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Software Raid 5 Options


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I guess I did not do my homework and thought the HP N40L inboard RAID card supports RAID 5. I have been looking on the Internet and the forum for a software RAID 5 or hard drive pooling option that will support more than four 3TB hard drives. The drives will store my production files and backup movies. The server will use Windows Server Essentials 2012 for the OS.


One option is use the disk manager to setup a software RAID 5. Another option is use Flexraid. I would like the option to remove one of the drives and read the data. I will use the server to store files and stream movies using Plex.



Any suggestions?

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Guest no-control

The server will use Windows Server Essentials 2012 for the OS.

Uhhh Storage Spaces?


You can also use a HighPoint RR 2720 card Microserver should just plug right in, but then you can't just pull a drive and yank the data off.

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I am trying to stay away from a RAID card. I read PCDoc's writeup on Storage Spaces which has me leaning to DrivePool, DriveBender, or FlexRaid. I am curious on other people's opinions on the products to help me make a decision. 

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Very happy with drivebender on my new ws2012e. There it's a nice add-on for the dashboard. If it's not urgent you can also wait for the final release of drivepool. This seems to be preferred here, but I am not sure about the status of the dashboard integration.


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I777 using Tapatalk 2



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Time right now is not on my side. I have a repurposed computer that is using a two 1TB hard drives in a RAID 0 that is running out of room. I bought the N40L to replace my temporary WHS 2011 computer. I just placed the order for two 3TB WD Red drives for now and will slowly add two more. With two 3TB WD Red drives will give me some expanded storage space with room to grow. Whatever decision I go with will be used in a production environment. My concern is software failure so I like a feature that i can remove the drives from the drive pool and place in another computer to retrieve the data as a last resort. 


How long have you been using DriveBender, Revengineer? What is your storage step up? 

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Have you looked at these?


Installing Windows Server 2012 Essentials on a HP N40L ProLiant
 November 19, 2012


Storage Spaces Performance in Windows Server 2012 Essentials on
a HP N40L ProLiant MicroServer
 December 22, 2012

I'm still running storage spaces since early November on 2012E -- so far without issues.


I still consider this a test setup -- I'm up to 5 clients (VM's) --


2 in the domain

2 out via Tinkererguy method

1 out via TechNET/Thurrott method

My production machine is still WHS2011 and V1


In WHS2011 I'm using drivepool and love it.

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 How long have you been using DriveBender, Revengineer? What is your storage step up?  


I started testing DB about four weeks ago in a VM. After finding no major issues, I did a fresh install of WS2012E about 2.5 weeks ago and installed DB on the server. The migration process is somewhat slow, since I opted for transfer over the network for simplicity.
I have a lot of data and I am still moving data around. My migration was done drive by drive, so my pool grew by one 2 TB drive every 2-3 days. By now I have five 2 TB drives hooked up through 2 Sans Digital USB3 enclosure in a single pool. I see no major issues thus far, and the DB forums also do not show recent posts indicating major trouble. So I think after 2 years the infant problems seem to be fleshed out.
The one issue I had was that I copied two files named .DS_store and desktop.ini, which must have had some funny permissions. At least, when trying to delete these files through the pool, I was not successful. I had to go into the drives and delete these file manually using the command prompt with admin privileges. DB support assured me that no harm is done by this procedure.
There is a note and a work around on the DB web site for some issues with the WS2012E media services. I did not encounter problems yet, but I have not fully tested this. I think the Microsoft media service is crappy anyway, and I use other means of accessing my media files.
Biggest issue right now is that DB does not support VSS, this feature is expected to be coming shortly. VSS is needed for the server backup. The work around is to do the backup on the pool drives and not on the pool itself. I did not care because I only use server backup to backup the OS. My plan is to back up critical data to a second pool using robocopy. In addition I use crashplan.
The decision to use DB was timing. When I started, Drivepool was not out for WS2012E, so I could not test it. By now there is a beta, which is stable according to Diehard. I actually purchased licenses for both a long time ago, so cost was not an issue.
I did encounter a compatibility issue with DB and the Stablebit Scanner, which was in beta a few weeks ago. I ended up having to uninstall the scanner for the time being. I also had to reinstall DB at the time, because my drives had disappeared from the pool. The reinstall put everything back in order and the data on the drives were healthy. 
I do like the dashboard interface of DB. It is somewhat complicated but it does expose a lot of options. Drivepool for WHS 2011 was somewhat simpler to use, but did have less options. A few weeks ago, it was not clear whether Drivepool will ever have WS2012E dashboard integration. I am not sure whether the status on this has changed.
Hope this helps you with your decision.
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