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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:36 am 
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Has anyone done testing with Storage spaces on how it works with having to replace a drive (either a dead drive or simply swapping out one drive for another). I have seen several people comment about it being slow and it won't let you replace a disk without destroying and recreating a pool (would be a deal breaker IMO). This article was written about Storage Spaces in w8, so not sure if it 100% applies to storage spaces in 2012:

http://helgeklein.com/blog/2012/03/wind ... ign-flaws/

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:21 am 
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dbone1026,
For replacing a disk, dead or not, there is a trick you have to install and add a new physical disk to the pool before erasing the "faulty disk". Operationnally, you remove the physical disk from the box, the system will report a warning. You don't erase the disk from the pool yet, but add a new physical disk. The Space will reconstruct, after which the "faulty" disk will be available for erasing. Note: I want to retry this method with Essentials RTM, but I have not installed it yet.

As for the article you refer to, many raised issues seem valid for 2012 Essentials (it is my understanding that win8 and 2012Essentials share the same SS architecture). This is why I take a very conservative approach. There are so many variables in play that the mix may produce unwanted or failed results:
    how many physical disks on the system
    how many Pools
    how many Spaces
    what resilience method is used
    use or not of thin provisioning
    etc.
To be on the safe side, I plan to use as many Pools as I have Spaces. For example, I will use two 3TB disks in a Pool in which I will have a single Space with the dual mirror method, no thin provisioning. This means the data is copied to the two disks and not spread over serveral physical disks. If I want a simple (no resilience) share it will be on its own Pool of disks, etc. This is what I call the conservative approach.

DE had some flaws, one of which was recovering your data in case of a MSS failure (discovered later that the fans where dirty). I experienced this when my EX47x failed to restart. I decided to buy another server (hp microserver) and port data to it. Since I decided to go with WHS2011, I had to copy data manually. What I then discovered is that data was spreaded over my four disks. Therefore I had to check every file on every disk to be sure I had copied it over.
I used a lot of "churches words" to complete the task :evil:
Hence, my now conservative approach. I wonder if other add-ins like drivebender, stablebit and the rest share the same problem? To come back to 2012Essentials, I stay away from Parity resilience method and thin provisioning (not because they necessarily fail, but to be on the safe side); I will concentrate on creating Pools instead of playing only with Spaces, when I download and install the RTM version (probably this weekend if I have time). All in all, I'm still in experimental stage here.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:21 am 
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@pmdci
Congrats!!!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:28 pm 
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OK so I have a dilemma.

I have 3x 500GB disks and I would like to have resiliency between all those 3 disks. Bear in mind I want to use this server as an application server (SQL Server and other stuff) and not as a file server.

I can't do a storage pool nor a RAID 5 between the 3 disks. So I have to choose either to:

* Have a storage pool between DISKS 2 and 3: System partition wouldn't be protected, but I could have the drive pool as my storage media for the Windows 2012 Server Essentials "server folders", and make sure that all of my databases and other sorts of files are is stored in this pool). In case of failure in the system disk I would have to reinstall Windows, but at least I would be able to restore my crucial data.

* Have a mirror between DISKS 1 and 2: System partition would be protected. I then could have all of my files (OS, applications and data) in this RAID. However this would leave the third disk out of the equation (thus I wouldn't use it in the server at all) and this would reduce the storage in half.

I really don't know what to go for. Any thoughts? VieuxJules?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Let's see,
Your disk 1 is the system disk. You don't seem to have partitioned it (say... around 60GB for system and some 400GB on another partition). If that's so then you will have to rely on solution 1 (Pool disks 2 &3).

If you had partitioned disk 1 (during installation), you would have some 400 GB free to use in a Pool (system partition is not allowed to be in a pool).

Your situation would be:
disk 1 = 400GB
disk 2&3 = 2 X 500GB

If you add disk 1 to a pool with either disk 2 or 3, you loose 100GB of storage (in a dual Mirror set up).

Therefore you better have disk 1 free to put whatever in it (different pool, simple space). So your first solution is the only one valid.

Guess you got the point that in SS there is no rebalancing.

To backup your system, you need an additional disk, or create a space (simple) somewhere to back it up to. Not easy, is it?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:35 am 
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VieuxJules wrote:
Let's see [...]


Somebody at the Microsoft forum (here) proposed me to do the following:

Disk 1 I have the system partition and the boot partition (remember that since Vista, Windows now does that, which adds some recovery stuff on the system partition).

The idea would be to shrink the Windows boot partition to say, 100GB. Then create another partition with aprox 400GB for data.

Then I mirror the boot and system partitions to Disk 2.

Then with the data partition, I make a stripe (RAID5) between disks 1, 2 and 3.

This would leave 100GB free on disk 3 which I can use for the Swap and other sorts of junk like temp files.

In theory this sounds great. But what I need to to know is, if Disk 1 fails how can I easily boot from Disk 2? In the forum I was told to simply choose the disk boot order to boot form Disk 2. But we know that EX470 BIOS is temperamental so I have my doubts if I could specify the disk from where to boot from (e.g.: boot fro drive bay 2 instead of drive bay 1). Moreover, I am not sure if I could simply put Disk 2 where disk 1 used to be and attempt to boot :)

What do you think?

