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should hard drives be of similar sizes ? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Are there any recommendations as to whether the primary & secondary

    hard drives should be of similar size in order to get the most benefit

    from folder duplication ?

     

    My current setup has a 100Gb primary and a 500Gb secondary,  and one

    particular shared folder >130Gb.    Common sense would indicate that

    it's probably living on the secondary disk, therefore there's not enough

    room on the primary disk for the duplicate folder to live.

    Is this indeed the case,  or does WHS do something clever to get round this ?

     

    If I was to add a 3rd hard disk - eg another 80 Mb -  would the 130Gb duplicate folder

    be split up across disk 1 / disk 3 ?

     

    Thanks

    Ian 

     

    Saturday, May 12, 2007 9:09 AM

Answers

  • The limitation imposed by a small system drive is real, but if you have several drives connected to your WHS, there's a point at which it no longer really matters.

    A tiny system drive will limit the size of the largest file you can copy to WHS. If you only have two drives, it will rapidly fill up if you have share duplication turned on (which further limits your largest file).  And in Vista, which checks free space on the destination share when copying multiple files, you won't be able to copy more total GB of files in one shot than free space on the system drive.

    However, if you have three or more drives, WHS will move all your files off of the system drive, so all there will be left is the tombstones that point to the real files. Those are small (4k each) so they don't take up much of your system drive storage. At that point, the only issue is the largest file you can copy to WHS. By the time you get up around 120 GB for your system drive, you've got 100 GB or so free on the D: partition. How many files of that size do you sling around on a daily basis?

    So I wouldn't worry too much about it, if you have at least three drives including the system drive. Smile
    Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:07 PM
    Moderator
  • The largest HDD sould be the primary
    Saturday, May 12, 2007 1:21 PM
  •  Ian Hx wrote:

     

    In practice, how likely is this to happen ?

    Hard drive manufactured capacities are continually

    getting larger and by the time a typical 'home user'

    (whatever one of those may be !) is ready to add in

    more disks the temptation will be to go for the

    biggest one available...

     

     

    Of course the temptation is always there to get a bigger hard drive. But if you decide to get a bigger hard drive, you can use these steps to change it out...

     

     cek wrote:

    Summary of instructions:

    1. Primay disk fails (or you want to replace it with a bigger one)
    2. Shut the system down, yankout the drive and put the new drive in
    3. Boot the system from the Windows Home Server setup DVD
    4. When it asks what kind of installation you want choose "Upgrade"
    5. We will re-create the 10GB system partition as well as the primary data partition
    6. Drive extender will do what we call a "RebuildPrimary"
    7. When done you will have to re-create user accounts in the console (there's a bug in Beta 2 where you will also have to delete the additional user shares created when you do this...e.g. \\server\users\user1 will be created). 

    -cek

    WHS Team

     

    Click here to see entire thread.

    Sunday, May 13, 2007 5:55 PM

All replies

  • The largest HDD sould be the primary
    Saturday, May 12, 2007 1:21 PM
  • The 500GB should be the primary as stated. The reason for this is once WHS partitions the drive with a 10GB and what ever is left over. This is important when your client PC(s) starts copying  file to WHS, and it will only allow file copying up to the size of the partition that's left at one time.

    As far as hard drive size, anything goes, with in reason. In my WHS I have:

    -   1 * 500GB sata,
    -   2 * 320GB ide,
    -   6 * 250GB ide, and
    -   2 * 200GB usb.

    I ordered another 500GB sata drive as I would like to disconnect the USB drives.

    On the other hand, the larger the hard drive, the less "demigrator.exe" has to move files around. Which frees up your CPU, lowers power consumption and reduces heat!

    Just my thoughts!....
    Saturday, May 12, 2007 5:19 PM
  •  

    In practice, how likely is this to happen ?

