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External Storage


bevnet
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Hi,

Clearly storage is an issue, i have bought a PCI-e card which has a couple of eSATA ports, which i plan to to with an external storage device.

 

I've been looking at an EdgeStore DAS501T 5 Bay eSATA DAS Enclosure..as it's supposed to be able to give access to each drive in the enclosure individually via the one eSATA connection.. does anyone have any experience of this, or other recommendations, i know ICY BOX has been mentioned before..

 

Also, what's the thoughts on using RAID, and if so which do people use and why ?? The above EdgeStore comes with SATARAID5 Array Manager software.. is it any good etc ???

 

Thanks

Ian.

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I don't have much to chime in on for eSATA enclosure other than I have plenty of experience with Icy Dock products, and the build quality never disappoints and it is usually worth the extra price. As far as RAID, however, I would say to generally avoid it with WHS. WHS uses its own software-based RAID technology specifically geared at allowing you to use a variety of drives of different makes and sizes. Most hardware RAID doesn't play well with this. Using WHS also gives you the opportunity to duplicate some shares (important files) and not others (music, tv recordings, etc.) This allows you to properly balance usable storage with redundancy.

 

I say this, but I will confess that I personally use a hardware RAID solution. I had some issues with folder duplication during the beta and RTM builds, so I use an HP SATA/SAS controller with 4 RAID 1 mirrors. I get really good performance out of the solution, but it does seem overkill now that it appears as if my original issues with folder duplication have cleared up.

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Thanks for the update, i have turned off folder duplication, as i copy all the shares off the server onto external USB drives, which i just use for this purpose..

 

I've always felt a little uneasy about using software RAID, although i would consider a hardware solution, the card i have chosen does support hardware RAID, so i might look into that, it's just which one to pick.. decisions decisions..

 

Cheers

Ian.

Edited by bevnet
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My suggestion is not to use raid at all and use duplication. There has been much discussion on this in these forums as well as differences of opinion but ultimately it boils down to the fact that you bought WHS to backup you data as well as protect it and in my opinion you should let it do that. I would avoid anything (other than for use as a server backup) that uses any kind of striping or RAID (JBOD or other. Makes for much cleaner restore/recovery. Just my two cents...

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Thanks for the advice guys, all very welcome, my gut (substantial as it is) says the same thing, so i'll go with that, and i'll let you know which external storage i chose and how i got on..

 

Cheers

Ian.

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One more point I'd like to add is that WHS duplication technology and RAID is really not a fair comparison. They both have similar goals in mind but go about it in very different ways. I've seen in a lot of forums where people unfairly compare the two technologies. WHS is squarely focused on giving you backup and some redundancy using stuff you can pick up at Best Buy.

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mrossco,

That is an excellent point. You are correct and the end result is the same but the performance and technology is quite different. I am certainly not against RAID and I think in the proper application such as a full server, performance rig, or straight data redundancy, it is tough to beat. I just try to recommend staying away from it on WHS as it was never really designed for that. As you stated, the product is made for simplicity and data protection and we all should keep that in mind. The minute you add complication of RAID the effectiveness of WHS diminishes drastically for "most" users as it becomes less of an appliance. Although we are mostly enthusiast on this site and we won't admit it, we kind of like the fact that it is an appliance and we rely on that everyday. Good point and thanks for bringing it up.

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