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My Whs2011 Software Or Hardware Raid Setup ?


thevolt5
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Hi everyone on the board im new to the board and hope to use alot more in future im currently looking for some advise help with my build as im looking to use WHS2011 as the server OS and configure a raid setup to work with it,, I beleave WHS2011 has a max of 2TB backup only allowance now im a little unsure confused how to configure the raid correctly to enable the raid and let it appear and function in WHS2011 with the amount of hard drives I have and appear as a single hard drive raid larger then 2TB as all my hard drives are 2TB drives and when configured in raid the size amount will exceed the 2TB??? im looking to use a onboard INTEL Raid setup to keep within the budget and understand its not the best option ,,I have X6 2TB Western Digital WD20EARS drives my question is a hardware raid actual possible in WHS2011 ? or is a software raid option only ? in the windows Disk Managment ? Im looking at a RAID5 setup hopefully and looking for the easyest and safest raid what are my options? .thank you and look forward to your reply.smile.gif

 

My spec machine -

 

OS: WHS2011

Hard Drives SATA II : X6 2TB Western Digital WD20EARS

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.10GHz LGA1155 3MB / BX80623I32100

Motherboards: Asus P8H67-M LE REV 3.0 / P8H67-M LE REV 3.0

Memory: Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) HyperX DDR3 1333MHz DIMM 240-pin CL9 Blu / KHX1333C9D3B1K2/8G

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  • pcdoc

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Hardware RAID is absolutely possible; even preferable. You can find lots of posts that talk about using HighPoint RocketRAID cards. pcdoc knows a great deal about using them. Just search for posts from him. I'm using an AMC 3Ware card in mine; 4 drives in RAID5.

 

BTW, welcome to the forums.

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I am not sure if this will answer your question or not, but I have my WHS2011 setup using the Windows Server Software RAID 5, I have (6) WD 2.0Tb EARS drives configured in the Software RAID and (1) 160 Gb Seagate Barracuda SATA drive for the OS.

 

I would say it was easy, and seems pretty safe, but it is not the fastest setup, it took over 100 hours for the Raid to completely build itself upon setup, now you can start using it right away, but it will take some time before is list itself as healthy. I also keep a spare WD Ears drive on hand in case a drive fails.

 

I am using the on-board Sata controller/connectors of my MSi motherboard with a Corei7 and 8 Gbs of RAM and a High Point PCIe 1x Port RAID controller, that has been flashed to just be a host controller. Giving me the 8 points for the Hard Drive.

 

Software%20RAID%205.JPG

Edited by c0op3r
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Hi again appreciate you getting back to me thank you like said im very new to the hole server setup and learning step by step and like to get best possible performance but with some sort of comeback i.e. a RAID5 array option would be best?, Okay so both options are possible then great, I’m still unsure if the INTEL on board RAID is possible as Hardware method with the WHS2011 2TB limit as I can only get x1 of the 2TB drives to appear in the OS WHS2011 which was very disappointing I understand most people don’t use the on-board INTEL RAID as an option and go for a separate RAID card which usually configures the raid but would be nice to know if INTEL RAID support this in WHS2011 or if it’s just a driver issue? ,

 

I understand the raid is possible as a software option within Disk Management i.e. like c0op3r spoke of. Is the Disk Management the best way to setup the software RAID is there alternative better options? ,,overall with so many drives and large 2TB each capacity would hate to see all data lost is it safe and will the raid rebuild if WHS2011 crash fails and when reinstall WHS2011 as I’ve never setup or applied a RAID in all my years so learning as I go along,, I understand the clean first install of WHS2011 auto choses the large free hard drive as primary to install OS.which means I will have a 1.5TB spare at end of install and nice if I could balance it with the raid or maybe use as some backup option?

 

Would I benefit from using an alternative backup like robocopy or use the inbuilt add ins within WHS2011? Or do I just leave this up to the RAID5 array I will setup with the x5 2TB Western Digital WD20EARS Drives? And leave the last six drives out of the raid and just install the OS WHS2011 on that.

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The array should show up as one drive. I would install the OS on the 160 as you have done and then redirect all Server Folders to the array.

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I personally call the onboard RAIDs, like the Intel, firmware RAID rather than hardware, just to avoid confusion in situations like this.

 

Yes, you can use onboard RAID with WHS2011. You set up the RAID array by using the BIOS routine for the RAID chipset. WHS2011 will see the array as a single drive during the install. Note, you may have to load the RAID chipset driver during the WHS2011 installation, so it can find the array.

 

I'm using the Intel onboard RAID to create a RAID1 array using 2 of my old Maxtor 256GB drives. It's working great.

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Hello again guys sorry for the late reply thank you for your replys good news ive managed to configure the RAID5 array in the bios hardware option via onboard INTEL raid in the end and so far so good appearing in the WHS2011 OS ,,Unfortunatly on post boot this below image apprears and it still says Status Initialize im really not to sure if this is a issue but I have noticed the hard drive seem very slow when transfering files then normal and laggy. Im transfering files from the "C" drive OS drive to the "D" drive RAID5 Volume?

 

raidta.jpg

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Small edit in my post - I’m actual transferring personal files not system files from the "C" drive OS drive to the "E" drive RAID5 Volume? Not drive "D" my mistake. Is the Initialize message the reason for being slow speeds.

 

Which partition style should I be chosen in the OS under the Disk Management MBR or GPT as I chosen the GPT and then created the new volume simple formatted as NTFS etc... and appears as the full 7.2TB correctly.

 

The RAID was setup in the BIOS after I installed the OS WHS2011?

Edited by thevolt5
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Yes, it is slow because the array is initializing. For that size it may take three days to finalize.

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Okay thank you how do I go about starting the initialize processes?

 

Would you say it’s a better safer option NOT to include the OS Hard drive in the RAID array?

 

I was advised to use all the same brand and size hard drives in the install but im considering a SSD Hard drive for the OS or do I need to match the other capacity?

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