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Hard Drive Configuration Strategy Help RRS feed

  • Question

  • Greetings to all.

    I have done a short evaluation of WHS and loved it.

    Now I would like to actually build a WHS setup but the HDD configuration strategy is still a bit "fuzzy" for me.

    From what I gather there are 3 types of Drives:
    1. The system drive - XXX
    2. Server storage drives (used to increase the storage capacity of your home server) - YYY
    3. Backup drives (used to back up files that are stored on your home server) - ZZZ

    Question 1 of 4) Am I correct that there are 3 types of drives used in WHS as per list above?

    Now for my scenarion:

    Let's assume a family (wife and 2.7 Kids) have the following computers:

    1. Dad: 1 Gaming\DAW Desktop (Dual Boot Vista\XP) with WD 150G Raptor (Vista 64 gaming) and WD 500G AAKS (XP DAW) and another WD 500G  AAKS (Data drive XP and Vista) + iPod
    2. Dad: Work laptop (XP) WD 250G BEVS (System\Apps and Data)
    3. Dad: HTPC laptop (XP Media Portal) Hitachi 40G (System\Apps and "buffer" video)
    4. Mom: Shared Home Desktop (Vista 32) WD 250G (System\Apps and Pictures and Docs) + iPod
    5. Teenage Daughter: Laptop (Vista 32) WD 300G (System\Apps and Docs\Pics\Audio) + iPod
    6. Pre Teen Daughter: iPod + Future laptop\ Apple computer (Middle child likes to be different)
    7. Pre Teen Son: iPod + Future gaming Desktop PC
    8. Family: The new Windows Home Server with XXX + YYY + ZZZ Storage

    Let's also assume the following data requirements:

    1. Critical documents 100GB (Would like duplicate and off-site because they cannot be recovered elsewhere)
    2. Critical audio 300GB (Bought music and legally ripped CD collection would like duplicate and off-site in case of fire CD would be also be destroyed)
    3. Critical Pictures 100GB (Not replaceable would like duplicate and off-site)
    4. Important Videos 500GB (Original DV tapes are stored off site but would like it duplicated)
    5. Applications\Drivers\Downloads 250GB (Replaceable but would like it duplicated because it would be a pain to redownload)
    6. Backups from list above 1TB (Replaceable and off course already duplicated) This is an estimate.

    So let me venture a guess on how to organize my WHS storage:

    XXX = 250GB Internal HDD for System
    YYY = 3.5 TB Internal HDDs + 500GB External HDDs
                    - 2.25TB Total "Data":
                            - 500GB Duplicated&Offsite (1TB online + 500GB Offline)
                            - 750GB Duplicated (1.5TB online)
                            - 1TB Backups (1TB online)
    ZZZ = 250GB Internal HDD + 250 External HDD for system backup and offsite

    So I would need to gather the following HDDs:
         - 2 x 250GB Internal SATA (2 x 250GB System and System Backup)
         - 2 x 1.5TB Internal SATA (2 x 1.25TB for duplicated online)
         - 1 TB Internal SATA (1TB of PC Backups)
         - 500GB USB External + 250GB USB External (Offline\Offsite Storage)

    Or a total of 2TB of storage on cumputer around the house and 5.25TB of storage on the WHS.

    Question 2 of 4) Does 7.25TBs of storage seem reasonable for an "online and digital" family?

    Question 3 of 4) Does the configuration above for HDDs seem like a good configuration?

    Question 4 of 4) Are there alternatives that are more cost effective for offsite storage (like tape or optical storage)?

    Thanks to all who took the time to read, but I certainly appreciate it because this is a large nvestment for me.

