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Drive Extender on top of RAID HBA - what happens when OCE is used? RRS feed

  • Question

  • If I were to set up a RAID5 array to avoid the use of duplication (lower overhead), I could obviously then add this to WHS's Storage Pool....

     

    But what would then happen when I extended the array via Online Capacity Expansion? Would Drive Extender cope and resize its partition or would it ignore the extra space? If so, what if I use the disk management tool to extend the partition? Would Drive Extender cope with this?

    Alternately, is it possible to ignore DE and use the other Vail features (the web gateway and media streaming etc) without Drive Extender, just using a static drive?

    Saturday, May 29, 2010 10:49 AM

Answers

  • Try it and see? I know that Microsoft has said elsewhere in this forum that they've built Vail servers using multi-terabyte SANs and the like. I'm pretty sure there will be a way to expand the storage pool dynamically. at worst, you extend your array, then create an additional volume and turn that over to Drive Extender, and leave duplicaiton turned off. that's what you would do today if you wanted to build a V1 server on RAID.

    However, you should not expect that Vail on RAID will be a supported scenario; it's not in keeping with the goals of Windows Home Server. And no, it will not be possible to "turn off" Drive Extender, since it's a core component of Windows Home Server. DE is what manages your volumes and shares and without it you have nothing.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, May 29, 2010 1:28 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Try it and see? I know that Microsoft has said elsewhere in this forum that they've built Vail servers using multi-terabyte SANs and the like. I'm pretty sure there will be a way to expand the storage pool dynamically. at worst, you extend your array, then create an additional volume and turn that over to Drive Extender, and leave duplicaiton turned off. that's what you would do today if you wanted to build a V1 server on RAID.

    However, you should not expect that Vail on RAID will be a supported scenario; it's not in keeping with the goals of Windows Home Server. And no, it will not be possible to "turn off" Drive Extender, since it's a core component of Windows Home Server. DE is what manages your volumes and shares and without it you have nothing.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, May 29, 2010 1:28 PM
    Moderator
  • Yeah I realised I wouldn't be able to "turn off" DE, but thought I might be able to use the web streaming/downloads etc with non DE shares, which it seems I cannot.

    I know the WHS developers have some strange hatred for RAID on the basis of it "needing £500 controllers", but actually you can pick up an 8 port SATA/SAS controller for £130, and Intel chipsets with raid now support online capacity expansion and online raid level migration with the Rapid Storage drivers....

    At which point, RAID costs the same (nothing), has only marginally less flexibility (drives need to be the same size but you can add drives at will), and one "killer feature" - much less wasted space with Parity rather than duplication....

     

    I just cant afford to buy twice as many hard drives to use duplication!

    Saturday, May 29, 2010 6:05 PM
  • The developers don't "hate RAID". This has been said many times previously: the users for whom Windows Home Server is primarily intended are not technically skilled. They are your brother the Excel jockey, who is fine with using a computer, but who pays someone else to add memory to it.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, May 29, 2010 8:28 PM
    Moderator
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    I agree with rtho782 with regards RAID. I have been a WHS user from day one but I am seriously looking at alternatives because of the lack of formal support of RAID by WHS or to quote Ken “not in keeping with the goals of Windows Home Server”.  There is no black art in the setting up of RAID arrays and given the fact that almost mid-range Motherboards now offer onboard RAID - the use of RAID is going to come more and more mainstream. In any case people building their own server would almost always be technical enough to handle the set up and maintenance of a RAID and those who would be purchasing a Windows Home Server from HP could select a non RAID system if they did not feel comfortable. I strongly hope the WHS team will change their mind with regards to RAID.

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010 11:55 PM
  • I agree with rtho782 with regards RAID. I have been a WHS user from day one but I am seriously looking at alternatives because of the lack of formal support of RAID by WHS or to quote Ken “not in keeping with the goals of Windows Home Server”.  There is no black art in the setting up of RAID arrays and given the fact that almost mid-range Motherboards now offer onboard RAID - the use of RAID is going to come more and more mainstream. In any case people building their own server would almost always be technical enough to handle the set up and maintenance of a RAID and those who would be purchasing a Windows Home Server from HP could select a non RAID system if they did not feel comfortable. I strongly hope the WHS team will change their mind with regards to RAID.

    I agree with Ken on this, and this horse has been beaten to death and beyond.  Feel free to run your OCE capable RAID5 hardware below DE and disable duplication, but don't expect that it will ever be supported. 
    Thursday, June 3, 2010 2:49 AM
  • So I gave this scenario a try with the Vail refresh. I have a Highpoint RocketRaid 3560 with 5x Samsung FE4 5400rpm 2TB drives. I originally ordered the 5 drives but one came DOA. So I decided to build the RAID 6 array with just 4 drives (I know, RAID 10 would have made more sense, but I wanted to use OCE when my 5th drive came and continue to use OCE in the future as my storage needs continue to increase).

     

    Anyways, so I put the Vail beta on another HDD, and added only the raid6 array (4 drives, 4TB usable). I played around with a few of the Vail features (I was becoming a huge fan) and then my RMA'd HDD showed up. So, I put it in the server, go to the GUI for my RAID card, click the OCE button and let it fly. Took about 20-24 hours as a background process to add in the new hard drive. Now I go to the dashboard and under the hard drives tab it lists the new capacity of my RAID6 array (5 drives, ~6TB usable).  Excellent. Then I go to the Summary tab and it only lists the original 4TB. Hmmm. Okay, so I go to Disk Management. There it shows the extra 2TB as a RAW volume with the 4TB FAT32 (?) DE disk. Because it is "FAT32" it cannot be expanded. Some of my virtual NTFS disks (eg V:\Music ...) show up, but none of these can be expanded. I thought I would try to do what Ken Suggests, format the new available space and add it as a new volume. No joy. Doesn't show up anywhere in the Vail dashboard. I could just pull the RAID6 array out of the storage pool and put one drive in there to use the Vail features that I care about (particularly backup) and just use the RAID6 array as a regular NTFS volume for media sharing etc. Back to the drawing board.

     

    So, bottom line, the latest Vail beta does not support OCE in any way at all, unless I am missing a workaround that someone else can think of.

     

    With all of these rumors of DE being abandoned, I wonder how that will change things. I hope it makes this usable, because otherwise, I am a huge Vail fan.

     

    Sunday, December 26, 2010 8:17 PM

  • With all of these rumors of DE being abandoned, I wonder how that will change things. I hope it makes this usable, because otherwise, I am a huge Vail fan.

    It's not a rumor.

    I suspect that Windows Home Server without DE will still have some drive limitations. I can't tell you what they'll be, but one that seems likely is a limitation on volume size in order to properly support server backup (limited to 2 TB per volume).


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, December 26, 2010 8:53 PM
    Moderator