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One possible solution


geek-accountant
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This will not be for everyone, especially people like my parents, but here is what I am going to begin testing:

 

I have been running Vail and Aurora on my Virtual server for a couple of weeks using NFS space on my unRaid system. If you are not familiar with unRaid, check out this link: http://www.lime-technology.com/. I love running systems as a VM and both Vail and Aurora seemed to have no problem with having their storage as virtual disk located on the unRaid server.

 

Therefore, I plan to test moving to Aurora and moving all of my storage over to the unRaid server. By using unRaid, I also don't need to worry about duplicating all my shares (will need a parity disk and maybe a cache disk , however).

 

With all my equipment being 10/100/1000, I am thinking using unRaid to hold my storage and all my VM's using these disks, plus the video streaming I do for ripped DVD's to my Xbox 360's will work fine, or at least good enough. Also, all the shares are backed up using Crashplan, so I should have enough coverage.

 

What do you guys think? Any problems with this plan you can think of that would make it not work?

 

I have been looking at a Linux solution (Amahi) which I also plan to run on my virtual server to test, but I will be shocked if it is anywhere as easy to use as WHS.

 

In the end, no matter what MS does with DE, we have options. For one, WHS v1 will continue to work and should be supported through 2013. My parents may be SOL, but after the next beta comes out and we have more info on how MS is going to develop Vail, I may just have them get a v1 box.

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good idea at trying other solutions.

 

I look forward to your results. I suggest you give us instructions from the view point of a newbie and try and make it simple.

 

Also, I read about ahami and greyhole. Maybe there is something there.

 

http://www.pommepause.com/blog/2009/11/how-i-plan-to-implement-my-own-whs-drive-extender-like-system/

http://code.google.com/p/greyhole/

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I have been running unRAID for a couple of months now. MY unRAID server's sole purpose is to back up WHS. I let WHS do all the "heavy lifting".

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WOW! Thanks for a great post. I have never messed with unRAID, but certainly would like to look into it more. If one is so bold to check on the connect link that was posted the other day in reference to adding DE back to vail, there are the folks that selected the down arrown and posted some interesting ideas. One was Flexraid, quite an interesting read. However, I am thinking more toward this one for a quick learn. Thanks again, for the new idea.

 

 

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good idea at trying other solutions.

 

I look forward to your results. I suggest you give us instructions from the view point of a newbie and try and make it simple.

 

Also, I read about ahami and greyhole. Maybe there is something there.

 

http://www.pommepause.com/blog/2009/11/how-i-plan-to-implement-my-own-whs-drive-extender-like-system/

http://code.google.com/p/greyhole/

 

I will try, but while I am good with numbers (hence being an accountant), writing is one of my weak points. It takes me longer than it should and I am never happy with it. But I will see what I can do once I get some testing done.

 

As for unRaid, I have been running it for a while now and so far have never had to reboot the thing. It's a pretty simple OS and really can only act as a file server, so it isn't a replacement for WHS. But combined with a virtual WHS on another physical machine, I think I can replace DE, at least with my setup.

 

Thanks for the links. I have downloaded everything for testing Ahami, but have not had time to install anything (Thanksgiving company still visiting). Ahami and greyhole seem interesting, I just wonder if it is ready for real use.

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I have been running unRAID for a couple of months now. MY unRAID server's sole purpose is to back up WHS. I let WHS do all the "heavy lifting".

 

Up until a few weeks ago, I only used unRaid to hold my ripped DVD's. I have a Windows 7 VM on my Xenserver running WMC linked to the movies on the unRaid server and then I watch them on one of our Xbox360's. So far it has worked great. A few weeks ago, I started moving and installing all the VM's storage over to the unRaid server. unRaid can provide NFS storage to the VM's on the Xenserver and therefore my actual hard drive space in the Xenserver box is very limited.

 

In my case, it's time for unRaid to be tested further.

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Sounds very interesting but I don't understand how one parity drive could protect you from any single drive failure. If they seren't so under powered, well for my liking anyway, I would probably by one and test.

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I don't understand it either, but somehow the one parity drive can protect up to 20 drives. I didn't buy one of their hardware solutions, I just bought the USB key. For what I want to do, so far, the speed has been more than enough. I have streamed three DVD's at the same time, 2 of them to Xbox360's using a Windows 7 system on the virtual server running Windows Media Center.

 

I know at some point speed will be an issue, but so far it has been more than enough for me. Also, from what I understand, if you lose more than 1 drive at a time, the whole array is not destroyed, you only lose data on one of the drives.

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This a cut and paste.

 

For those who don't see how/why 1 parity drive can work:

 

Your parity drive MUST be as large or larger than every other drive in the system.

 

How it works is that each drive is full of 0's and 1's (even & odd). The first bit on each hard drive is added up and the parity makes note of what they total up to be (even or odd), then the second bit, third, fourth, etc. For example:

 

HD1: 011001

HD2: 001000

HD3: 111101

-------------

PAR: 101100 <-------(now the parity drive stores evens/odds)

 

So if ONE drive fails... in this example we'll say HD2 failed:

 

HD1: 011001

HD2: ?FAIL?

HD3: 111101

PAR: 101100

 

We can deduce what the missing information is by adding up the "alive" drives and comparing their totals (even/odd) to what the parity thinks it should be.

 

In this example, the parity is saying "odd,even,odd,odd,even,even". Since bit one of HD1 and HD3 add up to 1 (odd), we can deduce that HD2 needs a 0 (even) for the first bit... continue this out thru the entire drive and you have a completely restored drive. Magic!!!

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