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How should I setup my HP Microserver?

microserver nas storage spaces

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#1 Red Arrow

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 19:00

I've just purchased a HP Microserver and trying to work out the best way to set it up. Currently got 2x2TB hd's in a D-Link 323 NAS using RAID1, with over 1.5TB of data on it.

I've installed Windows 8 (as I had a spare key) onto the 250GB hd it came with and been toying with the idea of using Storage Spaces but not got much knowledge about it. I'm leaning towards having mirrored redundancy as I just don't like the idea of losing an entire drives worth of data even if it's TV shows or movies. I also want to be able to easily add more drives to it later down the line.

Is Storage Spaces a good option or is there something better I could use?

I will also be using the Microserver to run Sickbeard and SABnzbd as well as streaming media to devices around the house and a place to backup my photos (as well as in the cloud).


#2 +Zag L.

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 19:10

i had issues streaming video from mirrored redundancy in a storage space install so I went with a more conventional RAID 1 implementation. At the time, I did find others on the web that were having the same streaming issues from mirrored redundant storage spaces. I do want to note I was not using the same server hardware so your mileage may vary.

#3 jakem1

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 19:24

I've got an HP Microserver running Server 2012 Essentials with 3 2TB drives in a parity storage space. I haven't had any problems streaming video from the server but you should be prepared to lose the capacity of one drive for the parity bits if you choose this configuration. Parity is meant to be slower than a mirror (although, as I said, this hasn't cause me any problems) but offers greater redundancy.

One thing to note is that storage spaces isn't very flexible and it can be difficult to just add drives to in the future. It's best to plan what you want to do in advance and try to make sure that you are happy with the size of the drives you start off with because that might dictate what you can do in the future.

This blog post from MS is quite useful although it's sometimes glosses over important details:

http://blogs.msdn.co...efficiency.aspx

#4 TPreston

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 19:32

Look online for a 3ware raid care and a broadcom netextreme 2 based NIC so you can do teaming theyre cheap.

As for the drives youll want parity ie RAID5 and to carefully consider the cluster/stripe size depending on the files you are storing

Large movies and iso's > REFS + 64k clusters
Lots of small files > smaller cluster size

#5 OP Red Arrow

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 19:56

Thanks, lots to read up on.

Does RAID5/parity require at least three hard drives? As right now that really isn't an option for me as I only have two and can't spend any more money for a while.

#6 jakem1

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 19:59

Yep, you'll need at least three drives for parity.

#7 Fahim S.

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 20:13

Mine has:
LSI RAID Card (or actually an IBM Rebadge, the ServeRaid M1015) with the IBM ServeRAID M1000 feature key so I get proper RAID5
4x1TB 3.5" Drives in the Standard Drive Bays
4x1TB 2.5" Drives in an IcyDock Caddy sitting in the optical slot.
7 of the drives are in a RAID 5 Array (giving 6GB of storage, with the 8th acting as a Hot Spare)

A PCIe x1 card which is carrying a 64GB mSATA SSD
This is used to boot the server (i.e. holds the hypervisor) and a small partition for the database files to give better performance.

It runs ESXi 5.1 and hosts a number of VMs, performing some functions:
a Windows Home Server 2011 VM, performing back-up and file serve duties.
an Ubuntu 11.10 VM, providing a LAMP Stack, an instance of MongoDB, a Graphite instance and a node.js execution environment
a pfSense VM, for playing with.
a WIndows 8 VM for testing stuff.
a Windows 7 VM for testing stuff.
a WIndows XP VM for nostalgic reasons

I love my MicroServer.... :-)

#8 +imachip

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 20:24

Mirror it if you value constant data use without keeping recent backups. If you have less than 500gb of things that are crucial, it might be better to get a smaller external drive, then use the other full 2TB.

The good thing about mirroring is that if one drive fails, you have an operational system straight away without having to worry about rebuilding (At least that's in my experience of using a microserver as I disconnected one of the drives when I decided to reformat for extra storage)

You could also just ensure those folders are sync'd across both drives (essentially the same as mirroring). Not sure what the Windows 8 equivalent of SyncToy (may still work with Win8).

#9 TPreston

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 20:36

Thanks, lots to read up on.

Does RAID5/parity require at least three hard drives? As right now that really isn't an option for me as I only have two and can't spend any more money for a while.

Yeah and most of the online sources go into details that you don’t need to know about as the card takes care of it, The other option is a Mirrored volume but the disadvantage of that is you have more drives wasted providing redundancy (ie in a 10 drive mirror you have the space of 5 instead of 9 for raid 5 or 8 for raid 6)

Might be worth connecting them directly till you can get more drives.

#10 Fahim S.

