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  • Question


    Why RAID is mainly prohibited in every topic about it?

    I know a lot of things about RAID and I think that using a RAID5 of 6 disk on my nVidia chipset is helpfull to gain speed and redundancy.

    All my network is gigabyte thinking. Cat 6 cables and 8 ports D-link Switch. My server has 2 Gigabyte connexion with the possibility to double the network bandwith.

    Is it fastest tu use the poor software file organisation of WHS?

    I don't think so.

    Friday, September 21, 2007 8:02 PM


  • RAID is an unsupported scenario, in that Microsoft doesn't test, and during the beta period wouldn't accept bug reports about, RAID issues. If you were to call Microsoft for (fee-based) support, they might start by telling you to break your array and see if the problem goes away.

    However, if you have a RAID HBA, and you're comfortable with installing and configuring drivers and arrays, then yes, you can install it in WHS. There are some caveats. First, there are no tools for managing the array in the WHS Console application. WHS will see it as a single large drive, and will treat it like any other drive in your system. If you don't add it to the storage pool, it won't be available to your users. If you do, WHS will format it and make it available in the pool. If you add your particular array to the pool, you should be aware that WHS uses MFT format for drives. Drives (and arrays) larger than 2 TB require GPT to address the full space available. So when WHS formats it, you will lose 1/2 TB of space. There are ways to convert it back to GPT, but again, it's unsupported. And you run a serious risk of breaking WHS if you try.
    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 2:19 PM

All replies

  • Chez, The answer is actually pretty simple. This software is designed to be part of a home server. This is also while initially the software is not available for general resale. This is not for a performance server that one might build. The intention of this software is to run a modest configuration that uses moderate electricity, does not generate a lot of heat and above is simple for the average home user to operate.

    While your confiuration might be better, it is not the intention of the software designers to support anything so complicated.


    Friday, September 21, 2007 8:36 PM
  • I dont think this is very complicated because the driver for this SATA raid make the raid visible as a simple disk like any configuration.

    Driver exists for XP/2003/Vista.

    And the processor dont use a lot of power because its an undercloked Athlon 64 BE-2300.

    The bottleneck of the consumption of my actual server are the HDD, like in future WHS OEM computer with some extra HDD.


    I would know why everybody says RAID is not a good solution with WHS?


    A RAID5 is always a good solution to secure a storage.

    Friday, September 21, 2007 10:10 PM
  • RAID isn't a good solution for a headless network appliance based on Windows Server 2003 because it's very difficult to expand. Most RAID HBAs don't let you just connect a new drive and it automatically adds that drive to the array. You have to go into the RAID HBA's setup utility to add the drive and tell it to restripe. Then your server will be down (maybe for a long time; I've seen array rebuilds take days for a large one) while it rebuilds the array across the new set of drives.

    Share duplication offers a lot of the advantages of RAID 1, but doesn't require you to use all the space on the mirror drive at once (cutting your total disk space by 50% off the bat). Instead, it uses disk space as needed.
    Saturday, September 22, 2007 1:35 AM
  • I think of even greater significance in making things easy for the home user is the ability to use any size disk. Whereas all RAID types (except 0) will require you to have identical drives which can become very difficult over time, WHS will allow you to easily remove say a 160GB and replace it with a 500GB. Your RAID-5 setup would require replacing at least 3 drives at the same time.



    Monday, September 24, 2007 10:26 PM
  • In response to this though,

    (i will try it out tonite as long as my copy from novatech has arrived)


    I dont see why if your not expanding you hdds in the near furture, that you couldnt setup a raid 0 setup say 2 x 250mb hdds and use that with home server.   My server will be backed up to an external nas box as i know raid 0 is purly for speed and no redundancy.


    Im pretty sure i had it working like this with beta.


    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 8:08 AM

    I understand that the storage part of WHS is made to be easy to expand by everyone, but it cost CPU time and have less performance as my RAID 5.


    But my first question was : Is hardware RAID supported by WHS like it's supported in Windows 2003 Server with needed drivers?


