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WHS 2011 + Cheap RAID 5 Cards RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am wanting to upgrade from V1 to 2011, but want to keep all my media in 1 single folder and I have a lot of media. I have been looking at Raid 5 cards as I heard Raid 5 is the better and I would have used the motherboard Raid but it doesn't support Raid 5, so my question it how good would a cheaper Raid 5 controller be to a more expensive one. I am on budget for this sort of thing. If there was better data protection for failing drives when they are connected seperatly I wouldn't really bother with RAID.
    HMG
    Monday, June 27, 2011 11:14 AM

All replies

  • Henry,

    (oops - sorry for the small letters) I have just been through this line of reasoning. I am already using a 8-port RAID controller (RR2320), but in a non-RAID configuration and have concluded not to use RAID5 when I upgrade for one compelling reason. The drives are formatted in a proprietary way and if any one drive fails all is lost - unless you have backed up the whole array.

     

    Finn

    Monday, June 27, 2011 11:35 AM
  • I am not too bothered about loosing some things, all the media that I am putting on are backed up to DVD's aswell so I would not have to go through process of converting them back to a reasonable format, the problem I have is that if any one drive fails I do not want to figure out what was on that drive and add them back again. See the problem here is I do not like to use RAID and I don't trust 3rd party DE add-ins, they are bound to go wrong at some point. But people are saying with RAID 5 is that if 1 drive fails the rest are ok, its if more than one fails then you have lost everything. If I can't find a sutible way of upgrading then I would have to stay with V1 which is not want I am wanting to do.
    HMG
    Monday, June 27, 2011 11:43 AM
  • Finn,

    I beleive you have a misunderstanding of RAID 5 arrays. In a true RAID 5 array one drive can fail and the array will continue without data loss (although two simultaneous failures will result in data loss). So as long as a failed drive is replaced and the arrary rebuilt prior to another failures, there should be no data loss at all.

    Some RAID controllers even allow for a 'hot spare' to take over in the event of a drive failure.

    But even having a RAID array with a hot spare is no substutute for a backup. It protects your data with disk redundancy but didasters can still happen.

     

    Monday, June 27, 2011 11:45 AM
  • Finn,

    I beleive you have a misunderstanding of RAID 5 arrays. In a true RAID 5 array one drive can fail and the array will continue without data loss (although two simultaneous failures will result in data loss). So as long as a failed drive is replaced and the arrary rebuilt prior to another failures, there should be no data loss at all.

    Some RAID controllers even allow for a 'hot spare' to take over in the event of a drive failure.

    But even having a RAID array with a hot spare is no substutute for a backup. It protects your data with disk redundancy but didasters can still happen.

     


    So whats the best way for Raid in my case would Raid 5 be the way to go, or stay with WHS V1?
    HMG
    Monday, June 27, 2011 11:49 AM
  • HMG,

    This past weekend I completed an upgrade from WHS V1 to WHS2011. As I part of that I added a four disk Sans Digital 4 bay drive enclosure with my existing (4) 1TB disks in a RAID 5 array for a 3TB volume. It could not have been easier. The enclosure came with a bundled RR622 RAID controller and could not have been easier to set up and use. It does take significant time for the array to format and build, but WHS2011 is up and available to do other setup tasks while that goes on.

    I lamented the loss of Disk Extender as much as anyone but some vendors are now producing relatively inexpensive enclosures that make this kind of setup possile for those like me with modest budgets. The enclosure and bundled RAID card were $150. A bargain for data redundancy, IMHO.

    Good luck with your search.

    - Randy -

     

    Monday, June 27, 2011 11:54 AM
  • There are other ways if you don't want to go RAID dependant upon how much data you have and how frequently you feel the need for it to be backed up:

    • Use the Server Backup facility (limited to 2TB per automatic backup). It can be set to run evert 30 minutes. The advantage of this is you can use multiple backup disks which can be stored off site.
    • Use something like Robocopy, SyncToy etc. to backup shared disks in your server to other backup disks either internally or externa to the Server.

     


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Monday, June 27, 2011 11:56 AM
  • There are other ways if you don't want to go RAID dependant upon how much data you have and how frequently you feel the need for it to be backed up:

    • Use the Server Backup facility (limited to 2TB per automatic backup). It can be set to run evert 30 minutes. The advantage of this is you can use multiple backup disks which can be stored off site.
    • Use something like Robocopy, SyncToy etc. to backup shared disks in your server to other backup disks either internally or externa to the Server.

     


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

    The Amount of media shares covers at present about 3-4tb, I know about the 2tb limitation with WHS2011. To tell you the truth I could manage with multiple shares if I had to, the thing is with those shares been split up over how ever many drives there is no way to keep track a failing HDD's contents without some sort of backup, this is the feature I like with the DE on V1, you have a failing hdd aslong as you have enough room the contents of that drive can be shifted to another one, until a replacment drive is added.
    HMG
    Monday, June 27, 2011 12:12 PM
  • Finn,

    I beleive you have a misunderstanding of RAID 5 arrays. In a true RAID 5 array one drive can fail and the array will continue without data loss (although two simultaneous failures will result in data loss). So as long as a failed drive is replaced and the arrary rebuilt prior to another failures, there should be no data loss at all.

