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WHS 2011 HP Microserver: what protection / redundancy for media files?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I got an HP N40L Microserver with WHS 2011 that I would like to use for media storage and server. I'm trying to decide what form of protection other than a complete backup to use. My PCs and HTPCs are using Windows 7, and I have two Macs connected to the network as well.

When you read up at other forums dedicated to server discussion they will always point out that RAID of any kind is not a backup. I understand this ( I will backup important docs and pics, etc offsite and cloud). But when you start getting into the multiple TBs of media files, having a second multiple might or might not be the most economical or convenient for recovery. Also to re-rip 4tb of my media collection would take a lot of effort. So I would like to have some sort of protection in case one of the 4tb drives fails.

Currently have my N40L Microserver's modified BIOS flashed so that I was able to put the 250gb OS drive on the ODD SATA connector at full speed. And I have 4 new 4tb drives that I would like to store my media on. In the future for expansion I could add a four disk enclosure to the eSATA connector on the Microserver since the BIOS is modified as to have port multiplier enabled.

Options I'm considering so far are...

WHS 2011 RAID 1, mirroring pairs of 4tb drives

WHS 2011 RAID 5 (have not researched this too much yet)

FlexRAID ( and possibly using Stablebit's DrivePool or FlexRAIDs own pooling software. )

Not sure I'm up for adding a RAID card and it's added expense (for those that might suggest this)

Also...Wondering if this is posted in the best forum topic group? Would it have been best to post this over at "Home Theater Computers"?
Edited by g725s - 7/29/13 at 8:35pm
post #2 of 17
I'm a fan of DrivePool myself. I also own DriveBender, but left it once DrivePool got up and running. I havent really had to use any recovery with yet (knocks on wood), but Im very confident I wont have any issues.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by twan69666 View Post

I'm a fan of DrivePool myself. I also own DriveBender, but left it once DrivePool got up and running. I havent really had to use any recovery with yet (knocks on wood), but Im very confident I wont have any issues.

How are you going to recover from a drive failure with DrivePool? Is it not just for pooling of drives?
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Don't respond here. I'm going to post this over in the other forum where it might get more response.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by g725s View Post

How are you going to recover from a drive failure with DrivePool? Is it not just for pooling of drives?

Sorry, I'm responding here anyway. Drivepool (and Drivebender) functions like RAID 1, full redundancy. So I technically lose 1/2 my storage, but everything is backed up across multiple hard drives.
post #6 of 17
IF you use flexraid, you will have a parity drive that backs up your drives in your pool so no need for the wasteful drive mirroring/copying. It will also perform scheduled tasks such as update, verify, validate, to keep your system in sync. Once it does all of that it will send you an email or text messages stating the health and success or failure of the tasks.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by twan69666 View Post

Sorry, I'm responding here anyway. Drivepool (and Drivebender) functions like RAID 1, full redundancy. So I technically lose 1/2 my storage, but everything is backed up across multiple hard drives.

Then why not use a real Hardware RAID 1?
post #8 of 17
I would say because it is outdated and far inferior to other raid systems.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by g725s View Post

Don't respond here. I'm going to post this over in the other forum where it might get more response.

Yup

HTPC forum will get you more replies and better info.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by g725s View Post

Then why not use a real Hardware RAID 1?

Expensive
post #11 of 17
Not really. You can get older 3ware or Areca cards for a few hundy's.
post #12 of 17
That's expensive when you factor in hard drives and that you need more expensive hard drives that play nice with TLER.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to put a used HP p212 or p410. They can be had on eBay for $75 +/-. Not a few hundy.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pain Infliction View Post

I would say because it is outdated and far inferior to other raid systems.

If you read over at forums dedicated to real server discussions the consensus is otherwise. That hardward RAID is faster, more resilient, easier to recover in event that something goes south.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by g725s View Post

If you read over at forums dedicated to real server discussions the consensus is otherwise. That hardward RAID is faster, more resilient, easier to recover in event that something goes south.

So you are telling me that you would rather have raid 1 than flexraid? You would rather have all of your drives mirrored and have twice the drives and spend more money than have a bunch of data drives with one parity drive? That's your opinion and that's fine. I just would not want to go that rout. I would chose a buch of different raid setups before I went raid 1. That's my opinion. I gues this is more like a Chevy vs Ford type of situation.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pain Infliction View Post

So you are telling me that you would rather have raid 1 than flexraid? You would rather have all of your drives mirrored and have twice the drives and spend more money than have a bunch of data drives with one parity drive? That's your opinion and that's fine. I just would not want to go that rout. I would chose a buch of different raid setups before I went raid 1. That's my opinion. I gues this is more like a Chevy vs Ford type of situation.

I think he already realized the answers but he is just stuck on RAID hardware. That or he is being fed false information.

Most of his "reasons" for wanting RAID are actually reasons he should be checking out something like flexraid.

First,

His point it's faster seems wrong. It's not- it's still limited to the speed of your HDD's and LAN. Which in most practical purposes is about 110MB/sec. Gigabit LAN with a perfect run is theoretically capable of 125MB/sec but no one ever gets that. Usually if your getting 100MB/sec your doing ok. Building or buying a machine that is going faster than 125/MB sec is futile because you will never realize it- your speed limited by your LAN. Only if your installing locally on a local machine would the extra speed ever matter and in that case your not talking about a server anymore. Plus my Flexraid server consistently delivers over 110MB/sec and it's 30TB in size. I'd crap my pant if his used HP could hit either of those marks.

Second, (well actually third because second point was the HP and RAID is going to be slower than he thinks)

I am not sure who gave him his information but restoring a failed drive in flexraid is as simple as clicking "rebuild drive" after installing a replacement HDD. In my case, it's hot swap able and takes 5 seconds and no tools. I can't imagine any RAID box would ever be easier so I am just assuming he doesn't realize what is involved with swapping out a drive in flexraid.

The cost issue I already explained in his other thread here:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1484300/does-anyone-still-prefer-hardware-raid-5-for-media-server-with-windows-as-the-os/0_100#post_23595507

itznfb and spectrumbx (Brahim, inventor of flexraid) got into a nice mine is bigger than your's pissin match which somewhat derailed the thread but nonetheless provides amusement.

On the cost issue,

First you need to buy more expensive hard drives that play nice with TLER. You can't use cheap ones because you'll constantly be having issues. Hardware raid requires a drive without TLER issues and without head parking- at minimum your looking at a WD RED which is $30 more on average and quite a bit slower. WD RED is only 5400rpm and generally a very slow HDD so his entire idea of speed gets thrown out the window. Most enterprise RAID certified 7200rpm drives run $200+ so costs becomes a major issue too. And again- you can't go faster than LAN anyways so it really won't matter. It's just money wasted.
post #17 of 17
Nicely said!
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