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Configuring Storage Spaces - recommendations

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#1 zeke009

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 16:05

I'm hoping someone here has some experience with Storage Pools with a mixes assortment of HDD's.

 

I am going to configure an old PC with Win 8.1 and planned to use Storage Spaces for a mirrored backup. But all the articles I read focus on creating the storage pool and the selecting an option (none, 2-way mirror, 3-way mirror or parity).

 

My question is how to build the pool for the 2 way mirror.

 

I have the following 3 drives that I planned to use in the pool.

  • Seagate ST6000NM0024 6TB (no, I didn't drop $600 on this thing. It came my way through other, legit, means.)
  • WD Green WD40EZRX 4TB
  • WD Green WD20EZRX 2TB 

Now for my questions:

  1. If my goal is to have 6TB of storage in a mirror, does the pool need to be created as a 12TB or 6TB?
  2. Will the difference in speeds be a major impact or barely noticeable?
  3. Am I better off skipping Storage Pools and instead configuring something like SyncToy to copy files from the 6TB Seagate drive to the other WD Green drives for an instant backup should something happen?

Any other pitfalls I should watch for? I was looking at Storage Spaces as a low cost way of having something similar to RAID. I don't have the funds for a RAID card or time to learn about RAID, I saw Storage Spaces as a fairly quick way of building a ton simple storage solution with some type of redundancy for my use at home (music, pictures, movies and document storage).



Best Answer duddit2 , 29 May 2014 - 06:57

It uses thin provisioning so make it whatever size you wish, storage spaces will handle the tech stuff and tell you when you need to add more drives to keep the redundancy alive.

 

I have 3 x 2TB, 2 x 1TB drives in mine and have a mix of volumes (some 2 way and some pairty), I just add more drives as I'm told to.

 

Also using this as a backup platform is fine, but don't consider live data on here as being backed up - its not, its merely redundant. If you delete a file or things get corrupted you do not have a backup.

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#2 Dashel

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 16:15

http://arstechnica.c...-when-it-works/

 

You can set the initial to whatever value you want, but I'd be curious if someone can confirm how efficiently its going to handle parity on your mixed drive sizes. (Though still more efficient than a sync)

 

"If you've got a disk in your storage pool that's much smaller or much larger than all the others you may be prevented from using your disk space to its fullest extent. For example, pairing a 5GB drive with two 20GB drives in Parity mode will quickly cause the storage space to become unusable because it runs out of room to store all the parity information (and it runs out of room far more quickly than is estimated when you create the storage space)."



#3 OP zeke009

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 16:30

http://arstechnica.c...-when-it-works/

 

You can set the initial to whatever value you want, but I'd be curious if someone can confirm how efficiently its going to handle parity on your mixed drive sizes. (Though still more efficient than a sync)

 

"If you've got a disk in your storage pool that's much smaller or much larger than all the others you may be prevented from using your disk space to its fullest extent. For example, pairing a 5GB drive with two 20GB drives in Parity mode will quickly cause the storage space to become unusable because it runs out of room to store all the parity information (and it runs out of room far more quickly than is estimated when you create the storage space)."

Very strange, I only see your link when I view the thread. When I quote your post, then I see the rest of what you wrote. Using Chrome 35.0.1916.114 m in a corporate environment.

 

I read that article and it was pretty informative, but it didn't touch on my #1 question. That article was one of the better ones I've read recently and the primary one that steered me towards a 2-way mirror.



#4 Dashel

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:20

This article seems to confirm the half rule, but I'm betting there is still overhead associated.  Mirror/parity isn't a backup though, so a file history may be a better use.

 

http://blogs.msdn.co...-8-storage.aspx



#5 duddit2

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:57   Best Answer

It uses thin provisioning so make it whatever size you wish, storage spaces will handle the tech stuff and tell you when you need to add more drives to keep the redundancy alive.

 

I have 3 x 2TB, 2 x 1TB drives in mine and have a mix of volumes (some 2 way and some pairty), I just add more drives as I'm told to.

 

Also using this as a backup platform is fine, but don't consider live data on here as being backed up - its not, its merely redundant. If you delete a file or things get corrupted you do not have a backup.



#6 +BudMan

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:03

"Storage Spaces for a mirrored backup"

 

When you say backup -- you mean the files stored in your spaces will be a backup of some other files elsewhere and mirrored for mitigation of hardware failure?

 

As mentioned - having files in any sort of live sync'd setup be it actual raid 1, drivepool 2x, 3x, Xx, or drive spaces 2x, 3x, etc.  Are NOT backups!!!  Great you want to mitigate loss of disk and having to restore from a backup.  Now if you have files on other storage and your going copy files to this drive spaces storage as your backup.. then ok ;)



#7 OP zeke009

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 03:17

Backup was a poor word selection. I am more concerned about having something in the event a HDD dies on me. I use a CrashPlan today, so my backup concerns are low.

 

I am looking for the best option with what I have available.



#8 OP zeke009

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 01:45

It uses thin provisioning so make it whatever size you wish, storage spaces will handle the tech stuff and tell you when you need to add more drives to keep the redundancy alive.

 

I have 3 x 2TB, 2 x 1TB drives in mine and have a mix of volumes (some 2 way and some pairty), I just add more drives as I'm told to.

 

Also using this as a backup platform is fine, but don't consider live data on here as being backed up - its not, its merely redundant. If you delete a file or things get corrupted you do not have a backup.

Thank you for the info!



#9 Dashel

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 20:03

Not sure why he got credit - his omits that it will take your storage offline if you don't plan for 'actual' capacity.  You already knew it was thin-provisioned...