Looking to RAID, Help?

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Re: Looking to RAID, Help?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:19 pm

I would be suggesting RAID10 too.

If your "free" motherboard chipset doesn't support RAID10, another way around it is to create two RAID1 arrays using two disks each, then just merge the two volumes in windows with the "extend volume" option using dynamic disks. This can tolerate up to two disk failures, as long as both failures aren't in the same RAID1 array. Performance should be equal to RAID1 which should be marginally better than just a single drive would be.
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Re: Looking to RAID, Help?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:37 pm

Scrotos wrote:Drive Bender is supposed to be a replacement of the Windows Home Server "Drive Extender" feature.


Pedantically that'd be Storage Spaces.
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Re: Looking to RAID, Help?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:11 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:The Software RAID provided by Windows (not by your chipset or any other type of hardware adapter) uses a technology called Dynamic Disks. One of the prominent features of Dynamic Disks is that all disk related information (such as partition information and drive letter) is stored on the disk. This allows the array to be moved into another Windows machine seamlessly.

Dynamic Disks are only understood by Windows 2000 forward. As far as I know there is no Linux, Unix, or Mac support for the technology.

Basic and Dynamic Disks (Windows)

What Are Dynamic Disks and Volumes?

Move Disks to Another Computer


These seems like what I wanted! Thank you.

Edit: Nevermind, Windows 7 doesn't have this. :(
Last edited by StuG on Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Looking to RAID, Help?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:15 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:
Scrotos wrote:Drive Bender is supposed to be a replacement of the Windows Home Server "Drive Extender" feature.


Pedantically that'd be Storage Spaces.


From all I've read, it's completely not:

http://arstechnica.com/information-tech ... -it-works/

Supplemental reading seems to indicate to get to some of the better features you need to dive into powershell. Great if you know it, I guess. Maybe it's better in Windows Server 2012--I've read a few things to that effect, but I'm assuming OP isn't going to spring for a server OS just for that feature that doesn't seem ready for primetime. Heck, he might not even want to go to Win8.

And just for context, I was ready to dump money down for the Vista/Win7 based WHS premade HP server solution when it came out. Sounded fantastic and exactly what I was looking for for home storage. Then MS killed Drive Extender and HP ditched the product line and I've been looking for something similar ever since.

I mean, I could pick up something like http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid ... 4R&cat=SVR which has a RAID5/6 capable controller with BBU and plunk the rest of my money down on drives and an OS, but that kinda thing is overkill for my purposes. If Storage Spaces weren't so rough around the edges, I'd be there on that bandwagon. As it is, I'm looking for alternatives that match Drive Extender's featureset.
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Re: Looking to RAID, Help?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:47 pm

StuG wrote:These seems like what I wanted! Thank you.

Edit: Nevermind, Windows 7 doesn't have this. :(


Windows 7 (Pro, Enterprise, Ultimate) has it, but only as Spanning(JBOD), Mirroring(RAID-1), and Striping(RAID-0).
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Re: Looking to RAID, Help?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:02 pm

Scrotos wrote:I'm assuming OP isn't going to spring for a server OS

As it is, I'm looking for alternatives that match Drive Extender's featureset.


From your linked article intro:

Arstechnica wrote:In essence, Storage Spaces takes most of Drive Extender’s underlying functionality and implements it in a way that is more technically sound. Early versions of Drive Extender sometimes corrupted data when copying files between drives and mangled file metadata, but the underlying filesystem improvements made to support Storage Spaces should make it much more robust, at least in theory.


Pedantically Storage Spaces is the replacement for Drive Extender.

As for the OP I personally believe this thread has more bad information in it than good. As you plainly note he's not going to buy a server OS and yet the majority of this thread has proposed expensive server/business level solutions. Of course a lack of a defined budget in the opening post has helped this outcome.
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Re: Looking to RAID, Help?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:45 pm

I took a brief look at NAS-type devices that you can shove some drives in, but I'm still not impressed. I'd love to see a solution that can hook up a quartet of drives to GbE reliably, at a price approaching $100. Even $300 would be great. Add to that the possibility of having an eight-drive device that can do RAID6 plus a hot spare with automatic rebuilding, which seems like the ultimate basic storage unit.