    I know all the bottleneck of a raid (identical drive, shutdown to expand ...) but i would have the redundancy and the transfer rate of a true RAID 5 that I can rely on.


    My RAID 5 of six 500GB HDD is recognized as a single 2.5TB drive under XP, Vista and 2003 Server.

    During Install WHS make 2 partitions and it's not a problem if the second partition use all the available space.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 10:22 AM
  • RAID is an unsupported scenario, in that Microsoft doesn't test, and during the beta period wouldn't accept bug reports about, RAID issues. If you were to call Microsoft for (fee-based) support, they might start by telling you to break your array and see if the problem goes away.

    However, if you have a RAID HBA, and you're comfortable with installing and configuring drivers and arrays, then yes, you can install it in WHS. There are some caveats. First, there are no tools for managing the array in the WHS Console application. WHS will see it as a single large drive, and will treat it like any other drive in your system. If you don't add it to the storage pool, it won't be available to your users. If you do, WHS will format it and make it available in the pool. If you add your particular array to the pool, you should be aware that WHS uses MFT format for drives. Drives (and arrays) larger than 2 TB require GPT to address the full space available. So when WHS formats it, you will lose 1/2 TB of space. There are ways to convert it back to GPT, but again, it's unsupported. And you run a serious risk of breaking WHS if you try.
    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 2:19 PM
  • Thank you for this explicit answer.

    It's good to know that 2TB partition is a limitation.

    If I understand it will be supported as is 2003 Server standard.

    I know the limitation about the auto partition during the install.

    I have participated to the beta and RC and I only tested it on a single drive because I know the auto format and I wouldn't lost all my data on my RAID5 of 4 disk presently, only 1.5TB.

    That is why I post this question.

    It haven't been tested, ok I will test it. ;-)

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 8:16 PM
  • Example with 3 x 750 GB - How about going for 2 drives in Raid 0 (good performance) and then connecting the 3rd disk - that will be seen as a 2nd disk by WHS - and will use it to backup the shared folders I have configured to be backed up?

    Isn't that the best of both worlds?



    Thursday, November 22, 2007 1:21 PM
  • JM, Windows Home Server doesn't offer you any way to control how any given disk in the storage pool is used, so you won't be able to use the single disk to back up (duplicate, I assume you mean) your shares. In addition, you will likely never see the performance benefit you anticipate for the stripe set; there are other bottlenecks in the system including your network that will keep you from seeing a benefit. In addition, RAID 0 is a very low reliability configuration (it's less reliable than the least reliable drive in the array), which should only be used for a drive where the only thing that matters is speed, and you don't care about the possibility of having to rebuild it regularly.

    I would advise you to break the array and let WHS have the three drives individually.
    Thursday, November 22, 2007 5:48 PM
  • Hello Ken and Company: 

    I'm going to admit up front I'm a WHS newb who Googled my way into this thread, and then I'm just going to dive in (with thanks to the folks who started this thread) and lay out my dilemma with regard to RAID (and I'll also admit up front it's probably on the, um, "unusual" side). 

    You see, the thing is, I have three "working" PCs in the house (Self, Wife, MyLaptop) at any given time, with down the road thoughts for a Media PC (if the DRM EVER! gets sorted out) and even an occasional odd thought now and again about a Windows based "carputer" (good stuff on that at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/ if you're zany enough to try it).  I started to see the need for (and a fairly simple solution for getting) a home server about the time I was transitioning to a new PC some time back (ironically, probably about the same time MS was getting serious about WHS, but I didn't know that at the time).  The idea was to put XP on the old box, RAID it out for redundancy, and stick in downstairs on an ethernet drop.  In this case, the RAID was supplied by a Netcell RAID 3 Card with 3 320 Gig Seagates. 

