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Please Help with setting up WHS 2011 Storage Configuration!?


HTWingNut
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I have used WHS v1 for many years now, DE made it simple and a no-brainer. Over time I have accumulated 9 x 2TB WD Green drives in both EADS and EARS configurations ( I believe 6 EADS / 3 EARS ) for storage and backup. I am in the process of migrating to WHS 2011. My goal? Spend little to no money and use existing hardware I have. I have my WHS v1 limping along on its original Athlon64 X2 config and removed all but one 2TB drive, with the rest made up of a hodge podge of 1TB, 640GB, 320GB drives with duplication turned off for the time being (I have backups) just to utilize the 2TB drives in my WHS 2011 build.

 

WHS 2011 Build:

Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R with ICH9R controller with 6 SATA II ports

Core 2 Duo E6850 3GHz CPU

2x2GB DDR2 800MHz

9x2TB WD Green Drives

1x1TB WD Caviar Black for WHS 2011 OS on SiI3114 PCI card

 

I have heard horrible things about running WD Green drives in RAID mode, but RAID 5 makes sense for redundancy over RAID 1 just for the "waste" of duplicate hard drive space when I have a backup. I have read, however that Windows dynamic disks RAID 5 should be more reliable and eliminate any issues with TLER since it manages the drives on its own. But I should have better performance with the onboard ICH9 RAID controller. Which should I use?

 

As it stands I currently have ~ 2TB of data stored, and 1TB of used hard drive space from the four PC's attached to the system to take into consideration for client backups.

 

So today, minimum 3TB of definite known use, but would like to make sure I have enough for future use, of course.

 

I currently have a 6x2TB RAID 5 using the ICH9 for 10TB storage. This leaves 3 2TB drives. I'm willing to fork over for a fourth 2TB drive, but also considering making it into a 5x2TB RAID 5 for 8TB storage, so I won't need to buy an additional drive, but I would rather have 10TB storage if I can swing it.

 

Speaking of backup, I currently have an external eSATA or USB 2.0 enclosure for two drives, no RAID capability. 4TB is too little, so am willing to invest in a 4 bay enclosure, but not sure how to manage it? Should I go with RAID 5 for a backup? Or JBOD? Or just manage the backups to individual 2TB drives?

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