Author Topic: 3TB harddrives - how to implement?  (Read 2904 times)

Offline Cavemanz

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3TB harddrives - how to implement?
« on: October 24, 2011, 08:28:53 am »
Hey!

I have a virtualized Windows Home Server 2011 install sitting on top of Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper V. I want to run FlexRAID with 2 PPUs.
Hardware info:
HP ML110 G5 converted to a Fractal Design Define XL chassis with Seasonic X-760 PSU.
8GB ECC RAM


My question is how to organize my harddrives. Ive just ordered 2 x 3TB WD Green drives to complement the drives I already have which are:
2 x 1TB WD Green
1 x 2TB WD Green
2 x 2TB Samsung F4
2 x 2TB WD RE4
2 x 2TB WD external (USB 3.0, probably WD Greens) connected thru USB 2 (considering USB3.0 controllercard)

What setup would make most sense in regards to DRUs and PPUs?
Im thinking T2+ as raidengine, but it feels like a waste to use my 3TB drives as parity since the rest of the drives are 1/2TB.

Is it possible to use 2 x 2TB as parity, and split the 3TB drives into 3 DRUs (DRU1=2TB, DRU2=2TB, DRU3=1+1TB)?
If not, what setup would you choose?

WHS2011 wants to split the 3TB hds into 2tb+1tb from what Ive been able to gather, even when set to GPT instead of MBR.

Offline NLS

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Re: 3TB harddrives - how to implement?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2011, 09:05:22 am »
Personally I think it is a waste to have two parity drives. :) But that is just me.

Also AFAIK you can go round the 2TB limit if you format the disks using disk manager instead of WHS tools. The ONLY reason WHS limits data drives to 2TB is because Windows Server Backup stores in VHD that are 2TB tops. Since I doubt you will use Server Backup on your huge data drives, you can ignore this limit.

Now how would I do it with your disks and using 2 PPU? Well the scenarios are two.

PPU1 3TB+1TB
PPU2 3TB+1TB (here you have used all your 3TB and 1TB disks and you only remain with 7 2TB disks)
DRU1 2x2TB
DRU2 2x2TB
DRU3 2x2TB
DRU4 1x2TB with space for up to two more TB disks on same DRU

Data storage (claimed not real): 14TB
"Wasted" (parity, claimed): 8TB
More space concervative than mirror at least - and more secure - but in the end eats up too much disk storage. Performance is good (less disks spinning for parity calculation) and you actually get even more security and can get away with TRHEE dead disks in some situations (if two dead disks are on same DRU).

Other scenario:

PPU1 2TB+1TB
PPU2 2TB+1TB (here all 1TB disks are used, 3TB disks remain and again 7 2TB disks)
DRU1 3TB
DRU2 3TB
DRU3 2TB
DRU4 2TB
DRU5 2TB
DRU6 2TB
DRU7 2TB
DRU8 2TB
DRU9 2TB

Storage: 20TB
"Wasted": 6TB
Performance (write) should be worse than other scenario. Much more space though. Energy hungry and you miss that "maybe even three disks dead" bonus.

Your choice.
---
NLS
Production system: SBS2011 fully patched, intel Core2 Quad, 8GB, 12 disks (1 system IDE, 1 backup IDE, 10 for array and parity most SATA3), parity is 3TB, largest data disk is 3TB, millions of smaller files, common browser Chrome latest.

Offline Cavemanz

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Re: 3TB harddrives - how to implement?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2011, 12:15:13 pm »
Thanks for the input! I saw a guide on youtube, and it does seem like you can format it to the full 3TB if you do it via Disk Management instead of the dashboard in WHS2011.

The 3TB drives were an impulse buy because of the increasing HD prices due to the floods.

Would I be better off returning them and sticking to 2TB drives? Would give me 7x2TB + 2x1TB.

Guess what makes most sense for that is:
DRU1: 1TB+1TB
DRU2: 2TB
DRU3: 2TB
DRU4: 2TB
DRU5: 2TB
DRU6: 2TB
PPU1: 2TB
PPU2: 2TB

Total: 12TB avail
Does this make sense or should I keep the 3TB drives? Spacewise I should be more than fine without them.
What do people think when it comes to 1 or 2 PPUs?

I should note that I use Crashplan unlimited for backups. Backing up to their cloud, a laptop with external disk at my parents house and an external drive on my home server. Currently doing it only for pictures/documents, not movies.

Can highly recommend Crashplan for anyone wondering :)
« Last Edit: October 24, 2011, 12:18:11 pm by Cavemanz »