    Couple of things about this particular form of RAID to save time later.  First, yes I know the company's gone.  Yes, I know RAID 3 is not the absolute fastest thing on the block for small files.  But the Necall is great for big files (90m/sec class, IIRC), and it's driverless, reliable (excepting for some folks who tried 5-drive arrays with insufficient power), and dirt cheap (about $40 for a 5-porter at Newegg, and I've seen'em cheaper).  While there's some conflicting info, Netcells apparently work fine with Vista, and they have three seemingly redeeming attributes.  1) Storage Density -- 2/3 of the total array, with a parity drive; 2) Decent speed -- especially continuous throughput for big files; and 3) redundancy.  Miscellaneous benes include almost no loss of performance with a dead drive and virtually no cpu hit.  And did I mention CHEAP!!  Remember, I was scoping this out before I knew about WHS, and I could find no other good way to get those attributes at the time. 

    Better yet, for another $40, I was able to pick up a backplane that rides in 2 5.25" drive bays with hot-plugable drawers for the three drives.  That meant if a drive failed, I could yank the drawer, hot plug a replacement, and wait (a fairly long while) for the array to rebuild.  I still didn't know a thing. But this was starting to look like it had real potential.  I was beginning, in my ignorance, to feel that all powerful "sysadmin" kind of feeling. 

    And then I heard about WHS.  Ooops.  Too late to get in on the beta.  And it didn't make sense to continue until I could snag the first available OEM copy of said product I could get my hands on (which I have now done, after watching the beta for months whilst the hardware basically sat idle).  So congrats for building an OS that, at least from my point of view, anticipated my needs almost exactly, and was delivered promptly and on a very solid codebase.  So far, so good (well, terrific actually -- I really like the basic ideas in this product a LOT, and thank you for it). 

    Now, back to RAID: 

    I've dutifully bought myself one of the first WHS treatises, and have started reading in preparation for the install -- and, uh oh, here's all this advice about turning off all forms of RAID.  I think I understand why, and I think the storage pool idea is actually pretty clever (no matched drive sizes, dynamic allocation of data to new drives of any size, ability to maximize space by NOT duplicating needless stuff, etc). 

    Still, I don't see why it should PRECLUDE hardware RAID, and in this case I ALREADY OWN the hardware (in which I suspect I'm not entirely alone). 

    Lastly, so that I'm fully disclosing my perhaps misguided master plan, I don't intend to make WHS "headless."  I have hardware to run it on a full-up PC in the basement, and will likely use the same box from time to time to scan 35mm slides, do large photo printing, and for other similar things that will get the hardware clutter off the desk upstairs.  So in a sense, my WHS box will be dual purpose.  It's in a home after all, so it's not like the server functions are going to get thrashed by lots of users.  I'm planning to use it as a combination 2nd desktop and server -- though obviously I won't let anyone I don't really trust near it. 

    OK, that, with apologies for the overly long info, brings me to my questions: 

    1.  Is it plausible to use the RAID array on WHS by simply not adding the array to the storage pool (as adding it to the pool would seem to be silly unless wants to really squander drive space for no reason); 

    2.  Are there big advantages/disadvantages I need to consider, and will I still be able to share the array? 

    3.  If this can't be done now, might consideration be given to welcoming RAID back into the WHS universe as an option?  I understand it's not for everybody.  I understand it's not for the original target market.  But I think the enthusiast crowd may embrace WHS as we go along to some degree, and some of those guys may already be RETIRING boxes with hardware arrays -- and thinking, like me, that they can stash'em in the closet as server boxes.  Since WHS is based on Server '03, it would certainly seem that the basic capability is likely to be there . . .

    4.  If I can do as proposed in Question 1, can I still use the storage pool for individual drives (there are ALWAYS individual drives lying around)?  If so, the advice I have so far would lead me to do something like this: 

    a.  Install WHS on largest individual drive (per RTFM instructions, and for reasons stated). 

    b.  Add individual drives to storage pool (ditto). 

    c.  Install the Netcell array, but without adding it to the storage pool, while still sharing it on the network and being able (I hope) to back it up if desired using WHS, etc. 

