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Intel rapid storage or storage spaces (raid 1)


diegolrz
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I have a small lenovo ts140 running as my hyper-v server.

 

I want to get some redundancy in the storage and I have decided I will be using 2x Samsung 850 pro, however I am not sure if I should set them up via intel rapid storage or do this with storage spaces in server 2012r2?

 

Thanks!

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Well, you have three choices here really:

  • RAID (be it Intel RST arrays, or a controller card, or ...)
  • Storage Spaces
  • pooling software (StableBit DrivePool or Drive Bender)

 

For the RAID, you'll lose active garbage collection (TRIM), IIRC. Meaning that the drives will degrade after a while.  

I beleive that some RAID controllers can do active garbage collection on SSDs, but I'd have to double check to confirm that. And I think it's mostly the RSTe chipsets (the enterprise/server chipsets from intel) that do this.

 

 

For Storage Spaces, you'll get the active garbage collection, I believe. But the write speeds on Storage Spaces is pretty atrocious. 

And I've seen people with issues removing a failing/failed drive from a storage spaces pool here. 

 

For the pooling software (Drive Bender or StableBit DrivePool), you're not going to see a significant improvement in read speeds (nor write, but you wouldn't see much of an increase with RAID in this situation either).  However, both store the files on normal NTFS volumes. So if something happens, you can easily access your data still. 

 

 

 

But basically, I'd recommend against Storage Spaces here. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the advice Drashna.

 

I will be able to get more budget for a RAID card, what do you recommend for a RAID 1 ssd array? Running server 2012r2.

 

Thanks!

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Thanks for the advice Drashna.

 

I will be able to get more budget for a RAID card, what do you recommend for a RAID 1 ssd array? Running server 2012r2.

 

Thanks!

Honestly, I'd really recommend getting a number of fast "spinning" disks and RAID them that way.

 

From a quick search though, if the drive is using the SandForce controller for the SSDs, you should be okay at least. 

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  • 5 months later...

The TS140 server comes with the ThinkServer RAID 100 controller (which is just Intel RSTe), which can handle RAID 0,1,10,5, but only supports SATA drives.

You should connect your Samsung SSD's to the ThinkServer RAID 100 controller and create a RAID1 array.

The TS140 comes with up to 4x 3.5" bays and up to 4x 2.5" bays. It also says the bays are fixed, so I will assume you can actually install the drives in this tower.

Being an Intel RSTe implementation, you should be able to have TRIM support on your SSD array.

 

Storage spaces requires direct-to-disk connectivity and won't usually work when the drives are connected to a RAID controller, even if set to JBOD mode.

You would typically use a SAS HBA to connect drives for use in a Storage Spaces pool.

I wouldn't recommend storage spaces in this scenario.

Edited by bcouper
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Storage spaces requires direct-to-disk connectivity and won't usually work when the drives are connected to a RAID controller, even if set to JBOD mode.

You would typically use a SAS HBA to connect drives for use in a Storage Spaces pool.

I wouldn't recommend storage spaces in this scenario.

Yes, it will.  It only requires access to the disk.  And IIRC, you can absolutely pool RAID arrays, as well. (I would recommend against one or the other, not both).

 

And a SAS HBA (controller card) isn't required for storage spaces at all.  however, I'd highly recommend for any storage. RAID/StorageSpaces/pooling software, etc.

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Yes, it will.  It only requires access to the disk.  And IIRC, you can absolutely pool RAID arrays, as well. (I would recommend against one or the other, not both).

 

And a SAS HBA (controller card) isn't required for storage spaces at all.  however, I'd highly recommend for any storage. RAID/StorageSpaces/pooling software, etc.

 

I should have written, "it may not work correctly when connected to a RAID card."

 

I'm coming at these questions with a business-orientated view, where we would never even sell a SATA drive for a server, let alone Storage Spaces using SATA drives, so I am very quick to jump on the SAS HBA gravy train.

 

RAID adapters, if used, must have all RAID functionality disabled and must not obscure any attached devices, including enclosure services provided by an attached JBOD.

It has been discovered that many RAID cards, even when all RAID functions are disabled, still obscure the attached device and/or SES2 functionality.

Therefore it is recommended to use a HBA and not a RAID card.

 

If you are using SATA drives then you could of course use the onboard SATA ports, and not purchase a SAS/SATA HBA.

You could even attach them using USB enclosures, so long as that enclosure doesn't obscure the attached device in any way.

 

A true HBA cannot be used for a RAID configuration, as it is not a RAID controller. So I would only recommend them for Storage Spaces or other disk pooling technologies.

Some HBA offer a hybrid RAID mode 0/1/10, in which case this RAID functionality MUST be disabled for Storage Spaces to work 100% CORRECTLY.

 

Whether you can pool RAID arrays or not, you shouldn't do it. It is not a supported configuration. If you want to use RAID, just use RAID.

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