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P.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Well, I tried it and... it didn't work.

Here is what I did:
First I found the idea of mirroring the system partition very helpful in my configuration, the reason why I tried it; but not for the rest (Raid5).
My configuration was at the start:
    2 X 3TB drives
    1 X 500 GB (disk 1)
    1 X 250 GB (disk 0:system on a 80 GB partition)

1. From Computer Management I converted the 250 GB disk 0 to dynamic type
2. I then converted unpartitioned disk 1 to MBR (since the two disks need to be with the same style)
3. Right click on the system partition (80 GB) of disk 0 and created a Mirror to disk 1
4. Removed disk 0 from the MSS and restart - health light went blue, then blink blue/red, then solid red
5. Transfered disk 1 from slot 1 of MSS to slot 0, and restart - same result
6. Connected a monitor to see where it stopped and it was after the boot, before the system loading

After that I reinstalled disks in the original position and restarted - saw the "Boot Manager" with the two choices but I didn't try it, since it was useless (and there was an error message something like "cannot find Plex", probably due to the disks swapping). I then removed the Mirror, and unpartitioned disk 1.
Now I'm stuck with the Boot Manager even if the plex has been removed. That adds some 25 seconds to the boot sequence.

So decided to play with Pools and Spaces, and my system is as follows:
    1 Pool of 2 X 3 TB disks with 1 Space (Mirror resilience) for most of my shares and data
    1 Pool from disk 1 with 2 Spaces: first is 85 GB (simple = no resilience) for system backup; second is 415 GB (simple) for non essential data
    1 Pool from residual non-partitioned space of disk 0 with 1 Space (simple) for non essential data

I had to make different Pools for disks 0 and 1, since I wanted the system backup on disk 1.

So, that doesn't help you much since you could create a 100 GB Space for system backup on one of your disks, but SS will take the whole disk for the pool, and I don't think the residual space will be available for Raid.

Maybe there's a workaroud, but with my little knowledge, this is as far as I could go.

By the way, does someone know how to remove the Boot Manager from my boot sequence?

vj

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:20 pm 
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OK found the solution to my question in previous post.

To remove Boot manager undesirable entry, type "msconfig" on the Metro page (startup page), go to Boot tab, delete undesirable entry, apply.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:55 pm 
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VieuxJules wrote:
OK found the solution to my question in previous post.

To remove Boot manager undesirable entry, type "msconfig" on the Metro page (startup page), go to Boot tab, delete undesirable entry, apply.


Sorry I just saw your reply. I was about to tell you to run msconfig :)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:23 pm 
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Just as an FYI - I did receive several emails from folks regarding Storage Spaces. Here's an update on the subject relative to Home Server SMART:

Microsoft apparently felt I needed another challenge, and they changed an API upon which I've depended since WHS v1 - the beloved Win32_DiskDrive API. When you add a disk to Storage Spaces, Microsoft ever-so-lovingly culls the "real" disk(s) from the Win32_DiskDrive list of disks, and replaces them with the Storage Space(s).

This is completely UNLIKE Drive Extender, Drive Bender and StableBit, the latter two which ADDED their own pools to the Win32_DiskDrive but otherwise left the other items alone.

With Windows 8/2012, there is now a new API called MSFT_PhysicalDisk, which retains the physical disks. I've taken a look at it in PowerShell and it doesn't look like it was put together very well, and the documentation on MSDN is even worse. But it's the best I've got, and so I'm moving forward with it. I've got some internal builds of WindowSMART and Home Server SMART working with Storage Spaces, but lots of bugs remain.

Now I'm just trying to get the Intel RST drivers to install on my EX487. I gulped down the latest ones and the install package says my server doesn't meet the minimum requirements to install the software. I'm running Windows Server 2012 Essentials RTM.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:31 am 
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Good Morning Everyone,

Wondering if anyone could provide some assistance. I have an EX475 that recently lost it's system drive. I was able to restore all of my data, but now I am trying to get Server 2012 Essentials installed... The 475 is upgraded to 2GB and four 2TB drives. I have the VGA adapter from VOV and can access the BIOS. Everytime I try to install 2012 Essentials, I get held up configuring storage. It just won't let me configure a partition. SInce I'm installing from a flash drive, I've checked the install log (which is blank). The warning I'm getting is "we couldn't create a partition or locate an existing one".

I have to be missing a step somewhere. I've been installing 2012 on DL380's without issue... Something simple I'm sure. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


Respectfully,

Jim


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:10 am 
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Hi Jim,

Welcome to the forum. My two cents: try to install with only one disk in the lower disk slot. Have this disk unpartitioned.
If it doesn't work, change your disk style (on a computer) to MBR if it's GPT or to GPT if it's MBR.

Give us feed-back
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:25 am 
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Thanks VJ! Will do. I expect to be able to work on this tomorrow.

Thanks again!

Jim


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:15 am 
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Hi everyone,

Still no joy... This is very strange... Killing me.

Jim


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:22 pm 
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There seems to be a second usb storage device... The LS120... Any way to disable this?


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