    Will something like that work?  And is there anything else I need to know or do? 

    If I'm missing the entire point, go ahead and straighten me out.  But it would seem to me that RAID and the Storage Pool concept are just distinct ways of getting similar things done, each with advantages and disadvantages.  For a real beginner, the pool is easy, safe, and redundant.  Well done.  But I'm hoping that it doesn't prevent me from using things I've already got. 

    If it just can't be done, I suppose I can move the array to the desktop and dive fully into the "pool," maybe with one new big drive, but I'd prefer not to have to go that route if it isn't necessary. 

    Thanks in advance for any help. 

    Saturday, November 24, 2007 4:28 PM
  • Mike,

    There is nothing stopping you using Raid in any form anywhere on your system- it's just that if you have any problems, the most likely first reply will be "try without the raid", it's just that raid is not supported.

    You can add drives, in any form, to the server, it will prompt you to ask if you want to add it to the storage pool, and in your case, you would just answer "No".

    One problem I can foresee, is that your system partition, Drive C:, is only 20GB and is fixed at that, Microsoft don't see anyone using the server as a PC as well, so it might lead to problems down the line, when a few large MS updates are downloaded etc., and you've run out of space after installing a couple of photo/scanner programs. If you do, it would be good practice to use a drive which is not part of your storage pool, both as your scratch drive, and as you storage area for those files generated.

    As you know, WHS is 2003 based, so any printers/scanners will need to be compatible.

    Oh, one last drawback might be a very slow system when you are trying to use it for other purposes - WHS carries out it's processes of duplication, migration etc in the background,and as it's been designed to be headless, those processes will likely not know about other processes and consequently will take the majority of your CPU/RAM.

    After saying all that, there will be nothing stopping you and it will be a learning curve! The worst that could happen, is that you might have to re-build your system, but thats no big deal. 






    Saturday, November 24, 2007 6:09 PM
  • Thanks Colin: 

    That's helpful.  So as I understand you, I can leave the drive outside the pool and still share the array and use it on the network?  I just mount it spearately from the pool and use it on the network? 

    The "try it without" issue shouldn't be a problem, as I'll still HAVE a pool, and can easily pull the array as required. 

    20 Gigs should also be plenty for the system -- I've been setting my systems up that way for years, and I think I'm only using 15 Gigs now. 


    "If you do, it would be good practice to use a drive which is not part of your storage pool, both as your scratch drive, and as you storage area for those files generated." 


    Given that 20 Gigs is OK, I'm thinking that we go with the biggest drive.  That's the way MS seems to have designed the system.  Unless I'm missing your point.  Apparently, this is because all of the file handling is done first on the primary drive, so unless it's big, it tends to slow you down. 

    Understood about the Drivers.  I'm not anticipating problems there.  Also understood about system performance, but I'm not expecting to use it that often, and it'll have decent specs: Ath 3800x2, 2 Gigs, etc, so I'm not expecting big problems -- that's something I'm willing to experiment with. 

    I wonder if anybody's tried anything like this yet? 


    Saturday, November 24, 2007 7:08 PM
  • The thing with RAID is that, for a consumer, it's a PITA. RAID solutions priced for the consumer market don't deliver the performance they promise, RAID arrays are difficult to expand (usually impossible, without recreating the array), and consumers don't usually want to be bothered with the added maintenance.

    For Windows Home Server, Microsoft made a decision to prohibit OEMs from including RAID arrays in their products. Instead, we have Drive Extender: you install a drive, use the WHS Console to add it to the storage pool, and you instantly have that space available. It's more flexible and, for the consumer, just as reliable. System Builders aren't similarly prohibited from including RAID arrays, but there are other issues that would argue against it.

    None of that means that RAID doesn't work with WHS. Microsoft doesn't support RAID, which means that they don't test scenarios that include it (except perhaps from curiosity), and they won't help you with problems that are or might be related to it. But it works fine, as long as you know how to configure the array.

