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Some newbie questions RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi Folks,

    Been searching and reading as much as I can, but still have a few questions that need answering.

    1.  Can I mirror the C (system) drive/partition?
    2.  I haven't found any posts on drive size limits is this unlimited?
    3.  Can you unplug and plug in internal sata drives while the system is online and will it update the storage on the fly?
    4.  what is the largest volume you can create?
    5.  What is the larget share you can present or is that equal to the volume?
    6.  How does it do the mirroring?  Does it do a quick check and ignore if already mirrored or does it do some intensive other check?  I'm tryign to build a high performance video server and I don't want it slowing down by constantly doing checks..
    7.  I have 32 1TB drives which i want to install (not including teh system drive/s) and mirror (so 16tb usable).  going to get two 16port sata controllers to help with this.  Anyone know of any issues with going this route?   I hope to present just one volume to the world of 16tb, will that be ok?

    Thansk!
    Monday, July 27, 2009 10:33 PM

Answers

  • Hi Folks,

    Been searching and reading as much as I can, but still have a few questions that need answering.

    1.  Can I mirror the C (system) drive/partition?

    It's unsupported and not recommended.

    2.  I haven't found any posts on drive size limits is this unlimited?

    You can have as many hard drives as your hardware can handle.

    3.  Can you unplug and plug in internal sata drives while the system is online and will it update the storage on the fly?

    You would need to remove the drive from the Console first, but yes (as long as the hardware supports hot swapping).

    4.  what is the largest volume you can create?

    You don't create volumes, you create a single storage pool (which is the total amount of hard drives you have in the pool less 20 GB for the OS partition).

    5.  What is the larget share you can present or is that equal to the volume?

    No limit on share size.

    6.  How does it do the mirroring?  Does it do a quick check and ignore if already mirrored or does it do some intensive other check?  I'm tryign to build a high performance video server and I don't want it slowing down by constantly doing checks..

    It doesn't do "mirroring" at all (as all types of RAID are unsupported).  It uses Folder Duplication (which means any file that is in a share with Folder Duplication enabled will be stored on 2 different physical hard drives within the server).  It checks every hour for new files that need to be duplicated and, if it finds any, duplicates them at that point.

    7.  I have 32 1TB drives which i want to install (not including teh system drive/s) and mirror (so 16tb usable).

    Again, RAID is unsupported.

    going to get two 16port sata controllers to help with this.  Anyone know of any issues with going this route?

    I think the biggest problem would be getting your server to recognize all of your SATA drives (there are no SATA drivers in the image so you have to install them yourself).

    I hope to present just one volume to the world of 16tb, will that be ok?

    No, you can't present a hard drive larger than 2 TB (because it doesn't use GPT disks).  You should attach all of the drives as individual drives and let WHS handle the rest.

    Thansk!


    You should check the support page for additional info as well.
    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 1:56 AM
    Moderator
  • To answer your additional questions:

    1.  How do you recover from a C drive failure if the system does not support even os level mirroring for the system partion?  Or can i use that folder duplication as a poor mans mirror?

    you perform a server reinstallation and as part of that reinstallation process it recovers itself and leaves your data intact. You have to reinstall any add-ins again and recreate your users but your data is fine.

    2.  If i installed 32x1tb dirves for a storage pool of 32tb, and I duplicate everything I copy onto it, then I would only have 16tb of data on the server.  Now can I have one share people can acces from the netwokr that has 16tb of data or will it only show 2tb as you mentioned above? 

    you can have the share being any size - you dont actually specify a size for a share, you just have a share and use whatever you use, if that happens to be 16tb then so be it.

    3.  I assume you are saying I can only install drives smaller then 2TB?  but once WHS pools them together, the storage pool can be any size and i can have a share of whatever size? 

    the storage pool can be any size (within theoretical limits) - as 2TB is the largest current drive, that is the largest supported today.

    4.  Is the system drive (c) also part of this pool or is this seperate? 

    no, the system drive is not included in the pool

    5.  Can I have multiple storage pools on one server? 

    no - you only have a single storage pool


    Andrew
    MVP - Windows Home Server http://usingwindowshomeserver.com
    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 7:54 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks!  That's helpful. 

    I know shares don't have sizes, but when the first responce said i can only present 2TB, that confused me a bit. I manage the Windows server team for a huge financial firm and trying to use the right terminology for the home products when your experiance is business products can get confusing.  :)

    Sorry, I should have explained better.  WHS only uses MBR formatting for hard drives (not GPT).  The limitation of MBR type drives is that anything above 2 TB doesn't get used.  In other words, if you created a hardware RAID 5 array with a total of 5 TB, then added it to the storage pool, WHS will only use 2 TB of it (because that's the max an MBR drive can have) and the other 3 TB would be completely wasted space.

    Kind of sucks about recovery though, really wish there was at a minimum a C drive mirroring.  Recreating users, permissions, ect are not a fun way to spend an evening or weekend..


    Recreating a few users and a couple permissions through the Console is very quick and painless.  You may be thinking of having all sorts of permissions on individual folders, files, deny permissions, etc.  However, all of that is unsupported on WHS.  The only supported area to change permissions is in the Console (and that only controls those shares, which then propogate to the folders and files beneath them).

    To be honest, I think you might need to let go of your Windows Server tendencies if you want to appreciate the simplicity of WHS. :)
    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 7:45 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Folks,

    Been searching and reading as much as I can, but still have a few questions that need answering.

    1.  Can I mirror the C (system) drive/partition?

    It's unsupported and not recommended.

