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Is this an appropriate use of WHS? RRS feed

  • Question

  • So far, I'd like to be able to use my WHS box for two reasons:

    1. I would like a big fat storage area for video work.  This is more than ten years of work and it's currently stashed all across a bunch of portable USB drives (suboptimal, to say the least).  I want to be able to hook those drives up to my Production machine, open Network Neighborhood, find a share on my WHS box, and start tossing all those files into an archive in the other box.  I also want that particular share duplicated, so if there's a drive problem, I don't lose anything.  I regularly have to dip back into projects from that archive, but usually, I just copy the whole project over to my Production machine, do my fiddling, and then nuke the temp copy.  Right now, I'm around 500G or so, but as I'm doing more HD work, obviously, that's going to keep growing.  I have plenty of room in that case for more hard drives!  It is important to my business that these files never ever disappear.

    2. I also like the idea of having my different family computers backed up nightly to the WHS box, such that in case something pops, I can restore 'em.  Because this is more of a traditional backup, I expect to keep a running current backup, something like the most recent three days, the most recent three weeks, and the most recent three months.

    3. Some of the other stuff seems cool, such as having the house's music supply on the WHS box and anyone else in the house with a laptop or tablet PC can play music locally from the files on the WHC box via our wifi connection.

    So, these are things that I should be able to do?

    I have an ulterior motive, of course.  I seem to be failing at #1, but I want first to be sure my expectations are realistic.

    Thanks!

    Edward

    Monday, February 8, 2010 11:22 PM

Answers

  • ...
    The drive called BACKUP (E:) must have been added as if this was an ordinary PC box, instead of using WHS's own special way of adding drives.  So, if I understand your answer properly, the solution to my problem* is to remove that HD from the system**, and then use WHS's protocol to add it back in***?
    ...
    Not quite. If you open the Windows Home Server console and look at the server storage  tab, you should see three hard drives. One 2 TB drive and the 250 GB drive should be under Storage Hard Drives, and one 2 TB drive should be under Server Backup Hard Drives. Right click the one under backup drives, choose to remove it, then when asked choose to remove it permanently. After that, you might need to reboot your server, or disconnect and reconnect the drive (if it's an external drive), to get it to reappear in the console. finally, right click the drive and add it to the storage pool.

    If the third drive shows up under Non-Storage Hard Drives instead, you will want to check it to make sure you don't have any data on it, then right click it and add it to the storage pool.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 6:26 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Obviously, the music files would also be expected to stay there forever, not fading away like old backup files.


    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 12:03 AM
  •  It is important to my business that these files never ever disappear.

    Yes to all the above.  The only caution I have is to plan ahead and have a way to back-up your server.  This can be done with the built-in back-up feature using external drives or in my case having a second server backing up the main server.  Don't assume duplication will save your files in case of theft, fire, etc.
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 12:32 AM
  • Hi,
        I think your in the right ball park as far as WHS goes. The primary use of WHS is to backup your pc's up. Up to ten machines can be backup on one Window Home Server once your setup. And with the right Add-in software you could catalog you music and video on the same WHS/Sever and stream it to any of the other pc in your network at home or on the road via the internet.

    You didn't say if you were building your own sever or buying one. Personally I taking the "Roll Your Own" route. You said your main thing is to backup video. That mean Large hard Drives the bigger the better, you can check some of the HD manufactures, Like Western Digital. They list There 2 TB drive that Can Handel About 157 hour of Hi Def video on one 2 Tb drive or 300 - 400 hours of DVD video I think.

    Or you could string your old drive together and add them into the WHS HD pool. You have to careful doing that, adding drives into the storage pool means they have to be formated by the WHS software, anything on that drive will be lost if it not back up first...

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 10:33 AM
  • Yep, once this is all running to my satisfaction, I also plan to have at least one backup, kept in a safe, actually.
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 3:57 PM
  • I have already had a buddy build a server box for me, and this is one of the reasons I figured I needed to start understanding this much better.