    Now for your questions:
    1. That will work. You can share the array out using the normal Windows file sharing features.
    2. Microsoft won't help you out, and most of the beta testers who had arrays at some point (myself included) have broken them and won't go back. So support if you have a problem is limited. Also, WHS uses the MBR format for it's disks. MBR disks are limited to 2 TB partitions. With today's 1 TB disks, you can easily build an array that WHS won't use 100% of, so not only are you sacrificing one full drive to reliability, you're losing everything above the first 2 TB of what's left.
    3. I doubt that Microsoft will change their minds. While enthusiasts are one of the target markets (we're early adopters, and usually influence others' adoption of a technology) Microsoft wants this to be easy for the average Joe to use too. If you give someone too many knobs to adjust, they get lost and frustrated. So don't look for RAID to be officially supported.
    4. Yes, that will work.
    I would strongly advise against a WHS that includes a RAID array as one of several drives in the storage pool. You don't realize any true benefit from it that way. You need to make the decision up front that you're going to use a RAID array, and live with the restrictions that brings with it, or you're going to use Drive Extender, and live with the issues that you may see on that side.
    Saturday, November 24, 2007 8:45 PM
  • Thanks Ken: 

    I understand.  I think I'm going to try a bit of both, and I'll keep you posted on how it goes. 

    One thing I actually have done with Netcell is to conduct experiments while I waited for the WHS product to be ready.  It too, was designed to be consumer friendly.  It has a bios and a small windows app, both of which have worked flawlessly until now.  The bios means no drivers -- windows just sees the array as a drive of 2/3 the total array size.  You can't add to it the way you can add to WHS pool, but you can start with a 3 drive array and add 2 more for a 5 drive RAID 3 Array just by plugging in more drives -- in fact, its similar in concept to adding to the pool (though the interface isn't nearly so pretty as in WHS).  So depending on how things work out and what I'm looking for, I might add a drive to the pool (something fairly big), or toss a couple of more 320's onto the array (they're getting pretty cheap too). 

    I expect that WHS would accept the array as a single drive (that's how XP sees it anyway) its just that it'd be absurd to put an array in the pool, given the way the pool is designed.  You'd be saving copies of files all over the place.  So I wouldn't consider an array within the pool and I certainly take your point there.  I'm pondering an array AND a pool -- one as presently configured, and one that I'll build with the WHS setup. 

    So that'll give me a way to use the array, a place to start, an an interesting system for experiments.  And I'll be sure to back up anything important just in case I break the array. 

    As for MS and changes of mind, while I surely agree with the basic points you're talking about here, and I understand why MS did what they did, I see no reason to market against existing RAID configurations.  First, if the Drive Pool is as good as it sounds, folks who have'em will abandon RAID on their own.  Second, it smacks of telling the customer what to do (familiar I suppose, but not desirable -- though I do understand the fear theh folks will hurt themselves, then blame the OS, and I'm hoping you won't have occasion to remind me later that I said so).  Perhaps something along the lines of powertoys  would work if required.  On the other hand, it may just be a cosmetic issue if things work as you describe.  I'll have to get the thing installed and walk around a bit to see how things work. 

    Finally, thanks for the warning about MBR (need to study up there).  There's not much risk I'll hit 2TB any time soon, but if I get there, I'll keep it in mind.  Assuming I did, I assume that I could just divide the array into <2TB partitions, right?  Of course, I'd have to agee that by that point, I'd be doing this just to make a point unless the array proves to have some pretty specific advantages. 

    Still, I'll just advance that one more question so we have a fairly complete picture for those who want to experiment (which is part of the fun after all).  Say I have a 3 TB array.  If I partition to 2x1.5 TB, do things work with MBR? 

    Thanks very much to all for the help.  I still have some studying to do, but this puts me in a position to plan my holiday attack on this thing.  Actually, I'm getting pretty enthusiastic about the whole project.  And it's been a while since I had an OS that gave me this much to learn (in the best sense).  Cool. 

