Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)
  • On my last post I talked about using a RAID hardware controller.  I am not going to get into the hardware again so if you did not have a chance to read  the last post  you find it HERE.  What I want to discuss today is how I implemented my existing RAID solution into WHS 2011 and the results I got when it was done.

     

    My goal when I setup and tested the RAID card several weeks ago was to have a solution in place and working with Server 2008 R2 and to be able to port that hardware and its contents into a WHS 2011.  What I did know is that I could install a different OS and not effect the data as the array as it is stored on the card not in the OS.  What I did not know is how MS  would be implementing WHS 2011.  If you recall prior versions creamed all the drives attached to it during the initial install.  Since all the data I have was duplicated on another server I was not too concerned about losing it so I went and did the install.  Interestingly enough, the install was painless and did not touch the data I had on the arrays but the actual install  took 3-4 times longer than a Server 2008R2 install which takes only about 7-8 minutes.

     

    Since we do not have DE anymore, I wanted to see how I could set up WHS 2011 to be as simple as possible, provide a more than decent amount of space, and of course to be large enough to avoid 20 drive letters.

    Basics

    Using the configuration I created before, you can see Disk Mgt screen that shows basically 4 drives (volumes).  Disk 0 is a system drive (broken into three parts during the install, boot partition, OS, and the balance created a data partition), Disk 1 which is a an array of 5 2T drives for a storage total of 8T, Disk 2 which is a 3 2T disk array which provides for a total space of 4t.  Notice that the two arrays show up as a single drive not multiples.

     

    WHS2011 Drive Mgt

    Setting up the folders

    There is not right or wrong way to do this but below is how I broke down the major task's.  In looking at the available storage, I picked folders in locations that I thought would provide plenty of storage now and the future.  Please note that I moved all the folders from the defaults locations to one of the arrays where there is plenty of storage and not worry about running out including the backups.  I am actually backing up the clients to the RAID 5 array not the local drive.  I may change this later and just add a standalone 3T to be used as the backup.

     

    WHS2011 Folders

     

    Existing computers that have been ported to WHS 2011

     

    WHS2011 Comp

     

    Configured user list.

     

    WHS2011 Users

     

    Great example of the drive/volume and what it looks like.  Notice the RAID 5 arrays appear as one drive and are invisible to WHS 2011.

     

    WHS2011 Hard Drives

     

    And of course this shows you the final product and the configuration of your drives as it appears in the disk management window.

     

    WHS2011 Drive Mgt

     

    Top drive is for the OS, and the bottom 5 are for the first array (5x2T)

     

    P1010390

     

    The second array of 3x2T

     

    P1010391

    Conclusions and Next steps….

    So far I am ecstatic about this configuration.  It provides more than enough storage capacity, is faster than you can hope for, all with the wonderful front end of Windows Home Server 2011.  On the upside, I was impressed that I could install WHS 2011 on a clean drive and it not mess with any of the data that was on the arrays.  I loved that I could move the default locations over the raid volumes without affecting the data on them.  WHS 2011 works very well with a setup like this and will do just as well as we see more of the internal drive cages with built in raid controllers.  I believe that with the right hardware, this will become an even more powerful solution than we had before.  Maybe not quite as flexible, but potentially a better, faster, and more consistent experience. 

     

    I have tested heavy streaming (4 concurrent BD streams) while doing other tasks such as reading and writing and could not get it to stumble.  Throughput around my network rarely dropped below 100 MB/s when connected to the WHS 2011, and usability was incredible.

     

    The only downside (becoming less and less of an issue) is the hardware selection.  I realize this is a bit extreme and not everyone will go to this level of expense, however it does demonstrate that you have options and if you look hard enough and plan it out right, you can set up a smaller version of this with minimal expense.  For example, if you uses the same 8 port controller that I used, you can start with a simple 3 drive array, and either expand it by adding additional drives over time, or by adding another array of say 3 more drives as your storage needs grow.  Sure it is not the “do whatever you want” approach of V1 but it can still be done fairly reasonably and the payback is awesome in terms of performance.  I know that many are turned off by the “RAID THING”, but it is not as bad as we once thought and can be done for a decent cost.

