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Which RAID setup accommodates expansion the best? RRS feed

  • Question

  • We purchased a home server a few months ago to serve multiple purposes for us, but mainly as a central media station. Unfortunately to begin with we could only budget for one 2TB hard drive (in addition to the OS drive). What I'd like to do is eventually expand to 4 2TB hard drives, but since we're an average American family, money is a hurdle. We're looking at getting one at a time, or possibly one, then two more.

    The thing I'm wondering is: in looking at data redundancy and all the different RAID types, which one should I begin with if I don't want to rebuild it later? This will be my first RAID set up, but I've done a bit of research. Ideally I'd have the four drives and set up a RAID10, but obviously can't. So what I'd like to do is set up the second hard drive to mirror our first, and then buy two more later down the line as another (separate) pair. However, when I initially build the RAID I'll have to backup my data, then restore it. I do not wish to do this with 2 2tB hard drives when I eventually have 4. 

    Any advice? I'm also open to other suggestions. Really we're looking for data redundancy to take the place of back-ups in case of hardware failure. Thanks.

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012 6:19 PM

Answers

  • I would go with one of the third party Drive Extender replacements and forget RAID.

    Stablebit

    http://stablebit.com/DrivePool

    Drive Bender

    http://www.drivebender.com/

    I lean towards Stablebit.  I have tested them both.  However, I use neither. I elected to go back to WHS v1 with its built in Drive Extender.


    ____________

    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ____________
    <Heiny99> wrote in message news:ebadebfa-2d04-4e58-bb52-275d8724c46e@communitybridge.codeplex.com...
    : The server didn't have an OS installed. I bought a copy of WHS 2011 a few months ago and installed it on the system.
    :


    BullDawg
    • Marked as answer by Heiny99 Wednesday, May 2, 2012 7:35 PM
    Wednesday, May 2, 2012 1:32 AM

All replies

  • If you are an American family living in the USA and you bought your Server a few monts ago, I assume that you are using WHS1 and not WHS2011? If so, I suggest you take advantage of Drive Extender (which is no longer available in WHS2011 without installing 3rd Party add-ins) to do folder duplication. This gives you the advantage of being able to easily add additional drives to the "Drive Pool" as and when you need them.

    That will give you data redundancy but will not protect you from fire/flood etc. For that you will need backups with data taken offsite.


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012 7:28 PM
  • The server didn't have an OS installed. I bought a copy of WHS 2011 a few months ago and installed it on the system. 
    Wednesday, May 2, 2012 12:25 AM
  • I would go with one of the third party Drive Extender replacements and forget RAID.

    Stablebit

    http://stablebit.com/DrivePool

    Drive Bender

    http://www.drivebender.com/

    I lean towards Stablebit.  I have tested them both.  However, I use neither. I elected to go back to WHS v1 with its built in Drive Extender.


    ____________

    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ____________
    <Heiny99> wrote in message news:ebadebfa-2d04-4e58-bb52-275d8724c46e@communitybridge.codeplex.com...
    : The server didn't have an OS installed. I bought a copy of WHS 2011 a few months ago and installed it on the system.
    :


    BullDawg
    • Marked as answer by Heiny99 Wednesday, May 2, 2012 7:35 PM
    Wednesday, May 2, 2012 1:32 AM
  • Thanks BullDawg.

    Stablebit is exactly what I'm looking for. I was bummed out when I realized (after the fact) that WHS 2011 discontinued drive extender. So far the reviews on drive pool are great. I'll do some further research, but this seems like my solution.

    You say you tested it. Obviously you like it enough to recommend. What are your personal pros and cons if I may ask?

    Thanks again.

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012 4:41 PM
  • The main reason I went back to WHS v1 is the 2TB limit on backups for both clients and server in WHS 2011.  WHS v1 has no limit for client backups, limited only by total disk capacity and allows disk spanning for server backups.  If/When the 2TB limit is eliminated in WHS 2011 or next version, I will go with it.  For now though, its WHS v1.

    As to DriveBender and Stablebit.  Stablebit is easier to set up. DriveBender often left me confused.  In the early betas, I liked DriveBender better, but later in the beta process, Stablebit appeared to be more polished and refined.  I never lost any data in either while testing.  It just boils down to personal preferences.  They both have fully functioning trials, so experiment with some "test data" and see which you like best.


    ____________

    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ____________
    <Heiny99> wrote in message news:2389b47f-188a-4332-af6d-8a047d8ddd7f@communitybridge.codeplex.com...
    : Thanks BullDawg.
    :
    : Stablebit is exactly what I'm looking for. I was bummed out when I realized (after the fact) that WHS 2011 discontinued drive extender. So far the reviews on drive pool are great. I'll do some further research, but this seems like my solution.
    :
    : You say you tested it. Obviously you like it enough to recommend. What are your personal pros and cons if I may ask?
    :
    : Thanks again.
    :


    BullDawg
    Wednesday, May 2, 2012 6:29 PM