Guide To Building A Media Storage Server - Page 34 - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #991 of 7891 Old 11-17-2008, 09:45 PM
Member
 
ryan.w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreydeng View Post

How do you enter the BIOS and set the default? How do you set it pass the drives through?

I am struggling on this and try to find out where I can configure it correctly.

Well I guess I used the wrong terminology. On your first screenshot before you did the flash you have an option to enter the LSI Software Raid Setup. I entered that and set to defaults to make sure no configs were set from the previous owner.

Just for clarification, you are seeing the drives in windows Drive Manager but not in the WHS screen?
ryan.w is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #992 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 05:43 AM
Advanced Member
 
jeffreydeng's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: MN, USA
Posts: 718
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan.w View Post

Well I guess I used the wrong terminology. On your first screenshot before you did the flash you have an option to enter the LSI Software Raid Setup. I entered that and set to defaults to make sure no configs were set from the previous owner.

Just for clarification, you are seeing the drives in windows Drive Manager but not in the WHS screen?

I open Comuputer Managerment first.

In Device Manager, I can see all drives connected to L8i recognized correctly but as SCSI drives.

In Disk Management, all drives are listed as'Not Initialized' and 'Unallocated'. If a drive can be recognized by Windows, it will show 'Online' and 'Allocated'.

WHS can see the drives, but I can't add them into the storage pool. When I click 'Add', WHS will start trying to adding it to storage pool. After awile, it quit qithout any imessage. I believe that this is because there is something wrong with the drives recognized by the Windows.

This happens on all three platforms I tested so far, WinXP, Vista as well as Win2003/WHS.
jeffreydeng is offline  
post #993 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 05:47 AM
Advanced Member
 
jeffreydeng's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: MN, USA
Posts: 718
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

I'm really shooting in the dark here, but can you please check that the jumper on the card is really set to IT mode ?

I can see by the screenshot that you've flashed it with IT mode firmware, but *i think* the bios setup should show a CTRL-C to enter setup for IT mode.

Instead your's is showing CTRL-M which should correspond to being set to SR mode.

Try removing the jumper completely if it's not already.


I really appreciate your help. The jumper is not connected at all. So the board is not at SR mode. The screen that you see with CTRL-M is the screen before I flash the firmware. After I flash the firmware, I saw CTRL-C available, however when I click it nothing happens.

I am going to contact the technical support of SuperMicro. They have been very quick in sending me the latest IT mode firmware.
jeffreydeng is offline  
post #994 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 06:25 AM
AVS Special Member
 
kapone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,417
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked: 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreydeng View Post

I open Comuputer Managerment first.

In Device Manager, I can see all drives connected to L8i recognized correctly but as SCSI drives.

In Disk Management, all drives are listed as'Not Initialized' and 'Unallocated'. If a drive can be recognized by Windows, it will show 'Online' and 'Allocated'.

WHS can see the drives, but I can't add them into the storage pool. When I click 'Add', WHS will start trying to adding it to storage pool. After awile, it quit qithout any imessage. I believe that this is because there is something wrong with the drives recognized by the Windows.

This happens on all three platforms I tested so far, WinXP, Vista as well as Win2003/WHS.

There is nothing wrong with being "Non Initialized". Just right click the drive in Disk Management, and Initialize it. DON'T create a volume or anything. Just initialize it.

Then, when you go into the WHS console, it should be able to add that drive (and it will create the volume, format it and what not)
kapone is offline  
post #995 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 06:27 AM
 
Vindii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 274
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

Did you make any changes in your system bios before installing ?

Also did you format the new OS drive clean before the 2nd time you installed with the other data drives connected ? How many data drives other than the OS drive ?

No changes to Bios. Did not format before second reinstall. 6 other drives besides OS drive.

The only thing I did not do was load the drivers for the sata add-on card that I have. I thought if it found part of the storage pool that I would load them but it did not find anything. Loaded drivers right after install and it still didn't see that there was an existing storage pool already.
Vindii is offline  
post #996 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 06:34 AM
Advanced Member
 
jeffreydeng's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: MN, USA
Posts: 718
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

There is nothing wrong with being "Non Initialized". Just right click the drive in Disk Management, and Initialize it. DON'T create a volume or anything. Just initialize it.

