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Redundancy on Home Server RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,
    I am planning to buy a Home Server and store all my media on it. However, I want to make sure that all that media is safe (obviously).

    I'd like to use redundant storage in order to accomplish this. I read somewhere that Home Server doesn't do RAID but that it has its own proprietary form of redundancy. Is this true? Is there anywhere where I can read more about that?

    Thanks
    Jamie
    http://sqlblog.com/blogs/jamie_thomson/ | http://jamiethomson.spaces.live.com/ | @jamiet
    Thursday, October 22, 2009 5:05 PM

Answers

  • Start with Microsoft's Windows Home Server minisite. Of interest will be the technical briefs on the Support page (reached from the Help link on the right side of the mini-site) and in particular the Drive Extender technical brief.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, October 22, 2009 6:00 PM
    Moderator
  • as long as you have more then one drive in the system, you will have an option to enable folder duplication. when you create a share this will be a configurable option. if enabled the system will copy the data onto another drive. This could also mean that you would cut your storage in half. for example, you aquire a server that has a total of 1TB of space spread out on 2 drives ( 2 500G). The first drive will have a 20G partition for the system and a second partition that will be data. the second drive will also be added to the data pool. when you enable folder duplication (enabled by default when the OS is installed with more then 1 drive) and copy items to your server, you will notice that you can only get around 500G onto the server even though you have 1TB in there. this is because your data is being copied twice, to both disks.

    while this ensures data redundancy, it costs you space. HDs are relatively cheap, so increasing your storage is only limited by your pocket book and what your server case can handle. the sites linked give much more in depth information but this was meant to be a short explanation of it. it really is quite simple and very easy.
    • Marked as answer by Jamie Thomson Friday, October 23, 2009 9:35 AM
    Thursday, October 22, 2009 8:03 PM

All replies

  • Start with Microsoft's Windows Home Server minisite. Of interest will be the technical briefs on the Support page (reached from the Help link on the right side of the mini-site) and in particular the Drive Extender technical brief.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, October 22, 2009 6:00 PM
    Moderator
  • as long as you have more then one drive in the system, you will have an option to enable folder duplication. when you create a share this will be a configurable option. if enabled the system will copy the data onto another drive. This could also mean that you would cut your storage in half. for example, you aquire a server that has a total of 1TB of space spread out on 2 drives ( 2 500G). The first drive will have a 20G partition for the system and a second partition that will be data. the second drive will also be added to the data pool. when you enable folder duplication (enabled by default when the OS is installed with more then 1 drive) and copy items to your server, you will notice that you can only get around 500G onto the server even though you have 1TB in there. this is because your data is being copied twice, to both disks.

    while this ensures data redundancy, it costs you space. HDs are relatively cheap, so increasing your storage is only limited by your pocket book and what your server case can handle. the sites linked give much more in depth information but this was meant to be a short explanation of it. it really is quite simple and very easy.
    • Marked as answer by Jamie Thomson Friday, October 23, 2009 9:35 AM
    Thursday, October 22, 2009 8:03 PM
  • Perfect, thanks guys. Simple answers are what I like :)

    I've bought a Home Server rig from TranquilPC and gotten 2*1TB drives in there so I'll definitely be using folder duplication. I'm not worried about halving my total disk space.

    For anyone else reading, I also found a useful blog post here:

    Windows Home Server's idea of redundancy
    (http://qgyen.net/archive/windows-home-server-s-idea-of-redundancy/ )

    thanks again guys
    Jamie
    http://sqlblog.com/blogs/jamie_thomson/ | http://jamiethomson.spaces.live.com/ | @jamiet
    Friday, October 23, 2009 9:38 AM
  • Be aware of the need of external backups, since there can be incidents, which affect your entire server. From overvoltage over natural disasters up to simple things like a malicious software or a mentally absent user much can happen to the data, while duplication only protects against the results of a failing disk. So you should also use a few external drives and use the Backup for the server in the console itself.
    Then store the disk in a safe place, maybe outside from your home.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, October 23, 2009 10:08 AM
    Moderator
  • Be aware of the need of external backups, since there can be incidents, which affect your entire server. From overvoltage over natural disasters up to simple things like a malicious software or a mentally absent user much can happen to the data, while duplication only protects against the results of a failing disk. So you should also use a few external drives and use the Backup for the server in the console itself.
    Then store the disk in a safe place, maybe outside from your home.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thanks Olaf. I was thinking about using a service like Mozy or JungleDisk for external backup. Any thoughts on that?

    -Jamie

    http://sqlblog.com/blogs/jamie_thomson/ | http://jamiethomson.spaces.live.com/ | @jamiet
    Friday, October 23, 2009 10:17 AM
  • Hi Jamie,
    such stuff is not supported on Windows Home Server - and it might happen, that it cannot deal correctly with the tombstones, depending from how it interacts with the file system/shares. (Only access WHS shared folders via UNC name, all other methods may cause troublesome experiences.)

    I also would not consider to store private data files "in the cloud", but this may be my German mentality.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, October 23, 2009 10:22 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Jamie,
    such stuff is not supported on Windows Home Server - and it might happen, that it cannot deal correctly with the tombstones, depending from how it interacts with the file system/shares. (Only access WHS shared folders via UNC name, all other methods may cause troublesome experiences.)

    I also would not consider to store private data files "in the cloud", but this may be my German mentality.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Righto. If all I'm doing is sending a very big BLOB up to the cloud then I'm not too worried about my private data - its mainly going to be media anyway (digression: Can WHS automatically-encrypt data?)

    -Jamie


    http://sqlblog.com/blogs/jamie_thomson/ | http://jamiethomson.spaces.live.com/ | @jamiet
    Friday, October 23, 2009 10:33 AM
  • Also please have look at Windows Home Server Backup Database-Backup (BDBB) 1.0.1.6 released. It allows you to backup your clientbackup db to another (external) disk and set duplication enabled for the backup database.
    Friday, October 23, 2009 11:25 AM
    Moderator
  • Encryption: No, Windows Home Server does not encrypt the data on your server's disks. In addition, using advanced NTFS features such as file encryption, symbolic links, etc. in the shares is not supported.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, October 23, 2009 2:23 PM
    Moderator