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24TB of RAID6 storage. How do I avoid Drive Extender? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Pretty simple question. I have a server with 12x2TB drives RAID6 (~19TB usable), and a separate boot drive. How do I disable, or avoid using drive extender? Will installing/booting directly off the 19TB partition do the trick? (I have a UEFI based system which can boot to GPT). Or, is there a way to disable DE, when using a single data drive (did this before with WHSV1 and it worked great).

    Saturday, September 4, 2010 2:53 PM

All replies

  • You don't. DE V2 isn't a file system filter driver (DE V1), it's a device driver that sits within and below NTFS. In order for you to use the disk space your array presents in server storage, you must allow Drive Extender V2 to manage the space, and your data must be in server storage for it to be available for streaming, to be in the server's shares (allowing access management), etc.

    To minimize the impact, create a single large volume comprising all available disk space and give that to Vail; Vail will use the whole thing (Vail supports GPT disks). I can't promise anything if you try to expand the volume using OCE, however. That could break Drive Extender completely for all I know, so please test thoroughly and get back to us on the results.

    How do you plan to back up your 20 TB of data, by the way?


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, September 4, 2010 3:19 PM
    Moderator
  • Its RAID-6 enterprise-grade storage, on a redundant, UPS connected server,  so chances of anything going wrong are miniscule. Anything critical (photos, music, normal files) is backed up offsite though Crashplan. Kids videos are backed up to an old ReadyNAS. Blu-rays/DVDs are backed up in a large box in the closet :-)

    I suspect though that I won't be able to live with the other serious Vail limitations. Basing it on WS08R2 Foundation server means that I'm only using a fraction of my RAM and CPU.

    Bottom line is, I'll probably put Standard back on the server, and run Vail under Hyper-V, giving it direct access to a lun.

    Saturday, September 4, 2010 3:36 PM
  • ...
    Blu-rays/DVDs are backed up in a large box in the closet :-) 
    ...
    I'll probably put Standard back on the server, and run Vail under Hyper-V, giving it direct access to a lun.

    So not backed up, in a "disaster recovery" sense. That's fine, but do you have a rider on your insurance to cover replacement costs? It adds up to a lot of money, way more than will be covered under indicentals. 

    Vail under Hyper-V is probably a better solution. But do test the "extend the volume" scenario thoroughly.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, September 4, 2010 5:20 PM
    Moderator
  • Vail under Hyper-V is probably a better solution. But do test the "extend the volume" scenario thoroughly.
    Is running Vail in a virtual machine officially supported? Whenever I raised this issue with WHS V1 I was told firmly that it was not supported, though I have been doing it with Windows 7 x64 host and VMWare Server 2 for several months, and it seems to work OK (I have not stressed it much though).
     
    For me, running WHS in a virtual machine is very compelling, especially if you host it an always-on machine like an HTPC that is not doing much most of the time.
     
    Two major advantages for me are:
     
    1. You can run Windows Media Center on the host.
     
    2. You can put the whole WHS guest on RAID 1 and not bother with WHS duplication, which always seems a big source of headaches to me (for that matter I would like to get rid of drive extender also...).
     
    I use an external eSata RAID 1 enclosure to house the WHS, and it has already saved me once when one of the disks failed. Using RAID 1 in this way protects the whole WHS, including the system disk and the backups. Right now I have only a single disk (600GB) system, but I could add more.
     
    Of course it is unfortunate that Microsoft has no server virtualization product that will run on Windows 7, so I had to go to VMWare server which I do not like very much. I prefer a server virtualization product, because it deals better with restarting the host, and allows me to administer the WHS guest from my workstation rather than directly on the host (which is my HTPC).
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Sunday, September 5, 2010 9:35 AM
  • Is running Vail in a virtual machine officially supported? Whenever I raised this issue with WHS V1 I was told firmly that it was not supported, though I have been doing it with Windows 7 x64 host and VMWare Server 2 for several months, and it seems to work OK (I have not stressed it much though).
    Dave, I doubt it will ever be a supported configuration. Likewise, I doubt that virtualizing Aurora will ever be supported. Power users may want to use virtualization for any number of reasons, but Microsoft doesn't build consumer products around the needs of power users (sorry, I know people don't like hearing that, but it's true), and there's just no need for virtualization for the average consumer (for Vail) or average microbusiness (for Aurora).
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, September 5, 2010 2:09 PM
    Moderator