     

    So what is next?  I plan on running this way for the next 3-4 weeks and after that, I will be testing the restore process and setting up an Icy Dock mirrored raid box like Dave is using for the OS, as well as adding as testing various other ways of providing backup.  Start planning your hardware now and look for deals and you will not be disappointed…

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    I'm using the Software RAID-5 and it seems to be working perfectly! WHS 2011 RTM here. The obvious advantage of a hardware controller is the performance gain, but if that's not a factor, then the software RAID works well too.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Now is the software RAID being used to mirror the OS or is that a hardware raid? I can see how it would work if one of the other data drives fail the OS could rebuild the data but if it is all software raid including the OS how would you recover from a failed OS drive? Is that coming in a later post?
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I loaded WHS 2011 on a PowerEdge 830 with the Dell (Adaptec) H2052 controller configured as Raid 1. I currently have two 1tb drives and a USB external HDD for server backup. So far so good. Maybe it's my system, but it seems like performance decreased with the RAID array. I use PerfectDisk 12 Server for defrag, takes forever just to optimize the OS partition. Nevertheless, I love the arrangement - highly recommend. Good article!!
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    nice article. i have a similar setup using highpoint 2720sgl raid card. once i get all my drives, i'll be running a raid6 with 8x 2TB drives. i'm just curious as to what you mean by "...you can start with a simple 3 drive array, and either expand it by adding additional drives over time..." are you referring to pooling your drives initially or there's a way to adding drives to an existing array without destroying data?
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I am trying to configure an external NAS box with 3x3Tb WD red drives. Home server sees them, but when I try to prepare the disks, format etc, it errors out. Any thoughts?
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • I throw this out every once in a while.  Is anyone interested in writing up "semi-formal" reviews here on the forums?  I say semi-formal because they don't have to be pro level, just a good attempt at telling the story about the gear.  Something you have purchased lately.  You don't have to go buy stuff, just incorporate what you have already have purchased.  Hit me up with any questions.  You never know where it will lead!
        • Like
      • 3 replies
    • D-Link has dropped a couple of new products and additions to their lineup of smart home gear.  Hold on because there is a lot of gear!
      Let's start with cameras.  D-Link has new Wi-Fi cameras, the Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8302LH) and Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8526LH).  These are not just new, and good looking cams, they can now perform people detection and glass break detection.  The new cameras also feature expanded ways for customers to save video, including ONVIF Profile S, which enables custom storage and streaming options to personal NAS devices, built-in storage microSD capacity up to 256 GB, as well as free and paid cloud storage options. 
       

       
      This year's camera models include both an indoor and an outdoor model. The outdoor model features a spotlight and siren that can be triggered when motion is detected, deterring potential intruders. The indoor model pans around to give a full 360-degree view of any room and tracks motion. Both include two-way audio. 
      Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8302LH), available in Q2, 2020, and retail pricing will be $99.99.
      Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8526LH), available in Q3, 2020, and retail pricing will be $119.99.
      One of my favorite products is Wi-Fi.  D-Link has a whole lot of new products coming including Wi-Fi 6, Mesh, Alexa and Google Assistant integration, IFTTT, Parental Controls, and more!
       

       
      There are so many new SKU's that I can't make heads or tails of them!  I'm going to be speaking with D-Link more this week and will sort all of these out. I do want you to see all they are offering and what the release date and projected retail pricing will be.

      AC1900 Scalable Mesh Wi-Fi Router (COVR-1900-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1750-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1900 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1950-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1755-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1950 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1955-US), Q1 2020, $109.99
      Smart AX1500 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1560-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      Smart AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $139.99
      Smart AX2400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X2460-US), Q3 2020, $159.99
      Smart AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X5460-US), Q1 2020, $279.99
      AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (DAP-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $129.99
      AX1800 Whole Home Mesh System (COVR-X1872-US), QX22020, $269.99
        • Like
      • 0 replies
    • RESET Merch Shop
      Get ya Merch here!  I've created a T-Shirt shop with the famous RESET paperclip. I've pasted that clip on just about everything so you can wear it around town!  Cable bags, Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, and more. 
       
      https://reset.threadless.com/
       
      or you can get it it via
       
      https://reset.fm/store
       
      Here is the main design.
       

       
      Below is a part of the order that I put in!  
       
       

       
      The Heather Grey above is the Extra Soft version and it is awesome.  I highly recommend the softness!    The "Chili Red" is the Tri-Blend and probably my favorite feel and color.