Then, when you go into the WHS console, it should be able to add that drive (and it will create the volume, format it and what not)

When I right click and try to initiaze it, it takes 1 second and quite without any message. The drive is still show 'not initialized'.
jeffreydeng is offline  
post #997 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 06:37 AM
Member
 
WeeboTech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 57
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan.w View Post

ps. i got it from the same source on ebay.

Can someone post a link please? Who is the seller?
WeeboTech is offline  
post #998 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 06:37 AM
Advanced Member
 
jeffreydeng's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: MN, USA
Posts: 718
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by WeeboTech View Post

Can someone post a link please? Who is the seller?

It is sold out. You can search for AOC-USAS-L8i. The seller was liquid8technology.com
jeffreydeng is offline  
post #999 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 06:47 AM
AVS Special Member
 
kapone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,417
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked: 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreydeng View Post

When I right click and try to initiaze it, it takes 1 second and quite without any message. The drive is still show 'not initialized'.

oh, I didn't realize that. Then there's something obviously wrong. Hmm...
kapone is offline  
post #1000 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 07:03 AM
Senior Member
 
huskerpat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 489
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vindii View Post

The L shaped part of the sata connection on the hard drive broke off. So all that was left was the pins so I could not just change the cable.

I can't believe that there is no way to replace a OS drive in WHS. Part of the point of using WHS is so you have data redundency incase of a failed drive. Why would they not have a method to replace a failed OS drive? Seems odd.

Not so sure i really like WHS if this is true. It was really a pain to recopy, sort, test all the data I had to move since it was all scattered about the 6 other drives I had. It would only get worse the next time the OS drive fails and I have even more data.

Raid is not an option in my case as my motherborad has no raid support.

I replaced my OS drive by using acronis to clone the new HD. Had to do a repair install after, but my data store was intact.

Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. - John Wayne
huskerpat is offline  
post #1001 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 07:13 AM
AVS Special Member
 
MiBz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vindii View Post

No changes to Bios. Did not format before second reinstall. 6 other drives besides OS drive.

The only thing I did not do was load the drivers for the sata add-on card that I have. I thought if it found part of the storage pool that I would load them but it did not find anything. Loaded drivers right after install and it still didn't see that there was an existing storage pool already.

Ok now it makes sense. WHS would have offered to do a repair install, but you needed to set some conditions for setup to know what was going on.

I'll try to explain why and what was needed;

When you did the first re-install, nothing was connected except for a fresh new drive. The install CD had no way to know that this was intended to recreate a pre-existing setup. No other data or information was present to the system at the time.

So it installed a fresh setup and created it's file structure and tombstones for a single drive setup.

Afterwards you connected the other DATA drives (but not added to the pool) and tried to reinstall over the latest 1 drive OS setup. Again the existing install had already created it's file structure and tombstones based on a single drive setup, so when you tried to reinstall, it cannot recreate what it doesn't know about.

If you had reformated the OS drive clean & connected the DATA drives before the 2nd time you installed, it would have offered to reinstall and map the DATA drives.

Here's how it would have played out if the following steps were met.

1. Connect the new fresh OS drive - clean format nothing on it.

2. Connect cables to remaining DATA drives.

3. Go into system bios and set boot order;
1. CD/DVD drive
2. Fresh OS drive

All other devices removed from boot order

4. Boot with WHS setup CD

5. During setup the system scans for pre-existing WHS drive signatures and would have detected the data drives.

6. Setup sees the fresh OS drive listed as the boot device and knows to install the OS on it.

7. Setup runs and recreates the tombstones (pointers) to the data stored on the DATA drives and integrates them into the DE pool.

8. After setup is completed, boot into WHS, recreate your users and permissions and install any addins you had before.

9. Done.
MiBz is offline  
post #1002 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 07:29 AM
AVS Special Member
 
MiBz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreydeng View Post

I really appreciate your help. The jumper is not connected at all. So the board is not at SR mode. The screen that you see with CTRL-M is the screen before I flash the firmware. After I flash the firmware, I saw CTRL-C available, however when I click it nothing happens.

I am going to contact the technical support of SuperMicro. They have been very quick in sending me the latest IT mode firmware.