    • Edited by Speedycc Monday, November 3, 2008 9:53 PM
    Monday, November 3, 2008 9:50 PM

Answers

    1. Yes, that's correct. There's a fourth type of drive, a drive that's connected to your server but not configured for use by Windows Home Server, but you're probably not very concerned with those. :)
    For the other questions, you're overthinking. :) Build your server with a reasonable amount of storage. Define reasonable however your like. I would look at how much data you're going to want to put on the server right away and double it (duplication). Then I would add the total amount of data on client PCs that's likely to need backing up. Just add up the space used on them; you won't need quite that on the server, but it doesn't hurt. Buy enough 1 TB drives, or 1.5 TB if your BIOS supports them, to hold all that. Then I would add one additional drive of 300-500 GB as the system drive. You'll have a buffer that's larger than your system drive when all is said and done. When your buffer gets to be somewhat smaller than your system drive (i.e. WHS is forcing files onto the system drive) buy and connect two more drives of 1 to 1.5 TB. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    As for off-site backup, nothing is cheaper than HDDs at this point. You can buy a 1 TB drive for around $110, and a 1.5 TB drive for around $180. No alternative storage technology is going to approach that cost per GB.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Speedycc Monday, November 3, 2008 11:38 PM
    Monday, November 3, 2008 10:53 PM
    Moderator

All replies

    1. Yes, that's correct. There's a fourth type of drive, a drive that's connected to your server but not configured for use by Windows Home Server, but you're probably not very concerned with those. :)
    For the other questions, you're overthinking. :) Build your server with a reasonable amount of storage. Define reasonable however your like. I would look at how much data you're going to want to put on the server right away and double it (duplication). Then I would add the total amount of data on client PCs that's likely to need backing up. Just add up the space used on them; you won't need quite that on the server, but it doesn't hurt. Buy enough 1 TB drives, or 1.5 TB if your BIOS supports them, to hold all that. Then I would add one additional drive of 300-500 GB as the system drive. You'll have a buffer that's larger than your system drive when all is said and done. When your buffer gets to be somewhat smaller than your system drive (i.e. WHS is forcing files onto the system drive) buy and connect two more drives of 1 to 1.5 TB. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    As for off-site backup, nothing is cheaper than HDDs at this point. You can buy a 1 TB drive for around $110, and a 1.5 TB drive for around $180. No alternative storage technology is going to approach that cost per GB.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Speedycc Monday, November 3, 2008 11:38 PM
    Monday, November 3, 2008 10:53 PM
    Moderator
  •  Hello Ken:
       I was hoping you were lurking as I have already learned a lot from reading your posts in other threads.

       Thanks for answering all my questions.

       Yes I can see how I am overthinking it. I usually do :-(

       Mind you I did want to make a point of thinking about some external drives so that I can make copies for offsite storage.

       Don't you recommend external drives for that purpose?

       I guess I could get a cheaper regular internal SATA drive with some sort of USB to SATA adapter for offsite.

       And as far as BIOS is concerned I will be building this from scratch.

       I already have a Intel Code 2 Duo 4200, so I will make sure I buy a 775 mobo that supports this. Any suggestions?

    Regards
    • Edited by Speedycc Monday, November 3, 2008 11:46 PM
    Monday, November 3, 2008 11:43 PM
  • I'm not going to make specific hardware recommendations. In general I like a motherboard with integrated graphics, I like a board with at least 4 SATA ports, and I like a board that has an Intel chipset. I don't like a board with an nVidia chipset. But you can find a huge range of boards that meet those specs.

    As for off-site backup, external drives are the way to go there, because they protect the drive in transit. Don't use a "drive dock" and a bare drive.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 2:30 AM
    Moderator
  • I just got my WHS systems up and running (thanks to Ken as well). I am using an external eSata/USB2.0 case with internal SATA drivers. This unit has a hot swap option as I had been rotating drives weekly using OneCare to do my backups. I think I can go to the WHS console and remove the backup drive "temporarily", remove the drive sled and replace with the new backup, then re-add the drive as a backup device.  I tried this w/o data on the backup and it worked fine. I really want to store 1 full backup offsite "at my office".

    I'll post after this weeks backup to see if this works ok..
    Ray

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008 3:05 AM