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I want to desperately replace storage spaces


Ncage1974
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When storage spaces first came out i quickly dismissed all the bad comments about it and decided to use it. Most of the bad comments i seen were about write speeds. I thought if i could retain 20MB/sec write speeds it would be good enough for my needs. Well boy was i wrong. I lived with it through 2012 and now 2012 R2 and i'm really fed up with it. I've had countless problems with it. In the original iteration i would be getting horrible speeds (i'm talking in the KB/sec) and i would log in to see the balancing service using tons of cpu. That seems to have went away with R2 but that doesn't mean its any better.

 

Last Saturday i was trying to stream some movies from plex. It was really really choppy and kept cutting out. I rebooted my roku which didn't help. After trying different devices i went to the server that runs plex server expecting it to be overload and it wasn't at all. So i go to my main workstation and try to copy a file from my file server (with storage spaces) to my workstation and it was getting about 20KB/Sec. I remote desktop to the machine and everything seems fine. The CPU utilization is low. Memory Utilization is normal.  Guess what what fixed it? A reboot. I've also had times where when i'm copying something my copy will totally stop for a minute or so before continuing. 

I'm running Server 2012 R2 Standard (and i had the latest Update 1 applied when this problem happened). I'm running about 5 disk with parity. The reason i'm running parity is the thought was i would get a little bit more disk space that just mirroring everything but with the way parity works with storage spaces i'm guessing i have less because i think it works somewhat like raid 5 and it uses your smallest disk/partition as the cap of how much data it will be put on each drive. So for example if you have 1 TB Drive, 2 - 3 TB drives) i believe your usable space will only be 3 TB. And as far as i know there is not type of rebalancing that you do on the drives if you get rid of your smallest drive. Anyways i don't think storage spaces is anywhere near ready for prime time and surprisingly the improvements in R2 were very subtle. Unfortunately its like Microsoft of old not iterating fast enough...

 

So i'm looking at both stablebit & Drive bender. The way it sounds is they work similar to the original way drive extender worked. You just pick folders you want duplicated and if something catastrophic happened you could always read the drives from another PC. Which is just awesome and the way it should be. The thing so far that has stood out for me about stablebit is the lifetime upgrades. I don't know if its the same with drive bender since i didn't see anything on their page. 

Here are some questions i have:

 

  1. Data Reliability - Have any of these products had issue where it possibly could have left to data loss? This of course is my main concern
  2. Speed - Are both pretty similar in terms of speed? Is there much overhead to either product?
  3. OS Compatability - I plan to stay with Server 2012 R2 Standard. Hopefully both are generally compatible with server OS
  4. Features - Any features that you think makes one better than the other?
  5. Reconnect - How easily is it to take a drive from a damaged pool and reconnect it to either another pool or if you reinstall your OS for it to be picked up
  6.  
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The one feature difference I can point out is that DrivePool is very integrated with StableBit Scanner. They seem to make a pretty good combo.

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The one feature difference I can point out is that DrivePool is very integrated with StableBit Scanner. They seem to make a pretty good combo.

 

Hi Ikon and thanks for the reply. I guess i was maybe a little to wordy in my original post and asked to many questions. Anyways has their been any reports with data loss with either product? 

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Ok guys i'm going to give the trial a go (stablebit). I might just buy drive bender too (its so cheap right now). Oh boy i didn't realize until now how big of pain it is to remove a drive from a storage pool. You couldn't do it from the GUI. Said you have to replace it with a drive of least identical size but i found a way through powershell though its take a long time (2 hours so far). I don't have any spare disk so this is what i have to do. So i'll gradually take drive by drive out of storage spaces and copy as much data as i can to storagebit to make room

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Yes of course. There are some files i have that it wouldn't be that big of deal if i lost them but those files i can't loose are backed up in crashplan

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@ncage1974, I am in the middle of testing storage spaces. I have had much better luck with mirrored spaces while the pairity spaces have seemed to be slow.

 

If you are feeling adventurous it would be interesting to see a comparison of the performance difference between stable bit and a mirrowed storage space.

Also, I just pulled a 320gb drive from a storage space mirror and replaced it with a 200GB with no problem. I wonder if having the same size drive is a requirement parity.

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-snip-

 

Here are some questions i have:

 

  1. Data Reliability - Have any of these products had issue where it possibly could have left to data loss? This of course is my main concern
  2. Speed - Are both pretty similar in terms of speed? Is there much overhead to either product?
  3. OS Compatability - I plan to stay with Server 2012 R2 Standard. Hopefully both are generally compatible with server OS
  4. Features - Any features that you think makes one better than the other?
  5. Reconnect - How easily is it to take a drive from a damaged pool and reconnect it to either another pool or if you reinstall your OS for it to be picked up
  6.  

 

 

 

-snip-

 

If you are feeling adventurous it would be interesting to see a comparison of the performance difference between stable bit and a mirrowed storage space.

Also, I just pulled a 320gb drive from a storage space mirror and replaced it with a 200GB with no problem. I wonder if having the same size drive is a requirement parity.

 

Hi Ncage1974!

 

I’ve been using StableBit Scanner and DrivePool together in WHS2011 and I have been very happy with them.  If you go with DrivePool I would recommend getting Scanner also. 

 

 

1.  No issues.  Scanner has detected 5 HDD’s over time that were beginning to fail or had outright failed.  With data duplication turned on in DrivePool – fixing a failed drive is a simple matter of pulling out the failed drive – removing it from DrivePool’s menu – inserting a new drive – adding the new drive to the DrivePool thru the menu – then let DrivePool do it’s thing making sure everything is duplicated.

 

2.  I found DrivePool to be fast and read speeds slightly faster than a single HDD read speed.  See DrivePool performance in: Installing Windows Home Server 2011 on a SSD in a HP MicroServer N40L

 

3.  I’ve only worked with it in WHS2011. 

 

 

4.  Scanner and DrivePool work together synergistically and I like the ability to get server updates (eMail’s) from CoveCube if any issues crop up on my Server (in addition to my Server updates from WHS2011). 

 

 

5.  I’ve done it several times when I have done re-installs of my OS.  See: Updating my Windows Home Server 2011 installed on the HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer  and Moving my Windows Home Server 2011 to the HP ProLiant N54L G7 MicroServer

 

Additionally:

You can check out my performance testing of DrivePool and Storage Spaces via the links atPerformance Measurement of the HP ProLiant N40L and N54L G7 MicroServer and Other NAS Devices

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