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Using RAID 5 with WHS RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi Everyone,

    To start off. I understand WHS does not officially support RAID arrays. So I know there is no gaurantee that I can even get this working but this is my situation.

    GOAL: I like the options WHS offers. The ability to access my files through the internet. The ability to remote contorl any system in my house connected to my WHS server from any where. These are the two things I am hoping to get working. The back up's and ect are not really relivant to me.

    SETUP:
    MB: ASUS A8N-E
    CPU: Athlon 3800+
    RAM: 2GB DDR 400
    HD: 120GB Seagate SATA
    RAID: Highpoint Rocket Raid 2320 with 5 500GB Drives in a Raid 5 array


    I have installed WHS without issue. I installed it on my 120GB drive. I then installed the drivers for my Highpoint Raid card and WHS sees the card without issue and sees the Raid 5 array as a single 1.9TB (roughly, I cna't remeber the exact size right now) drive.

    The issue I have is this, I do not want to add the Raid system to the storage pool. I want it handled on it's own. I do however want to be able to access the Raid array thourgh the files/folder area when I log into my server through the internet.

    I have read the forums and have seen posts saying I cannot chagne the default location for the shares present in WHS. So I decided to use Disk Managment and mount the Array into a folder using one of the default shares, in this case it is the Public for testing purposes.

    Everything appears to work, IE: If I log in from the web using a user acocunt, I can see the raid array and access the files fine, I can upload ect. If I cahnge the defualt mount location to another share in WHS all the files appear so that would suggest to me that it is indeed working. I noticed one small issue though. While the array is mounted under the default shares, I can remove files without issues, but in order to delete folders I must use the SHIFT+DEL option. The standard DEL just give me an access denied error.

    So I gues what I am asking is this. Does the above setup make sense and does anyone see any issues with it? Or perhaps have a better solution?

    Thanks.
    Monday, December 3, 2007 12:33 AM

Answers

  • Yes, I meant add it as a standard drive, with drive letter and shares managed and accessed only outside of WHS. If you want to have access to the space on your RAID array through the WHS interfaces, the only safe way is to give the array to WHS to manage. I haven't tested scenarios using mount points in the WHS shares (something else to put on my list...), but I imagine that you might run into a variety of issues that way.

    WHS has other limitations that you will eventually run into, as regards large disks. A RAID array can be arbitrarily large; just add enough disks and you could have a 20 TB array. WHS uses MBR disks, though, and they are limited to a maximum of 2 TB. Any space above 2 TB will be ignored by WHS and will thus be unavailable for use.

    In your particular case, I honestly would break the array and start adding drives to WHS. When I ran out of space, I would buy more drives. You're correct that share duplication uses twice the space that the files themselves add up to, but drives are cheap. And duplication doesn't cut the storage pool in half. It simply uses two bytes in the pool for every byte in a file. the difference is that WHS doesn't automatically duplicate everything, and it won't duplicate some things at all (client PC backups, for example).
    Monday, December 3, 2007 7:34 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Better than trying to mount the RAID array to a folder would be to simply share out the RAID array using the normal interfaces. That way you're not trying to mess with folders that Drive Extender normally manages. YOu will have to fully manage the share(s) on the RAID array yourself, including security.

    Best would be to break the array and give the individual drives to WHS for use in the storage pool. Then you don't need to do anything special. WHS will use the space as required.


    Monday, December 3, 2007 5:53 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the answer however I have a couple of questions.

    "
    Better than trying to mount the RAID array to a folder would be to simply share out the RAID array using the normal interfaces. That way you're not trying to mess with folders that Drive Extender normally manages. You will have to fully manage the share(s) on the RAID array yourself, including security."

    Do you mean to simply add the raid array as a standard drive, IE say the K drive and share folders as I would on any standard Windows Server or XP machine? If this is what you are referring to I don't have an issue with that but as far as I understand it, WHS will only show you the folders that it creates or you add through the WHS console. How would I go about getting my shares from say the K drive to appear when logging in through the web?

    Second.
    "Best would be to break the array and give the individual drives to WHS for use in the storage pool. Then you don't need to do anything special. WHS will use the space as required."

    I would agree that this would be best since this is how WHS is designed to run, however, this is a media server. To be exact, it is the second media server in my setup. My first one has 2TB of space and it is full. I mention this because it shows I use a lot of space and redundancy is important to me. By using the WHS system and duplication I would go from the current 1.9TB to roughly 1.25TB. That to me is a huge sacrifice. If I am misunderstanding how WHS handles redundancy please let me know.


    Thanks again for your help.

    Monday, December 3, 2007 4:15 PM
  • Yes, I meant add it as a standard drive, with drive letter and shares managed and accessed only outside of WHS. If you want to have access to the space on your RAID array through the WHS interfaces, the only safe way is to give the array to WHS to manage. I haven't tested scenarios using mount points in the WHS shares (something else to put on my list...), but I imagine that you might run into a variety of issues that way.

    WHS has other limitations that you will eventually run into, as regards large disks. A RAID array can be arbitrarily large; just add enough disks and you could have a 20 TB array. WHS uses MBR disks, though, and they are limited to a maximum of 2 TB. Any space above 2 TB will be ignored by WHS and will thus be unavailable for use.

    In your particular case, I honestly would break the array and start adding drives to WHS. When I ran out of space, I would buy more drives. You're correct that share duplication uses twice the space that the files themselves add up to, but drives are cheap. And duplication doesn't cut the storage pool in half. It simply uses two bytes in the pool for every byte in a file. the difference is that WHS doesn't automatically duplicate everything, and it won't duplicate some things at all (client PC backups, for example).
    Monday, December 3, 2007 7:34 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the information.
    Tuesday, December 4, 2007 4:33 AM