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  • Question

  • Sorry, I've searched/read hundreds of posts on RAID and cannot find the answer to this.

     

    Like many others, I already have an investemnt in RAID equipment.  I would also prefer that WHS was more efficient in its use of drive space.  I hate that 1/2 of available space is lost to redundancy when other schemes (e.g. RAID) would be far more efficient.

     

    So, here's my thought.  Why not make the main drive, or only drive, for WHS a RAID array?  You could then turn off all duplication for shared folders since the RAID provides the needed redudancy. 

     

    It seems like you would get the other benefits of WHS, be more efficient in drive space, and still have a central file repository with full redundancy.

     

    So, am I missing something here?  Is this possible/reasonable?

     

    Your feedback will be appreciated! 

     

     

    Monday, November 26, 2007 1:21 AM

Answers

  • Yes, it's possible. I had a WHS PC configured that way for a while. You'll have a couple of issues, though.

    First, when you run out of disk space, you probably won't be able to extend your array onto a new drive without recreating it from scratch. Do you have enough disk space available in other PCs to move your data off WHS and back on? If your array controller supports a non-destructive rebuild, do you trust your power to be stable enough not to fail during the process (which could take hours or days)?

    Second, WHS uses MBR formatted disks. That type of disk is limited to 2 TB. You won't be able to extend your storage pool beyond that point without using additional disks that aren't part of the array.
    Monday, November 26, 2007 6:55 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Yes, it's possible. I had a WHS PC configured that way for a while. You'll have a couple of issues, though.

    First, when you run out of disk space, you probably won't be able to extend your array onto a new drive without recreating it from scratch. Do you have enough disk space available in other PCs to move your data off WHS and back on? If your array controller supports a non-destructive rebuild, do you trust your power to be stable enough not to fail during the process (which could take hours or days)?

    Second, WHS uses MBR formatted disks. That type of disk is limited to 2 TB. You won't be able to extend your storage pool beyond that point without using additional disks that aren't part of the array.
    Monday, November 26, 2007 6:55 PM
    Moderator
  • Actually, you can use and expand an RAID array to be larger than 2 TiB, you just have to create multiple volume sets within the RAID sets and limit them to a max size of to 2TiB.  For example, you could have five 1TB drive in a RAID5 array, giving 4TB of usable space.  Instead of creating a single 4TB volume set, create two 2TB volume sets.  These would show-up as two separate 2TB drives that could be included in the WHS storage pool.

    If your RAID controller supports online capacity expansion, you could add 2 more 1TB drives (giving a 6TB RAID set) and create a new volume set (2TB in size).  This would show up as a third 2TB drive that WHS could add to the storage pool.

    Hardware RAID is extremely complex and I understand why it is not supported by WHS.  I really wish MS would add the option for an unstriped, parity redundancy system (similar to unRAID).  It could offer all the storage density advantages of RAID5 without the drawbacks (identical disks sizes note required, striping of data not required, etc.)
    Thursday, November 29, 2007 3:53 PM