    My previous box was a RAID box running CentOS and it was... dodgy.  I actually lost an entire HD movie from that and had to supply the client with an SD version (it was pure animation, so no original tapes -- I am EXTREMELY lucky I still have that client).  I still have those drives, which I will use for data transfer.

    The current box has a single 250G drive for the OS, and a pair of 2T WD drives.  If I understand my theory, this should be enough.  However, in reality, it's not quite.


    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 4:01 PM
  • Okay, so I don't think I'm asking WHS to do something weird.  If so, I'd appreciate advice for below:

    In this box are three HD:

    1 x 250 G (OS, etc.)
    2 x 2 T (storage)

    (plenty more space in there!)

    Via Disk Management, this is what it looks like:

    Disk 0 (233.75 G) has two partitions:
       partition 1: SYS (C:) 20 G
       partition 2: DATA (D:) 213.75 G

    Disk 1 (1863.01 G) has one partition:
      partition 1: BACKUP (E:)

    Disk 2 (1863.01 G) has one partition:
      partition 1: DATA (no drive letter)

    Via My Computer, this is what it looks like:

    SYS (C:)
      Total size: 20 G
      Free space: 13.6 G

    DATA (D:)
      Total size: 213 G
      Free space: 2.02 T

    BACKUP (E:)
      Total size: 1.81 T
      Free space: 1.81 T

    So...

    I created a share via the management console on my Production Computer and started shoveling my archives to it.  At just a hair over 213 G, it stopped and said it was all out of room and could not keep pushing data over while enabling disk duplication.

    My best guess is that it started by shoving data to Disk 0:partition 2 (which, not coincidentally, is a hair over 213 G) and because of the sharing, it also was duping to one of the other two BIG hard drives.  Once it filled up D0:p2, it then wanted to switch to the one remaining empty hard drive, but ALSO wanted to continue doing folder duplication.  Since there were no new hard drives to switch the folder duplication to, it cracked a brain pan.

    This is my hypothesis, anyway.

    In reality, I ended up with D0:p2 completely packed and two other BIG drives practically empty and WHS saying I was out of room.

    This, obviously, is suboptimal, but it seems like such a no-brainer that I MUST be doing something wrong.

    The friend who built the system for me suggests that for my archives, I might think about completely skipping the WHS console, net-sharing one of those big hard drives, and just manually shoving my files onto it, but that seems kludgy and retarded.  WHS is smart enough to do this, right?  I mean, isn't that WHY the server has common shares such as MUSIC, VIDEOS, FILES and so forth?

    Suggestions and advice would be welcome.

    Thanks!

    Edward

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 4:16 PM
  • ...
    Disk 1 (1863.01 G) has one partition:
      partition 1: BACKUP (E:)
    ...

    Here's what you did wrong. When you designate a drive for "backup" it's not part of the storage pool. You're making it available for Windows Home Server to make a copy of one or more shares on, at a time of your choosing, so you can (presumably) take the entire drive off site for safekeeping. right now, your storage pool contains a 250 GB (230+/- real GB) drive, and a 2 TB drive. So obviously you will be unable to duplicate more than the space remaining on your system drive after the system partition is created. That's the source of the 213 GB limit you're seeing.

    What can you do? You've got two options. First, you can simply buy an additional drive (2 TB), install it in your server, add it to the storage pool, and all is well. Or you can permanently remove the drive you've designated as a backup drive, then add  it to the storage pool instead, and all is well.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 4:26 PM
    Moderator
  • You need to add your drives to the disk pool - it looks like you or your buddy are adding drives using disk manager. 

    You should only perform operations on Windows Home Server through the Windows Home Server Console - if you tell that to your buddy and he says he is an expert, gently remind him he is not an expert on Windows Home Server ;-)

    Like wise don't add share using the management console.

    Consult this web page for more help on adding drives:
    http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2009/04/18/adding-a-drive-to-your-windows-home-server/

    You'll get along with Windows Home Server much better if you don't treat it like a traditional desktop/server system. 