When system was booting and went to the card bios, did you by any chance try Ctrl-C and when nothing happened then tried Ctrl-M ?

From the very little info I can see Ctrl-C toggles IT mode and Ctrl-M toggles SR mode like a switch.

While it's possible there's something wrong with the card, we should be sure it's not something as simple as a setmode toggle that's causing the issue.

If the OS offers to initialize the drive, I suspect it's expecting raid mode to start up. But you have IT drivers loaded so nothing happens. At least this is the logic.

Try booting it up and at the card bios, just hit Ctrl-C. Then let it complete the boot process into the OS.

Failing this I'm all out of ideas.
MiBz is offline  
post #1003 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 10:22 AM
AVS Special Member
 
MikeSM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 2,906
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreydeng View Post

I downloaded latest driver from SLI site and also the MSM software. I installed both. However I couldn't find anywhere for me to configure the board. MSM only displays information about the card and the devices attached to it. There is only one operation I can chooose from the MSM software which is flash the firmware and BIOS.

By the way, I got the latest firmware and BIOS from SuperMicro for IT mode and I flashed those using the MSM software. Here is an comparisio nbefore and after the firmware change.

After all these changes, the OS still can't detect the drives which are recognised as SCSI devices in the Device Manager tab of the Computer Management tool. In the Disk Management tab, the drives are still 'Not Initialized' and 'Unallocated'.


Before the flash:

FW Version: 01.22.01.00
BIOS version: 00.00.36.80

Here is what is displayed by BIOS when WIndows boots.



After the flash:

FW Version: 01.25.01.00
BIOS version: 06.22.00.00

Here is what is displayed by BIOS when WIndows boots.


Interesting. My cards look exactly the like the first screen, and work just fine. I am not sure why flashing the card's BIOS would help though. I think the issue is in the drivers somehow.

One thing to try - try downloading a Linux LiveCD, and see if the card's drives are detected fine and passed through to the OS properly. This will tell you if you have a good card or not. If the card is good (and I suspect it is, then it's basically a windows issue). If the card is bad, you can then email the vendor about it. I use opensuse 11.0, and the card is picked up fine by the native device driver. I think most any recent kernel should work fine though, so pretty much any current livecd distribution would work.

Did you save the old BIOS image? I am pretty sure it worked - and you may need to reflash it at some point.
MikeSM is offline  
post #1004 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 10:34 AM
 
Vindii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 274
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

Ok now it makes sense. WHS would have offered to do a repair install, but you needed to set some conditions for setup to know what was going on.

I'll try to explain why and what was needed;

When you did the first re-install, nothing was connected except for a fresh new drive. The install CD had no way to know that this was intended to recreate a pre-existing setup. No other data or information was present to the system at the time.

So it installed a fresh setup and created it's file structure and tombstones for a single drive setup.

Afterwards you connected the other DATA drives (but not added to the pool) and tried to reinstall over the latest 1 drive OS setup. Again the existing install had already created it's file structure and tombstones based on a single drive setup, so when you tried to reinstall, it cannot recreate what it doesn't know about.

If you had reformated the OS drive clean & connected the DATA drives before the 2nd time you installed, it would have offered to reinstall and map the DATA drives.

Here's how it would have played out if the following steps were met.

1. Connect the new fresh OS drive - clean format nothing on it.

2. Connect cables to remaining DATA drives.

3. Go into system bios and set boot order;
1. CD/DVD drive
2. Fresh OS drive

All other devices removed from boot order

4. Boot with WHS setup CD

5. During setup the system scans for pre-existing WHS drive signatures and would have detected the data drives.

6. Setup sees the fresh OS drive listed as the boot device and knows to install the OS on it.

7. Setup runs and recreates the tombstones (pointers) to the data stored on the DATA drives and integrates them into the DE pool.

8. After setup is completed, boot into WHS, recreate your users and permissions and install any addins you had before.

9. Done.

Sounds like it should work that way. Have you or anyone tried it and had it work? I was leary about installing with the data drives connected as I was afraid it might wipe them clean.

It did offer the Re-install the second time and I did the reinstall. It did not detect the existing drive pool though. Maybe due to sata card drivers not being connected? Maybe due to the fresh install with one drive? Not sure what.

