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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:08 am 
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OK...so my new 495 is here and its time to migrate from my 475. Now I am struggling with the idea of perhaps replacing the system drive with a SMALLER (500GIG?).

I know back in the day we were taught to use the largest drive for the system but since it is my understanding that the units no longer use a "landing pad" this is actually not necessary.

I see that some of the home brew guys are using smaller/faster Solid State Drives so I know size is probably not a limitation but as this is a MSS I obviously need to use a SATA drive as I do not wish to perform any MOD's.

My initial thoughts is to keep as much data off of Drive 0 but I really don't know if this is necessary or not. Its kind of a catch 22 in my eyes as even though I have a TR4M I would rather utilize the 4 internal bays as much as possible.

I have pretty much decided to forgo the "Recovery" and stick with the slower "copy over to the new server" method. My reasoning is to be able to weed through my data, potentially reorganize some directories and keep the storage balanced across the drives. I also have installed perfect disk in an attempt to minimize fragmentation along the way.

I'm still thinking it over and to help me organize my thoughts I have some questions:

1. What are your thoughts pros/cons to keeping data off of the system drive?

2. If just start filling up the 1.5TB drive in the system, will this data stay put or will the system automatically move it once I add the remaining 3 drives?

Regarding 2. My thoughts are to possibly fill up the System drive NOW before adding additional drives so I know exactly what data is on that partition. I just don't want to do so and then have the server move it on me. In my eyes if this data stays put I have the option to copy it, defrag it, know what is there and still not "waste" the 1TB of space by going with a smaller drive. These files however would probably be Videos so this drive may get hammered during streaming thereby reducing its life expectancy... :-k

3. With the above in mind and if this route seems feasible, how "full" should I make it? I know I need to leave space for the tombstones.

I apologize if I seem to be rambling but I'm trying to get my head around this as I only want to to it once.

So what say you guru's??? Any advise, thoughts, comments, additional questions, ETC. will be most appreciated. Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:21 am 
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Quote:
1. What are your thoughts pros/cons to keeping data off of the system drive?


Pro: If the system drive fails and you do NOT have duplication enabled, then no worries about lost data since there is no data on the system drive. If you have duplication enabled, then no big deal either way...the MSS will take care of it when the new drive is installed.

Con: Loss of storage space for that drive location.


Quote:
2. If just start filling up the 1.5TB drive in the system, will this data stay put or will the system automatically move it once I add the remaining 3 drives?

Regarding 2. My thoughts are to possibly fill up the System drive NOW before adding additional drives so I know exactly what data is on that partition. I just don't want to do so and then have the server move it on me. In my eyes if this data stays put I have the option to copy it, defrag it, know what is there and still not "waste" the 1TB of space by going with a smaller drive. These files however would probably be Videos so this drive may get hammered during streaming thereby reducing its life expectancy...


From my own experience doing this, when you only have the system drive in place, the data tends to settle on that drive and you'll have to force it off that drive later using drive balancer once you insert another drive.


Quote:
3. With the above in mind and if this route seems feasible, how "full" should I make it? I know I need to leave space for the tombstones.


WHS tends to handle this on its own and generally will not let the drive get beyond 97 to 98% full.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:41 am 
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I don't have any answers, unfortunately, as I'm pretty much in the same boat trying to make the same decisions. I keep thinking I should go with a small and fast first drive (system), and then stack the large/slow drives on top of it for storage. On the other hand, the benefits on doing so hardly outweigh the downside of essentially losing one bay/storage drive. As it stands today, I'm running the same big slow drives both for system and storage.

P.S. I wish WHS had an option of explicitly excluding the system drive from the storage array all together. It would make the decision of running a dedicated system drive easier; it would also simplify the server recovery if and when the system drive fails.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:06 am 
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As you are aware, there are two schools of thought on this issue. Both have positives and negatives and it will depend on your specific situation which direction you decide to go. If you're going to have multiple drives in your MSS from the beginning, then virtually no data will be written to the system drive until the other drives fill up. My personal preference is for small clean system drive and multiple large storage pool drives.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:41 pm 
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cavediver wrote:
As you are aware, there are two schools of thought on this issue. Both have positives and negatives and it will depend on your specific situation which direction you decide to go. If you're going to have multiple drives in your MSS from the beginning, then virtually no data will be written to the system drive until the other drives fill up. My personal preference is for small clean system drive and multiple large storage pool drives.