    Hard drive manufactured capacities are continually

    getting larger and by the time a typical 'home user'

    (whatever one of those may be !) is ready to add in

    more disks the temptation will be to go for the

    biggest one available...

     

     

    Sunday, May 13, 2007 1:59 PM
  •  Ian Hx wrote:

     

    In practice, how likely is this to happen ?

    Hard drive manufactured capacities are continually

    getting larger and by the time a typical 'home user'

    (whatever one of those may be !) is ready to add in

    more disks the temptation will be to go for the

    biggest one available...

     

     

    Of course the temptation is always there to get a bigger hard drive. But if you decide to get a bigger hard drive, you can use these steps to change it out...

     

     cek wrote:

    Summary of instructions:

    1. Primay disk fails (or you want to replace it with a bigger one)
    2. Shut the system down, yankout the drive and put the new drive in
    3. Boot the system from the Windows Home Server setup DVD
    4. When it asks what kind of installation you want choose "Upgrade"
    5. We will re-create the 10GB system partition as well as the primary data partition
    6. Drive extender will do what we call a "RebuildPrimary"
    7. When done you will have to re-create user accounts in the console (there's a bug in Beta 2 where you will also have to delete the additional user shares created when you do this...e.g. \\server\users\user1 will be created). 

    -cek

    WHS Team

     

    Click here to see entire thread.

    Sunday, May 13, 2007 5:55 PM
  • The limitation imposed by a small system drive is real, but if you have several drives connected to your WHS, there's a point at which it no longer really matters.

    A tiny system drive will limit the size of the largest file you can copy to WHS. If you only have two drives, it will rapidly fill up if you have share duplication turned on (which further limits your largest file).  And in Vista, which checks free space on the destination share when copying multiple files, you won't be able to copy more total GB of files in one shot than free space on the system drive.

    However, if you have three or more drives, WHS will move all your files off of the system drive, so all there will be left is the tombstones that point to the real files. Those are small (4k each) so they don't take up much of your system drive storage. At that point, the only issue is the largest file you can copy to WHS. By the time you get up around 120 GB for your system drive, you've got 100 GB or so free on the D: partition. How many files of that size do you sling around on a daily basis?

    So I wouldn't worry too much about it, if you have at least three drives including the system drive. Smile
    Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:07 PM
    Moderator
  • So in a two drive system

    Drive 1. Main OS and Primary Datastore, with Tombstones for replication

    Drive 2  Secondary Datastore with copies (Folder Replication)

     

    Three drives

    Drive 1. Main OS and Tombstones only

    Drive 2  Primary Datastore

    Drive 3  Secondary Datastore

     

    So what happens if you replace drive 2 or drive 3 in a 3 drive system with something larger than Drive 1..

    Preferably with something larger..

    Can you just swap out Drive 3.. wait for it to resync the new drive, then swap out drive 2 and not have to do a complete recovery losing the users/os?

     

    Also im curious. what happens when you keep adding drives,, does it become basically a JBOD volume or do the replication rules change if you add a fourth drive?

     

    I could see two situations

    Drive 1 Main OS and Tombstones

    Drive 2 Replication of Main OS and Tombstones (or just main OS)

    Drive 3 Primary Datastore

    Drive 4 Secondary Datastore..

     

    Or would it be

    Drive 1 Main OS and Toumbstones

    Drive 2. Primary Datastore

    Drive 3 Secondary Datastore

    Drive 4 Third Datastore..

     

    or

    Drive 1 Main OS and Toumbstones

    Drive 2 Primary Datastore

    Drive 3 Secondary Datastore

    Drive 4..Third Datastore and backup of Main OS?

     

    I could see some advantages with having the Main OS replicate with the fourth drive installed

    I still see the advantage of using hardware raid with a 4+ drive system dealing with possible user account and main OS disk failure and not losing the accounts.

     

    Tuesday, May 29, 2007 10:26 AM
  • Your question:- "So what happens if you replace drive 2 or drive 3 in a 3 drive system with something larger than Drive 1.."