I just really wnat to know what to do next time becasue this OS drive will fail someday. Can you confirm that what you have above will work? I don't want to find out the hard way that all the data drives get wiped trying to re-install.

Also what about the data stored on the data partition of the OS drive? If this work like you have written above will that data get rewritten from the duplication info on another drive when the poolm is rebuilt?

I would rather get most of my data back the hard way then to have this not work and lose it all.
Vindii is offline  
post #1005 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 11:56 AM
AVS Special Member
 
MiBz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vindii View Post

Sounds like it should work that way. Have you or anyone tried it and had it work? I was leary about installing with the data drives connected as I was afraid it might wipe them clean.

It did offer the Re-install the second time and I did the reinstall. It did not detect the existing drive pool though. Maybe due to sata card drivers not being connected? Maybe due to the fresh install with one drive? Not sure what.

I just really wnat to know what to do next time becasue this OS drive will fail someday. Can you confirm that what you have above will work? I don't want to find out the hard way that all the data drives get wiped trying to re-install.

Also what about the data stored on the data partition of the OS drive? If this work like you have written above will that data get rewritten from the duplication info on another drive when the poolm is rebuilt?

I would rather get most of my data back the hard way then to have this not work and lose it all.

Yep, it will work this way, but as I mentioned you need to be sure the hardware environment setup is correct before re-install/repair. Checking the bios boot order is very important because this will change when you replace drives.

2 things that caused the reinstall not to function correctly for you was that you already re-installed it on a fresh drive with no other data/drives present and the SATA drivers were also not available to the installer so it could see the DATA drives.

There is no data stored on the 20GB C:\\ OS partition other than the OS files and the database/tombstones pointing to the data drives, which get recreated on a reinstall if the DATA drives are present during reinstall/repair scan.

I guess the main thing we shouldn't overlook is that you didn't lose any data during the process regardless. You were still able to connect the data drives, read them independantly, and drag and drop copy what you wanted from the DE folder into the new install.

The more I learn and understand about WHS the more I see it's potential. Like anything else it's not perfect, but there's some minor precautions you can take to protect against those weaknesses.

IMHO, WHS needs a 4 drive config as minimum to satisfy these conditions using the following config.

Drive 0 + Drive 1 (raid 1 mirror) - Main OS drive (2 x same drive)
Drive 2 WHS storage pool
Drive 3 WHS storage pool

I always use a raid 1 mirror for any server OS drives. Not everyone agrees with this, but to me it makes sense. Raid 1 is simple. There's no striping. It just seemlessly duplicates the same data in realtime on both OS drives. You can literally yank one of the drives out and the system keeps running.

When you think about it regardless of the OS installed, if the main drive were to fail while the server is live every running process risks getting corrupted. Things like VMs, databases, files, registry hives, system journaling...

Most mobos have onboard ICH9/10R raid which is great for R1. If not a 2 port raid card for R1 is dirt cheap otherwise an 8 port LSI, using 2 ports for R1 and the remaing 6 for plain SATA ports is another very inexpensive means of protection.

The cost of an additional WD6400AAKS ($70) + 2 R1 ports(either free onboard or $20-30$) totals under $100, but consider the peace of mind and time and hassles saved if one of those 2 OS drives failed.

But like most things, it's a personal choice that not everyone will agree on.
MiBz is offline  
post #1006 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 12:22 PM
Member
 
smino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserv...t/default.mspx
Essential Storport drivers remove many limitations that exist on scsiport. The above link has a pretty detailed info about. In the home brew market though, I would be surprised to see a huge difference. By the way, what is everyone setting their Que depth to for max performance? 16-32-64-128-256? I know 128 seems to be the sweet spot on exchange servers with 4000 Heavy users on 4 raid 10 luns of 8 disks each (32 disks total). Just a side note.
smino is offline  
post #1007 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 12:37 PM
Member
 
smino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I do not know if all of you noticed this, but most 1TB and 1.5 TB drives ship with the 1.5G/s jumper on them, and you have to remove the jumper to get the full 3G/s performance. At least on mine. Please correct me if I am wrong. But you should check the fine print.
smino is offline  
post #1008 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 01:27 PM
Member
 
smino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Is anyone using linux software raid 5? Anyone know of the largest implementation and performance stats? I am thinking of going this route. It seems pretty straight forward for raid expansion.
smino is offline  
post #1009 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 01:44 PM
Member
 
smino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjavan View Post

I figured you guys may know more about this than me. Do you guys have a recommendation for best "value" options for an appliance instead of building a server?

