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WHS 2011 Storage Strategy


pcdoc
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Hi,

 

I'm glad I found this wonderful forum and I'm hoping you could give me some advice.

Building a new WHS 2011 (never had a server before) with the following:

 

1 x 320 GB for OS

3 x 2TB for data

 

No raidcontroller.

I thought before I saw this forum to build a raid 5 with the 3 disks but I now see that there are many other options and I'm a bit lost.

Server is going to be used for backing up 2 clients and storage of Photo's as critical and movies\music as little less critical.

 

Who could guide me into the right direction to a proper setup of drives where the data on the server is backed.

I also have a NAS (2 x 1TB mirror) where I would like to create an extra backup to, for example My Images and probably some others.

Edited by Samz
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I would set up the two of the 2TB drives for the data and the other for backups. If the backups is larger than the 2TB drives, then you could use the NAS for external backup. This would allow you to have everything backed up as long as your total data set doesn't exceed 3 TB's (spare drive and NAS). I agree with you that you do not need RAID.

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Hi,

 

I'm glad I found this wonderful forum and I'm hoping you could give me some advice.

Building a new WHS 2011 (never had a server before) with the following:

 

1 x 320 GB for OS

3 x 2TB for data

 

No raidcontroller.

I thought before I saw this forum to build a raid 5 with the 3 disks but I now see that there are many other options and I'm a bit lost.

Server is going to be used for backing up 2 clients and storage of Photo's as critical and movies\music as little less critical.

 

Who could guide me into the right direction to a proper setup of drives where the data on the server is backed.

I also have a NAS (2 x 1TB mirror) where I would like to create an extra backup to, for example My Images and probably some others.

 

 

My suggestion is to mirror two of them to provide a reduncy, and the third for backups. Since you are limited on drives, you could use the extra space on the primary drive for the client backups (I do not like to use the primary drive but it you need the space you can do it.)

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Here's my current storage plan for WHS 2011.

No Mirrors, no Raid5, no Icy-dock... simple MB connected Sata drives using NTFS partitions.

 

WHSv2-Drives.png

 

Drive 0: - 500GB WD RE4 - 60GB OS / 405GB Data (used for client backups)

Drive 1: - 1.5TB WD EARS - Movies (Blu movies .mkv & .m2ts HD movies)

Drive 2: - 1.5TB WD EARS - Music (.flac, .mp3)

Drive 3: - 1.5TB WD EARS - Server (non Music/Video files - photos, software, users, etc.)

Drive 4: - 1.5TB WD EARS - Videos HD (misc collection of HD video, no movies)

Drive 4: - 1.5TB WD EARS - Videos SD (Misc StdDef videos & movies)

 

Background: I have a case of WD 1.5TB drives (got em cheap & feel compelled to use them) and these AFD drives play nice with WHS 2011. I wanted the OS to be separate from data, so I bought an enterprise drive for the OS/Data drive. With my storage distribution above, I have 1 drive allocated to Music, three drives for Video and 1 for all the rest. Each drive has room to grow content over time.

 

For backups I have 5 x 1.5TB drive (eSata via Rosewill 4x box + Antec Mx-1). I use Syncback to do nightly backups. Plus I will use my current Acer H340 v1 server (6T) as a backup target.

 

I don't see a need to mirror the OS, given v2 now allows us to backup the OS.

 

I'll keep my eyes open for DE replacements (Stablebit, DriveBender, Datacore). If any of these come to full RTM and are priced within reason, I may scrap the whole thing above and switch over.

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Here's my current storage plan for WHS 2011.

No Mirrors, no Raid5, no Icy-dock... simple MB connected Sata drives using NTFS partitions.

 

WHSv2-Drives.png

 

Drive 0: - 500GB WD RE4 - 60GB OS / 405GB Data (used for client backups)

Drive 1: - 1.5TB WD EARS - Movies (Blu movies .mkv & .m2ts HD movies)

Drive 2: - 1.5TB WD EARS - Music (.flac, .mp3)

Drive 3: - 1.5TB WD EARS - Server (non Music/Video files - photos, software, users, etc.)

