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How much space will I need to add to get started? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm doing some initial research into converting my existing XP Pro based server into a WHS system.

     

    My current system drives are as follows:

     

    Figures are total Space, Brackets show USED space.

     

    Drive 0 - 160GB PATA - 149 GB Formatted - 3 Partitions - System 40GB (4.12GB Used) - Storage 107GB (53GB Used) - Swap 2GB (N/a Used)

    Drive 1 - 120GB PATA - 112 GB Formatted - Effectively empty (I use it for temp storage while sorting stuff out)

    Drive 2 - 300GB SATA - 279 GB Formatted (172 GB Used)

    Drive 3 - 300GB SATA - 279 GB Formatted (187 GB Used)

    Drive 4 - 300GB SATA - 279 GB Formatted (171 GB Used)

    Drive 5 - 500GB SATA - 465 GB Formatted (388 GB Used)

    Drive 6 - 200GB SATA - 186 GB Formatted (40 GB Used)

     

    I figure this gives me ROUGHLY 1700 GB Total and 1000 GB Used

    I also have 4 other PC's on the network which are going to be backup capable (1 Vista HP, 3 XP Home) as well as 2 "spare" PC's both with XP Home which I'll probably connect to backup then remove again to go on the spares pile and I'm assuming (without, I admit, a huge amount of know-how) that the total backup will come to around 1TB

     

    How much hard disk space am I going to need, in total, to do this - bearing in mind the main reason I want to do this is that NONE (yes, I'm THAT stupid) of that 1TB of stuff is in any way backed up) is to get the data all duplicated.

     

    I'm guessing I'm going to need something like 4TB of space - 1TB for backups, 1TB for my current storage, and the same again for the "mirror" and that will result in me having NOTHING available in the "Pool" - Am I really going to need probably 5TB of storage to back up 4 pc's and 1TB of shared data?  The idea of having to buy half a dozen 500GB drives (and a storage controller - I only have 3 SATA ports left out of the 8 on the mobo) for this project is more than a little daunting (not to mention the wife's reaction when my "little upgrade" costs a months wages....)

     

    My case can handle more drives without too much trouble - and the core specs (Sempy 3000/1024GB/6200 VGA) should be up to the task but I don't want to waste money - I don't mind spending it, but wasting it grates on me....

    Monday, September 24, 2007 8:51 PM

Answers

  • There are a couple of places where you are over allocating. First, the backups will be compressed. Depending on what you have stored in that 1TB used, you may get a substantial decrease in the amount used after compression. Things like Video which are already compressed won't change much. The rule of thumb that's always thrown around is 2-1.

     

    Second, it will use Single Instance Store (SIS) eliminating duplicate files across all of your systems. Again, depending on how much of that 1TB is duplicated on various systems, this can be a big or small difference. At the very least, you will have the 3xXP home OSes duped.

     

    Third, the backups won't be duplicated in WHS. Since they are already duplicates of the original, duplicating the backups is overkill.

     

    So instead of backups = 1TB original = 2TB backed up and duplicated, it will be more like backups = 1TB original = 500mb backed up and not duplicated. So knock off 1.5TB bringing you to a more reasonable 1.5TB plus 500GB free.

     

    You might also consider not reusing some of the smaller (<300GB) drives as storage prices have plummeted and the cost of a suitable SATA controller may not make sense when you can get a 500GB drive for about $100 and 750GB for about $180.

     

    Hope this helps.

     

     

     

     

    Monday, September 24, 2007 10:19 PM
  •  Slaveofconvention wrote:
    The backups of the other systems won't be duplicated? Doesn't that mean that if I lose a single hard drive from the storage pool, all of my system backups will be lost?
    Maybe, but it's not a problem; just run another set of backups after replacing the failed drive. Backups aren't for archiving data, they're for disaster recovery. And no matter how much a user may insist otherwise, "I accidentally deleted a file" isn't a disaster. It's user error. As for "archival backups" (the usually-quoted reason for wanting to keep old backups), I have some. I have never looked at them more than a few weeks after taking them, though.

    More likely you'll lose some backups, but not all.
     Slaveofconvention wrote:
    Am I correct in assuming the duplication of data halves the storage available, akin to RAID 1 as opposed to doing something clever like RAID 5 to make the fault tolerance less of a capacity overhead? (I know it isnt actually any kind of RAID but it's the closest analogy that sprang to mind)
    Sort of. Files in shares marked in the console for duplication will occupy space on two drives, rather than one. Unlike RAID 1, however, you don't allocate that space drive by drive, but rather file by file.
    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 2:11 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • There are a couple of places where you are over allocating. First, the backups will be compressed. Depending on what you have stored in that 1TB used, you may get a substantial decrease in the amount used after compression. Things like Video which are already compressed won't change much. The rule of thumb that's always thrown around is 2-1.