These are nice, but no network interace:

Rosewill RSV-S8 SATA

SANS DIGITAL TR8M-B

Here's a Great product:

Thecus N5200BR

Thecus N7700 is even better, but haven't seen it for sale.

Any Other options out there for full features NAS appliance at a reasonable cost?

My question is how do you connect this thing? Esata? I noticed someone said you can only do a 5 disk raid 5 array not 8. Silly, unlees you need a jbod!
smino is offline  
post #1010 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 02:34 PM
AVS Special Member
 
lifespeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

Yep, it will work this way, but as I mentioned you need to be sure the hardware environment setup is correct before re-install/repair. Checking the bios boot order is very important because this will change when you replace drives.

2 things that caused the reinstall not to function correctly for you was that you already re-installed it on a fresh drive with no other data/drives present and the SATA drivers were also not available to the installer so it could see the DATA drives.
. . .

Hi MiBz,

That WHS disk pooling sure sounds problematic compared to good ol' reliable hardware RAID based on an Intel IOP chip. An OS drive failure is a non-event with a real RAID array, just re-image a new drive from the backup image on the array and you're back up and running in minutes. No impact to the data OR the operating system, neither of which depend on the other

But we all choose what we think is best for our application, each approach has pluses and minuses. Best of luck with your WHS folder duplication disk pool.

Lifespeed
lifespeed is offline  
post #1011 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 02:47 PM
AVS Special Member
 
MikeSM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 2,906
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by smino View Post

Is anyone using linux software raid 5? Anyone know of the largest implementation and performance stats? I am thinking of going this route. It seems pretty straight forward for raid expansion.

You should post this on the linux-raid mailing list. I know of one guy who has ganged together 12 raptors in raid5 and getting close to 900 MB/s off the array, but I don't think it makes sense for most people to stick 12 drives in a single array.
MikeSM is offline  
post #1012 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 03:11 PM
Member
 
pjavan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by smino View Post

My question is how do you connect this thing? Esata? I noticed someone said you can only do a 5 disk raid 5 array not 8. Silly, unlees you need a jbod!

The top two are E-Sata...the bottom two are NAS appliances. E-Sata will be considered direct attached storage (DAS) and show up as an extra drive, depending on how you configure the disks. The NAS device picks up an IP and you can configure the shares through a web interface.
pjavan is offline  
post #1013 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 03:19 PM
AVS Special Member
 
MiBz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post

Hi MiBz,

That WHS disk pooling sure sounds problematic compared to good ol' reliable hardware RAID based on an Intel IOP chip. An OS drive failure is a non-event with a real RAID array, just re-image a new drive from the backup image on the array and you're back up and running in minutes. No impact to the data OR the operating system, neither of which depend on the other

But we all choose what we think is best for our application, each approach has pluses and minuses. Best of luck with your WHS folder duplication disk pool.

Ya you're right of course. WHS is far too complex for some people to grasp.
I think dual raid 6 with hot spares and data backed up to a fibre channel SAN is the only way to go.

Besides we all know Microsloth is the devil

I wonder tho, if the drives from a raid 5/6 array are in the same room, but not connected to the system will the reinstalled/re-imaged OS still see the data on that array or is this just an issue that's just a shortcomming of WHS ? I mean com'mon the drives are in the same room only a few feet from the machine !

Btw ...reimaging an OS drive is fine for a desktop system. For servers IMHO you're always better off with an R1 OS mirror.
There's just too many possibilities of data corruption on open databases and files if the main server OS drive goes. This applies to any server and any OS.

Besides I run my servers headless in a wiring closet with no monitor/kybd/mouse. Re-imaging means downtime and the hassle of having to reconnect video/input and of course what if your saved image image is corrupted when you go to use it.

