Alternative to RAID

Discussion in 'Windows Server' started by iPenguin02, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. iPenguin02

    iPenguin02 MDL Novice

    Dec 2, 2013
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    I am looking for a alternative to a RAID back up plan. My current set up is Server 2012 on 1 HD and 4 drives in a spanning volume within the server. From what i've read is if 1 drive dies on the span i lose all data, correct me if I am wrong of course. Any suggestions on perhaps a better setup?

    I was leaning more towards off site back ups like crash plan, but from talking to the rep it wouldn't help me if one of the drives dies.

    Anyone have any other suggestions? preferably off site as i do not want to spend the extra money on extra drives.
     
  2. exograpix

    exograpix MDL Novice

    Aug 30, 2009
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    You can ZFS based file system like in NAS4FREE or FREENAS. Nas4free works cool.
     
  3. iPenguin02

    iPenguin02 MDL Novice

    Dec 2, 2013
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    Can you elaborate?
     
  4. exograpix

    exograpix MDL Novice

    Aug 30, 2009
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    Instead of RAID structure you can create ZFS volume depending on your requirement , it is just like any RAID structure like 0,1,5,6,10 , though it requires at least 6 GB. of RAM for good performance , I recommend 8 GB to 16 GB. depending on volume of data and number of users.

    Its very stable and easy to rebuild in comparison to hardware or software RAID, very cost effective (free) , please study NAS4FREE videos on youtube to have a good idea and in case you require ISCSI it is available in NAS4FREE and openfiler too.

    Point to add : you can provide cloud based file manager to your users in case required by installing owncloud on NAS4FREE.
     
  5. iPenguin02

    iPenguin02 MDL Novice

    Dec 2, 2013
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    Currently not running any back up plan.. i know shame on me

    Was looking at cloud back up plans
    I might look at ZFS, but only downside i only have 4GB in my server i guess i'll need to update.
    I'll research more into it.
     
  6. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    2012 R2 with Storage Spaces is perfectly fine. Plus of course you do need to have backup
     
  7. iPenguin02

    iPenguin02 MDL Novice

    Dec 2, 2013
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    Thanks for the suggestions,

    I'm looking for something that works with windows, I am trying to look into disparity or flexraid. However nothing tells me how they actually work. I do not want to purchase any more disk unless its to store more data.
     
  8. JJ2SMILY

    JJ2SMILY MDL Novice

    Mar 10, 2012
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    #10 JJ2SMILY, Jan 17, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    These articles might help you.
    Code:
    Building the next generation file system for Windows: ReFS
    blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/01/16/building-the-next-generation-file-system-for-windows-refs.aspx
    
    Virtualizing storage for scale, resiliency, and efficiency
    blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/01/05/virtualizing-storage-for-scale-resiliency-and-efficiency.aspx
    
    Windows Storage Spaces and ReFS: Is it time to ditch RAID for good?
    betanews.com/2014/01/15/windows-storage-spaces-and-refs-is-it-time-to-ditch-raid-for-good/
     
  9. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    ReFS is OK, but most of things do not yet work on it. Cluster Shared Volume, NFS, MSSQL. So MS made new filesystem & forgot to update they own products to support it...

    But for home use it is fine
     
  10. iPenguin02

    iPenguin02 MDL Novice

    Dec 2, 2013
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    #12 iPenguin02, Jan 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
    (OP)
    Storage spaces seems to be the way to go, yet i do not fully understand it.

    Like my current set up has 6 TB in my NAS, I've noticed in the videos people are creating bigger virtual disk space than they do actually have for physical memory. How is that possible? Is there a ratio of how much virtual space you can create to physical disk?

    sebus
    you mentioned a back up. what did you mean? I thought Storage spaces creates a virtual RAID kinda. from what i take from the video if a drive fails in the pool you can place a new drive in and server will attempt to repair it. Correct me if i'm wrong of course.
     
  11. im bored

    im bored MDL Member

    Aug 17, 2009
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    One thing I don't like about Storage Spaces is that it will spin all disks or none. If your watching one movie all disks are spinning. At least that's what I have read. Honestly an approach like this seams not very power efficient. I don't know if that maybe has changed in Windows 8.1 or Server 2012 R2 but when i was doing the research for my self that seam to be the case.
     
  12. JJ2SMILY

    JJ2SMILY MDL Novice

    Mar 10, 2012
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    #14 JJ2SMILY, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    iPenguin02,

    Have you read the articles I have mentioned? All your questions are answered in there.

    Code:
    From "Virtualizing storage for scale, resiliency, and efficiency"
    
    The magic that allows us to create a 10TB mirrored space on 4TB of total raw 
    capacity is called thin provisioning. Thin provisioning ensures that actual capacity
    is reserved for the space only when you decide to use it, for example, 
    when you copy some files to the volume on the space. 
    Previously allocated physical capacity can be reclaimed safely whenever files 
    are deleted, or whenever an application decides that such capacity is no longer needed. 
    This reclaimed capacity is subsequently available for usage by either the same space, 
    or by some other space that is carved out from the same pool.
    ....
    Code:
    From "Building the next generation file system for Windows: ReFS"
    
    In addition to improved performance, Storage Spaces protects data from partial and 
    complete disk failures by maintaining copies on multiple disks. On read failures, 
    Storage Spaces is able to read alternate copies, and on write failures 
    (as well as complete media loss on read/write) it is able to reallocate data transparently. 
    Many failures don’t involve media failure, but happen due to data corruptions, 
    or lost and misdirected writes.
    
    These are exactly the failures that ReFS can detect using checksums. 
    Once ReFS detects such a failure, it interfaces with Storage Spaces to read all available 
    copies of data and chooses the correct one based on checksum validation. 
    It then tells Storage Spaces to fix the bad copies based on the good copies. 
    All of this happens transparently from the point of view of the application. 
    If ReFS is not running on top of a mirrored Storage Space, then it has no means to 
    automatically repair the corruption. In that case it will simply log an event indicating 
    that corruption was detected and fail the read if it is for file data.
    ....

    With all that said, if you're planning to use the Storage Space, you better use it with ReFS because a mirrored Storage Space itself will not repair corrupted data. It just tries to use an alternate good copy available.

    Read the articles carefully and also the FAQ at the bottom.
    Hope that would help your decision.
     
  13. iPenguin02

    iPenguin02 MDL Novice

    Dec 2, 2013
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    Thanks everyone for the replies, I answered my own question after actually implementing the Storage space. Everyone's answer did add onto what i learned.

    I decided to go with a simple storage space, I simply do not have enough space for a mirrored, which is what i wanted. Just for clarification, if one of my drives were to fail, I am assuming i'd lose everything?
    If i were to purchase more drives would i be able to change it to mirrored later?

    I also signed up for crashplan as well, just as a backup plan. It is going to be a timely process to upload all my data, but it'd give me somewhat peace of mind.
     
  14. JJ2SMILY

    JJ2SMILY MDL Novice

    Mar 10, 2012
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    #16 JJ2SMILY, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    From "Virtualizing storage for scale, resiliency, and efficiency"
    Code:
    Q) What is the minimum number of disks I can use to create a pool? What is the maximum?
    You can create a pool with only one disk.  However, such a pool cannot contain any resilient spaces (i.e. mirrored  or parity spaces).  It can only contain a simple space which does not provide resiliency to failures.
    You just need to add drives to your Storage Pool and create a new mirrored Storage Space, then save your files there.


    Read read read.