Drive 4: - 1.5TB WD EARS - Videos HD (misc collection of HD video, no movies)

Drive 4: - 1.5TB WD EARS - Videos SD (Misc StdDef videos & movies)

 

Background: I have a case of WD 1.5TB drives (got em cheap & feel compelled to use them) and these AFD drives play nice with WHS 2011. I wanted the OS to be separate from data, so I bought an enterprise drive for the OS/Data drive. With my storage distribution above, I have 1 drive allocated to Music, three drives for Video and 1 for all the rest. Each drive has room to grow content over time.

 

For backups I have 5 x 1.5TB drive (eSata via Rosewill 4x box + Antec Mx-1). I use Syncback to do nightly backups. Plus I will use my current Acer H340 v1 server (6T) as a backup target.

 

I don't see a need to mirror the OS, given v2 now allows us to backup the OS.

 

I'll keep my eyes open for DE replacements (Stablebit, DriveBender, Datacore). If any of these come to full RTM and are priced within reason, I may scrap the whole thing above and switch over.

 

 

Your setup is great and is more typical of an average build. You have come up with a good separation of data and a sound strategy for backup. The only comment I will make I would not put my client backups on the primary drive as this could lead to problems if you have to re-install the server OS. I would recommend that you move it to one of the other drives other than that is looks great.

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Yeah, that's a fair comment. Moving my client backups to the S: drive would prob be wise. In fact I may have had them there at one point. I've moved shares around so much I can't remember.

 

Too bad they don't sell 200 GB / 7200 / 64 MB cache enterprise drives for a reasonable price, it seems like such a waste to only use the WD 500 GB RE4 drive for the OS @ 20GB... but I knew that's how it end up when I built the server.

Edited by TechMule
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Yeah, that's a fair comment. Moving my client backups to the S: drive would prob be wise. In fact I may have had them there at one point. I've moved shares around so much I can't remember.

 

Too bad they don't sell 200 GB / 7200 / 64 MB cache enterprise drives for a reasonable price, it seems like such a waste to only use the WD 500 GB RE4 drive for the OS @ 20GB... but I knew that's how it end up when I built the server.

I really think people are overly concerned about so-called 'wasted' hard disk space. It's only virtual anyway. The physical drive is still just a drive, with a motor, platters, heads, etc. It's not like actual physical material is being wasted or anything.

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I really think people are overly concerned about so-called 'wasted' hard disk space. It's only virtual anyway. The physical drive is still just a drive, with a motor, platters, heads, etc. It's not like actual physical material is being wasted or anything.

 

In theory perhaps you may be right, but overall I disagree... a logical volume on a physical hard drive is an available resource. An unused resource is wasteful. This is why people are concerned about 'wasted' hard drives space, it's an unused resource.

 

In my case I wanted a WD black enterprise 64 MB cache drive for my OS, knowing I would use 20 GB of it, so I am OK with the 'waste' part of my system.

Edited by TechMule
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Just a quick question.

What does everyone feel they gain by mirroring the OS drive?

 

IME if one of the two drives starts to go, by the time the drive gets bad enough to fail-over, the OS is so corrupt on both drives that you have to reinstall anyways. Since the OS should be fairly static once setup, what does one gain by powering two drives over time that they do not get by simply having a current backup of the OS drive and an extra drive in the closet?

 

I can see mirroring a data drive where up-time of non-corrupt data after the fail-over is important, but when the OS goes BSOD, what do you get?

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Just a quick question.

What does everyone feel they gain by mirroring the OS drive?

 

IME if one of the two drives starts to go, by the time the drive gets bad enough to fail-over, the OS is so corrupt on both drives that you have to reinstall anyways. Since the OS should be fairly static once setup, what does one gain by powering two drives over time that they do not get by simply having a current backup of the OS drive and an extra drive in the closet?

 

I can see mirroring a data drive where up-time of non-corrupt data after the fail-over is important, but when the OS goes BSOD, what do you get?

 

It's more for the mechanical failure of the drive than anything else. Issues of data corruption are possible, but I've never seen an OS fail to boot because the drive is failing. That's what remapping bad sectors are for. But it is like you said, the OS drive has failed, so you'd like to get the system up and running ASAP. Server backup is a nice feature that should be done anyway, but that still requires your system to be down for a period of time.

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