Best way to use 2 x 1.5TB + 2 x 2TB on WHS for data safe ? RRS feed

  • General discussion




    Today we have a linux Debian R4 file server with a Linux RAID1 of 2 x 1.5TB.

    1.5TB is near to be full, so we want to had 2TB.

    At the same time we think about migrate to WHS 2011 instead Debian, taking advantage of some hardware recycling (better CPU, more RAM, etc).

    But as WHS2011 as no Drive extender I don't know how to combine the 4 drives.

    I need redondancy, but I also need a unique space of 1.5TB+2TB. And I really don't know what to do for that.

    Dynamic disk are not able to mirror a stripped disk. 

    At this time I only see RAID10 or RAID01: make RAID1 for each pair of HDD and create à RAID0 of that.

    But how can I built this without wipping all the data that are allready on the drive ? :-s

    Can I use RAID5 with drive that are not the same size ? It is safe enough ?

    Maybe should i use a WHS V1 instead of WHS 2011 and wait for add-ins that can replace DE for WHS2011 ? (Stablebit, Drive Bender, etc are still in beta and I don't want tu use beta product here)


    Thanks for your advice

    PS: as I have a Technet subsciption I have access to both WHS
    Friday, July 8, 2011 10:14 AM

All replies

  • For Windows Home Server 2011, the recommendation is to take regular backups of your server, and rotate those backups off-site. As for combining disks, Windows Home Server 2011 won't do this for you in any useful way; there are some tools in the dashboard which let you manage which shares are on which disks however. You can use a RAID array in server storage, but by default it will be split up into multiple 2 TB chunks, plus one chunk smaller than 2 TB. If you override that (by creating one very large volume which contains the entire array) you'll be unable to back it up due to technical limitations in the server backup tool.

    As for Technet software, you can use that for testing, but the Technet license prohibits use in production so you'll have to make a purchase at some point.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, July 8, 2011 11:45 AM
  • Tks for the answer Kan, but there's nothing helpfull here.

    Nothing that I didn't allready know, and I don't ask about saves (This is allready managed in other ways), but about how I can use this 4 HDD in WHS. The goal is to have a redondancy for a >2TB disk space (2+1.5 TB)


    At this time I only see WHSv1 or some DE alternative on WHS 2011, but they still are all in beta now.

    Monday, July 11, 2011 4:20 PM
  • In order to use the built-in server backup, you are forced to use volumes under 2 TB, no matter how large the underlying RAID array may be.

    If you don't care about backup, Windows dynamic disks allow you to extend a partition onto another disk; this would be one way to get a single large partition. Many RAID controllers also support JBOD configurations. If you choose to go this route, make very sure you have a robust and well-tested backup strategy, because the loss of any single disk in the JBOD array will probably cost you all of the data in the array.

    Finally, if you need both A) protection from single disk failure and B) a single large volume, you need RAID 5 (or other parity-based RAID level). Again, make sure your backup strategy is robust and well-tested, because it's not impossible to lose more than one disk in an array.

    Pretty much any solution will require wiping the drives you currently have; it would probably be better (less time intensive, anyway) to simply buy several large disks (perhaps 4 x 2 TB or 3 x 3 TB) and go with RAID 5. Then the data on your current disks will be safe until you can copy it to your new server. (You will find you want to do this anyway; Windows doesn't have good support for linux file systems...)

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, July 11, 2011 5:35 PM
  • Coming back for the final words.


    I decided to use the old fashion way to make the redondancy.

    2TB and 1.5TB drives are stripped together with dynamic drives (so I have my 3.5TB volume), and I've made a scheduled task for duplicate/synchronize the files from one volume to the other each night.

    I mind it's a best solution than a RAID-style duplication, It gives some kinds of "user proof security" (wrong deleted files, etc..) as I synchronize the server with the client in real time with live mesh.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011 8:59 AM
  • Dear Ken,


    how do you go about creating backups and rotating the disks?

    As far as I understand, WHS 2011 supports the configuration of only one backup disk. Is that correct?

    So it is not clear to me how I would set up backups with rotating disks, at least with the built-in backup function.
    Does the solution comprise additional tools?


    Thanks a lot,

    Friday, August 12, 2011 8:04 PM
  • Connect another disk. You can configure it as a backup disk too. You could even connect a whole raft of disks, configure each of them as backup, and back one share up to each of them. :) Not that I actually recommend that; two disks, one off site and one local, is usually sufficient.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, August 12, 2011 8:29 PM