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After having an issue with my RAID-5 array recently, that resulted in only 1 lost file, I decided it was time to finally upgrade. Going from 8x 2TB drives in RAID 5, I decided to move to a RAID 6 array, starting with 6x 3TB drives. The RAID 6 will allow me to have better resiliency if a drive dies, but I'm still planning on keeping not only a hot spare around, but a separate 3TB backup drive for critical files that will get backed up to nightly.

So my question is now, how best to partition my new server. I use it for the following:

1.) Hyper-V VM host (~300GB)

  • ?ADDC
  • Exchange 2010
  • Linux Anti spam/virus/phishing filter in front of exchange
  • Apache web server
  • subsonic media streamer
  • various other vms

2.) TV show / Movie repository for streaming to XBMC (~7TB)

3.) SVN Server for code/Electronic schematics/board files/gerbers (~80MB)

and a few other things. The RAID 6 array has a 64KB stripe size, and while it currently has 6x3TB drives, I bought a new case and 4 5-in-3 drive cages to allow me to increase it to 20 3TB (or 4TB in the future) drives.

Should I:

1.) Create one large array, then partition it into separate drives

2.) Create smaller RAID 6 arrays (or possibly RAID-1 arrays for critical stuff)

3.) Create multiple, different type arrays for each specific function above

My requirements would be that if necessary, I should be able to expand a volume if it needs more space (in windows drive manager), and that when space runs out, be able to easily add in and expand the array(s) with new drives. I am familiar with OCE, but im not sure if I can span different arrays on same drives (say a 4TB RAID 6 array, spanning 5x 3TB drives, plus a 4TB RAID-1 array on those same 5 drives). Ideally I'd prefer separate partitions/arrays, so that I can specify different block/strip sizes (SVN stuff is usually small, so say 32 or 64KB for that, whereas TV and movies are usually several gigabytes, so maybe a 512 or 1024KB strip for those).

Anyone have any recommendations?

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so FWIW,I decided to do the following: I bought a SAS expander and several 5-in-3 cages, and will do the following config:

1.) 4x3TB in RAID-5 + 1 x 3TB Hotspare for movies and TV shows

2.) use 2 of my old 2TB drives to do a RAID-1 array for my SVN, photography, website, etc.

3.) grab 4x1TB, or possibly 4 of the 2TB drives I had and do a 0+1 for my Hyper-V VMs.

This way I can always plug in extra drives and either expand, migrate, etc, and I've got extra slots so I can put in other backups.

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For the videos use refs or ntfs with 64k clusters

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For the videos use refs or ntfs with 64k clusters

Yeah, originally i was trying to figure out how to best strip a single raid array for multiple uses, but I think it's better to do multiple arrays on the controller, then use something like:

512KB/1MB strip for the video content (64KB REFS)

32KB-64KB strip for SVN/photography(NTFS)

128-256KB strip for Hyper-V vms (64KB REFS system)

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