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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:55 am 
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I have been putting together my "wish list" of components for a home built server but couldn't get away from the convenience and simplicity of the MSS units. So I have been really going back and forth for several weeks. The thing that turned me off regarding the MSS was the stated 17TB storage capacity on their product page. My friend said that in theory, it should be able to do way more with the ports. Damian had already pointed a couple of expansion products out to me in a reply over on AVSForum: Sans Digital TRM5 and Sans Digital TRU8. If you are reading this, you probably know about these already but here are their pages on Newegg just in case:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product


I called HP this morning and spoke with someone who genuinely seemed familiar with the MSS. I know that you cannot rely on phone support much these days which is why I spend so much time at places like here and AVSForum. Regarding customer server reps, I can't tell you how many times I have talked with someone who knew absolutely nothing about the product or service I was calling about. However, he told me that you could indeed use all of the ports and, if you populate the bays with 2TB drives, you could end up with a total of 81.5TB with the EX495 and (4) TR8U and (1) TR5M. With folder duplication turned on, well you still would have 40.75TB of storage. That is a lot of freaking storage. Now I am very suspicious of this claim. He did say that they did not "officially" support the Sans Digital products or any other manufacturers products and went on to stress that that did not imply that it will not work. He pointed out some obvious things like its all very dependent on how many streams you are trying to go with and how many are HD versus SD and that actually made me think he actually knew what he was talking about.

I would love to be able to build my own dedicated server based on the Norco 4220 and rack it right along with the rest of my HT and whole-house AV gear, but I can get past that. Actually generic rack shelves are cheap and black laminate can make for some pretty nice custom faceplates. (I had to "build" a faceplate for a lighting control panel that generally goes in wall on a project a couple years ago. I used black laminate and it looked really nice racked out with the other gear)

Anyway, has anyone pushed a 495 past one or two external enclosures with any success. I will use the free bays in the MSS and the eSata enclosure for as much of my HD stuff as posible just in case the USB would create any bottlenecking. I think I can be happy with 3-4 streams max - HDI Dune, and 2 or 3 WDTV Lives or Popcorn Hours.

The great thing about this if it is true is that I am back to my initial idea of starting small and adding drives as I need them. Now I just someone to confirm what Matt at HP said or shoot this down entirely. :D Little girl is having surgery today so I'll check back and see if there is any input tonight or tomorrow. Cheers everybody.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:48 am 
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There are multiple posts in different threads around here where folks have added multiple multi-bay external enclosures. The only real restriction is that the EX48x units do not support multi-bay eSATA expansions. So, in theory, you can do what you want.

The problem seems to be that as folks add all the additional storage they also want the server to do other things, everything from home control, video surveillance, DVR functions, streaming, serving multiple websites, etc. In the MSS storage is limited to a single stick of memory and that becomes a bottleneck. The USB speeds are considerably less than the SATA/eSATA speeds and if balancing involves two drives in the same USB enclosure and you are trying to stream off that enclosure you will see interference. And three of those ports are off one hub and one off the other internally so even the hub can be a restriction.

So yes, these work and they do provide protection as one grows. But if you seriously know now that you will need that kind of capacity I would go the DIY route from the start. (There is an excellent DIY section around here to get you started.)

One of my clients started with an EX470 solution, added an eSATA enclosure and then one USB enclosure. Has a second as a hot spare to which he backs up several times a day. He's fine for the next couple years at his current business growth rate but he is already planning his next step -- and it will very likely be a large-frame DIY solution. He wants to have a pair of WHS units in the same frame (interpret as 19" rack). His data is, of course, the valuable thing here, but he figures that the largest hardware investment is the disk drives and that the MSS frames and external enclosures will just be a throw-away. He also figures that the next MSS (Vail) will be 64-bit and there will be some provision for additional users when he migrates. (He does not agree but I suspect he will actually keep the MSS on-line as a second WHS server to the day it dies!) His assumptions about the future may not all be accurate but he is at the conceptual/budget stage for a 2012 implementation.

You need to approach this like a business. Lay out requirements over time and ask yourself what the best way is to reach short- AND long-term goals.

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EX475, 2 GB, LE-1640
PC1: Vista-->W7 Ultimate/32, (D-Drive RAID-5 Array)
PC2: Lenovo Laptop, Win XP Home SP3
2xLinksys WRT54G v1.1 and 2xNetGear GS105 Gbit switch


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:46 pm 
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Well my bad for not doing a more thorough search but thanks for the reply. I guess that's why they only "support" 17TB. I have read all over the DIY threads and while I am confident that I can do a build with the proper help and info, I am attracted to an out of the box solution all the same. You provided some really good food for thought and this is something I need to good and decide on!! Even a build based on WHS and a Norco 4220 will only yield a max of 20TB with duplication turned on and that's a lot but not close to my needs. Thanks again for the reply.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:55 pm 
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Check the DIY area. There are a couple pretty monstrous builds there, and some suggestions for approaching even larger ones.

