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ak88

Any input on my Drivepool/Scanner setup?

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ak88

Hi all, I have used Drivepool for a while on my old server as I didn't have the funds to populate all of the drive bays in one go, I must say I really like it!

 

I am experimenting on my Gen8 Microserver whilst I wait to get my P222 and HDDs to see what set-ups work in different situations. Below is one, I would love any input on whether there is a better way of accomplishing this or if there are some additional settings to enhance the setup in Drivepool or Scanner.

 

Am I right in saying Drivepool over FakeRAID is the better idea? To me it makes sense as disks can easily be added and recovering the data is childs play as long as the drives are readable.

 

 

G1610t, set to AHCI in BIOS, 2x1TB WD Red drives.

OS installed onto 100GB partition on Disk1.

Pool consists of Disk1 Partition2 and Disk2.

Pool duplication enabled.

File placement rule of '*' to be placed on Disk2, when a new drive is added files will be placed on that disk. 

 

The reason for the file placement rule is the OS drive is more likely to fail/BSOD so if the data is on Disk2 then it should be safer. As I understand it, the file placed on Disk2 will still be copied to the Disk1 partition as pool duplication is set up (I have tested it and it does appear to work this way). Everything else is set to default in Drivepool and Scanner.

 

Is there a way to set Disk1 Partition2 as duplicate only? So if I was to add a third disk I could enforce that files be stored on Disk2 or Disk3 with the dupe being held on Disk1 Partition2?

 

In a real-life application there would also be a cloud backup solution for offsite copies of files, versioning and archiving.

 

Thanks!

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Drashna Jaelre

StableBit DrivePool/Drive Bender vs "fake RAID.... do you mean Dynamic Disks, or the RAID on the P222 controller?

if you mean dynamic disks, then yes, pretty much everything is better than that.

If you mean the P222 controller RAID, then it depends on what you're doing, and what you want. If uptime is more important, then RAID. But if expandability, and redundancy is important, then the pooling software is better. 

 

 

If a disk is having issues, replace it. Just do that, and do so immediately.

As for file placement, there is the "Disk Usage Limiter" balancer. You can specify that a duplicated or unduplicated data is placed on a disk. By default, both are enabled. However, if you're worried about disk failure, uncheck the "unduplicated" option for that disk. This way, ONLY DUPLICATED data is placed on the drive in question.

 

While it says "disk" it specifically applies to the volumes/partitions.

 

Additionally, DrivePool doesn't place duplicates on the same physical disk, in the case of a partitioned disk. That way, you never risk losing all copies if a disk fails (this only applies to duplicated files).

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ak88

Thanks for the reply. The P222 will be used for RAID5 on 4xWD Red drives, I don't have the drives or controller yet so am experimenting in the meantime. I meant the level of RAID offered by the B120i vs Drivepool :)

 

Thanks for the balancer tip, will give it a go shortly!

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jsox

I wouldn't put the OS on the same drive as your data. Not even in a separate partition. Get a 250G drive (or whatever) and dedicate that to the OS and use the two TB drives for data. If you don't have that much data, duplicate everything... Even when you get new drives I wouldn't put the OS on a data drive. Just asking for trouble in my opinion. Mu NL40 has the stock 250G as OS and 3 data drives pooled with Drivepool. Works great for me.

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ak88

Hi jsox, I completely agree with you but in this case my test was to keep the budget as low as possible (this isn't my final design, I am using ESXi on MicroSD and P222 with RAID 5 for VMs/data). Usually I keep data off of the OS drive where possible as that drive is more susceptible to problems such as BSODs but in this setup the data is always stored on the secondary drive and a dupe is kept on the second partition of the OS drive. So even if the OS drive had a problem the data is safe on the second drive as that is the main copy.

 

It was partly down to see how cheap a first setup can be and also because the smallest WD Red drive is 1TB which is a huge amount of wasted space if just for the OS which is likely to be 50GB when all software is installed.

 

Do you see a problem with this? Or is it just best practice? As I say in a normal environment I try to separate as you suggest :)

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Drashna Jaelre

The reason it's recommended to keep ANY data off of the system drive is two fold:

  1. This makes backing up the system drive and restoring it much easier. Since "user data" is likely to change, this can cause issues.  
  2. IO throughput. If you're accessing data on the same disk, it's sharing the bandwidth with the system partition. Depending on the setup, this can cause performance issueson the system.
    By ONLY running the OS on the disk, this helps divide the IO between the different drives.

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Joe_Miner

I wouldn't put any data on the OS drive either and I would not use a red drive for an OS drive -- I would put my OS only on either a SSD or a VelociRaptor -- then use the reds only for data. Just my two cents.

Edited by Joe_Miner
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ak88

Thanks for the input, in the case of ESXi where do you guys store the VMs? I was going to put esxi on the microsd, use WD Reds in Raid5 on the P222 controller and use the B120i controller to add an SSD for a cache drive. I thought the VMs would be on the raid5 array.

 

In the case of my sample setup in the OP I wanted to use an enterprise SSD for the OS and the Reds for data but the SSD wouldn't fit in a drive bay and I read that you can't boot from the internal SATA port. Has anyone found a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter that aligns the SSD SATA port with the bay connection? If I was to ever use the setup it would be in a low demand environment so IO wouldn't be a huge concern but for my actual setup it will be high demand which is why I am buying the P222 shortly.

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