    Cheers,
    Al


    --
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 4:30 PM
  • Thanks, Ken.  So, to make sure I understand you properly...

    The drive called BACKUP (E:) must have been added as if this was an ordinary PC box, instead of using WHS's own special way of adding drives.  So, if I understand your answer properly, the solution to my problem* is to remove that HD from the system**, and then use WHS's protocol to add it back in***?

    Is my understanding correct?

    Thanks!

    Edward


    -=-=-=-=-=-
    * I do not plan to use the server box in any capacity other than those via WHS, so there's no need to have any HD in there that isn't a part of WHS's little drive cult.  In fact, I don't WANT a drive in the system that's not part of a nice big drive pool.

    ** Presumably there's an electronic way of doing this, and I don't actually have to physically remove the drive.

    *** Using Al's link below.
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 5:33 PM
  • Thanks, Al!  Between you and Ken, I think I have a much better understanding of the problem with my system. 

    In all fairness, my buddy never claimed to be an expert in WHS (sorry if I suggested otherwise) -- this is the first time he's ever installed it (although he's built many other non WHS systems) so if it has an unusual disk protocol, then of course, once I nail it down, I'll send him a detailed explanation in case it comes up again.

    I'm not sure I understand this part, however:  "Like wise don't add share using the management console."

    First, is adding a share the proper way to create a directory where I will store all this archival stuff?

        If yes, then how DO I add that share (the console seems to have an interface that allows it)?
        If no, then how do I construct such a directory/area such that I can start saving my work to the WHS box while taking advantage of the duplication process?

    Should I be using the "Files" share that's already part of the system, instead of one specifically for my company name (there are several other small businesses in my house, so I'm sort of looking ahead and thinking that they might want to use a server share space for their own records (although nothing NEARLY as space intensive as video files) that I made via the console?

    Thanks!

    Edward

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 5:42 PM
  • ...
    The drive called BACKUP (E:) must have been added as if this was an ordinary PC box, instead of using WHS's own special way of adding drives.  So, if I understand your answer properly, the solution to my problem* is to remove that HD from the system**, and then use WHS's protocol to add it back in***?
    ...
    Not quite. If you open the Windows Home Server console and look at the server storage  tab, you should see three hard drives. One 2 TB drive and the 250 GB drive should be under Storage Hard Drives, and one 2 TB drive should be under Server Backup Hard Drives. Right click the one under backup drives, choose to remove it, then when asked choose to remove it permanently. After that, you might need to reboot your server, or disconnect and reconnect the drive (if it's an external drive), to get it to reappear in the console. finally, right click the drive and add it to the storage pool.

    If the third drive shows up under Non-Storage Hard Drives instead, you will want to check it to make sure you don't have any data on it, then right click it and add it to the storage pool.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 6:26 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you, Ken.  I'll try this tonight, and almost certainly report back with great success.
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 7:31 PM
  • In all fairness, my buddy never claimed to be an expert in WHS (sorry if I suggested otherwise) -- this is the first time he's ever installed it (although he's built many other non WHS systems) so if it has an unusual disk protocol, then of course, once I nail it down, I'll send him a detailed explanation in case it comes up again.

    No problem - I was just thinking if one of our IT guys at work was presented with a remote session on Windows Home Server what they would do.
    I'm not sure I understand this part, however:  "Like wise don't add share using the management console."
    I was just trying to explain that you said Management Console - I thought you meant Microsoft Management Console - instead use the Windows Home Server Console. I think you've got it now.
    Good luck and enjoy, Al
    --
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 10:01 PM
  • Ken,

    Thanks!  That was exactly the exact thing I exactly needed.

    I'll also let my friend know about the quirkiness.

    Thanks!

    Edward

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 3:57 AM
  • Gotcha Al.  Thanks for your help, too.  You two guys helped a lot!

    System is now shoving 500G of data over.  I might as well doze for a day or so...

    Cheers,

    Edward

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 3:58 AM