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data distribution: how to rebalance? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just installed this week (WHS w/PP3) and in the course of adding drives (which had to be formatted to join of course) I had to play a game of three card monty with my data.
    The result is a1TB drive at 99% capacity and another 1TB drive at 20%.  Is there a method to get this data balanced more evenly between the two?

    Friday, January 15, 2010 6:33 PM

Answers

  • No, there's nothing in the product to force the server to redistribute data, but there's also no need. Probably your Disk 2 contains your backup database ; this is usually the largest consumer of space in the storage pool so it's reasonable to expect that disk to be mostly full. In addition, the algorithm Windows Home server uses to store data favors putting it on a disk that already contains data, so if you have a lot of data that's not duplicated (again, backups would fall in this category) it will tend to result in this type of "imbalance". Bottom line is that it's a non-issue.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by blodestone Friday, January 15, 2010 7:43 PM
    Friday, January 15, 2010 6:38 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • No, there's nothing in the product to force the server to redistribute data, but there's also no need. Probably your Disk 2 contains your backup database ; this is usually the largest consumer of space in the storage pool so it's reasonable to expect that disk to be mostly full. In addition, the algorithm Windows Home server uses to store data favors putting it on a disk that already contains data, so if you have a lot of data that's not duplicated (again, backups would fall in this category) it will tend to result in this type of "imbalance". Bottom line is that it's a non-issue.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by blodestone Friday, January 15, 2010 7:43 PM
    Friday, January 15, 2010 6:38 PM
    Moderator
  • The Disk 2 contains mostly non-backup data.  I'm using the server as a centralized file-server more than a backup solution at this time.  (Remember I've been at this less than a week).  Currently the only device on the backup schedule has 37GB worth of bits and probably only 3 nights worth of backups.

    However, I would take issue with the "non-issue".  A balanced pair of drives will have a longer lifespan (as a set) than an unbalanced pair.

    Would you say that there is no workaround method I could employ that would provide the solution I am requesting?
    Friday, January 15, 2010 6:48 PM
  • So you don't have duplication turned on? Do you take regular backups of your server shares? If not, your data is at risk if you should happen to lose even a single drive. In that case I would highly recommend the installation of one or more additional drives, after which you should turn on duplication.

    As for drive lifespan, constantly balancing the load on two or more drives would result in constant reading and writing of the drives, which is vastly more likely to cause premature mechanical failure than one full and one empty (soon to be full, probably) drive. Why would it result in constant reading/writing? Because every time you change a file, add a file, or remove a file, Windows Home server would need to figure out whether there was a need to move files from one disk to another, followed by moving files as needed.

    There are workarounds, but they're entirely unnecessary. A couple of searches in the forums (start with "rebalance") should help you find one, however.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, January 15, 2010 6:58 PM
    Moderator
  • Try the Drive Balancer utility
    Monday, January 18, 2010 11:29 PM