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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:41 pm 
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OK so I haven't been around here in awhile...sorry about that. I've been working on a new release of WindowSMART 2013 and Home Server SMART 2013, plus I'm working on rebuilding my website from the ground up. Throw in a prototype and proposal to a big company for WindowSMART and I come to realize I need longer days!

Anyhow, I have a problem with Storage Spaces on my HP MediaSmart EX487. The processor's been upgraded to an E5300, plus 4 GB of RAM (did that all last year). When I rebuilt to 2012 Essentials, I installed an Intel 160GB SSD into the first slot, so the OS runs off the SSD. It is so fast. Then each bay of the server has either a 1 or 2TB HDD, plus 3 x 2TB USB HDDs and a 1TB HDD on eSATA.

All of the hard drives I lumped together into one big Storage Space, and then provisioned a big D: drive and that's where Essentials puts all of the server folders, including backups.

At least once, but sometimes several times, per day, I'll notice critical alerts--backup service is not running, folders are missing, etc. When I log into the server, the D: drive is gone. The fix is to pull up Server Manager, bring up Storage Spaces, detach the virtual disk and then reattach it.

I've got Home Server SMART 2013 installed, and the disks are all healthy. One disk has a few bad sectors, but those bad sectors took up residence on the disk long before Server 2012 Essentials was installed.

Normally if you have a disk cutting in and out, perhaps because of a bad data cable, you'd see errors and warnings like crazy in the System and/or Application event logs. Nary a one. I've combed through all of the event logs I can find; there's even an event log for storage spaces. I don't see any problems there either. Nothing in Home Server SMART's logs suggest a disk cutting out, and Storage Spaces doesn't show disks dropping offline either. And since the storage pool has redundancy enabled, even if a disk did cut out, the virtual disk shouldn't disappear!

My other MediaSmart Server, an EX490 with otherwise identical hardware (E5300, 4GB and an OCZ Vertex4 SSD), has three different Storage Spaces. One mirrors a pair of 2TB USB drives, a second pools 4 x 2TB Hitachi Deathstars and the third is a couple of the hard drives in the EX490's chassis. With the exception of a bad eSATA cable, I've never had any trouble with those storage spaces. (Note this one is using full blown Windows Server 2012, not Essentials.)

The only thing in 2012 Essentials that caught my eye was a warning that the backup database cleanup hasn't run successfully in over 30 days. There's a "try to repair" link, that when clicked, appeared to kick off the task. The storage space will drop off within an hour of doing that. I'm not sure if it's coincidence...I'm hard-pressed to believe that the backup cleanup would cause a virtual disk to dismount.

Anyone else seen this?

Matt

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HP EX490, 4GB, E5300, 15TB - Server 2012 - Sharing and Streaming
HP EX487, 4GB, E5300, 13TB - Server 2012 Essentials - Backups


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:32 pm 
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Matt,
since you didn't get an answer from some tehcnical soul, I'll try an observation. You seem to have configured your EX490 with more than one pool, while your 487 has only one pool containing all disks. I have mentioned here and on TechNet that since the SS technology is so young, that we should take a conservative approach, and be careful with our natural inclination towards pools. In fact, my first inclination was to group all my 4 disks into one pool, than configure a two-way mirror Space and one or two simple Space. That created some errors that I could not correct. For example if a share which was on the Simple Space had some problems (corrupted file, etc.) then the whole pool was affected, meaning all four disks.

Now, I decided to take a multiple pool approach. Two 3TB disks are in a separate Pool, which holds only one Space (two-way mirror) with the shares I want to secure. Then another pool contains my two other disks which are of different size, with two Spaces (Simple resilience). The first Space is configured to receive the server's backup, the other receives my computers' backup. If one of my backups is defective (it happened, in fact), only the pool with Simple spaces is affected, while the other pool stays untouched. Anyway in a multiple pool approach, you can better identify the problem (and certainly more specifically with your App), and take time to correct it, while the rest of the server is still functional.

I know this does not solve your problem, but it certainly can help in future planning of pools, spaces, shares and files.
vj

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:06 pm 
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Hi VJ,

I actually abandoned that pool and went back to Drive Bender. DB always worked for me, even with the wackiest and funkiest pool arrangements. I'm still on 2012 Essentials, but the SS wasn't cutting it. I did manage to cut the disconnects from 2-3 per day down to about 1 per week by turning off VSS on the volume. It seemed that VSS was causing high enough I/O activity that SS just couldn't synchronize across the multiple disks and speeds 7200 RPM internal SATA disks vs. 5400 RPM USB 2.0 disks.

Drive Bender doesn't let me down. I'll probably keep the storage spaces going on the other server since they're working correctly and I haven't had any problems with them (hey if it ain't broke, don't fix it). If they start acting up, I'll put them back on Drive Bender since I have an extra license key for it.

Matt

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Matt Sawyer
Owner, Dojo North Software, LLC

HP EX490, 4GB, E5300, 15TB - Server 2012 - Sharing and Streaming
HP EX487, 4GB, E5300, 13TB - Server 2012 Essentials - Backups


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