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2 x 3TB WD RED Drives. Best use for Media


Bmouthboyo
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Hi Guys,

 

So I am setting up my first server install and I have 3 x 3TB WD Red HDD's in total, and planning to use 1 drive as a shared drive for myself and my wife's backup files, and a shared area for bits and bobs we both need access to. This will also be backed up online with coverplan.

 

I would like to use the other 2 3TB drives for Plex Media Server linked up to my HDTV. I am however not really sure on the best way forward with this.

 

Should I create one large 6TB Volume? If so do I use Server 2012 E R2 inbuilt tools or somethign like drivebender people seem to talk about a lot? If so what is the advantage and what does this do exactly? Is it a software RAID?

 

I hear people talking about stripped drives, is this RAID0? From my understanding the data (Media) will be spread across the drives and will have fast transfer speeds. Given I have a Gigabit network and stream HD Rips with Surround Sound etc is this needed?

 

Basically what would you guys recommend for the best use of my 2 X 3TB drives for storing Music (100 GB) Movies (1TB already but soon to grow fast) and other non essential media that would not be the end of the world if I lost?

 

 

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Only testing will show what you need.  6TB?

 

Stripping in RAID 0 and it is fast but there is no redundancy,  I would create two RAID 5 volume in Windows (software RAID but in actuality its all software RAID) and test the throughput.  The pooling technologies are nt going to be of advantage to you since your drives are all the same size.  Just more overhead in my opinion.

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Sorry I am a bit clueless when it comes to this. Why would 2 RAID 5 volumes be better than just using each HDD as it is? Everywhere I researched online says I would need 3 Disks so I assume you mean using all 3 of my drives?

 

If this is what you mean, would the parity mean that if one drive failed I could recover the lost drives files? What would my effective Volume sizes be from the original 9 TB?

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There will not be 2 RAID 5 "volumes, only one "array".  You have three drives which is the minimum for a RAID 5 array which provides for redundancy.  You will net 6TB of usable space as the third drive is being used for parity.  You can fully lose one of the drives and the array will still function.

 

From the 6TB array, you can create the partitions or volumes as needed.  The volumes will not be affected if you lose a drive until it can be replaced.

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This sounds Perfect thank you so much for your help jmwills, makes taking to step into server technology so much less daunting knowing people help and point you in the right direction.

 

To create this RAID5 do I just use the Server 2012 inbuilt ' File and storage Services - Storage Pools' under server manager? as shown here:

 

or is it better to use something like StableBit Drivepool? Over on this forum and a few others people seem to advise to not use Storage Spaces: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1462095/windows-drive-pooling

Edited by Bmouthboyo
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I would avoid Storage Spaces. I gather it's not bad at doing mirroring, but it sucks at pretty much everything else. To me, that's a broken technology.

 

If you just want pooling, then you can use DrivePool or DriveBender. Both of them do offer file duplication, at the folder level, meaning you can pick and choose which folders you want duplicated. Alternately, you can use Windows Server Disk Manager to create a software RAID-5 array. As jmwills said, in a RAID-5 array, if one drive fails, the data is safe, as long as you can get the failed drive replaced and the array rebuilt before another drive fails.

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I use Drivepool rather than storage spaces, given what we had with WHS1 everything they have done since is a backwards step, I think for what I use my system for if it wasnt for the third party add-ons I would still be using WHS v1 or something else.

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