     

    Second, it will use Single Instance Store (SIS) eliminating duplicate files across all of your systems. Again, depending on how much of that 1TB is duplicated on various systems, this can be a big or small difference. At the very least, you will have the 3xXP home OSes duped.

     

    Third, the backups won't be duplicated in WHS. Since they are already duplicates of the original, duplicating the backups is overkill.

     

    So instead of backups = 1TB original = 2TB backed up and duplicated, it will be more like backups = 1TB original = 500mb backed up and not duplicated. So knock off 1.5TB bringing you to a more reasonable 1.5TB plus 500GB free.

     

    You might also consider not reusing some of the smaller (<300GB) drives as storage prices have plummeted and the cost of a suitable SATA controller may not make sense when you can get a 500GB drive for about $100 and 750GB for about $180.

     

    Hope this helps.

     

     

     

     

    Monday, September 24, 2007 10:19 PM
  • The backups of the other systems won't be duplicated? Doesn't that mean that if I lose a single hard drive from the storage pool, all of my system backups will be lost?

     

    As for the smaller drives - the 120 and 160 are PATA anyway so not using them won't make me run out of SATA ports any later but thanks for your comments.

     

    Am I correct in assuming the duplication of data halves the storage available, akin to RAID 1 as opposed to doing something clever like RAID 5 to make the fault tolerance less of a capacity overhead? (I know it isnt actually any kind of RAID but it's the closest analogy that sprang to mind)

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 6:02 AM
  •  Slaveofconvention wrote:
    The backups of the other systems won't be duplicated? Doesn't that mean that if I lose a single hard drive from the storage pool, all of my system backups will be lost?
    Maybe, but it's not a problem; just run another set of backups after replacing the failed drive. Backups aren't for archiving data, they're for disaster recovery. And no matter how much a user may insist otherwise, "I accidentally deleted a file" isn't a disaster. It's user error. As for "archival backups" (the usually-quoted reason for wanting to keep old backups), I have some. I have never looked at them more than a few weeks after taking them, though.

    More likely you'll lose some backups, but not all.
     Slaveofconvention wrote:
    Am I correct in assuming the duplication of data halves the storage available, akin to RAID 1 as opposed to doing something clever like RAID 5 to make the fault tolerance less of a capacity overhead? (I know it isnt actually any kind of RAID but it's the closest analogy that sprang to mind)
    Sort of. Files in shares marked in the console for duplication will occupy space on two drives, rather than one. Unlike RAID 1, however, you don't allocate that space drive by drive, but rather file by file.
    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 2:11 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    Files in shares marked in the console for duplication will occupy space on two drives, rather than one. Unlike RAID 1, however, you don't allocate that space drive by drive, but rather file by file.

    Does this mean you can go through the stores and specify what to duplicate and what not to? There are probably several GB of files on the server I don't really care about losing - they're things like installs for stuff freely available - only stored for my own convenience when setting up puters for customers.

     

    At this point I'm trying to work out if buying say WHS and 2x500GB would get me started - set up one 500 as the master drive and use the second 500 as the initial pool - I can then start moving stuff off of the existing server drives (which won't be connected on installation - I read the bit about everything getting formatted - that'd HURT!) one at a time, and when they're empty, add them to the pool and move on - then I can start to select files for duplication/PC's for backup depending on available space - increasing both as I add more space....

     

    This would save me on initial costs as I wouldn't need a controller card - as I said before I have 3 spare SATA ports right now - SO glad I made a point of getting a mobo with 8 - and it'd also save me a lot of little grumbles from she who much be at least occasionally consulted if not obeyed....

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 4:27 PM
  • You can designate duplication at the level of the network share. So you can designate your Users share to be duplicated, (because that's where everyone's personal folder will be, presumably full of important stuff), but not your Media and Video shares (because you can always re-rip your DVDs and CDs if you must). You can't designate \\server\Users\Ken to be duplicated but \\server\Users\Slaveofconvention to not be duplicated. Duplication, BTW, requires a minimum of two physical drives in the WHS.

    And the space on the system drive not used for the system partition will also be considered part of the storage pool; it's used for (among other things) the duplicate copies of files in a 2 drive WHS.
    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 6:31 PM
    Moderator