WHS on a Raid system RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am curious if I can build a 11TB Raid-5 WHS system using these two boxes:

    Box 1: Server box with a SAS Raid card that has one intrenal and one external SAS port and 12 500G drives.

    Box 2: A JBOD with 12 500G drives.


    - I make a Raid-5 with Box 1 internal 500G drives. That gives me 6TB Raw or 5.5TB Usable. 

    - I install WHS on this box and get about 5.5TB storage...

    - I connect the SAS Raid card external port to the JBOD and create another raid-5 from those drives to give me a new unformatted 5.5TB volume.  

    Then add this 2nd 5.5TB to the WHS storage pool to give me total of 11TB.


    Will that work? Will WHS allow adding a 2nd raid array to the storage pool?


    I know Microsoft does not officially support installing WHS on Raid systems, but I am not worried about that if the system works OK...


    Thanks in advance..



    Thursday, November 8, 2007 4:37 AM

All replies

  • If you're using hardware RAID, WHS may install on your primary just fine, however, I've read (here and elsewhere) that the server has issues with larger RAID arrays as a secondary disk.


    It's clear that cost isn't a concern for you, but I'm curious as to why you would toss away a full TB of storage?  WHS would handle the drives as well as any RAID card and you gain that space back to boot.

    Thursday, November 8, 2007 5:06 AM
  • I am thinking I get a better performance from a 12 drive raid-5...


    Thursday, November 8, 2007 5:11 AM
  • 2nd reason is that if one drive dies, I still have access to all my data and it will be transparent to the users...

    Thursday, November 8, 2007 5:14 AM
  • You will find, if you try this, that you have a 4 GB WHS box at the end of the day. WHS uses MBR disks, and that type of disk is limited to 2 TB. A RAID array appears (to the OS) as a single disk. So you will be sacrificing 3.5 TB of each array.

    There are apparently ways to get the disk set up as GPT, but I haven't seen any reports on the long term stability of that configuration. And it is very definitely going to be an unsupported configuration.
    Thursday, November 8, 2007 5:15 AM
  • First problem is that JBOD has no redundancy. If a single drive fails data is lost. Hopefully the external 12 bay you are looking at handles raid 5.

    The other issue is if you are going to have a 6TB raid as the primary install hard drive with no file redundancy AND you add a 6 TB external drive, then that primary drive is not going to have any real data stored on it other than backups and tombstones until the external 6TB is filled. If you dont currently have enough data to fill the system, it might make sence to get that extra storage for the server later when its needed, and the drives are cheaper.


    Thursday, November 8, 2007 5:24 AM