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Windows Dynamic Disk RAID5 vs Spanned Disks

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Dolk

I once overclocked an Intel
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
So I'm moving my home server OS from Linux to Windows because of some hardware constraints with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

I have been using LVM in Linux and have loved the flexibility and ease of usage with the different size disks I have. Now with Windows, I lose LVM and I get Dynamic Disk which has a few flavors. I would like to know what would be best for my case.

I like the idea of using RAID5 because of its fault tolerance but I'm not sure how well it works with disks of varying size. If I can't use RAID5, what is a good setup to mirror a spanned volume across all these disks?
 

||Console||

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
Im no help answering your question but might have a place to start researching .

Windows home server let you do some different things with HDDs like making pools out of varying sized drives.


Couldn't you run a VM with the LVM linux you were using and give that Hardware access to the drives ?


Sorry cant help more servers that do more than share files locally are beyond my scope . =)
 
OP
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Dolk

I once overclocked an Intel
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
So researching further I found that there is no solution for what I am looking for. Basically I'm looking for the Spanning drive tech and tieing in fault tolerance that RAID5 offers. However, Spanning Volumes does not support parity, and to add fault tolerance to a spanned volume would be to mirror it.
 
OP
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Dolk

I once overclocked an Intel
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Well I was looking for the RAID5 parity check feature for Pools, but that doesn't exist. So I decided to go with RAID5 for my 5 1TB drives, and use my single 4TB as a backup/more storage. The overall plan is to slowly upgrade the 1TBs to 4TBs as they die (each drive is nearing 10yrs in age). I have a two means of protection now: Parity for the RAID5 to recover when a drive fails (I can add a 4TB into the RAID and only use 1TB of it for recovery than remove and add the 4TB to the 4TB RAID). Its going to cost time for this sort of setup but I don't have a lot of usage other than store and read, so it works out for me.

But I am shocked at how long it takes windows to format 5disks of a RAID5 system... like 10% a day.
 

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Well I was looking for the RAID5 parity check feature for Pools, but that doesn't exist.

That's what the DrivePool+SnapRAID combo will accomplish.

DrivePool will pool any and all drives, regardless of size, into a single logical disk, but it has no RAID, only directory mirroring across multiple drives.

SnapRAID is a software RAID that also allows RAID's with different hard drive sizes (Parity drives must be as large or larger then the largest drive in your pool), with practically any number of parity drives. The catch is that it doesn't offer real time RAID, only snapshot RAID (it does a check and calculates parity at a set schedule/interval). This is just fine for a media server that simply houses media files that hardly ever change.

In either case, when using DrivePool alone, or DrivePool + SnapRAID, your data will be much safer then a RAID setup (especially if your drives are that old).

If a drive in RAID 5 fails, you have to rebuild your RAID to ensure you don't lose data. But the rebuild puts alot of stress on the drives which can cause another drive failure, especially with drives that old and such a slow format process (10% a day seriously??). If a 2nd drive fails, you've lost all data on that pool.

With DrivePool you can lose any number of drives of any size, but only the data on those drives that failed will be lost. The other drives will still be usable with no rebuild at all. If you had directory mirroring, that data will also be safe, as long as a copy was on a drive that didn't fail.

Add in SnapRAID, and you now have parity to rebuild a whole drive, or more, depending on how many parity drives you had. And if by chance you lose more drives then you had parity drives, the drives that are ok will still be usable, unlike RAID where if you lose more drives then parity, all data is lost.
 
OP
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Dolk

I once overclocked an Intel
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
That's the solution I have been looking for. Too bad I'll have to wait for ~6 more days before the formatting is complete :-/
 

cdawall

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2009
Location
cypress, tx
10 y.o HDDs, makes sense...

... though, that seems a bit long..

Is this something with the SW raid he is using? My 14TB raid 50 array took like 2 minutes (albeit "quick format" is used, but why would you low level format it for home use...)
 
OP
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Dolk

I once overclocked an Intel
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Yeah I am not using quick format, the HDDs are nearing 10yrs old, but I don't believe any are that old just yet.

I am using Windows Server 2016 Disk Manager to do the RAID5 setup.

Now, it has always been you should never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever quit a format that is currently under operation. Does this still hold true with today's OS's? I can't imagine that you could ever quit a formatting process, but storage is no where close to my specialty.
 

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
I wouldn't quit a low format, though if that bears any real consequence I have no idea. A low format is actually writing to each sector and in some cases, determines if a sector is bad, marking it as such. A quick format would have just setup a new MFT for Windows, without touching the reset of the drive.
 
OP
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Dolk

I once overclocked an Intel
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
I had figured a deep format would be helpful in understanding the life of the HDDs. If they were to fail they will now... But I may just setup the Snap+DrivePool right after.
 

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Since you were on Linux, before doing the setup, you might want to look into ways to do it on Linux as well. SnapRAID is available for Linux, and there are various ways to pool drives into one logical volume the same way that DrivePool on Windows does, but for free. I've looked into it myself, but I'm a total Linux noob and most of the disk array setup is beyond me, as there is never any clear step by step instructions.
 
OP
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Dolk

I once overclocked an Intel
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Unfortunately I can not be on linux 16.04 LTS with my current hardware setup. Thus the change over to Windows. I had figured it was a good time to create some fault tolerance to my crucial data.