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 20:57

You could also just ensure those folders are sync'd across both drives (essentially the same as mirroring). Not sure what the Windows 8 equivalent of SyncToy (may still work with Win8).


SyncToy works fine with Win8.

#11 OP Red Arrow

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 23:57

Mine has:
LSI RAID Card (or actually an IBM Rebadge, the ServeRaid M1015) with the IBM ServeRAID M1000 feature key so I get proper RAID5
4x1TB 3.5" Drives in the Standard Drive Bays
4x1TB 2.5" Drives in an IcyDock Caddy sitting in the optical slot.
7 of the drives are in a RAID 5 Array (giving 6GB of storage, with the 8th acting as a Hot Spare)

A PCIe x1 card which is carrying a 64GB mSATA SSD
This is used to boot the server (i.e. holds the hypervisor) and a small partition for the database files to give better performance.

It runs ESXi 5.1 and hosts a number of VMs, performing some functions:
a Windows Home Server 2011 VM, performing back-up and file serve duties.
an Ubuntu 11.10 VM, providing a LAMP Stack, an instance of MongoDB, a Graphite instance and a node.js execution environment
a pfSense VM, for playing with.
a WIndows 8 VM for testing stuff.
a Windows 7 VM for testing stuff.
a WIndows XP VM for nostalgic reasons

I love my MicroServer.... :-)


That's an insane setup, I love it :D

#12 RADCOMJ1

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 19:14

.fahim that is an awesome set up.

#13 +ChuckFinley

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 19:32

You cant say your a true geek unless your running an ESXi Setup :-D

I have 250GB Drive that came with it, Installed ESXi on there. I have a 1TB WD Red and a 60GB SSD that I had littered about. It runs an instance of Open Filer (just to copy **** between computers). Own Cloud. 2003 Server to Share my printer and run the UPS Software
a Win 7 for Remote Access and running my horse racing betting bot, A 2008R2 running the same betting software but in a test setup.

I am going to get get Dual Nic and then maybe run PF sense on it so I can get rid of my hardware firewall that I have running.

#14 +BudMan

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:03

"running my horse racing betting bot"

you tweaked my curiosity with statement ;) Could you PM me on what that is, twinspires locked out IL residents is more than ticking me off!! Since its a bit off topic ;) But yeah I would run esxi on it.. Now your not limited to what 1 OS can do.. Just add some more ram, extra nic and your good.

I have 8GB of ram, but it can go to 16 even if specs only say 8. Did you get the 36, 40 or 54?

I have 2 extra nics in mine a dual and a single for total of 4 nics. So I could breakout the vmkern on its own, wan, lan and wlan and these are all tied to the pfsense vm other than the vmkern nic.

I use a 2008 storage essentials install for my NAS, but have 3 drives in the bay in a drivepool using stablebits http://stablebit.com/DrivePool I find it much more robust than spaces.

As to the statement of nic teaming - that would be a waste if you ask me, what drives are you running that are going to exceed gig speed. In a shome setup while would you need failover, etc. If your going to exceed 1 gig, then sure it wold it make sense - but unless your moving files between SSDs that is unlikely to be a requirement.. Sure not need for simple streaming or watching files off your shares.

As .fahim setup shows you - you can fit quite a bit of space into tiny microserver case ;) For my storage needs using drivepool the onboard controller is more than enough for me, I choose to use the slots to add nics which I thought was more useful since the box is not only storage but my router in vm along with ubuntu, centos, freebsd, win7, win8, 2012, etc.. for testing and playing with but the pfsense, nas and linux vms run 24/7/365 since these are my work horse vms.

#15 Brian M.

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:16

Whilst ESXi will run on it, unless you have a need for it, I would avoid it.

I ran ESXi on mine when I first got it - with a Debian, an XP and a Windows 7 guest. With all 3 VMs idle, the machine was sitting at around 0.7 load - and it was all getting a bit cramped.

I have since switched to having a Debian install running natively, with Windows XP and 7 installed via Virtualbox (although this did cause a minor licensing/activation issue which a couple of calls to MS solved) - it now idles at about 0.17 - and everything feels very much more responsive.

Disk wise - I didn't bother with a RAID card - when I switched it out from ESXi I setup a 2TB disk for the Debian install and crap that doesn't need to be on the RAID array (space for tmp, etc), another drive for the VM HDDs, and put 4 3TB drives in software RAID 5 in the main bays. Software raid is good enough for what I need - although it did take an age to do the initial sync. ~9TB + 2TB usable should be enough for me for a while - and if needed in the future there's still a vast amount of room for expansion.

Obviously if you're going to be changing/installing loads of different VMs, ESXi is the way to go - but if you're only using 1/2 then I'd think twice.



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