After you see how it all fits together its not so bad... or RAID really isn't necessary! RRS feed

  • Question

  • Ya know... I am very familiar with RAID... we use it in Digital Cinema in just about every D-Cinema server out there. I thought not being able to have RAID 5 in WHS was going to be a big down side but now that I've loaded it up and seen how it operates I have to agree with the MS guys... The "drive pool" method is a unique and ingenious solution. With servers you don't really need to go for speed, especially in a small home type of network, you've got to go for reliability and for the consumer, ease of operation above all. If you need speed leave that to the work station itself! Literally, I don't know a single friend that could walk up to a RIAD 5 based machine and change out a bad HD and then rebuild the array with out being told how to do so. Its just not practical for the consumer... MS would have to have an entire buyilding of techs just answering questions on phone support about RAID 5 for the know nothings out there. All in all I'm very impressed with WHS just the way it sits...  Its literally a server system that you're going to forget about once its all set up.... then it'll be there when you need it to restore your workstation with the RAID 5  when it crashes!


     Another interesting thought is the use of the Drive Pool Storage  system for Digital Cinema which itself can consume huge amounts of drive space for a 2 hour movie... the drive pool method would eliminate having to rebuild the present RAID 5 arrays in use and possible down time for a multiplex's screen while that large RAID 5 rebuilds itself... few if any on site personel at theaters are capable of rebuilding a RAID but removing and replacing a single defective drive and then adding the new back in place is a piece of cake and D-Cinema is going to need alot of drive space!



    Sunday, March 16, 2008 4:17 AM

All replies

  • Mark,

    I agree, it looks good when you first use it.  The question is how much you value your data. DE has the potential to corrupt data. To compensate MS asks people to never edit files on the server, but to pull it down locally first and copy up later.  You can read many stories of people that have lost their photo and music libraries simply because they expected a WHS share to work just like shares they have been using on their personal computers for years.  The fact is, under DE, WHS shares are far more susceptible to corruption than regular windows shares. 

    For me, I want a more secure system for storing information, not a system that comes with a laudry list of conditions.  Personally, and I have a bit of experience in this area, any method that uses delayed and not concurrent writes is going to have problems.
    Sunday, March 16, 2008 4:38 AM
  • Roger,


     You may want to read this article... http://blogs.zdnet.com/storage/?p=162 Basically they say as RAID 5 grows because of the ever enlarging drive sizes it too will cease to reliably function because its far more likely to encounter the dreaded URE with those larger drives. I guess if you want realiabe RAID then don't use those gigantic drives. I see this mode of failure in Digital Cinema Servers frequently where the typical per drive size is now 750gb! Rebuilding that 1 to 2 terrabyte raid takes hours and shuts theates down during the rebuild and then the lost revenue, customer inconvenience and so on.... Going to RAID 6 may alleviate the problem for a while but it's not a permanent fix and its alot more expensive to implement... or even change out whole banks and rooms of servers in IT rooms that are designed just for RAID 5. Of course thats rediclous and extremely costly for just a few more years of reliable RAID.


     Remember... WHS is meant to run on a server thats "locked away in the closet"...  This server is not something you should have out for the entire family to tinker with... Everything that takes place should indeed and is meant to take place from another computer on the network. I have faith in WHS and the team that put it together.. Its a grouundbreaking program to assist in bringing the average every day household into the digital age. Color movies were not very good in the beginning and they are still improving negative and release film stocks today.. 2K Digital cinema is but half the resolution of the standard 35mm color film thats been used for decades but it too is improving having advanced to 4K resolution, and to consider that we are just barely off the beta version of WHS system I don't think there's alot to complain about... XP-Pro was sort of flaky in its beginnings too but look at it today... systems with it now run for years and years without a crash or having to re-boot... Give WHS a few more years.. personally I don't think WHS is the server OS for you.... to me it sounds like you need Win 2003 SBS or just plain ole 2003 server or just make tape backups and forget the server all together! For me those other server programs are too tweaky(for the wife to use) and too expensive for the home. In the future I believe WHS will improve tremendously and its future move to 64 bit will also be a wise move. For now if anyone's really that paranoid or has to tweek with the server itself then I reccomend that you make a simple tape backup of your individual puters in addition to what WHS is doing... Oh, and don't store those tape backups at home... what if your home burns down????



    Sunday, March 16, 2008 3:25 PM
  • Mark,

    I agree, the home server is a machine that is to be locked away in a closet.  But think about this.  How does the target market - The Home User - how do they work now?  Do they use drive shares?  If they do, they are probably the target market for a WHS.  Consolidate all your music, files, video onto a safer computer.

    The question is, is that a reality?  If I put all my docs on a share on the computer are they safe?  I have done it that way for years at home now, but with DE, can you guarentee me they are safe from corruption?  Word docs are probably safer as you can use OS file dection to accurately determin a file change.  Any other program that allows concurrent access or programs that do batch changes quickly will give DE problems.

    Personally, I think the concept of WHS is great.  I wouldn't be here if I didn't want to make it better.  I just think that long list of things you can't do on it makes it inappropriate for the target audience.  
    Sunday, March 16, 2008 4:38 PM