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hMailServer Installation Strategy RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi

    I think this is a question for this forum rather than the hMailServer forum - if not I am sure someone will let me know!

    I have installed hMailServer on WHS to do a simple task - pick up mail from multiple ISPs and present it to multiple IMAP Clients on my home network. All that works, but the dilema I am facing is that I did a standard install so the program and all Mail storage is on the WHS C: drive. Obviously the data storage will build up over time and I may well run out of space on C:. Does anyone have any advice on which of these two options would be best to resolve this issue:

    1. Install on a different drive (possibly a non-pooled drive) and thus have the EMail data stored on that drive also.
    2. Modify the hMailserver.ini file (as per the documentation) to move the storage area to somewhere other than C:

    Would a non-pooled drive be better for data storage or can the WHS Drive Extender cope with a large database? Putting it on a pooled (shared) drive would have the advantage of having the ability for WHS to duplicate the EMail / database thus mitigating against loss?

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks
    Phil
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 7:11 PM

Answers

  • In order for Drive Extender to duplicate or check consistency on files, it needs to be able to read them. It can't do so if there is a lock on the file already. It will ignore this for a while, but after 24 hours it starts to complain. This is probably considered an acceptable situation by Microsoft, since in the average home environment there will be no applications running which are likely to hold files open in the server shares for an extended period of time...

    Note that access to the server shares through D:\Shares\etc. is unsupported. The recommended method on your server (not supported, desktop access in general is unsupported) is to go through \\localhost\etc. or, if your applicaiton doesn't support UNC paths, map a drive to that.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 5:40 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Either method would work. For ease of configuration, you should probably keep the program itself on the C drive.

    It is not advised to store data on the pooled storage by means other than through the network. If you do choose to store the database on the pooled drive, please note that the database itself won't be duplicated unless it is in a folder set to be duplicated. To actually have the database duplicated you would need to configure the hMailserver.ini file to use the UNC path of the folder. This may or may not work depending on what the program allows.

    Your best bet is to install the program on the C drive, and have it store the database on another non-pooled drive.

    Also, have you considered using a Gmail account for the same purpose? It may save you some time (and money to be spent on another drive).

    Good Luck
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 10:45 PM
  • Best practice is to store data used by applications (other than Windows Home Server add-ins installed through the console) outside of the Windows Home Server data storage architecture, preferably on a separate disk that's not in the pool.

    You could also create a folder at the root of the D: drive which would contain the database (you could even install to that location if you like). If you do so anything in that folder will show up in the "system" wedge in the Windows Home Server console. The disadvantage is that this will reduce the space on the D: partition, and in the storage pool (the D: partition is part of the storage pool). Storing databases and other files that are likely to be kept open for extended periods of time in the storage pool is not recommended; Drive Extender can't access such files and will complain after a day.



    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 4:05 PM
    Moderator
  • Guys

    Thanks for the advice. I currently now have the following configuration:

    • Program installed on C:
    • The database (which will be constantly accessed/open) is also on C:
    • The actual mail messages (which will not be kept open for extended periods) and which are likely to take up the most disk space are in a WHS shared folder (d:\shares\hmailserver\data)

    Question
    : Would it have been better to map the data location on WHS and then refer to that? So instead of d:\shares\hmailserver\data I would have M:\data where M: is mapped to \\homeservername\hmailserver.

    Why is it that Drive Extender can't cope with files being open on the server for long periods of time? Surely that's one of the functions of a server?

    I guess another hard disk is the ideal solution and then backup the data from that to another location.

    Phil
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 5:02 PM
  • I can't answer the question regarding drive extender, however the main benefit you get by mapping the data is duplication if you store it in a shared folder (you can create one from the console).
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 5:16 PM
  • In order for Drive Extender to duplicate or check consistency on files, it needs to be able to read them. It can't do so if there is a lock on the file already. It will ignore this for a while, but after 24 hours it starts to complain. This is probably considered an acceptable situation by Microsoft, since in the average home environment there will be no applications running which are likely to hold files open in the server shares for an extended period of time...

    Note that access to the server shares through D:\Shares\etc. is unsupported. The recommended method on your server (not supported, desktop access in general is unsupported) is to go through \\localhost\etc. or, if your applicaiton doesn't support UNC paths, map a drive to that.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 5:40 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken & kingslaye505

    Thanks.

    Unfortunately hMailServer does not like either a UNC path nor a mapped drive (as it is shown as networked). So until I install another HDD I will have to live with D:\shares\etc. As the database (as opposed to the actual data) is on the C: drive I am not getting any complaints from Drive Extender either.

    Case closed

    Phil
    Friday, August 28, 2009 1:15 PM
  • As a follow up, I did try the suggestion above of using GMail which I can confirm can do everything I needed. That is consolidation of a number of EMail accounts into a single view from any computer. This approach has the advantage that EMail is available on any computer wherever you are (either at home or when roaming) but relies on Google to provide the service (which is currently free).

    Not as interesting though as using your own server!!

    Phil
    Monday, August 31, 2009 3:32 PM