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Securing system drive and availability RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi there,

     

    first off, i would like to say that i am completely new to WHS, so please dont frown upon factual mistakes on my part :)

     

    When i first looked at the original whs i ignored it due to the fact that it didnt seem a robust enough product. I might have been mistaken, but it didnt get very much attention in my home contry, so theres that.

     

    However, ive been looking at upgrading my NAS for a couple of months now, and stumpled upon the V2 WHS and got intrigued. It seems that it could fill my needs for a NAS and add easy backup for my home windows 7 enviorment (4PC running either w7 home or w7 ultimate)

     

    As an old DIY builder though i have some concerns regarding the stability and security of the system drive.

    As i understand you HAVE to install WHS on a 160GB drive(which i find silly, i dont want my system drive to act as storage space).

     

    Base system:

    Intel Core i3 cpu

    Intel H57 based motherboard

    4GB RAM

    system drive?

    storage: 4x2TB WD20EARS drives

     

    Given above and following dealbreakers, how would you recommend i choose my system drive(s):

    - I NEED an easy way to handle a system drive crash, including WHS configuration

    - I DONT need backup of all my storage, but some folders must be duplicated(as i understand veil supports this out of the box)

     

    Now my own instincts tell me that a raid-1 of the system drive and then just add the 4x2TB in normal SATA mode is the way i want to go, but i have read several places that people dont recommend that i mix raid and WHS.

    Also what read/write speeds do you think i can reach assuming a full 1GB network structure and windows 7 clients. I am thinking of raw read speed from the storage pool (4x2TB disks).

     

    Whats your take on all this?

     

    • Edited by Moerkbak Tuesday, July 6, 2010 8:37 AM added speed question
    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 8:29 AM

Answers

  • Vail will not be in the market for (probably) several months, and using the beta in a production scenario us unsupported and (in my opinion as Windows Home Server fan-boy :) ) foolish. Now is not the time to move to Vail, unless you're willing to maintain duplicate storage, multiple backups of data, etc. (Which is what I do; I have 6 copies of my shares...)

    For the system drive:

    • You can exclude it from server storage. I've done this.
    • You can safely extend the system partition to occupy the entire drive. I've done this.
    • I expect you can clone the drive if you really want to. I haven't done this. I also don't really recommend doing so; Vail supports the same Windows Server Backup feature set as Windows Server 2008 R2, and I think bare metal restore is a better answer. Note that this area is incomplete in the current public beta...

    Duplication is a concept built into Windows Home Server from the ground up, but it's not done the same way RAID 1 is. You don't mirror entire drives, you store two copies of a file on two different drives. This allows you to use whatever disks you like, adding to server storage whenever you need to, rather than needing to plan for your final capacity, or go through the (possibly major) hassle of expanding capacity on a production array.

    As for R/W speeds, Vail is in beta. Some people (me) see speeds similar to V1. Some see significantly lower performance. This may be due to debug code still in Vail (eremember it's a beta) or it may be due to marginally compatible drivers for storage or network. Or it could be something completely different. I couldn't tell you.

    I recommend reading all available documentation on both Vail and Windows Home Server V1 before you consider installing Vail anywhere.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 12:22 PM
    Moderator
  • There's a (documented, which is one reason I recommended you read up :) ) switch that you can set in an answer file to defeat hard stops on hardware requirements. I can't guarantee that it will make it into the final product, however.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 1:23 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Vail will not be in the market for (probably) several months, and using the beta in a production scenario us unsupported and (in my opinion as Windows Home Server fan-boy :) ) foolish. Now is not the time to move to Vail, unless you're willing to maintain duplicate storage, multiple backups of data, etc. (Which is what I do; I have 6 copies of my shares...)

    For the system drive:

    • You can exclude it from server storage. I've done this.
    • You can safely extend the system partition to occupy the entire drive. I've done this.
    • I expect you can clone the drive if you really want to. I haven't done this. I also don't really recommend doing so; Vail supports the same Windows Server Backup feature set as Windows Server 2008 R2, and I think bare metal restore is a better answer. Note that this area is incomplete in the current public beta...

    Duplication is a concept built into Windows Home Server from the ground up, but it's not done the same way RAID 1 is. You don't mirror entire drives, you store two copies of a file on two different drives. This allows you to use whatever disks you like, adding to server storage whenever you need to, rather than needing to plan for your final capacity, or go through the (possibly major) hassle of expanding capacity on a production array.

    As for R/W speeds, Vail is in beta. Some people (me) see speeds similar to V1. Some see significantly lower performance. This may be due to debug code still in Vail (eremember it's a beta) or it may be due to marginally compatible drivers for storage or network. Or it could be something completely different. I couldn't tell you.

    I recommend reading all available documentation on both Vail and Windows Home Server V1 before you consider installing Vail anywhere.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 12:22 PM
    Moderator
  • Im aware retail is months away, but i like to be prepared. i aint gonna install the beta in "production".

     

    i know i can exclude it from server storage, but it seems silly that you NEED 160GB to install it. for instance i have a 76gb drive(raptor) that i hoped to use, no dice.. :/

    i just hate to waste so much space.

     

    i never used windows server backup, does it create a bootable image or how does this work.

     

    reading documentation is one thing, but experience is better, wich is the reason i ask the questions ;)

     

     

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 12:45 PM
  • There's a (documented, which is one reason I recommended you read up :) ) switch that you can set in an answer file to defeat hard stops on hardware requirements. I can't guarantee that it will make it into the final product, however.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 1:23 PM
    Moderator