A little bit of a derail, but given that all of the above could be implemented with a cheap SoC and software using already available libraries, I don't see how this would be hard to do. Hell, make it so that you can do a RAID6 with a hot spare and then do a separate RAID1 setup with live backup over a device-to-device connection.
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Re: Looking to RAID, Help?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:02 pm

My budget is probably $500-800, with the goal of shooting as low as possible. That price includes getting the drives itself, which I am shooting for 4 x 2TB.

As for alternatives, has anyone used FlexRAID? It is currently what I see as my best option, however user input would be important in progressing forward.
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Re: Looking to RAID, Help?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:09 pm

StuG wrote:My budget is probably $500-800, with the goal of shooting as low as possible. That price includes getting the drives itself, which I am shooting for 4 x 2TB.

As for alternatives, has anyone used FlexRAID? It is currently what I see as my best option, however user input would be important in progressing forward.


I have a hard time seeing anything more than using RAID10 with the stuff baked into Windows. Anything hardware adds another failure point, and attempting to mitigate that properly would push you way out of budget, as you'd have to get better drives. 4x2TB Reds off of the Intel controller with software RAID gets my vote- I did a soft RAID1 for over a year without issues using a pair of 2TB Greens, and saw no performance or stability aberrations in use; just a single 2TB volume.
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Re: Looking to RAID, Help?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:10 pm

Airmantharp wrote:
StuG wrote:My budget is probably $500-800, with the goal of shooting as low as possible. That price includes getting the drives itself, which I am shooting for 4 x 2TB.

As for alternatives, has anyone used FlexRAID? It is currently what I see as my best option, however user input would be important in progressing forward.


I have a hard time seeing anything more than using RAID10 with the stuff baked into Windows. Anything hardware adds another failure point, and attempting to mitigate that properly would push you way out of budget, as you'd have to get better drives. 4x2TB Reds off of the Intel controller with software RAID gets my vote- I did a soft RAID1 for over a year without issues using a pair of 2TB Greens, and saw no performance or stability aberrations in use; just a single 2TB volume.


Did you use the Windows Dynamic Disks to do it?
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Re: Looking to RAID, Help?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:06 pm

StuG wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:
StuG wrote:My budget is probably $500-800, with the goal of shooting as low as possible. That price includes getting the drives itself, which I am shooting for 4 x 2TB.

As for alternatives, has anyone used FlexRAID? It is currently what I see as my best option, however user input would be important in progressing forward.


I have a hard time seeing anything more than using RAID10 with the stuff baked into Windows. Anything hardware adds another failure point, and attempting to mitigate that properly would push you way out of budget, as you'd have to get better drives. 4x2TB Reds off of the Intel controller with software RAID gets my vote- I did a soft RAID1 for over a year without issues using a pair of 2TB Greens, and saw no performance or stability aberrations in use; just a single 2TB volume.


Did you use the Windows Dynamic Disks to do it?


I assume so- the process was intuitive enough for me not to remember, as it's been around a year since I deconstructed it.

Realistically though, there's probably more CPU usage directed towards running the SATA controller than there would be for running a soft mirror/stripe array, and the performance can't help but be better than a single drive in transfer rates while being slightly worse in access times, if only measurably so.
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Re: Looking to RAID, Help?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:31 pm

If you're looking to save a little money over the Adaptec card, you can give this one a shot. I've been using Highpoint cards for a while and they've been decent performers.
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Re: Looking to RAID, Help?

Postposted on Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:55 am

Steel wrote:If you're looking to save a little money over the Adaptec card, you can give this one a shot. I've been using Highpoint cards for a while and they've been decent performers.

I'm guessing that this is because CPUs have gotten fast enough that software (or "fake") RAID no longer takes the sort of performance hit that it did in the past. Writes to a RAID-5 or 6 array can still be somewhat sluggish, but for most people it is "good enough" now.
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