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Whats recommended storage setup for WHS ?? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Whats the recommended storage setup for WHS , would it be RAID 1 (2 Drives) for the Server OS and RAID 5(3 Drives) for data storage?

    Need assistance before purchasing any hardware.


    Thanks


    Friday, September 19, 2008 5:23 AM

Answers

  • Recommended is to not use any RAID on the server at all, since this is unsupported and in case of any trouble this would be blamed first, guilty or not.
    Instead there is a feature named Folder duplication, which you can enable per share.
    Ideally you use 3 harddisks, one is for the system and the initial data partition, the others are storage added via the Windows Home Server console.
    This would hold the data away from the system disk, so if this breaks, there is still a good chance to find all your data intact after a server reinstall.
    These disks together should be big enough to hold the backups and shared files for your PCs.
    A big additional (external, if you want to put it into a different place for enhanced security) disk could be used to backup the shared folders of the server.
    For scenarios, which are not regulary supported (like using the WHS as WSUS server in home environment), I have put another disk into the server, which I have not added to the storage pool.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by Razorbeard Friday, September 19, 2008 5:30 PM
    Friday, September 19, 2008 7:01 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Recommended is to not use any RAID on the server at all, since this is unsupported and in case of any trouble this would be blamed first, guilty or not.
    Instead there is a feature named Folder duplication, which you can enable per share.
    Ideally you use 3 harddisks, one is for the system and the initial data partition, the others are storage added via the Windows Home Server console.
    This would hold the data away from the system disk, so if this breaks, there is still a good chance to find all your data intact after a server reinstall.
    These disks together should be big enough to hold the backups and shared files for your PCs.
    A big additional (external, if you want to put it into a different place for enhanced security) disk could be used to backup the shared folders of the server.
    For scenarios, which are not regulary supported (like using the WHS as WSUS server in home environment), I have put another disk into the server, which I have not added to the storage pool.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    • Marked as answer by Razorbeard Friday, September 19, 2008 5:30 PM
    Friday, September 19, 2008 7:01 AM
    Moderator
  • Interesting I am having second thoughts for WHS server now that RAID is not in the works. However I will conclude once I finish testing the setup.

    Best Regards


    Friday, September 19, 2008 5:31 PM
  • Whats the MAX amount of RAM can the WHS accomodate? Whats the recommended ?
    Saturday, September 20, 2008 9:03 AM
  • Does the HP Media Smart Server have a built in Raid controller, that is if I would require to use the box with another OS?
    And Are the SATA Drives 3 GB/S or 1.5?

    I also have the following shuttle pc to use (Specs Link) would it be good for my initial setup of WHS ? it can only support 1.5 GB/Sec Hard Drives but should be sufficient.


    • Edited by Razorbeard Saturday, September 20, 2008 10:20 AM
    Saturday, September 20, 2008 10:17 AM
  • I don't have these devices, but I would assume, that the HP system uses normal SATA ports, since RAID has never been a part of the specifications for Windows Home Server.

    The shuttle PC looks interesting and could work. The problem may be, that if the SATA controller onboard cannot be switched to IDE/PATA compatible and you use only SATA disks, you may have a problem to feed the proper drivers. Windows Server 2003 has no native SATA drivers, so those must be provided often on a floppy drive during second stage of setup (first stage supports USB stick, but does not copy the drivers to the disk).

    Other than that the system would be sufficient, although I would expect it running hot with all 3 disks built in, since the case looks narrow.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Saturday, September 20, 2008 11:12 AM
    Moderator
  • The HP MediaSmart Server does, I believe, have a RAID controller to support the eSATA port on the back (that port is capable of supporting a port multiplier with up to 4 disks). However it's unlikely that you would be able to configure a RAID array, as it doesn't have any way to connect a physical console, and configuring an array would require access during boot.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, September 20, 2008 3:29 PM
    Moderator
  • WHS is SBS2003/Server2003 32-bit architecture so the maximum RAM is 4GB.
    Since current PCs use a portion of the 4GB space for IO you usually have no more than 3.25GB to 3.99GB available.

    It's Gb/s (Gigabits per second), not GB/sec (GigaBytes per second).  :)
    SATA 3.0's "3 Gb/s" is a burst/maximum spec.  In real installations you will almost never see any difference between 1.5 and 3 transfer rates.  Interface overhead drops transfer to usually no more than 80% maximum.
    Western Digital specs their consumer 7200 500GB-1TB drives at 300MB/s maximum in SATA 3.0 mode.
    Unless you are using 10k drives with massive caches connected to top-end interface hardware and in an almost perfect data transfer situation, you will rarely get over 80MB/s average and 160MB/s maximum with SATA 3.0.
    However, it is currently getting difficult to obtain SATA 1.5 drives, most consumer hardware outlets only stock SATA 3.0 drives.

    Saturday, September 20, 2008 5:39 PM