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WHS 2011 Storage Strategy


pcdoc
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Hi,

 

my future WHS2011 Server is now assembled:

 

MSI G45M Digital

C2D E5200 (or i switch to E8400)

8GB DDR2 RAM

 

for testing purposes: 1x160Gb 2,5 HDD - power consumption idle: 38W

 

I'm still evaluating the best storage strategy:

 

I have:

2x250GB 2,5'

3x WD10EADS

RAID5/6 Controller Promise EX8350

I would buy: 2TB Samsung EcoGreen F4

 

I have:

~ 1 TB of important/critical data

~2,5 TB of movies

 

Option 1:

One Samsung F4 2TB, for OS + all critical data minus movies, whereas these data will be duplicated each night with robocopy to a USB backup drive. In addition 2x F4 2TB with DrivePool (or equivalent Tool) = 4TB partition for movies, which can be extended

 

Pro: low power consumption (no raid controller, only 3 disks = ~18W)

 

Option 2:

2x1TB @ onboard RAID1 for OS + critical data (Duplication once per week with robocopy). In addition 2x F4 2TB with DrivePool (or equivalent Tool) = 4TB partition for movies (as above)

 

Pro: less backups, due to redudancy - 4 disks = ~24W

 

Option 3:

2x250GB @ onboard RAID1 for OS + 4x2TB@RAID 5 = 6TB partition for critical data + movies . Weekly duplication of critical data to USB HDD

 

Pro: Redundancy for all data

Con: 6 disks + Controller -> high power consumption ~40-50W

 

I will definitely use LightsOut, which should be the major improvement regarding power consumption vs. my current 24/7 server, with ~100W.

Even though, I hate to install PC's with new OS and I do not have a problem if my data would not be available for a few days, I want to make sure that the critical data will not be lost under all circumstances.

 

Please let me know your thoughts

 

 

Here is my two cents.

 

Use you 2x2.5 inch for you OS (no data at all)

Use one 2T for critical data, 2T for back up

4-5 drives in RAID 5 for media (or more if you want)

 

Do not waste your efforts with large OS drives so you can have the flexibility of an easier re-install as well as keeping you data on a completely removalbe drive menaing if something happens you can take you data drives to antoher system.

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Would appreciate everyone's insight on a potential storage strategy using the hardware listed below. Plan to install WHS2011 RTM this weekend on my homegrown box of leftover parts. I recognize that it might be a bit overkill, but the mobo, ram and CPU would have otherwise gone unused. My HP EX485 was severely underpowered as I started to use it for other tasks.

 

- Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P motherboard

- Antec Three Hundred case

- Intel Q9550 CPU

- 8GB DDR2 RAM

- ATI 4550 video (plan to remove this if my mobo has onboard video)

 

Available hard drives:

- 2 x 250 GB 5400 RPM 2.5 in. laptop drives - will be used in a RAID 1 array with an Icy Dock enclosure

- 4 x 1.5 TB 7200 RPM 3.5 in. Seagate HDDs - these are leftover from my old HP EX485 box.

- 1 x 1.0 TB 5400 RPM 3.5 in.

- 1 x 750 GB 7200 RPM 3.5 in. (was the factory drive from my HP EX485 mediasmart WHS v1 box)

- 1 x 1.0 TB WD Mybook (external USB HDD)

- 1 x 3.0 TB WD Mybook (external USB HDD)

 

Beyond the 2 x 250GB drives in the RAID 1 Icy Dock array for OS, I am flying blind on how to purpose the other drives. Assuming the external drives would serve solely as backups that I could take offsite periodically. Otherwise I had planned to RAID 5 either 3 or 4 of the 1.5 TB HDs using the Highpoint 2680 SGL controller.

 

Thanks in advance!

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I would RAID 5 the 4 1.5 TB drives and be done with it. The 1TB and 750GB gain you nothing.

 

Cool. That crossed my mind. Is there any disadvantage of RAID 5 and even # of drives? For example, all 4 1.5 TBs instead of just 3?

