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Best HD configuration for WHS and DE RRS feed

  • Question

  • I posted a message a while back about how DE worked and got an excellent answer. The more I've thought about DE the more intrigued I am. I'm currently running a RAID1 configuration on an XP server on my network at home. I went with RAID1 for the protection/redundancy. I have a question about HD configuration and DE. Let's say I wanted to end up with 500 GB of storage (excluding the 10 GB sys partition) with data protection against hard drive failure. Would I be better off having a couple of large hard drives or many smaller hard drives? It's not clear to me how WHS manages the data across all of the drives. I understand the principle but not clear on the details. I guess I'm trying to compare how WHS and DE works compared to say RAID1 and RAID5. Thanks in advance.
    Sunday, April 8, 2007 7:39 PM

Answers

  • My opinion is that you're better off with a couple of large drives, because they're cheaper per GB. You can buy 320 GB SATA 2 drives for around $75 per drive ($0.23/GB) at the moment, for example. Many smaller drives would (I suspect) require DE to do more work to distribute files, and they would cost more per GB (120 GB drives for $53 for example).

    Performance-wise, it depends a lot on how you use your WHS. In general I'd say that unless you're going to buy a hardware-accelerated RAID-5 HBA and give it a lot of spindles, you're not going to see a performance benefit from RAID on WHS. The typical 3 disk motherboard RAID 5 array performs no better than a single drive.
    Sunday, April 8, 2007 9:29 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • My opinion is that you're better off with a couple of large drives, because they're cheaper per GB. You can buy 320 GB SATA 2 drives for around $75 per drive ($0.23/GB) at the moment, for example. Many smaller drives would (I suspect) require DE to do more work to distribute files, and they would cost more per GB (120 GB drives for $53 for example).

    Performance-wise, it depends a lot on how you use your WHS. In general I'd say that unless you're going to buy a hardware-accelerated RAID-5 HBA and give it a lot of spindles, you're not going to see a performance benefit from RAID on WHS. The typical 3 disk motherboard RAID 5 array performs no better than a single drive.
    Sunday, April 8, 2007 9:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks...cool. My concern is only redundancy/protection and not cost or performance. The stuff I have is important...like pictures and music. If I have two 500 GB drives will I have about 500 or 490 GB of storage? In order to have protection don't you need to have a copy of everything spread across multiple drives? Is there a way to calculate your storage before you configure your system? I think we had a similar conversation a while ago....:-)....sorry to be so persistent...

     

     

    btw.....Happy Easter!

    Sunday, April 8, 2007 11:02 PM
  • Shares with duplication enabled will occupy twice the amount of space in the storage pool that the file sizes would suggest. So if you have 200 GB of data on your WHS, of which 100 GB is backups, 60 GB is in shares that aren't duplicated, and 40 of which is in shares that are duplicated, the total space consumed in the pool will be 100+60+40+40=240 GB. If you have the described data distribution, and 2 250 GB drives, WHS will report approximately 500-10-240=250 GB of free space in the storage pool.

    I will warn you that WHS is presently beta software. You should absolutely not trust the only copy of irreplaceable important data to it. If Drive Extender is slowly corrupting your data, you could permanently lose files before you realize it. I would frankly not consider media ripped from DVD or CD as "important" in this sense, though, as you can always rip the files again (no matter how painful it may be).
    Monday, April 9, 2007 2:17 AM
    Moderator
  • Ken,

    Thanks for the information. It makes sense and is what I anticipated. Also, you make a good point about this being "Beta" software. I would never jump in with both feet. I appreciate the explanation. At this point I am staying with RAID1 and will take another look at WHS to replace my current server when it's released. For now, WHS is exciting to play with and learn. Thanks again. 

    Monday, April 9, 2007 5:54 PM