just happens to live all on one drive, you only get the speed of one drive (or less, since multiple people may be unluckily hitting that single drive). 
 

For this type of situation, you probably don’t want to use unraid. It’s great for home users, but once you start talking about multiple people video editing from it, Truenas may be a better option. It’s less flexible since you can’t just add drives to it to increase space like you can with unraid, but it will perform better, and will “work harder” at keeping your data error and corruption free. 
 

Oops, I just was talking in a different thread about something similar. Got my wires crossed. But, the info is still relevant and correct. 

Ahhh oke. So If I were to hit the drives in Unraid separately (1 video from HDD1 and one video from HDD2) they would still get their full performance (70%), similar to in windows?

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41 minutes ago, Mambans said:

Ahhh oke. So If I were to hit the drives in Unraid separately (1 video from HDD1 and one video from HDD2) they would still get their full performance (70%), similar to in windows?

If you hit both drives separately, you would get 100% of each their performance, which is similar to windows. The “problem” is, you don’t know what data lives on which drive… since unraid is going to present you the entire array as one network share. 

Rig: i7 10700k @ 5.1Ghz, 4.8 Ring - - Z490 Vision G - - EVGA RTX 2080 XC Ultra @ 2025Mhz - - 4x8GB Vengeance Pro 3000Mhz 15-17-17-34 @ 3500MHz 16-19-19-38 - - Samsung 950 Pro 512 NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Samsung 830 Pro 256 RAID 0 Lightroom + Photo work - - WD Blue 1 TB SSD for Games - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - EK Supremacy Evo - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK Full Cover GPU Block - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 64 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - 10TB WD Red for expendable data - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone Xs - 2018 MacBook Air

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8 minutes ago, LIGISTX said:

If you hit both drives separately, you would get 100% of each their performance, which is similar to windows. The “problem” is, you don’t know what data lives on which drive… since unraid is going to present you the entire array as one network share. 

Ah oke, think I understand it all now.
I'll try out Unraid first and see if the performance will be any issue.

Thanks a lot for all the help and all explanations!

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