Any Advise on Upgrading a 10TB WHS V1 System to Veil and DE Question RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello.   My name is Max and despite its flaws, I’ve been a faithful WHS V1 users since in was released.  At present my home built WHS Server has 7 SATA hard drives totaling 10TB of space and believe it or not I’ve been out of space for months.   I had planned on purchasing a ____ 4224 Case and Areca ARC-1300ix-16 Controller but as soon as I heard Microsoft was pulling DE from Veil, I decided to put my server upgrade plans on hold till they got things figured out.


    Question 1 : is this figured out?  Do we know yet if DE is in or out?


    Question 2 : If DE is gone (this makes me sad) then I’m guessing I have start reading up on Raid and figure out the ideal solution for my storage needs.  Any suggestions on the best way to set up a storage I veil so that:

    - Drives can easily be added as needed
    - My data is protected if a single drive crashes
    - Support for multiple sized drives (1TB, 2TB, 3TB)  while utilizing all space on all drives
    - Easy Recovery for a Failed Drive

    Thanks so much 



    WHS_retail version
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 7:18 PM

All replies

  • On a related note, stay far away from Areca.  I saved up for years to get a 16-port PCI-E card I was so proud to own - only it didn't work (DOA).  No problem - support right?  Absolutely none.  There is no support from Areca - only from whomever you purchased it from.  Just FYI.  So, I went back to Adaptec and have been very happy since.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 8:12 PM
  • hello Eduncan911

    I must disagree with you on Areca Support.   I e-mailed them once about WHS support and they responded the same day with a reply that they had drivers.   I e-mailed them again about 3TB drive support and they e-mailed me again the same day saying that they were working on a Bios update to support them and then about 2-weeks later, I got another e-mail that said the bios update was available. 

    To me thats very good tech support and I'm sorry you got a DOA Card

    WHS_retail version
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 8:26 PM
  • 1) DE is out. Microsoft, are intending it to be a third party solution.

    2) I, in the strongest terms possible, warn you against RAID and I'll try to give you a concise but full explanation.


    A) RAID requires suitable drives to work properly. If you try it with drives that were not intended to be used in RAID then your array will stand a fairly significant chance of failing. The more drives you add the more it faces failure - however it is at an exponential rather than linear rate as drives are added. RAID suitable drives are more than twice the price of normal drives.

    B) Although motherboard RAID is improving I do not think it's suitable for reliable use. I am much more comfortable with a full on hardware RAID card - Cost £200+ (likely $250). Mission critical RAID is done with hardware cards, and it's really only a very small number of home users that would use motherboard RAID, which makes it far less tried and trusted.

    C) There are really 3 levels of RAID you might consider. RAID0 which simply duplicates the data. RAID5 which uses one drive for parity - so in an 8 drive array you get the capacity of 7. If one drive fails you can replace the information using the parity stripe when the drive is replaced. RAID6 which uses two drives for parity, so 2 drives can fail. Exactly none of these protect you from file system corruption. They only protect you against hardware failure.

    D) The amount of data on a 10TB array is immense. The error rates of non-enterprise drives mean you stand a significant chance of suffering a second data error while rebuilding after a drive failure. Additionally the drives are put under incredible strain during a rebuild... so when a drive fails and you have to do a rebuild.... that's when another is likely to fail.

    E) Duplication is cheaper, better and more resilient. It costs significantly less than 1/2 the price of proper RAID to go for very budget drives, and simply duplicate the data. It probably costs less than RAID to buy 3 times the drives you need, and have double backups.

    Why do I know this? I have 8 drives in RAID5 on Vail and I wish I hadn't spent the money. Disk pooling software came about shortly after I went RAID, and it's (in my opinion) far superior.

    I hope that helps!

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 9:22 PM
  • Quartermass - thank you so much for the reply.   If the ____ 4224 case and arecca raid controller are not the best way to go, case,what would you recommend?   The main purpose for my WHS server is a Media Server.  I have about 1000 movies on there now and with duplication on, this takes a ton of space.  I am starting to lean towards using Veil and a Drobo Pro Unit.   It only supports 8 drives but drive management is a snap.  here is one users experience with it.


    Short version…..…..

    DroboPro via iSCSI on WHS works!  Let me qualify by saying I’ve only run it for two days and did have one issue on day 2.

    Long version……..

    Unsatisfied with the reliability of sharing the iSCSI DroboPro via Vista, I decided to give WHS a try.  Good opportunity to upgrade my office computer, so I took an old Dell Dimension 5300 the kids were using and configured WHS and the server storage pool with a number of SATA, ATA, and USB drives I removed from machines around the house (they were no longer needed with WHS and a DroboPro in place). 

    WHS comment: It’s as easy as everyone said it would be.  Never busted open a user or installation manual….. my definition of easy.  Best $100.00 worth of software I’ve ever purchased.