    Saturday, November 24, 2007 9:43 PM
  • Hi Ken,

    Thanks for your answer.

    I finally decided to follow your advice go for the 3 drives managed directly by WHS and NOT in raid, mainly because I understand it is going to be impossible to know on which physical disk WHS is ultimately going to store the files.  My main concern was about playing HD movies since the it requires a lot of bandwidth but I can tell you that I am not concerned anymore since I measured that my throughput is around 350 MBits/sec (I am wired in Cat7 ;-) So no problem for HD and I have 2.25 TB available and can select backup on the folders I decide...

    My best, jm


    Monday, November 26, 2007 9:48 AM
  • WHS has a 10-user limit.  With that few users, RAID won't provide any speed benefit.  RAID caching works well in multiple disk accesses, but consumer RAID devices do little caching.  No RAID I used made any significant difference in speed on any of the betas, and almost all caused more problems than they were worth.



    Monday, November 26, 2007 4:25 PM
  • OK, and in the "me too" department, I was having some second thoughts after reading all this too.  I already own the array, but I could easily move that to the desktop and go with the flow on the storage pool.  Just involves moving drives around.  I'm saying to myself, WHS is pretty clever, why fight it?  

    So I move on from there, and keep reading in my "unleashed" treatise.  Then, I start working my way through backup -- wherein I promptly find what seems to be the achilles heel with this plan.  At least according to this (admittedly early) treatise, WHS does incremental backups that look like full backups every day, etc., etc.  The whole thing really is pretty slick. 

    UNLESS, that is, your primary WHS drive fails.  You then rebuild the machine from the optical drive, and WHS will rebuild the data files from the 2ndary drives -- but your backup sets are lost.  And if the problem was a surge during a thunderstorm that also fried something in another PC, well . . . this seems to be a flaw in the armor.  One drive seems to be in a position to cause one of those critical path sorts of failures -- not quite catastrophic, but bad enough if it happened to you.  And Murphy's law, of course, virtually guarantees that this will be the drive that fails.  

    So, assuming I ditch RAID in WHS, what do we do with that?  Possible solutions would include periodic backups the old fashioned way of the primary drive (though that rather defeats the whole genius of WHS-style backup), or maybe somebody could come up with a way to use the WHS backup capability to backup the primary partition somewhere???  Even to one of the Desktops would be OK.  And since we have to reinstall the system, a fairly limited backup set would do (just enough to keep passwords, configuration, and those back up sets and whatever else couldn't be recovered from the secondary data drives.  

    I won't go back to talking mirrored RAID, and don't really know whether that would save you (I've never set one up) -- but it looks like it might.  But of course, I don't own the parts to do that (well, unless I ditch the RAID card and do a RAID config off the ASUS mainboard), and there were all those rather good reasons not to -- hmmm. . . . 

    Am I missing something? 
    Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:13 AM
  • Mike, Windows Home Server isn't designed to be an enterprise-class backup solution, something to protect your data from any conceivable disaster. You're hosed if your house burns down, for example. It's enormously better than anything else in the consumer market, because it doesn't require user intervention for a secure backup to occur, and it allows for a speedy recovery of a failed PC. I've done a dozen or so bare metal restores now; at least one to every PC in my house. It takes about 3 1/2 hours for the PC with the most data to restore, which is at least twice as fast as the next fastest thing I've tried.


    Assuming a typical failure scenario on WHS, you lose one drive. If that drive takes out your backup database, no sweat. You replace the drive and back your PCs up again. Yes, you've now lost your archival backups, but seriously, when was the last ttime you referred to your archival backups anyway?

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007 5:04 AM

    Hi Ken: 


    First up, I wanted to thank you again for taking the time to help get me up to speed.  It really does help to follow along with somebody who has been down the path. 


    Second, I absolutely refuse to burn my house down in order to test your scenario!  However, once I get my basement all duct taped up to ready.gov specs, and do all my preparations, I'll want bulletproof "continuity of operations" capabilities at home, right? 