Personally, I'd prefer to spend $70 on an extra drive and avoid the entire hassle, but that's just me.
We all have different points of view and priorities, which is what makes these forums interesting.
MiBz is offline  
post #1014 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 03:30 PM
AVS Special Member
 
MikeSM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 2,906
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

Ya you're right of course. WHS is far too complex for some people to grasp.
I think dual raid 6 with hot spares and data backed up to a fibre channel SAN is the only way to go.

Besides we all know Microsloth is the devil

I wonder tho, if the drives from a raid 5/6 array are in the same room, but not connected to the system will the reinstalled/re-imaged OS still see the data on that array or is this just an issue that's just a shortcomming of WHS ? I mean common the drives are in the same room only a few feet from the machine !

This seems a little odd to me. Linux array members have a unique ID written on them so the array can be built at boot or after a hot-plug event regardless of which port they are connected to. LVM has something similar. So I am surprised WHS doesn't have that same functionality. It's just not that hard.
MikeSM is offline  
post #1015 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 03:46 PM
AVS Special Member
 
kapone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,417
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked: 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

Ya you're right of course. WHS is far too complex for some people to grasp.
I think dual raid 6 with hot spares and data backed up to a fibre channel SAN is the only way to go.

Besides we all know Microsloth is the devil

I wonder tho, if the drives from a raid 5/6 array are in the same room, but not connected to the system will the reinstalled/re-imaged OS still see the data on that array or is this just an issue that's just a shortcomming of WHS ? I mean com'mon the drives are in the same room only a few feet from the machine !

Btw ...reimaging an OS drive is fine for a desktop system. For servers IMHO you're always better off with an R1 OS mirror.
There's just too many possibilities of data corruption on open databases and files if the main server OS drive goes. This applies to any server and any OS.

Besides I run my servers headless in a wiring closet with no monitor/kybd/mouse. Re-imaging means downtime and the hassle of having to reconnect video/input and of course what if your saved image image is corrupted when you go to use it.

Personally, I'd prefer to spend $70 on an extra drive and avoid the entire hassle, but that's just me.
We all have different points of view and priorities, which is what makes these forums interesting.

As I have said before, each storage implementation has it's pros and cons. While WHS ia very good at a few things, recognizing an existing storage pool, on a new installation is not one one of them. That part of WHS just plain sucks, they need to do a better job of it. However, that does not mean that the limitation cannot be overcome.

You could easily do a RAID mirror of the OS drive, the new power pack apparently (since I have not tested that) allows backing up some/all of the OS drive as well, you could image the OS drive using any number of third party tools and keep a backup....a number of possibilities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

This seems a little odd to me. Linux array members have a unique ID written on them so the array can be built at boot or after a hot-plug event regardless of which port they are connected to. LVM has something similar. So I am surprised WHS doesn't have that same functionality. It's just not that hard.

WHS DOES write a unique ID on each storage pool member drive as well. You can move them around on any port, and it will recognize the drive. That's one of the reasons why it refromats all pool drives. It writes the marker on the volume and then formats it.

But, WHS is not "buidling" an array. In theory, a new WHS install should be able to recognize an existing storage pool, but it doesn't. It has to do with how the configuration of the storage pool is on the OS drive, not the pool itself. This is a design choice that MS made so that each pool drive can stand on it's own individually if plugged into a different Windows machine. Could they enhance their logic and make the storage pool configuration better and more "persistent"? I'm sure they could. I'm not sure they are planning on it though. From a sales and marketing perspective, WHS seems to be one of their failures.
kapone is offline  
post #1016 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 04:14 PM
AVS Special Member
 
MiBz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

As I have said before, each storage implementation has it's pros and cons. While WHS ia very good at a few things, recognizing an existing storage pool, on a new installation is not one one of them. That part of WHS just plain sucks, they need to do a better job of it. However, that does not mean that the limitation cannot be overcome.

Yep, this is why I suggest an R1 mirror which takes care of this very easily

Quote:


You could easily do a RAID mirror of the OS drive, the new power pack apparently (since I have not tested that) allows backing up some/all of the OS drive as well, you could image the OS drive using any number of third party tools and keep a backup....a number of possibilities.

No, the PP1 backup won't backup the OS.