    Some RAID controllers even allow for a 'hot spare' to take over in the event of a drive failure.

    But even having a RAID array with a hot spare is no substutute for a backup. It protects your data with disk redundancy but didasters can still happen.

     


    Of course you are right. Stand out as a complete idiot, don't I? Got a bit carried away. What I had in mind, but did not write, you are in trouble when a drive ADAPTER fails, which has happened to my RR2320. Not to speak of when the controller fails all together. As I understand it the only rescue is an identical replacement controller, not even another model from the same producer guarantees migration of the RAID set.
    Monday, June 27, 2011 12:16 PM
  • seems like the way everyone is going I think I will stay with V1 for now, untill I can find something more stable to use in WHS 2011
    HMG
    Monday, June 27, 2011 12:43 PM
  • You don't need a RAID controller to make a RAID5 array. With today's modern processor speeds, it is entirely feasible to use software raid5 using your motherboard's on-board SATA ports (most boards have 6) and windows' built-in raid functionality. This would allow for 5x2/3tb drives in RAID5 and an OS drive. Put your OS drive in, install WHS2011, add your 5x RAID5 drives, go to disk management and create a raid5 volume. Move your shares to the new raid array and off you go. 
    Monday, June 27, 2011 7:03 PM
  • You don't need a RAID controller to make a RAID5 array. With today's modern processor speeds, it is entirely feasible to use software raid5 using your motherboard's on-board SATA ports (most boards have 6) and windows' built-in raid functionality. This would allow for 5x2/3tb drives in RAID5 and an OS drive. Put your OS drive in, install WHS2011, add your 5x RAID5 drives, go to disk management and create a raid5 volume. Move your shares to the new raid array and off you go. 

    you obviously didn't read my OP I said my motherboard doesn't support RAID 5 onboard, Just 1,0 and 10
    HMG
    Tuesday, June 28, 2011 3:42 PM
  • If you have it in the budget, you can bump to a RAID 6 array as well.  Like mentioned, loosing one drive will only degraded but not destroy your volume.  If a second drive fails before the first is replaced, then the whole array is gone.  I personally use a ARC-1230 in RAID 6, where I can have two drives fail at once and still be ok.  This controller also allows migration between raid levels, without data loss, as long as the array is the same size or larger when you're finished (can move from RAID6 -> RAID5 to gain a whole extra disk of capacity - when you need it).
    Thursday, July 7, 2011 7:16 PM
  • If you have it in the budget, you can bump to a RAID 6 array as well.  Like mentioned, loosing one drive will only degraded but not destroy your volume.  If a second drive fails before the first is replaced, then the whole array is gone.  I personally use a ARC-1230 in RAID 6, where I can have two drives fail at once and still be ok.  This controller also allows migration between raid levels, without data loss, as long as the array is the same size or larger when you're finished (can move from RAID6 -> RAID5 to gain a whole extra disk of capacity - when you need it).


    Did you have any problems with your ARC-1230 running on WHS 2011?  What drivers did you use? 

    Thanks

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011 3:30 PM
  • You don't need a RAID controller to make a RAID5 array. With today's modern processor speeds, it is entirely feasible to use software raid5 using your motherboard's on-board SATA ports (most boards have 6) and windows' built-in raid functionality. This would allow for 5x2/3tb drives in RAID5 and an OS drive. Put your OS drive in, install WHS2011, add your 5x RAID5 drives, go to disk management and create a raid5 volume. Move your shares to the new raid array and off you go. 

    you obviously didn't read my OP I said my motherboard doesn't support RAID 5 onboard, Just 1,0 and 10
    HMG

    What he is suggesting is not motherboard RAID, but Windows Server software RAID.  Windows Server 2008 R2 supports various software RAID configurations, including RAID 5. 
    Tuesday, July 19, 2011 3:39 PM
  • Henry,

    (oops - sorry for the small letters) I have just been through this line of reasoning. I am already using a 8-port RAID controller (RR2320), but in a non-RAID configuration and have concluded not to use RAID5 when I upgrade for one compelling reason. The drives are formatted in a proprietary way and if any one drive fails all is lost - unless you have backed up the whole array.

     

    Finn


    None of that is true. One of the reasons for RAID is Redundancy, as in Redundant Array of Independent Disks. In a RAID 5 three disk array, you can have one disk fail and everything is still fine, but if you have a second disk fail, then you're in trouble.

    RAID 5 gives you the most bang for the buck, but if the array itself is damaged, like in a power outage, then you won't be able to recover your data without using a data recovery software that is capable of combining RAID data.

    The best RAID to use is RAID 1. If one of the drives fail, you still have all of your data in its natural state on the other drive, so no data recovery required. If the array breaks or the partitions are damaged, you can simply use a partition repair utility or a standard data recovery software to recover your data.  

    WHS stores data like a software RAID 1 for redundancy. It may not be the most efficient, but it is a safe way to store data. So you may want to save your money on RAID controllers and just use WHS manage your data redundancy needs.

    Of course, even RAID 1, WHS, or any RAID type is NOT safe, and no RAID is considered a "backup", for example, running RAID 1, even though your data is mirrored to another drive, it is not a backup! You still need to backup your data to another drive or array. Depending on the importance of the data, you may want to save your data to a number of drives and locations.

    Thursday, July 21, 2011 12:47 AM