       
      This is the Zip-Up Hoody, Heather Indigo, Sponge Fleece, Men's, Large.  In my podcast I couldn't remember what style it was but it is Sponge Fleece. It's REALLY soft on the inside. Soft outside as well. The only problem is with the zip up hoody the logo is on the back. Regular hoody, it will be on the front.
       
      https://reset.threadless.com/
       
      or you can get it it via
       
      https://reset.fm/store
       
      Thank you for supporting this community. Everything you purchase will help keep the lights on the hard drives spinning.
       
      • 0 replies
    • OneDrive Personal Vault and expandable storage
      Microsoft's OneDrive has a few new features and options worth pointing out.  Personal Vault and Expandable Storage.
       
      Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS. 
       
      Personal Vault gives you an added layer of protection for your most important files, photos, and videos—for example, copies of documents such as your passport, driver’s license, or insurance information—should someone gain access to your account or device.
      Plus, this added security won’t slow you down. You can quickly access your important documents, photos, and files with confidence wherever you are, on your PC, OneDrive.com, or your mobile device.

       
      Beyond a second layer of identity verification, Personal Vault also includes the following security measures:
       
      Scan and shoot—Using the OneDrive app, you can scan documents or shoot photos directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less secure areas of your device, like your camera roll.
      Automatic locking—No need to worry about whether you left your Personal Vault or your files open—both will close and lock automatically after a period of inactivity.
      BitLocker encryption—On Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive automatically syncs your Personal Vault files to a BitLocker-encrypted area of your local hard drive.
      Restricted sharing—To prevent accidental sharing, files in Personal Vault and shared items moved into Personal Vault cannot be shared.
       
      Taken together, these security measures help ensure that Personal Vault files are not stored unprotected on your PC, and your files have additional protection, even if your Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or someone gains access to it or to your account.
       
      Expandable Storage
       
      If you are and Office 365 Subscriber you get 1 TB of OneDrive storage space with all the other Office goodies like Word, Excel, etc.  I know personally that I have gone over the 1TB limit and have always wanted to be able to add additional storage to my account.  Now you can!

       
      Pick and option and keep on hoarding, errr, I mean saving! Cancel anytime, upgrade at any moment.
      • 1 reply
    • Ubiquiti adds new items to the Unifi Line including UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine
      Ubiquiti has been busy.  There area ton of new items to recently released and I'm going to share two of my favorites.
       
      The UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine. The Flex HD is a mouthful of descriptors like most of UI gear is.  It's a 2Ghz 2x2 MIMO, 5GHz 4x4 MU-MIMO, POE, Indoor/Outdoor, multi mount, mesh point that is no bigger than a can of Coke.

       
      You will still need the Unifi controller although you can configure it with basic functionality with the Unifi App.  I've always found it's best to configure with your controller and then use the app as an add-on.  There are several mounting options that include sitting it on a shelf! That is something that Unifi has not had before unless you count the ceiling AP I have awkwardly mounted placed on top of a few books.  It can be found on the Unifi store for $179.
       
      https://store.ui.com/collections/wireless/products/unifi-flexhd
       
      The Dream Machine is an altogether different beast that I hope lives up to its naming.  This is the gateway drug, for lack of a better term, to the Unifi world.  The starter kit.  It is an Access Point, Gigabit Switch, Security Gateway, and the Cloud Key all in one package.  The latter being the most significant as this is something that has deterred new users from getting started with Unifi.  Requiring new users to purchase a $100 item just to run the AP's has been somewhat of a roadblock in the past.  Granted, that is improving every year with the ability to run it in the cloud, on a NAS, a Pi, Docker, MacOS, and of course Windows, it is still a barricade to getting up and running when manufacturers such as Eero offer simplicity in an app.
       

       
      The switch includes 4 LAN Ports and 1 WAN port.  All of which are Gigabit and security services such as IPS are rated at Gigabit speed. It's $299 in the Unifi store but I'm unsure how nicely it will play with other Unifi gear.  This may be a nice "first AP" with its built in Cloud Key if you can add additional units or other Unifi access points.
       
      https://store.ui.com/collections/routing-switching/products/unifi-dream-machine
      • 4 replies
×
×
  • Create New...