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why are you investigating RAID for whs 2011?


capall
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I am not running RAID for my WHS and at the moment have no plans to in the future. In my case, WHS is a VM running on my Hyper-V server, which is using both a RAID 5 and and RAID 0 setup, plus a USB-3 4 drive enclosure.

 

Instead, my large data files (ie, movies, ISO's, photos -I have a ton of them, etc) all are stored on my unRAID server. In addition, my servers all backup to the unRAID server each night. For me, WHS is really only used to backup my PC's and for remote access.

 

I am in the process of trying to get Crashplan to load on my unRAID server and if successful, I might change how the servers backup to it, plus I will be letting a few family members and friends backup to it. On the downside, it does mean having another box which may not appear to a lot of people.

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Half way through the BYOB LIVE brodcast, I joinded the guys and we talked about WHS2011 and hard drives. That should give you some ideas. Although this discussion was not planned, so we were not structured, you might have to listen a few times. But post in the BYOB forums if you need clarification.

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I am not running RAID for my WHS and at the moment have no plans to in the future. In my case, WHS is a VM running on my Hyper-V server, which is using both a RAID 5 and and RAID 0 setup, plus a USB-3 4 drive enclosure.

 

Instead, my large data files (ie, movies, ISO's, photos -I have a ton of them, etc) all are stored on my unRAID server. In addition, my servers all backup to the unRAID server each night. For me, WHS is really only used to backup my PC's and for remote access.

 

I am in the process of trying to get Crashplan to load on my unRAID server and if successful, I might change how the servers backup to it, plus I will be letting a few family members and friends backup to it. On the downside, it does mean having another box which may not appear to a lot of people.

 

 

So in essence, you are running Raid for your media. Just may not be on v2.

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Yes, although unRAID is a software raid setup. It can't match the hardware raid solutions for speed, but it also allows you to remove a drive and read it in a Linux system if needed. Plus 2 drive failures doesn't destroy the entire array and you can use different sized drives that can be added over time. I just added another 2tb drive to the system, of course it took almost an entire day for it to clear the drive and add it to the array.

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Why are people using RAID 5 and not just mirroring. The cost of 2TB Green drives is less than $80.

 

Cons to RAID 5:

Data on drive is completely unreadable unless part of the raid.

If you lose two drives you are toast.

Build time is painful for the drive, and incrases as you add more drives.

 

Pros to Mirroring:

Data is readable on the drive, so I can pull it out and it is readable.

You have to lose all of the drives to lose your data, they work in pairs.

Drives are cheap....

Performance the same.

Build time is the same.

 

I used to use RAID 5, then went to DE, but now Mirroring is my choice. Drives are just too cheap and I cannot justify my time to support and maintain a RAID especially when it goes down.

 

Thoughts....

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Good drives are not as cheap as the greens. I know many of you will use greens but I won't touch them. Also, ports are a limitation as well. So while you may get 8 TB of data on a mirrored 8 port card, one could get 14 TB in Raid 5. You also get better read performance in Raid 5.

 

In the end, I don't think there is a right or wrong way, just personal preference.

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Guest no-control

Why are people using RAID 5 and not just mirroring. The cost of 2TB Green drives is less than $80.

 

Cons to RAID 5:

Data on drive is completely unreadable unless part of the raid.

If you lose two drives you are toast.

Build time is painful for the drive, and incrases as you add more drives.

 

Pros to Mirroring:

Data is readable on the drive, so I can pull it out and it is readable.

You have to lose all of the drives to lose your data, they work in pairs.

Drives are cheap....

Performance the same.

Build time is the same.

 

I used to use RAID 5, then went to DE, but now Mirroring is my choice. Drives are just too cheap and I cannot justify my time to support and maintain a RAID especially when it goes down.

 

Thoughts....

 

 

Cons to mirroring:

  • Cost is significantly higher compared to RAID5
  • limited to drive size 2-3TB
  • multiple drive letters
  • fragmentation of directory structure (what do you do if you have a folder that is 4TB?)
  • Write performance is twice as slow
  • Read performance is less than a RAID5
  • If you lose 2 drives you are toast

 

Pros to RAID5:

  • More cost effective as you scale
  • Array is only limited by ports on card
  • Several TB can be attached to a single drive letter
  • Less maintenance than several RAID1 arrays
  • Write performance is limited to parity calc and cache speed
  • Read performance is significantly higher

 

your points are valid and its really just a matter of perspective. IMO if you have small amount of data <4TB then mirroring is a viable alternative. Once you start needing more space RAID5 really pulls ahead not only in performance but cost as well.

 

 

 

Good drives are not as cheap as the greens. I know many of you will use greens but I won't touch them.

 

 

Green drives ARE good drives. This is your opinion there are plenty of "good" drives that are not enterprise grade drives. Green drives from WD, Seagate, Samsung, Hitachi are all good drives. If you prefer to use enterprise grade drives thats fine.

 

 

Edited by no-control
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Agree that this is somewhat preference, but wanted to add a couple of comments.

 

The drive letter issue is not something that concerns me. I used to be worried, but I have a couple of reasons that my opinion has changed.

 

2TB is a lot of space for a single folder. The only thing that really surpases this are movies, especially blu ray.

My movie collection I break up based upon audience rating. I have my kids movies on one folder, teen movies in another and R movies in a third. I also classify my movies between DVD and HD. Given this I really do not break the barrior, but if I do I will just add a 2 to one of the folders. This also allows me to control access to each one seperately. Don't want my 6 year old watching Braveheart...

 

This is really only an issue from the server. My client machines all use libraries. If you are using something like My Movies it groups things all together for you also. So end user experience is exactly the same

 

The other benefit I like is that I have my blu ray movies on a WD Black drive for better performance, while everything else is on Green. The Mirror for the Black is also Green. This was one thing that I didn't like about DE is that all data was treated the same, when it is not.

 

The biggest benefits for me on Mirror or RAID 1 are the following two issues.

Ability to read the drives if the raid dies and easy ability to port the data across computers.

Reliability. I was always concerned with one drive failed on RAID 5 that another drive would die before or during the rebuild process. There are some interesting articles out there that talk about the risk on RAID 5 especially as the # of drives increases. This is one reason I actually ran RAID 6 at one point. The problem is that yes if two drives die with Mirror you lose everything, but this is on 2TB of data and my other Mirrors work fine.

 

These are my thoughts and opinions, but just want to make sure I am not missing something.

 

I agree with the comment on green drives are fine. The ones I have, 7 of them, work great. I only buy WD now, since Seagate has not been good to me.

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Green drives ARE good drives. This is your opinion there are plenty of "good" drives that are not enterprise grade drives. Green drives from WD, Seagate, Samsung, Hitachi are all good drives. If you prefer to use enterprise grade drives thats fine.

 

 

 

You know, the more I hear you and pcdoc talk about backing up and storage strategies the less concerned I am about using green drives. Theoretically, I feel the chances that you would lose two drives at once is very slim even if you were using all green drives. While I don't think you will ever convince me that they are good drives, you are begining to make me think that they are usable due to redundancy. Even more so in a Raid 5 set up.

 

So, what do you think are the worst drives out there?

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Guest no-control

Now your your cookin with gas! Redundancy is good.

I'm not sure if your asking the worst green drive or the worst drive overall?

IMO the worst drive out there is the Seagate Momentus XT ST93205620AS

For green drives I would buy any brand before I bought another seagate

Ironically I my fav enterprise drives are Seagate 15k Cheetahs

Overall I use WD the most. I've been using them in home systems exclusively since I had my 3x 36GB RAID 0 Raptors.

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