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Best way to have redundancy with more than 2TB space RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm trying to move into WHS. I have built a new server with used parts here is my config

    Opteron 246x2
    Iwill DK8X board with 2gb ddr
    3ware 9550sxu-4lp raid card
    3x 1TB samsung HDD
     etc.etc

    I've searched and read alot of threads about RAID and WHS. I've familiarized myself with RAID and its ad and dis-advantage in WHS: and I decided to go with RAID option.

    But I don't know how I can go above 2TB limit.. so far only answer I came up with is make 2 arrays of RAID 5 and combine them in WHS so I get 4TB of space... but my card is only for 4 ports.. is there any way I can use 4 x 1TB and get 3TB space w/ WHS?

    My ideal result would be to make 3TB raid 5 and use 80gb for OS and rest for data.

    answer would be appreciated. Thanks
    Friday, February 13, 2009 9:49 PM

Answers

  • RAID is an unsupported technology. You should give WHS all of the drives individually and turn on duplication for all shares. WHS will support as much disk space as you can give it. Also, you can't control how WHS uses the drives you give it, except by enabling or disabling duplication on individual shares. So you will not be able to set the size of the system partition, which will be fixed at 20 GB, without performing one or another unsupported modification to the installation procedure.

    Regarding the server built from used parts: That's fine for the short term, but used parts are less reliable. In aprticular, old motherboards can have old capacitors (which may be drying out and changing values, or nearly ready to burst and destroy your notherboard) and hard drives, being mechanical devices, have a 100% failure rate over sufficient time (usually on the order or 2-5 years).

    As for space on a single partition, WHS uses the MBR style of partition table. That has a technical limitation of 2 TB for a partition, and as WHS creates only a single partition on a secondary (storage pool) drive, you will be limited to that for any single drive you supply (including a RAID volume of many terabytes).

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, February 13, 2009 10:01 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • RAID is an unsupported technology. You should give WHS all of the drives individually and turn on duplication for all shares. WHS will support as much disk space as you can give it. Also, you can't control how WHS uses the drives you give it, except by enabling or disabling duplication on individual shares. So you will not be able to set the size of the system partition, which will be fixed at 20 GB, without performing one or another unsupported modification to the installation procedure.

    Regarding the server built from used parts: That's fine for the short term, but used parts are less reliable. In aprticular, old motherboards can have old capacitors (which may be drying out and changing values, or nearly ready to burst and destroy your notherboard) and hard drives, being mechanical devices, have a 100% failure rate over sufficient time (usually on the order or 2-5 years).

    As for space on a single partition, WHS uses the MBR style of partition table. That has a technical limitation of 2 TB for a partition, and as WHS creates only a single partition on a secondary (storage pool) drive, you will be limited to that for any single drive you supply (including a RAID volume of many terabytes).

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, February 13, 2009 10:01 PM
    Moderator
  • problem with duplication is that I have about 1.8TB of data.. so I'd need at least 4x 1TB HDD to begin with. It's not cost effective down the road as well compared with RAID 5.

    Decisions, decisions...

    Thanks for reply.

    But it is possible to have 2 arrays (each with 2TB) and give WHS the drive to get a DATA storage pool of 4TB, right?
    Friday, February 13, 2009 11:31 PM
  • Yes, in your scenario you could create two volumes of 1.5 TB each and add them to the storage pool. That would give you 3 TB of total storage, minus 20 GB on one for the system partition.

    However, RAID is still an unsupported configuration for a WHS computer. If it works, that's great. If it doesn't, you will (for the most part) wind up finding your solutions yourself. And hardware costs are only one component of the total cost of a RAID implementation. RAID is, I assure you, less cost effective in terms of TCO than the WHS method of file duplication. In the event of an OS corruption (as can happen for any number of reasons) you would have a much more difficult time recovering if your system "disk" is really a volume on a RAID array, for example. If you are determined to go with RAID, I strongly encourage you to thoroughly test recovery scenarios before you need them, because if/when the time comes, not knowing the exact steps required to recover successfully may result in having to migrate all your data off of, and back on to, your server so you can reinstall everything from scratch.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, February 13, 2009 11:43 PM
    Moderator
  • Awesome. Thanks to you, almost everything is set

    last thing.

    do you recommend using separate HDD for OS (about 200GB) use or creative a partition off the RAID array? (considering the restore, usage, etc etc)


    Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:23 AM
  • Larciel said:

    Awesome. Thanks to you, almost everything is set

    last thing.

    do you recommend using separate HDD for OS (about 200GB) use or creative a partition off the RAID array? (considering the restore, usage, etc etc)

    Ken already answered that question:

    Ken Warren said:

    Also, you can't control how WHS uses the drives you give it, except by enabling or disabling duplication on individual shares. So you will not be able to set the size of the system partition, which will be fixed at 20 GB, without performing one or another unsupported modification to the installation procedure.

    Saturday, February 14, 2009 8:03 AM
    Moderator