    And third, jesting aside, I take your point. 


    Still, it does seem odd that something as clever as the WHS backup would leave you with this little problem. 


    I'll read some more and see if I can figure out just what you'd actually lose.  If it's just the backups, I'll grant you that the risk is limited, but if we're talking about network passwords and such, the fix could be more like one of your bare metal experiences.  And the real pain of bare metal is all those custom settings and such that you'll never manage to get back . . . (so many times, I've been there . . . )


    Thing is, the basic system seems to include most or all of what's needed to make the problem go away using minimal drive space.  For example, WHS apparently doesn't back up temp files and such.  So you flip that logic around, and write a routine (Ha! notice how easily we non-progammers invent things!) that backs up only those limited things you'd need in the event of a primary drive failure and writes them onto secondary drives.  You don't need the data . . . it's already mirrored.  You don't need the system files (we restore those from the DVD).  What you do need is probably pretty minimal (depending on where the backups are actually stored -- I haven't gotten to that yet, and I do see the drive space issue).  If there were a way to do what I'm imagining here, the worst that could happen is a quasi-bare metal install: Just install the OS and instruct the newly installed WHS to "heal thyself."  This isn't a serious problem, and one can easily work around it with a timed traditional backup of the system partition and the backups (wherever they may be stashed). 


    But I'm just a little befuddled that folks clever enough to do something this innovative don't have this base covered.  Is this something we should mention to all those guys writing extensions for the WHS world, or would it require MS to write code?  I do agree with your basic reply, but why not make the thing as bulletproof as you can? 


    OK, back to work, then back to my WHS reading.  One day soon, I'll get to actually installing the thing (which, you're right, will be much better than the, um, "periodic" backups I do now.  Sometimes.  Not often enough.  At odd intervals . . . ). 




    Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:33 PM

    Your points against raid Are:


    1. It is not necessary for speed as this is intended to be a home user product

    2. DE is more flexible

    3. DE is more secure

    4. Raid does not offer many speed advantages



    1, Raid and DE are not mutually exclusive.   User convenience is great, so is time proven speed and reliability of raid.


    2.  I can expand my raid 5 or 6 arays on areca 1220 or highpoint 3250 at any time.  I only use one type of hard drive and I am betting any one interested in raid is accostomed to this.  DE may offer heterogenous disk capability, but using that feature comes at a speed cost that I am not willing to pay.


    3.  Asking me to put my faith in DE which has no established history nor report of back up status is far from what I consider secure.  My raid 5 aray with a hot swap will not lose a bit of data (compared to the lost archival backups you mention), and I can easily see a rebuild progress in the event of a drive failure.


    4.  This is an unexamined assumption.  Much of the computing world is founded upon providing fast performance.  Under DE I can expect transfer rates around 5 - 50 mbs (depending upon the DE activity status mean transefer is estimated at 12 mbs).  With Raid 5 I can get 75 to 120 mbps with a mean transfer of 85 mbs.  Why in the world would performance multiples of 3 to 40 times not madder?


    It is fair to judge any product with the word server in it's name by performance and flexibility.  I hope to see improvments to WHS in this area in the future.


    I purchased WHS instead of server 2008 because of the ease of remote access and the back up capabilities.  I just need something at home.   I then found out about the raid issues.  I am surprised.  I hate working out unexpected challenges like this, but look forwardt to getting WHS up on my raid aray. 



    Any idea why I get the following after attempting to load the raid drivers:  error, drivers require system reboot?


    Saturday, March 15, 2008 3:45 AM
  • I have been running a RAID 5 for over 1 month now.  It works very well.  I did have one drive fail.  It was just a matter of swapping out the failed drive and the RAID rebuilt itself.


    I also like that fact that I do not have to worry about the corruption bug destroying my data since the WHS only sees one drive. I am looking forward to Power Pack 1 coming out so I can easily backup the WHS data.  Even a RAID is not 100% safe.




    Sunday, March 16, 2008 5:12 PM