Is creating a "Spanned Volume" the proper way to establish a working storage pool and if so, how do I convert a 5 drive WHS 2007 to WHS 2011. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have been attempting to update my WHS2007 package to WHS2011 system hoping to gain feature and throughput performance.  I'm 3 weeks, part-time into this project and cannot create a spanned volume.  I've read there is a spanning wizard and have had no problems converting my hard drive pool to individual dynamic disks but when I attempt to combine two disks to make a volume, nothing happens.

    The only reference I have found with step by step instructions for disk management (and most all other functions) is in the book MS Home Server 2011 Unleashed by Paul McFedris which states on the cover "Technical Accuracy Guaranteed by Tim Barrett, Microsoft MVP.  But when I got to the section on forming the storage pool starting on page 107, the sequence has not worked.  Now I see my individual drives by unique letter but as I attempt to fill the server designated folder for say video, at 877mb I get a disk full message on a 1TB drive but I have 7 TB available in 5 drives total.

    So I ask for help and or guidance to create a storage pool, then a backup pool using my existing drives.  Also, how do I move the existing data on drives where the folders contain more data than the available server drive free space?

    I would greatly appreciate guidance from any direction.  I think this has to do with delimiters for the spanning tool/wizard and I am apparantly not meeting one of the requirements before the wizard will start.  But shucks be darn, I'm stuck.


    Jerry Bailey

    Jerry Bailey

    Friday, February 10, 2012 7:30 AM

All replies

  • On Fri, 10 Feb 2012 07:30:02 +0000, Jerry Bailey Homeserver wrote:

    I would greatly appreciate guidance from any direction.? I think this has to do with delimiters for the spanning tool/wizard and I am apparantly not meeting one of the requirements before the wizard will start.? But shucks be darn, I'm stuck.


    Note that the space on each disk that you want to include in the spanned
    volume must be unallocated, IOW, it cannot already contain an existing

    Also, and this is very important to keep in mind, unlike a disk pool in
    WHS1, a spanned volume offer no fault tolerance at all. If you lose any
    single disk in the spanned volume, the entire volume is gone.

    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    Never trust a computer you can't lift.  -- Stan Masor

    Friday, February 10, 2012 8:18 AM
  • As Paul says the drives must be empty (No volumes or drive ltters) before you can span them.  Then you create a volume and get one drive letter.  You can then use the move folder wizzard to move the data to the space.


    Saturday, February 11, 2012 11:33 PM
  • As Paul has implied, spanned volumes should never be trusted with your only copy of important data. Spanning is the software equivalient of RAID-0, striping, and is statistically less reliable than the least reliable drive in the set of spanned drives.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Sunday, February 12, 2012 4:11 AM
  • I would look at this: http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool It's been fantastic and it's very close to release. I had all my data on my static drives, installed WHS 2011 onto a separate disk, installed the software and simply added the drives to the pool. It's a better option than spanning for that reason alone, but also because I can do data duplication accross drives. That way, I don't mind getting cheap WD green drives and having to worry about data integrity. It also has an option for read striping so that once data is on the duplicated folders, your read access increases significantly. Honestly is the way I would go. Good luck.
    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:01 PM
  • You can use the Disk Manager facility in Windows Server 2008 to create your spanned volume.  You must log into the server as Administrator via a remote desktop client to do so.  (This is the same interface as in Windows 7, so the process should be familiar to Windows power users.  You can find more information via Windows Help and Support.)

    Relative to Paul Adare's comment below about redundancy, this is not a problem exclusive to spanned volumes in WHS 2011; there is no redundancy in WHS 2011 PERIOD, without resorting to facilities outside of the WHS dashboard.

    While not technically redundancy, Server Backup offers a form of data protection, but In WHS 2011 you can back up no more than 2Tb of server data.  So if you have more data than this (large DVD or Blu-Ray media collections, for example), you must find some other way to protect it. 

    Given that in either case (using spanned volumes or not), you must find some alternate way to back up any data in excess of 2Tb stored on your server, my feeling is its fine to use spanned volumes as a way of simplifying storage management, IF you have some alternate backup strategy in place. 

    Of course, if one disk in the volume set goes bad, the entire spanned volume is lost, and your chance of having this happen increases with the number of disks assigned to the volume. So be aware of what you are getting into.

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012 2:13 PM