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Trevor Nysetvold

Boot from RocketRaid RAID5 array?

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Trevor Nysetvold

I'm interested in making my WHS2011 more robust. I'm currently running the whole thing from a 2TB drive (split, of course, into OS and data partitions). The 2TB backs up to a separate internal 2TB, and I also have an offsite USB 2TB.

 

I've ordered a RR 2720 and two additional 2TB drives. Here's what I'd like to do:

  1. Do a backup to the USB drive.
  2. Pull both existing internal 2TB drives from the box, and keep the main one in a safe place to go back to in case it all goes wrong...
  3. Install the existing internal 2TB backup drive and the two new drives onto the RocketRaid 2720 and set up as a RAID 5 (total of 4TB available)
  4. Set up the 2720 as the boot device, and partition into 3 sections: OS (100MB), critical data/backup (1.9TB) and non-critical data (2TB). This should allow the OS and critical data/backup drives to be backed up externally for my offsite within the 2TB limit.
  5. Restore existing OS and data by booting from the CD and restoring from the backup from step 1.
  6. Test for stability
  7. Once I'm satisfied that the system is stable, add the old 'main drive' from step 2 to the RAID 5 array, and use it to expand the size of the non-critical drive partition from 2TB to 4TB.

I understand that most folks don't put the OS onto the RAID array, but I'm not anxious to 'waste' a 2TB drive for 100MB of OS, and I'm not likely to buy another drive to mirror the OS, so this (if I understand it all correctly) will get me some OS robustness, an external backup scheme that fits in the 2TB limit, and non-critical storage space for DVDs and so forth.

 

Is this scheme workable, and do folks have suggestions or 'gotchas' that they can share?

 

Thanks very much.

 

 

Trevor

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ikon

  1. I think you mean 100 GB, not MB.
  2. I have no experience with booting from RR cards, but I have, in the past, successfully run systems from RAID5 arrays on other RAID cards, so it is do-able.
  3. I'm currently running my WHS2011 using 2 of my old 250GB Maxtor drives, mirrored using the BIOS. Perhaps you have some old drives you could put to use?

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jmwills

Not a best practice to be sure. If you have your data (server folders) moved over to the array, this is little chance of failure. Get a 60 gig 2.5" spindle drive and use that as the OS. But I will just about guarantee you will not be satisfied with using the array as a boot device.

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pcdoc

Agreed, Stay away form booting to RR for two main reasons. Simplicity, backup/restore of the server. If you want things more robust, there is no incentive to do this. Grab a laptop drive or two and setup a mirror for the OS off you motherboard. Save the RR for raw data.

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Trevor Nysetvold

Thanks, PCDoc. I do have a 1 TB laying around that I could use. So, how do I move from the 2TB that contains the OS, the client backups and the shares to the 1 TB with the OS only and get the client backups and shares on the RAID array. I'd like to not lose the client backups and to not have to reinstall the client software on all the machines on the network. Sorry for the newb question; I assume that this should be straightforward, but it isn't obvious to me.

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jmwills

Get something like Acronis and clone the drive. It was on sale last week for $10.

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ikon

As long as your current total data is under 1TB, jmwills suggestion should work. After the clone, you can look at migrating the data and backups to a RAID5 array.

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