    WHS configured and stable, last task on the list, move the DroboPro.  The procedure was very straight forward.  I plugged in the Ethernet cord from the DroboPro iSCSI port into a Gigabit port on the Dell and then installed the latest version (1.5.1) of the Drobo dashboard installer.  It sensed that WHS was not running the iSCSI initiator so it took me to the appropriate Microsoft support/download page.  After the initiator install, I restarted the dashboard installer and it did its thing and connected to DroboPro.

    As others have pointed out, WHS will not allow a disk connected via iSCSI to be part of the WHS storage pool.  This is fine with me.  I wanted a reliable share scenario for my home movie and picture collection that the VISTA SP2 machine was not providing.  I also did not want to copy 4TB of data somewhere and then bring it back into the WHS pool.  Go elsewhere for the RAID on WHS discussion and Drobo debates.

    Anyway, I went into the WHS Windows Explorer via Remote Console and low and behold, there sat the DroboPro 16TB volume.  Perfect !!  Just to be sure the volume would load automatically (Vista would not do it), I rebooted the server and it loaded the service just the way I hoped it would.  Next thing to do was share the volume and grant privileges.  

    Back to my workstation screen…… clicked on the Shared Folders desktop ICON…. there sits the DroboPro share on WHS!!!!  You have a happy camper here. 

    Only problem so far….. day 2 (today)…. the share was visible, but empty in the view from my workstation.  In a bit of a panic I opened Remote Desktop and looked at the volume directly with Windows Explorer.  No worries, all the folders and data was there.  I decided to remove and reshare the volume and noticed it had an administrative share (F$) assigned as well as the share I had setup. I attempted to delete it and was warned that it would be reinstalled upon restart.   I decided to just reboot the server to see if that remedied the problem.  It did.  Hopefully this will not be a recurring event.  I’ll post again if it is.

    WHS_retail version
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 10:11 PM
  • I don't have an exact answer for you, I'm afraid I can only offer a bit of advice and send you to research it out...

    When I started using Vail it was because I wanted to separate the hard drives and RAID card from the rest of the PC. I felt a high power desktop and a high power server all combined didn't equate to the best of both worlds. Plus it was noisy.

    I got a Lian Li full tower case almost new cheap. It has drive racks for 10 drives - I have 10 drives in it now, 8x1TB and a couple of 2TB I use for extra backup, plus a single drive as the OS drive.

    I wouldn't buy that particular case if I was buying it new, but I'd buy a similar case. You can also get Lian Li (and other) add ins which take 3 5.25 bays and allow you to fire in 4 hard drives. They usually have a fan built in (The only drive failures I've ever had have been drives without even a very small amount of air). If you get a cae that suits just right you should be able to get a whole pile of drives inside it.

    I did look at all sorts of other separate solutions and I found they were all very expensive, and nothing seemed to want to go above 8 drives. There are rackmount cases with plenty of drive bays, but again I found them to be prohibitively expensive.

    So in your boat I'd be looking at full tower cases and finding the one with the most 3.5 inch drive spaces after you convert the 5.25 bays to 3.5 bays. You may want to see if you can install to flash media/cheap SSD as that would allow one more drive space.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 10:34 PM
  • Quartermass

    So jumping back to the ____ 4224 Case, and Areca 1300ix solution I mentioned above, the ____ 4220 case has 24 hot swap 3.5 drive bays.  Each bank of 4 drives is controlled by a single SFF connector.   The Areca 1300ix has 4 internal and 2 external SFF ports and Arecca confirms that you can run all 6 at the same time.  With for internal and 2 intarnal to external SFF cables, one can get all 24 bays going.

    With WHS V1, this solution is ideal because you can just pop in a drive, DE sees it and adds it to the collection and your done.  With Veil, I'm not sure what the ideal solution would be for drives.  I do not believe this card supports any RAID  configuration - just JBOD so woudl Veil / Disk manager then manage the drives?

    WHS_retail version
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 11:09 PM
  • Yes, Vail would manage the drives. However, Vail has been switched off as of yesterday and we're waiting on a new beta. Microsoft have announced that drive extender is to go, so I don't expect we'd see it in the new beta, or in the final product. They did suggest that the slack may be taken up by a third party, perhaps a plugin.

    Failing that though, if I had that case and card then I'd just JBOD two equal sizes, and set a backup job regularly. However that's only a partial solution. Adding new drives would not be easy. It does support multiple sized drives though, JBOD isn't really RAID but it's often touted as the only RAID that does. You'd have easy recovery for a failed drive too.

    I just don't feel that's the best solution. In your position I'd want storage pooling, and I'd want it as a priority over the latest version of WHS, which means sticking with V1, or exploring other non-WHS options. You'd just have to hope MS had some kind of storage pooling added at a later date, even if it's a premium over the normal price.


    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 12:07 AM
  • Thank you all for your great feedback - I guess I will just hold off on my movie ripping till we figure out what MS will do with Veil


    WHS_retail version
    Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:34 AM
  • Hopefully they'll be a positive announcement about drive extender. Perhaps someone will have an add on by then, or at least someone will be working on one by then.

    Friday, January 14, 2011 7:04 AM
  • I'm looking seriously hard at the drobo units now
    WHS_retail version
    Friday, January 14, 2011 9:18 PM