You'll be reading for a few days so have a beer handy!

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EX475, 2 GB, LE-1640
PC1: Vista-->W7 Ultimate/32, (D-Drive RAID-5 Array)
PC2: Lenovo Laptop, Win XP Home SP3
2xLinksys WRT54G v1.1 and 2xNetGear GS105 Gbit switch


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:12 pm 
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I just want to point out that the EX490 series server can handle 255 hard drives, although not yet physically possible.
You can see this when you do the process to gather logs during a Recovery/Reset procedure with a USB thumb drive.

The log looks like this on a 2-drive unit:

Code:
\\.\PHYSICALDRIVE0 is our best physical disk
DeviceIoControl IOCTL_STORAGE_GET_DEVICE_NUMBER failed for volume \\?\Volume{d9b257fc-684e-4dcb-ab79-03cfa2f6b750}\, error 1
X:\ is not a good match because it is on PartitionNumber 0 and not 0
E:\ is not a good match because it is on PhysicalDisk 1 and not 0
C:\ *IS* a good match because because it is the first partition on disk 0
CSessionManager::CSessionManager() - Using PrimaryDisk 0 and Primary Volume \\?\Volume{21dfe543-021e-11df-8233-806e6f6e6963}\
[1/15/2010 1:39:05 PM  730] Listener Created
[1/15/2010 1:40:10 PM  75c] Listener UdpCallback
[1/15/2010 1:40:10 PM  75c] Listener ProcessUdpPacket from 169.37.37.38, size 1
[1/15/2010 1:40:10 PM  75c] Listener Respond to 169.37.37.38
[1/15/2010 1:40:16 PM  75c] Listener TcpEventCallback
[1/15/2010 1:40:16 PM  75c] Listener TcpConditionCallback from 169.37.37.38
Number of active connections: 0
Received Connection
Physical Disk 0 has been selected to wiped
\\.\PHYSICALDRIVE2 isnt available
\\.\PHYSICALDRIVE3 isnt available
\\.\PHYSICALDRIVE4 isnt available
\\.\PHYSICALDRIVE5 isnt available
\\.\PHYSICALDRIVE6 isnt available
\\.\PHYSICALDRIVE7 isnt available
\\.\PHYSICALDRIVE8 isnt available
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PHYSICALDRIVE0 opened
PHYSICALDRIVE0 is 320072933376 bytes in size
PHYSICALDRIVE0 is doing a quick wipe of 10485760 bytes
PHYSICALDRIVE0 wiped
Done wiping disks
ClientFile::ReadFile we asked for 4096 but are only getting back 336 failed with 0x0
Seeking out primary volume
DeviceIoControl IOCTL_STORAGE_GET_DEVICE_NUMBER failed for volume \\?\Volume{d9b257fc-684e-4dcb-ab79-03cfa2f6b750}\, error 1
X:\ is not a good match because it is on PartitionNumber 0 and not 0
E:\ is not a good match because it is on PhysicalDisk 1 and not 0
no good choices for primary volumes after init... trying again
...didnt find a primary volume, trying again
DeviceIoControl IOCTL_STORAGE_GET_DEVICE_NUMBER failed for volume \\?\Volume{d9b257fc-684e-4dcb-ab79-03cfa2f6b750}\, error 1
X:\ is not a good match because it is on PartitionNumber 0 and not 0
E:\ is not a good match because it is on PhysicalDisk 1 and not 0
GetDiskFreeSpaceW failed for volume \\?\Volume{21dfe566-021e-11df-8233-00262d0003bb}\, error 1005
GetVolumeInformationW failed for volume \\?\Volume{21dfe566-021e-11df-8233-00262d0003bb}\, error 1005
FSCTL_ALLOW_EXTENDED_DASD_IO failed, error 87
C:\ *IS* a good match because because it is the first partition on disk 0
primary volume chosen: \\?\Volume{21dfe566-021e-11df-8233-00262d0003bb}\
Done Initing disk.
GetDiskFreeSpaceW failed for volume \\?\Volume{21dfe566-021e-11df-8233-00262d0003bb}\, error 1005
GetVolumeInformationW failed for volume \\?\Volume{21dfe566-021e-11df-8233-00262d0003bb}\, error 1005
FSCTL_ALLOW_EXTENDED_DASD_IO failed, error 87
FSCTL_ALLOW_EXTENDED_DASD_IO failed, error 87
Restoring volume \\?\Volume{21dfe566-021e-11df-8233-00262d0003bb}\
Physical location: 0:1
Setting progress bar upper bound to: 21476173824
Disk geometry: length 21476173824, sector size 512, cluster size 4096, clusters 5243206
File allocation bitmap: size 5243206, LCN 0
Locked the volume.Progress: 1
Progress: 2
Progress: 3
Progress: 4
Progress: 5
Progress: 6
Progress: 7
Progress: 8
Progress: 9
Progress: 10
Progress: 11
Progress: 12
Progress: 13
Progress: 14
Progress: 15
Progress: 37
Progress: 38
Progress: 39
Progress: 40
Progress: 41
Progress: 45
Progress: 47
Progress: 48
Progress: 49
Progress: 50
Progress: 100
Read copy of boot sector (2048 bytes)
Completed successfully, 5243206 clusters scanned, 1089486 restored
Done writing primary volume. (hr=0x0)
Setting registry key to enable recovery mode on reboot
Trying to open hive \\?\Volume{21dfe566-021e-11df-8233-00262d0003bb}\WINDOWS\system32\config\software
Opened Hive at \\?\Volume{21dfe566-021e-11df-8233-00262d0003bb}\WINDOWS\system32\config\software
Server has been put into recovery mode
[1/15/2010 1:51:38 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:51:48 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:51:58 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:52:08 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:52:18 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:52:28 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:52:38 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:52:48 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:52:58 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:53:08 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:53:19 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:53:29 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:53:39 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:53:49 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:53:59 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:54:09 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:54:19 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:54:29 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:54:39 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:54:49 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:54:59 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:55:09 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:55:19 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:55:29 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:55:39 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:55:49 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:55:59 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:56:09 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:56:19 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:56:29 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:56:39 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:56:49 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:56:59 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:57:09 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:57:19 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:57:29 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:57:39 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:57:49 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:57:59 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:58:09 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:58:19 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:58:29 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:58:39 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:58:49 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:58:59 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:59:09 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:59:19 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:59:29 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:59:39 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:59:49 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 1:59:59 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 2:00:09 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 2:00:19 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 2:00:29 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 2:00:39 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 2:00:49 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 2:00:59 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 2:01:09 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 2:01:19 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
[1/15/2010 2:01:29 PM  75c] Socket::Read - timed out, retrying (asked for 4 bytes)
Exiting.
SessionComplete: Number of active connections: 0
[1/15/2010 2:01:33 PM  75c] Closing socket
[1/15/2010 2:01:33 PM  730] Listener Destroyed
Unloading server recovery app

