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Drive balancing - why?


dvn
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I've used Drive Balancer a few times, and it's worked as advertised. With it, I've been able to balance my drives to within 1% of each other. I've also used Drive Balancer to manually 'push' all data off of the system drive. That worked fine as well.

 

Now I'm wondering. Why am I doing this? Do I, or should I care how WHS manages data distribution on pooled drives? Doesn't it work the way it does for a reason? Does balancing data across the drives make any tangible difference in performance or integrity? What's the advantage of pushing data around our pooled drives? Is this one of those things that we do because we 'feel' it should be done?

 

Personally, I starting to suspect that this is one of those things that seem like a good idea, but one for which we have no valid justification. Anyone agree? Can someone convince me otherwise? Tell me why I should bother with this.

 

*Before you respond, I'll tell you up front. If the only reason for running Drive Balancer is so that all spinning drives will have some data on them, I don't consider that by itself a good enough reason.

 

 

A little late to game, but I agree it does not add value and is really a feel good thing. I tried once as it seem like a good idea but after thinking about it, I wondered why? So I abandon the thought and let MS worry about it.

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Yea, it's kinda dumb. The issue that does bug me most is that sometimes one of my data drives will get down to less than 10% available free space. I've always understood that, for performance reasons, I really don't want to get down to less than 20%.

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Yea, it's kinda dumb. The issue that does bug me most is that sometimes one of my data drives will get down to less than 10% available free space. I've always understood that, for performance reasons, I really don't want to get down to less than 20%.

That's what I've understood as well, at least as far as running a regular Windows desktop OS. I understand it's because the OS can't defrag in the background if free space is less than 15%. I don't know if that applies in WHS DE. But again, if it (DE) was designed to run this way, I can assume it is not a problem. Or can I? Now that's a good question.

 

*I'm going to guess that it is not a problem because we don't use pooled space like we would free space on a regular desktop partition. We mainly write files to WHS once, then we read and reread them many times. On a regular OS partition, files get written, deleted, overwritten, or modified and rewritten so that fragmentation begins to accumulate. Much more so than with a drive in a DE partition. Which is why, even in Windows 7, defragmenters are important. With 7, the when to defrag algorithm is more finely tuned than in past OS's so we don't notice it. Nor do we worry ourselves about manually running it.

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Guest no-control

Drive performance is only affected by the lack of space if it's the only drive. There's no need to worry about defrag room or DE space if 1 drive is 95% and the other is 12%. Threshold BTW is usally 10% for most OS'

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Drive performance is only affected by the lack of space if it's the only drive. There's no need to worry about defrag room or DE space if 1 drive is 95% and the other is 12%. Threshold BTW is usally 10% for most OS'

Actually, for XP it is 15%.

 

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/defrag.mspx?mfr=true

"Remarks

 

A volume must have at least 15% free space for defrag to completely and adequately defragment it. Defrag uses this space as a sorting area for file fragments. If a volume has less than 15% free space, defrag will only partially defragment it. To increase the free space on a volume, delete unneeded files or move them to another disk."

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