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Still confused about raid RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all,

    I am planning a WHS server, doing a custom build.  I know WHS can provide back of the data partition but my understanding is that install partition is not backed up.  This sounds like a real PIA if that drive goes down.  Am I correct?

    If so, then I would like to build in redundancy in the primary partition.  The simplest seems to be using a RAID 5 array.  I guess I could also use a RAID 1 on the drive with the primary and then using WHS to have redundancy in the data partition.

    Am I correct?  Any other suggestions?
    Friday, April 10, 2009 12:54 PM

Answers

  • You're right, the system partition is not backed up. In a standard Windows Home Server installation, everything on that partition should be completely fungible. For the most part, rebuilding after a drive failure will be automatic, and is done as part of a server reinstallation. All that will be left for the end user afterward is recreating users, resetting security on shares, and rejoining home computers to the server. I have done server reinstallations (and server recoveries, the OEM equivalent) a number of times, and I haven't had problems. I will warn you that the less vanilla your hardware is (and a RAID-equipped server is very far from vanilla) the more difficult you will likely find a recovery scenario.

    The more customizations, additional software, and configuration changes you have outside of the Windows home Server console, the more pain you will experience in a recovery scenario. That is a price you accept when you decide to step outside the bounds of "supported scenarios".

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, April 10, 2009 3:03 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • RAID is not a suppported configuration. What happens with WHS is that WHS itself replicates the data across available drives to guard against the failure of any one drive. Further, there is a partition limit of 2TB, which means that some RAID configurations will not work.

    The big problem is that the OS drive is not so protected. It would be really nice if in the event of a failure, I could replace the drive, boot off the WHS CD, and have WHS restore itself. Maybe in the next version. But until then, recovery is a bit of a pain.

    That said, I have a 3Ware RAID controller with 4x 250 GB HDDs in a 750 GB array and WHS works just fine. A proper hardware (not the software fake raid) RAID card will set you back £100-£200, and I strongly advise some sort of redundancy for the OS drive. I suggest going for 2x 2TB drives and simply mirroring them. Further drives can be added without hardware redundancy because WHS will take care of it.



    qts
    Friday, April 10, 2009 1:31 PM
  • You're right, the system partition is not backed up. In a standard Windows Home Server installation, everything on that partition should be completely fungible. For the most part, rebuilding after a drive failure will be automatic, and is done as part of a server reinstallation. All that will be left for the end user afterward is recreating users, resetting security on shares, and rejoining home computers to the server. I have done server reinstallations (and server recoveries, the OEM equivalent) a number of times, and I haven't had problems. I will warn you that the less vanilla your hardware is (and a RAID-equipped server is very far from vanilla) the more difficult you will likely find a recovery scenario.

    The more customizations, additional software, and configuration changes you have outside of the Windows home Server console, the more pain you will experience in a recovery scenario. That is a price you accept when you decide to step outside the bounds of "supported scenarios".

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, April 10, 2009 3:03 PM
    Moderator