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:19 pm 
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element wrote:
I just want to point out that the EX490 series server can handle 255 hard drives, although not yet physically possible.
You can see this when you do the process to gather logs during a Recovery/Reset procedure with a USB thumb drive.


Except that Drive Extender has a 32-drive hardcoded limit. Also, the Recovery process is a WinPE environement that is not at all like the actual running Windows Home Server.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:12 am 
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yakuza wrote:
Also, the Recovery process is a WinPE environement that is not at all like the actual running Windows Home Server.

That's true, don't know why I didn't think of that. My bad.
Good to know about the hard-coded limit.

Now the "17tb" limit that HP advertises on the product info, would you agree with me that it is only a theorhetical (and random) number to choose as a limit? The closest I can think of is 18tb, assuming this was calculated when the EX470 was released and the largest drive at the time was 1.5tb, using 4 internals, 4 in a esata enclosure and 4 usb.
It's not uncommon for big companies to not update their product info when all they change is the look of the unit and add a bit more *oomph* to the cpu/ram.
I'm thinking that HP just did the math on the maximum physical possibility rather than what WHS can handle as an OS.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:13 am 
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I don't know how some of these companies come up with the numbers they do. :crazy: I remember at the time we released the EX47x, 1TB drives were the biggest available so when we'd talk about the max capacity we could reference future products but the marketing people had their own way of doing math.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:28 am 
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Are there multi-bay USB enclosures like there is for eSata?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:35 am 
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Yeah Sans Digital has an 8-bay enclosure, there are tons of others.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:37 pm 
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I like the Mediasonic enclosures since they will turn on and off with the MSS. They have boxes with both eSATA and USB connections. Although they don't have any enclosures with more than 4 bays. I will be adding a fifth Mediasonic enclosure to my setup later this monh.

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