+1 to the personal preference.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:07 pm 
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Texas-Hansen wrote:

WHS tends to handle this on its own and generally will not let the drive get beyond 97 to 98% full.


This makes sense..Kinda obvious that it should be smart enough to do so.

akgem wrote:


P.S. I wish WHS had an option of explicitly excluding the system drive from the storage array all together. It would make the decision of running a dedicated system drive easier; it would also simplify the server recovery if and when the system drive fails.


I agree. Actually I would like it even better if it gave you an option to keep certain data "grouped" together to insure that for example all data from a particular share landed on the same drive. I guess we need to keep in mind the target audience for these units though. Not initially intended for the "advanced users" that mostly visit here.

cavediver wrote:
As you are aware, there are two schools of thought on this issue. Both have positives and negatives and it will depend on your specific situation which direction you decide to go. If you're going to have multiple drives in your MSS from the beginning, then virtually no data will be written to the system drive until the other drives fill up. My personal preference is for small clean system drive and multiple large storage pool drives.


Yeah I guess I am aware and honestly was leaning toward "smaller/cleaner" but second guessed myself. Probably cause everything is up and running and I didn't really want to do the reset. Its good practice though.

FWIW, I DO have all the drives but will be installing them one at a time as the data gets migrated. My new theory is to install a 500GB System drive, configure the system, install ad-ins and defrag. Everything I did last night except now on a smaller drive with the additional reset component

Then Install a 1.5 in slot 2. Leave duplication off and start moving data that gets used infrequently to fill up the drive as much as possible. Then defrag the drive and add a 3rd to the pool and so on.

Data will be transferred in the order from least used to most used and once all the data is moved over I will turn duplication on and begin backing up PC's.

Sound feasible?

Brings to mind another question. What about PC backup data? If I use Alex's ad-in to restore my current database where does that data go? And same question regarding future back ups? In other words does the server also try to keep this data off of Drive 0?

Thanks to all who took the time to respond!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:58 pm 
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Why don't you install all of your drives, add them to the storage pool, turn on duplication for your shares, start copying your data, and let WHS do its thing? I don't think you should waste your time defragging your drives. Also, in WHS it doesn't matter where the data goes, i.e., which drive it lands on. It all goes into the storage pool. I've attached below a screenshot of the Disk Management add-in console screen for my MSS. It's currently at ~27TB. I'll replacing the TR4U with another TR8U and adding 4 more 1.5TB drives before the end of the year which will bring the total storage space to 32TB. As you can see, my system drive, (original 500GB drive) only contains the OS. All shares are duplicated and I have BDBB backups stored on a network share on Andromeda as well as on a separate 500GB drive in a single USB enclosure. I've never defragged any of the drives in my MSS. I did run drive balancer once earlier this year to clean up the system drive from some data that got on there when my MSS was young and I was removing and replacing drives without very many drives in the system, and it didn't have anywhere to go except for the system drive.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:11 am 
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cavediver wrote:
Why don't you install all of your drives, add them to the storage pool, turn on duplication for your shares, start copying your data, and let WHS do its thing? I don't think you should waste your time defragging your drives. Also, in WHS it doesn't matter where the data goes, i.e., which drive it lands on. It all goes into the storage pool. I've attached below a screenshot of the Disk Management add-in console screen for my MSS. It's currently at ~27TB. I'll replacing the TR4U with another TR8U and adding 4 more 1.5TB drives before the end of the year which will bring the total storage space to 32TB. As you can see, my system drive, (original 500GB drive) only contains the OS. All shares are duplicated and I have BDBB backups stored on a network share on Andromeda as well as on a separate 500GB drive in a single USB enclosure. I've never defragged any of the drives in my MSS. I did run drive balancer once earlier this year to clean up the system drive from some data that got on there when my MSS was young and I was removing and replacing drives without very many drives in the system, and it didn't have anywhere to go except for the system drive.


Decided to take this advise....See Here: http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5582 for "issues"...


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