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New Gen8 Raid Vs AHCI with Hyper-V and Xpenology


ahenners
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Hi all, 

 

Been been lurking for a couple of weeks, reading up on various stuff about the Gen8, before I decided to pull the trigger.

 

Now that I have my Gen8 and have set it up, I was planning to run Hyper-V 2012 R2 on it and run Xpenology as a Hyper-V Virtual Machine. My intention for the Gen8 is to be a NAS primarily but I like the idea of running with Hyper-V so I can virtualise it and use the Gen8 for another couple of VMs in the future.

 

I was planning to buy a 240gb SSD for the Hyper-V 2012 R2 and as a store for the VMs. Is there a major noticeable benefit between using an SSD vs a traditional HDD for this? I have a spare 750GB HDD which would also be suitable for this if the SSD doesn't provide a major benefit.

 

For Xpenology, I was planning to use a 3tb 7200rpm drive which I have spare, to store and share the data like a NAS inside Xpenology, and the VM for it would be stored on the SSD as above. I have done a bit of reading on the forum and from what I've picked up there are benefits and drawbacks to both RAID and AHCI with the Gen8... If I set up the SSD and 3tb Data drive as separate, individual RAID 0 drives, will I lose the ability to Spindown the 3tb data drive if it is idling? I'm planning on leaving the Microserver on 24/7 so would be good to have some power saving overnight and whilst at work.

 

The other alternative would be to set the drives up as AHCI, which I believe would allow me to Spindown the 3tb drive when not being used, however I've read lots about the fan issues and it being incredibly noisy in AHCI mode. Therefore I'm not sure which way to go with this... RAID seems like the best option if I can spindown the disks? Any one done a similar thing, or have advice on the best way to set up?

 

Thanks

Andrew

 

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I've got 2 VM's on the boot drive of my Gen8 (Samsung 840Pro) and all I can say is VM's on SSD's fly, not sure about long term read/write issues with it also being the boot drive but they are fast...

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I installed xenology in a VM and it was running fine. My VMs are on a SAS 320GB drive; Hyper-V is on another separate drive (same type)..

Speed is ok but I could imagine a good step forward in terms of speed using a SSD. This is my experience from all my client laptops.

 

Did you spend some thoughts about backup strategy?

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Thanks for the replies guys. Think I'm going to get the SSD for the VM store, maybe run the OS on the smaller hdd. In terms of backup, Xpenology will essentially be sharing data I have another copy of on a drive in a desktop PC. I will do periodic incremental backups over the network, so a drive failure in either the desktop, or the gen8 means there is still a recent copy of the data intact.

 

Going to do some testing with AHCI this weekend and see whether the fan speed is an issue in AHCI.

Edited by ahenners
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  • 1 month later...

I just installed esxi 6 on usb and xpenology as a vm in a datastore on ssd connected to the odd port. I only have one of the other four slots occupied by a 4 TB drive. And I've been using AHCI mode, fans are at 19%, but I still think this is too loud for my home environment.

 

I read everywhere that using the b120i controller instead would decrease the fanspeed to about 6%, so I guess that is true. But are there any drawbacks with the b120i raid except that I have to redo some steps? (loosing data ofc. but anything else?) Read that someone had problem with external usb, but I have not been able to confirm that.

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I have all drives on raid 0 using the hp controller, fan at 6% most of the time. Xpenology also on ssd datastore. I had to use add device from vsphere to add my external usb hdd, but it is working. I think if you change the usb port you need to remove and add the device again.

 I have some issues with esxi freezing but I'm not sure what is the cause. I have to shut down the server and restart it, then start the xpeno vm again. I can't find the reason for it yet. I did downgrade some hp drivers for performance issues, but so did a lot of people without any problems, something else must be wrong on mine.

Edit 

the only thing that is keeping me from moving to hyper-v is the stuff that I have to do to make a boot-able usb... I think I'll get bare metal if I can't solve the esxi issues. 

Edited by danyxp
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May I add here my question avoiding open a new threat?

 

I would like to ask for your opinion.

I have at the moment one drive for the Server 2008R2 with Hyper-V host and on another drive the VMs.

The two drives are identically.

Now I want to change to a raid 1 (2 drives) and a raid 10 (4 drives) but I am not sure where to put which existing drive?

Thanks

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  • 1 month later...

I have at the moment one drive for the Server 2008R2 with Hyper-V host and on another drive the VMs.

The two drives are identically.

Now I want to change to a raid 1 (2 drives) and a raid 10 (4 drives) but I am not sure where to put which existing drive?

Thanks

From the earlier post I see only that You have two SAS 320Gb drives. You didn't mentioned them are on AHCI or RAID0.

I dont know how to put existing drives inside RAIDx without loosing data.

The easyest way is to backUp VMs and Server data to an external USB storrage, initialize desired RAID1 or 10(faster),

then install fresh Server with Hyper-V on a sepparate volume inside Raid and keep another volume for VMs to be most apropiate to Your actual scenario.

 

But in my oppinion, I would go keeping everything on the same volume on RAID10 with a strong VM and/or DATA backup strategy.

If the actual speed is OK (as You said) then the budget plan is to go with RAID1 for redundancy and a decent backup to another internal or external storage for keeping DATA safe.

 

Example of a simple DATA backup scenario for a small company, using scripts and google drive inside a windows VM: each midnight is made a password protected archive (100Mb) for database and documents and stored localy in google drive map which is automaticaly uploaded to cloud. Safe and cheap, but just in this particular case.

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From the earlier post I see only that You have two SAS 320Gb drives. You didn't mentioned them are on AHCI or RAID0.

If they're SAS drives then they can't be attached to the B120i controller in the Microserver Gen8. It only supports SATA as it is actually the Intel SATA controller but with HP firmware + drivers. It isn't like the B320i controller which has an optional SAS license. The B120i physically doesn't support SAS. Edited by GotNoTime
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