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Guest no-control

not really, you gain efficiency in the parity the more drives you have. so regardless of how many 1.5TB drives are in the array it only costs you a single 1.5TB drive for parity.

3 drives = 3TB of space

4 drives = 4.5TB of space

 

I'm sure some brainiac will chime in about RAID5 takes a performance hit during write, but will fail to mention both the huge increase in read speeds and that the write loss is imperceptible.

rolleyes.gif

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not really, you gain efficiency in the parity the more drives you have. so regardless of how many 1.5TB drives are in the array it only costs you a single 1.5TB drive for parity.

3 drives = 3TB of space

4 drives = 4.5TB of space

 

I'm sure some brainiac will chime in about RAID5 takes a performance hit during write, but will fail to mention both the huge increase in read speeds and that the write loss is imperceptible.

rolleyes.gif

 

This is good because I plan on using the RAID 5 with 5 2TB drives for my video rips. Once it is written I will be mainly only accessing the files and therefore only worried about read speeds.

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I'm sure some brainiac will chime in about RAID5 takes a performance hit during write, but will fail to mention both the huge increase in read speeds and that the write loss is imperceptible.

rolleyes.gif

 

Yep and yep. Seriously speaking, RAID5 is perfectly fine for file servers, which Windows Home Server basically is. If we were talking databases, on the other hand, we might be having a different discussion. The more drives you have in your array, the greater the disparity between read and write performance (reads get faster, writes get slower). Just make sure you have a UPS connected to your server to help reduce the chance of power loss and data corruption.

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Yep and yep. Seriously speaking, RAID5 is perfectly fine for file servers, which Windows Home Server basically is. If we were talking databases, on the other hand, we might be having a different discussion. The more drives you have in your array, the greater the disparity between read and write performance (reads get faster, writes get slower). Just make sure you have a UPS connected to your server to help reduce the chance of power loss and data corruption.

 

I definitely have a UPS for my WHS...had had a power surge once and it almost fried my WHS. The UPS along with GridJunction is the best combination for protection.

 

Does GridJunction work with WHS 2011? I checked the site and it does not mention anything about WHS 2011.

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I've got my server up and going but want some advice on how to backup my server.

 

I've got about 2.5TB of data on my server plus about 600GB of pc client backups. I've got the OS on a 1TB drive with the computer backups also on that drive, but no other shares on it. I've then got a 2TB drive with all my DVD's and videos on it and a second 2TB drive with photos, documents and a few other things.

 

I've got a few other drives I can use, another 2TB drive, a 1TB drive and a 640GB, plus a 1TB external.

 

The question is how do I back all this up without folder duplication? My first thought was to us a 1TB external drive to backup the OS drive, which would also backup the pc backups. I was also thinking of using Keepvault to backup the other drives to another internal drive, would that work? Then if a drive fails I can restore it from he local backup. I'll also use Keepvault to backup my pictures and key documents to the cloud as well.

 

The other thing I was think of was getting a 2TB external drive and using that to backup the drive with all my DVD's as that won't change much.

 

It all seems a bit messy, v1 made life a lot easier for this sort of stuff, apart from this I'm pretty happy with 2011 it is much faster and I like being able to control where shares go.

 

Has anybody got any other ideas?

 

Also this is my first post so go easy on me.

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OK - so I got WHS2011 RTM up and running and am loving it:

 

- RAID 1 mirror (250 GB) using Icy Dock with 2 x 250 GB 2.5 inch HDDs

- RAID 5 (4 TB) with Highpoint RocketRAID 2680SGL made up of 4 x 1.5 TB HDDs

 

Despite the RAID 1 mirroring, I'm still using the SERVER BACKUP feature to backup the SYSTEM/OS to an external 1 TB MyBook HDD.

 

I've since moved the \ServerFolders to E:\ on my system which is on the RAID 5 array.

 

Question: how can I continue to backup the OS to the 1 TB MyBook (External) while backing up the contents of \ServerFolders (on my RAID 5) to a different 3 TB Mybook (External) drive?

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