    It just gets added to the storage pool.


    What I was getting at, when you build you WHS box, your C: drive should be the largest drive at that time. You should not try and replace it everytime a larger HD is available.



    You can remove the storage hard drive(s) at any time using the remove button (as long as WHS have enough free space in the storage pool to migrate the data off the drive you are planning to remove). This may become an issue if you have file duplication on.

    Tuesday, May 29, 2007 10:57 AM
  •  Jolted wrote:

    Also im curious. what happens when you keep adding drives,, does it become basically a JBOD volume or do the replication rules change if you add a fourth drive?

     

    I could see two situations

    Drive 1 Main OS and Tombstones

    Drive 2 Replication of Main OS and Tombstones (or just main OS)

    Drive 3 Primary Datastore

    Drive 4 Secondary Datastore..

     

    Or would it be

    Drive 1 Main OS and Toumbstones

    Drive 2. Primary Datastore

    Drive 3 Secondary Datastore

    Drive 4 Third Datastore..

     

    or

    Drive 1 Main OS and Toumbstones

    Drive 2 Primary Datastore

    Drive 3 Secondary Datastore

    Drive 4..Third Datastore and backup of Main OS?

     

    I could see some advantages with having the Main OS replicate with the fourth drive installed

    I still see the advantage of using hardware raid with a 4+ drive system dealing with possible user account and main OS disk failure and not losing the accounts.

     

     

    My understanding is that it would be like your second example where you end up with multiple datastores, blurring the distinction of Primary, Secondary, etc. In other words, some data would live on drive 2 and 3, while other data would be on 3 and 4, hence the "Balancing".

    Thursday, May 31, 2007 10:28 PM
  • Jolted, I think you're still trying to picture WHS as some form of RAID array, which is a mistake. It's less, in that a single drive failure could result in data loss if there were files in unduplicated shares on that drive, and more, in that it's easy to expand (just plug in another drive) and upgrade (remove a drive via the console, plug in a larger one, and go), and it's faster than consumer-grade RAID solutions with built-in redundancy.

    As for how the data will be organized, it will be like your second example.
    Friday, June 1, 2007 12:38 AM
    Moderator
  • So basically if one disk fails or has an error, you could lose the whole WHS server... GREAT (sarcasm on)

    Though you may luck out recovering data if folder replication is turned on.

     

    Doesnt that basically negate the whole purpose of this kinda device as a backup/file storage solution?

     

     

     

    Friday, June 1, 2007 11:31 AM
  •  Jolted wrote:

    So basically if one disk fails or has an error, you could lose the whole WHS server... GREAT (sarcasm on)

    Though you may luck out recovering data if folder replication is turned on.

     

    Doesnt that basically negate the whole purpose of this kinda device as a backup/file storage solution? 

     

    That's how it reads to me.  Not looking too good for the 'home' team!

    Wednesday, June 13, 2007 7:10 PM
  •  Jeshimon wrote:
     Jolted wrote:

    So basically if one disk fails or has an error, you could lose the whole WHS server... GREAT (sarcasm on)

    Though you may luck out recovering data if folder replication is turned on.

     

    Doesnt that basically negate the whole purpose of this kinda device as a backup/file storage solution? 

     

    That's how it reads to me.  Not looking too good for the 'home' team!

     

    Rereading Ken's post I see:

     Ken Warren wrote:
    a single drive failure could result in data loss if there were files in unduplicated shares on that drive

     

    Key word is UNDUPLICATED.  Sorry for my initial kneejerk reaction.  I feel 'safer' now.

    Tuesday, October 2, 2007 3:09 PM
  • If one drive fails, in a multi-drive system, just replace the drive and WHS will automatically rebuild all the lost drives' data onto the new drive. (Including the duplicated files).

     

    HTH

     

    Colin

     

    Tuesday, October 2, 2007 4:52 PM