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Using WHS 2011 own RAID 1 or RAID 5, or another option...


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I am trying to decide which form of redundancy I should use.

 

My servers main use will be for media storage and streaming of movies and music files.  I will store some sensitive files there too but those will be backed up elsewhere.  So I understand RAID is not backup.  But I want some sort of drive failure redundancy.  Especially since I am putting four 4tb drives in my N40L Server.  I don't want to have to re-rip 4tb of data if I loose a drive.  And I think am fine with a one drive failure redundancy.

 

So I have 16tb of space available without redundancy.  And currently my media collection is around 4tb +/- I'm not sure exactly.  But I do plan to maybe double that or more over the next year or so.

 

I have read up a bit on WHS 2011 built-in RAID 1 and 5 and trying to determine if these options might be a way to go for now.  The other option I had been considering is using FlexRAID and a pooling option like Stablebit's DrivePool or even FlexRAID's own pooling option.

 

For those of you who have used WHS 2011's own RAID 1 or 5, could you share your thoughts on using it for my purpose?

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You could run Raid 1 or 5 using Windows's Disk Manager (so called software raid) but I couldn't recommend you doing so-there are plenty of postings claiming that performance is 'not very good' to say the least.

 

Personally I'd get a hardware raid card and do it properly - not massively expensive but certainly the best way of doing it.

 

Four 4 TB disks in RAID-5 would give you roughly 12 TB of usable space, with RAID-1 you would be looking at two mirrored pairs giving 8 TB but in two separate volumes.

 

Also RAID-5 is slower at writing than RAID-1 but you don't loose so much of the raw capacity of the disks. This probably won't be an issue for a media server which will be doing much more reading and streaming than writing.

 

John

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I concur: RAID5 is likely the best choice in your situation, and a hardware RAID card is the best way to implement it. I would still recommend that you have at least 1 backup copy of the entire media store, despite having RAID. However, RAID5, on a good card, will really help with resiliency.

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I concur: RAID5 is likely the best choice in your situation, and a hardware RAID card is the best way to implement it. I would still recommend that you have at least 1 backup copy of the entire media store, despite having RAID. However, RAID5, on a good card, will really help with resiliency.

 

So it would be better to spend roughly $100 bucks more on an HP Smart Array P410 with the cache and battery than do a FlexRAID DrivePool setup as far as resilient redundancy?

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If you're not going to keep extra backup copies of the media files then, yes, I think hardware RAID is the next best option. Hardware RAID has a tried and tested track record.

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If you're not going to keep extra backup copies of the media files then, yes, I think hardware RAID is the next best option. Hardware RAID has a tried and tested track record.

 

Thanks Ikon.  I'm in the market for a HP Smart Array P410 with cache and battery :)

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Just curious as to others input on the disks always spinning in a Hardware RAID 5 system.  How much more ware on the drives and energy needed to operate the system is there?

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There are allot of posts on these forums around this topic as I believe it is a critical one. What you are asking for is about the same as I what I and many others are doing,  I use a 12T RAID 5 using a Highpoint 2720 controller on each server and I have been very pleased.  I believe the HP 410 only supports 6G SAS and only 3G in Sata so depending on the drives you are using you might want to verify that.  As for 24/7, that is what I have been running with no issues.  I have lost one of the drives early on but since the replacement no issues. Electronics tend to fail early on so I lost the drive just a few weeks after building the system.  I have a bunch of stuff I wrote about on my site if that is helpful but the bottom line is that for media streaming and storage with resiliency, RAID 5, 6 are the best way to go.  One suggestion though when using RAID is keep a spare tested drive on the shelf.  If a drive goes bad, you will need to recover fast as you are only one layer of resiliency and you do not want to wait 4-7 days while you send a drive back for RMA or try and buy a new one.

 

http://thedocsworld.net/category/raid/

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There are allot of posts on these forums around this topic as I believe it is a critical one. What you are asking for is about the same as I what I and many others are doing,  I use a 12T RAID 5 using a Highpoint 2720 controller on each server and I have been very pleased.  I believe the HP 410 only supports 6G SAS and only 3G in Sata so depending on the drives you are using you might want to verify that.  As for 24/7, that is what I have been running with no issues.  I have lost one of the drives early on but since the replacement no issues. Electronics tend to fail early on so I lost the drive just a few weeks after building the system.  I have a bunch of stuff I wrote about on my site if that is helpful but the bottom line is that for media streaming and storage with resiliency, RAID 5, 6 are the best way to go.  One suggestion though when using RAID is keep a spare tested drive on the shelf.  If a drive goes bad, you will need to recover fast as you are only one layer of resiliency and you do not want to wait 4-7 days while you send a drive back for RMA or try and buy a new one.

 

http://thedocsworld.net/category/raid/

 

When you go to forum boards like AVS fourms where the topic is mostly media it seems that most prefer software RAID like UnRAID or FlexRAID.   But when you read the forum's dedicated to "server" specific discussion it seem that hardware RAID is preferred.

 

Could you please enlighten me as to how the 3G speed might affect me?  My drives are HGST 4tb Deskstar Coolspin SATA III.  Maybe I should get the Highpoint 2720 controller?

 

Also pcdoc, I searched here and asked in another forum section here what might be the best RAID card and the P410 seemed to com up most.  Do you know of anyone using the Highpoint 2720 successfully in the HP Microserver?

Edited by g725s
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