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Will You Be Upgrading To Vail?
Yes 36%  36%  [ 18 ]
I will test out the beta before deciding 20%  20%  [ 10 ]
Not in its current form, too many features missing 44%  44%  [ 22 ]
Total votes : 50
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:06 am 
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With the release of the Vail beta I thought it would be interesting to gauge the interest of our members, so it is poll time!!! For me although there are a lot of improvements/upgrades with Vail over the current WHS there are some glaring omissions that may keep me from becoming a Vail user:

1) 10 HDD limit. This is noted as a bug currently, but if this remains the limit once Vail comes out of Beta then I will be sticking with WHS or looking at other options. This will be the #1 factor in determining whether I eventually move to Vail.

2) No migration path from WHS to Vail. Since I have 16 HDDs (approx 20TB) worth of data I would essentially have to build a new server and purchase new HDDs to copy from WHS to Vail. This would be a rather expensive migration.

3) Pooled drives in Vail only accessible via a Vail system, cannot pull out drives, connect to a PC, and pull out the data in the case of a hardware failure

Based on these I have to vote "Not in its current form, too many features missing". If you have a minute please take time to vote and drop a quick comment on how you voted and why. Thanks!!! :mss:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:53 am 
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I'm not sure yet. With the file system no longer accessible from a generic windows pc, I'm leaning towards no. I sold my Buffalo Linkstation and their linux based (xfs) file system for WHS with NTFS. Being able to remove a pooled drive and get the info off using my desktop XP computer is very important to me and saved my butt a month or so ago. Not being able to do that scares me.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:57 am 
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I voted yes, but with caveats. I will likely run it in parallel with my WHS and keep pushing MS to provide a utility to access data off of the drives without requiring another Vail server. I'm also going to have to see how it holds up under longer term use before I commit all my data to it.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:00 am 
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It all depends whether HP offers an upgrade to Vail on the MSS 49x's.
I am heavily using some of the HP built add-ons to the MSS (MAC backup, Twonky, Media Collector, Video Converter), which I would loose installing the upgrade myself.

So, without a HP upgrade path, no. With one, I will have to see but tend towards yes.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:03 am 
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yakuza wrote:
I voted yes, but with caveats. I will likely run it in parallel with my WHS and keep pushing MS to provide a utility to access data off of the drives without requiring another Vail server. I'm also going to have to see how it holds up under longer term use before I commit all my data to it.


I've thought quite alot about this issue and here is what I've come up with so far. With Vail's Drive Extender in its current form (data striped across multiple drives), even with a utility, you'd have to connect all storage pool drives to the PC in order to get any data off of the drives. In my case (24 drives in the storage pool), that wouldn't be practical or even possible. However, with the new ability to migrate a Vail storage pool to another Vail system, I don't see where there'd be too much problem retrieving your data. In the event of a catastrophic hardware failure (mobo or cpu, etc.), and the new ability to backup the system drive, it would be pretty easy to replace the failed component(s), restore the system drive, re-add the storage pool drives and be back in business pretty quick.

I'm going to load Vail on my MSS and try it out. If I didn't have a second machine (HP MSS EX470), for testing, I wouldn't be able to test it as I depend too much on Andromeda. I'll definitely build a new server to run Vail when it's released in its final form.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:08 am 
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cavediver wrote:

I've thought quite alot about this issue and here is what I've come up with so far. With Vail's Drive Extender in its current form (data striped across multiple drives), even with a utility, you'd have to connect all storage pool drives to the PC in order to get any data off of the drives. In my case (24 drives in the storage pool), that wouldn't be practical or even possible. However, with the new ability to migrate a Vail storage pool to another Vail system, I don't see where there'd be too much problem retrieving your data. In the event of a catastrophic hardware failure (mobo or cpu, etc.), and the new ability to backup the system drive, it would be pretty easy to replace the failed component(s), restore the system drive, re-add the storage pool drives and be back in business pretty quick.

I'm going to load Vail on my MSS and try it out. If I didn't have a second machine (HP MSS EX470), for testing, I wouldn't be able to test it as I depend too much on Andromeda. I'll definitely build a new server to run Vail when it's released in its final form.


Are you expecting the HDD limit to be resolved since I know you have a lot of drives?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:12 am 
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You might find this threadinteresting.

Mark Vayman from MS mentions " Internally, the “Vail” software has been tested with up to 16 hard drives and with up to 16 TB of total storage capacity. We’re aware of a number of bugs that occur beyond these limits, so please keep your beta installations under 16 drives and 16 TB total drive space." So it would seem the drive limit is for Beta; and it's currently stable at 10.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:55 am 
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dbone1026 wrote:
Are you expecting the HDD limit to be resolved since I know you have a lot of drives?