    2.  I haven't found any posts on drive size limits is this unlimited?

    You can have as many hard drives as your hardware can handle.

    3.  Can you unplug and plug in internal sata drives while the system is online and will it update the storage on the fly?

    You would need to remove the drive from the Console first, but yes (as long as the hardware supports hot swapping).

    4.  what is the largest volume you can create?

    You don't create volumes, you create a single storage pool (which is the total amount of hard drives you have in the pool less 20 GB for the OS partition).

    5.  What is the larget share you can present or is that equal to the volume?

    No limit on share size.

    6.  How does it do the mirroring?  Does it do a quick check and ignore if already mirrored or does it do some intensive other check?  I'm tryign to build a high performance video server and I don't want it slowing down by constantly doing checks..

    It doesn't do "mirroring" at all (as all types of RAID are unsupported).  It uses Folder Duplication (which means any file that is in a share with Folder Duplication enabled will be stored on 2 different physical hard drives within the server).  It checks every hour for new files that need to be duplicated and, if it finds any, duplicates them at that point.

    7.  I have 32 1TB drives which i want to install (not including teh system drive/s) and mirror (so 16tb usable).

    Again, RAID is unsupported.

    going to get two 16port sata controllers to help with this.  Anyone know of any issues with going this route?

    I think the biggest problem would be getting your server to recognize all of your SATA drives (there are no SATA drivers in the image so you have to install them yourself).

    I hope to present just one volume to the world of 16tb, will that be ok?

    No, you can't present a hard drive larger than 2 TB (because it doesn't use GPT disks).  You should attach all of the drives as individual drives and let WHS handle the rest.

    Thansk!


    You should check the support page for additional info as well.
    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 1:56 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks kariya21, 

    When I said mirroring, I mean the folder duplication provided by WHS. 

    A few follow up questions.

    1.  How do you recover from a C drive failure if the system does not support even os level mirroring for the system partion?  Or can i use that folder duplication as a poor mans mirror?

    2.  If i installed 32x1tb dirves for a storage pool of 32tb, and I duplicate everything I copy onto it, then I would only have 16tb of data on the server.  Now can I have one share people can acces from the netwokr that has 16tb of data or will it only show 2tb as you mentioned above? 

    3.  I assume you are saying I can only install drives smaller then 2TB?  but once WHS pools them together, the storage pool can be any size and i can have a share of whatever size? 

    4.  Is the system drive (c) also part of this pool or is this seperate? 

    5.  Can I have multiple storage pools on one server? 

    keep in mind I am not suggesting i will use any hardware raid or mirroring. 

    Thanks again..
    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 4:31 AM
  • To answer your additional questions:

    1.  How do you recover from a C drive failure if the system does not support even os level mirroring for the system partion?  Or can i use that folder duplication as a poor mans mirror?

    you perform a server reinstallation and as part of that reinstallation process it recovers itself and leaves your data intact. You have to reinstall any add-ins again and recreate your users but your data is fine.

    2.  If i installed 32x1tb dirves for a storage pool of 32tb, and I duplicate everything I copy onto it, then I would only have 16tb of data on the server.  Now can I have one share people can acces from the netwokr that has 16tb of data or will it only show 2tb as you mentioned above? 

    you can have the share being any size - you dont actually specify a size for a share, you just have a share and use whatever you use, if that happens to be 16tb then so be it.

    3.  I assume you are saying I can only install drives smaller then 2TB?  but once WHS pools them together, the storage pool can be any size and i can have a share of whatever size? 

    the storage pool can be any size (within theoretical limits) - as 2TB is the largest current drive, that is the largest supported today.

    4.  Is the system drive (c) also part of this pool or is this seperate? 

    no, the system drive is not included in the pool

    5.  Can I have multiple storage pools on one server? 

    no - you only have a single storage pool


    Andrew
    MVP - Windows Home Server http://usingwindowshomeserver.com
    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 7:54 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks!  That's helpful. 

    I know shares don't have sizes, but when the first responce said i can only present 2TB, that confused me a bit. I manage the Windows server team for a huge financial firm and trying to use the right terminology for the home products when your experiance is business products can get confusing.  :)

    Kind of sucks about recovery though, really wish there was at a minimum a C drive mirroring.  Recreating users, permissions, ect are not a fun way to spend an evening or weekend..





    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 6:25 PM
  • Thanks!  That's helpful. 

    I know shares don't have sizes, but when the first responce said i can only present 2TB, that confused me a bit. I manage the Windows server team for a huge financial firm and trying to use the right terminology for the home products when your experiance is business products can get confusing.  :)

    Sorry, I should have explained better.  WHS only uses MBR formatting for hard drives (not GPT).  The limitation of MBR type drives is that anything above 2 TB doesn't get used.  In other words, if you created a hardware RAID 5 array with a total of 5 TB, then added it to the storage pool, WHS will only use 2 TB of it (because that's the max an MBR drive can have) and the other 3 TB would be completely wasted space.

    Kind of sucks about recovery though, really wish there was at a minimum a C drive mirroring.  Recreating users, permissions, ect are not a fun way to spend an evening or weekend..


    Recreating a few users and a couple permissions through the Console is very quick and painless.  You may be thinking of having all sorts of permissions on individual folders, files, deny permissions, etc.  However, all of that is unsupported on WHS.  The only supported area to change permissions is in the Console (and that only controls those shares, which then propogate to the folders and files beneath them).

    To be honest, I think you might need to let go of your Windows Server tendencies if you want to appreciate the simplicity of WHS. :)
    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 7:45 PM
    Moderator