Imaging can work if you remove the OS drive, image it onto another drive and reboot. In other words if you image and there was any changes to the storage pool since the image it won't work. The tombstone and database won't be in sync.

Quote:


WHS DOES write a unique ID on each storage pool member drive as well. You can move them around on any port, and it will recognize the drive.

Yes there's just this silly condition about the data drives having to be physically connected to the system. If they're disconnected and on the other side of the room it won't recognize them.
I don't know why this is so but maybe they'll fix it in the next power pak
MiBz is offline  
post #1017 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 04:40 PM
AVS Special Member
 
lifespeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

Imaging can work if you remove the OS drive, image it onto another drive and reboot. In other words if you image and there was any changes to the storage pool since the image it won't work. The tombstone and database won't be in sync.

Am I the only one who thinks this is a big downside to WHS? The OS and data drives are so inter-related, beyond even what software RAID requires of the OS, that restoration of the OS in such a manner that the data drives are properly recognized is a problematic process.

An OS drive dying is far from the only conceivable reason to need to reinstall or reimage. It sounds like the use of a backup image is pretty much precluded by using WHS storage pool. A fantastically useful tool has now been removed from your toolbox.

Lifespeed
lifespeed is offline  
post #1018 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 05:04 PM
AVS Special Member
 
MiBz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post

Am I the only one who thinks this is a big downside to WHS? The OS and data drives are so inter-related, beyond even what software RAID requires of the OS, that restoration of the OS in such a manner that the data drives are properly recognized is a problematic process.

An OS drive dying is far from the only conceivable reason to need to reinstall or reimage. It sounds like the use of a backup image is pretty much precluded by using WHS storage pool. A fantastically useful tool has now been removed from your toolbox.

No I absolutely agree with you and I think many people do.
WHS should be avoided at all costs. Raid 6 is a much better solution.
MiBz is offline  
post #1019 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 05:32 PM
Member
 
butters2006's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 157
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post

Am I the only one who thinks this is a big downside to WHS? The OS and data drives are so inter-related, beyond even what software RAID requires of the OS, that restoration of the OS in such a manner that the data drives are properly recognized is a problematic process.

An OS drive dying is far from the only conceivable reason to need to reinstall or reimage. It sounds like the use of a backup image is pretty much precluded by using WHS storage pool. A fantastically useful tool has now been removed from your toolbox.

Lifespeed,

This is a bit of a downside, and probably provides frustrations to people who follow traditional IT policies on backups, mirrors, etc...

The solution the WHS team provides isn't a bad one (unless of course you have a bunch of data on the OS drive). However failure to read the literature on recovery has dire consequences. I think people confuse two problems. One problem is if the OS becomes corrupt - in that case you can insert your OS disk and perform a recovery. The second issue is if your OS drive fails. In that case you have to disconnect all data drives, install OS on new hard drive, then connect each data drive one at a time. WHS recognizes the data drives and adds them back to the storage pool without losing data.

WHS appears to use the hard drive IDs when installing & attaching drives. This hampers mirroring efforts.

I think an important distinction that gets forgotten in these raid vs WHS debates is that WHS is an operating system, RAID is a subsystem. There is nothing preventing a person from installing WHS on a RAID array (other than the 2 gig limitation but you can simply create multiple arrays/volumes)

I have a post here about my time spent adding a RAID 5 volume to WHS's storage pool.

http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/e...d-e22100e289c4
butters2006 is offline  
post #1020 of 7891 Old 11-18-2008, 06:43 PM
AVS Special Member
 
lifespeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

No I absolutely agree with you and I think many people do.
WHS should be avoided at all costs. Raid 6 is a much better solution.

I'm just saying being able to restore to a previous uncorrupted OS image is one of the most useful tools I have come across in the HTPC world. I think we're all aware that getting an HTPC setup and playing all manner of media properly is an order of magnitude more difficult than a desktop, making the disk image tool all the more important. Yes, my HTPC is also the server and I like it that way.

It's good to be aware of the limitations of each approach, that's all. Besides, you were asking for it after laughing at the poor guy trying to recover his RAID5.

Lifespeed
lifespeed is offline  
Reply Home Theater Computers

Tags
Computers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off