I have no idea what to expect at this point, but for testing purposes, it really doesn't matter. I'll start out with 2 drives in the storage pool then move to 3. For now, all internal to the MSS. If the final version comes out with drive limitations that are less than my current requirements, then I'll have to consider alternatives. I've seen posts by MS developers indicating they've tested Vail with up to 8TB raid arrays; so, 10-16 - 8 TB raid arrays is a lot of storage space. My attitude about this now is to just wait and see what happens, and in the mean time have a little fun with the new OS.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:06 pm 
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I voted No. The ability to plug a drive into another NTFS system and recover it is really nice to have. Without a tool to manage that, I am a little leary.

Also, hearing that there are stability issues with more than 10 drives sounds too much like the data corruption bug with DE for comfort. I am also looking to do some more deep dives into the new DE before I decide to invest.

I have a dual core laptop coming back from maintenance soon...maybe I'll toss Vail on that and see if I can break it.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:29 pm 
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I'm undecided right now. I like the idea of a 64 bit server platform and the new features of WHS Vail but I am concerned a little about limitation of not being able to view and retrieve the data if the drives are put in a non-Vail system. Hopefully, a solution will arrive for that issue. I was concerned about the 10 drive limit but in light of Cougar's comment above that it's likely a beta-only issue, that concerns me even less now. I understand the migration path issues and would not look forward to having to migrate the data manually but really do not see a way around that given 32 bit architecture of WHS v.1 versus 64 bit architecture of Vail.

So, for now, I'm undecided (Damian, need to add that as an option) and will watch the beta to see how it develops. (Of course, that's easy to say since I only have one server...if I had 2, then I'd already have Vail up and running on a test machine.)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:33 pm 
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Texas-Hansen wrote:
I'm undecided right now. I like the idea of a 64 bit server platform and the new features of WHS Vail but I am concerned a little about limitation of not being able to view and retrieve the data if the drives are put in a non-Vail system. Hopefully, a solution will arrive for that issue. I was concerned about the 10 drive limit but in light of Cougar's comment above that it's likely a beta-only issue, that concerns me even less now. I understand the migration path issues and would not look forward to having to migrate the data manually but really do not see a way around that given 32 bit architecture of WHS v.1 versus 64 bit architecture of Vail.

So, for now, I'm undecided (Damian, need to add that as an option) and will watch the beta to see how it develops. (Of course, that's easy to say since I only have one server...if I had 2, then I'd already have Vail up and running on a test machine.)


I think if I change the options it resets the votes to zero??

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:57 pm 
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Will I eventually end up with a Vail system? Probably, but it remains to be seen what role such a system will play in my setup.

I'm not particularly concerned about the current 10 drive limit because I assume it's only there because of stability concerns with the beta. However, if that turns out to be a restriction in the final product, then it would be a big issue for me.

I'm also not concerned about there being no migration path from WHS to Vail because I don't see it as that big of a deal to copy data from one system to another. You just copy a chunk of data to the new system until you've copied enough to free up one of the old system's drives, move that drive over to the new system, and continue until all data is moved over and all the drives are installed in the new system. It's definitely tedious and time consuming, but it's not like you have to sit there and watch while the data is being copied.

Not being able to read the data off the pooled drives would definitely be a non-starter for me. I've ditched other servers in the past because of their proprietary file formats. I always assume that a server will fail and therefore need to have a quick way to access my data if that happens. Having to set up another Vail server or repair the existing Vail server does not meet my definition of "a quick way to access my data". :)

One thing I'm not happy about is the overhead of the added CRC checksum for the drive extender - 12% of your drive space. So on my 15TB server, I would lose 1.8TB of space for CRC checksums. IMO, that is too high of a price to pay for a feature that I think is only marginally useful. That combined with the existing 100% overhead of folder duplication is likely going to push me towards a different solution for storing the bulk of my data.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:14 pm 
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Zen wrote:

I'm also not concerned about there being no migration path from WHS to Vail because I don't see it as that big of a deal to copy data from one system to another. You just copy a chunk of data to the new system until you've copied enough to free up one of the old system's drives, move that drive over to the new system, and continue until all data is moved over and all the drives are installed in the new system. It's definitely tedious and time consuming, but it's not like you have to sit there and watch while the data is being copied.


Keep in mind though this requires having two Servers up and running to migrate. So I figure I have to build another server just to be able to migrate my data from my WHS to Vail which is an expensive proposition.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:27 pm 
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Voted a definite yes.

Considering I'm a relatively new convert to WHS, and don't have a ton of unique data, I will definitely be migrating to Vail on my EX495 full time.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:28 pm 
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dbone1026 wrote:
Keep in mind though this requires having two Servers up and running to migrate. So I figure I have to build another server just to be able to migrate my data from my WHS to Vail which is an expensive proposition.

That's true, but wouldn't you want to have the new server up and running for a while without any problems before moving your data over? I would.

The other alternative would be to install Vail on your existing hardware, and copy the data from the old pool drives by connecting them to another Windows machine. Not as simple to do, but it's possible.


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