BrianS

What size should The System/Data Drive really be

15 posts in this topic

Hi

Up until now I thought that I had the WHS installation strategy clear in my mind but I am not so sure now after reading through many of the threads on this forum, I thought that the system/data drive should be the largest drive in the pool for the following reasons.

The data drive is the really only temporary storage or as many people are describing it now a "landing zone" only for your files, eventually the data will migrate across the other dives in the pool and the only thing left on the data drive are tombstones (pointers to the data)

If one of the drives in the pool throws it hand in and you have to remove it for any reason the data on the drive to be removed is migrated back to the data drive for redistrubution across the pool when it feels like it.

The system/data drive should be the fastest or at least not the slowest drive in the pool because it hold the OS and has the most work to do

I am not concerned at the moment because I only use one drive the other four are not in the pool but are shared as network drives these are used to back up my data (data is backed up at least twice)

There must be an optimum drive size for the system/data drive because If I have a 750 gig drive (my largest) as the main dive and all it does is hold tombstones that's a waste of drive space.

So, I have a 500Gb SataII drive (currently my main drive) but it could equally well be much smaller or larger, a 750 Gb ide 2x320 Gb IDE a 400Gb IDE and a 200 Gb ide, When PP1 is released and I have confidence in the system what is the optimal setup for a WHS

Thanks in advance to anyone who knows the answer or at least has a better understanding than me.

Brian

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It's a difficult question to answer, unfortunately. There is no single right answer.

Complications

- You need a minimum of 80 GB (WHS won't install on anything less), and WHS will create a 20 GB partition for the operating system.

- Vista checks the size of the volume that a share resides on. If you have a 60 GB D:\ partition ("landing zone") and you try to copy a 61 GB file, Vista will error and tell you that there's not enough free space (even if you have 10 TB of other disks in the storage pool)

- PP1 is a lot less aggressive about moving files off the landing zone. We used to be able to count on DE moving files as soon as they stopped copying (and sometimes before, hence the data corruption bug), but I'm not sure we can anymore.

So, the real question is how much data will you be copying at one time?

Personally, I'd go with the fastest disk you have available as the system disk, within reason. The system disk, the disk controller, and the CPU (in that order in my opinion) are the bottlenecks when it comes to WHS storage transfer speed.

I'm using a 120 GB IDE disk as my system disk. That's backed by 2x 250 GB SATA and 2x 500 GB SATA disks in the storage pool, and a single 250 GB IDE disk that's out of the pool (used for Virtual Server images).

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I'd recomment a system drive of 200 to 500GB. It really depents on what you do with it.

Mine is 500GB, but I used to have a 250GB drive for a very long time and I never had problems with that except for copying very much files to the WHS. I used Total Commander for moving files from my main system to my WHS and when the error occured I simply waited an hour or so (to let drive extender do it's thing) to continue.

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I'd recomment a system drive of 200 to 500GB. It really depents on what you do with it.

Mine is 500GB, but I used to have a 250GB drive for a very long time and I never had problems with that except for copying very much files to the WHS. I used Total Commander for moving files from my main system to my WHS and when the error occured I simply waited an hour or so (to let drive extender do it's thing) to continue.

I think I might reserve judgement until I see what is happening what happens with PP1. The migrator semes to be a lot slower, needing more space on the landing zone to handle transfers.

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I personally recommend 500GB. It is fairly large, but not excessively so. It has plenty of room to grow, but again, isn't excessive. However if you are going to lots of storage space, all 1TB drives isn't a horrible idea.

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OK Thanks chaps

Better understanding now, basically big enough to migrate whatever data you have transferred over the period of time it takes to move the data to the other drives in the pool.

One last question though to put this one to bed "How much data does it migrate in 24 hours (specifically PP1) to the drives in the pool.

Thanks again

Brian

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One last question though to put this one to bed "How much data does it migrate in 24 hours (specifically PP1) to the drives in the pool.

Well, that's just the thing, we really can't tell. My box for example, one day on of the drives is instantly filled up, the other day I don't see much movement. But then again, I don't migrate much data on my box anymore. It's all on there allready.

So maybe you could tell us how that's working out :)

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- Vista checks the size of the volume that a share resides on. If you have a 60 GB D:\ partition ("landing zone") and you try to copy a 61 GB file, Vista will error and tell you that there's not enough free space (even if you have 10 TB of other disks in the storage pool)

Ahhhh........

I was experiencing this and wondered if it was due to something like this.

Ive got around this by migrating my files to my WHS in batches of 70Gb or so.

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i dont think any of this is really about drive size its more a case of the size of your daily backups. tbh the system is very flawed and not really the best method of backing up valuable data.

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tbh the system is very flawed and not really the best method of backing up valuable data.

You are welcome to your opinion but can you give more background to how you come to this conclusion. The backup functionality of WHS is one of the key features. What is the flaw that you see. Microsoft have made recomendations on making the "system" disk as large as possible (although conventional wisdom suggests 500gb is ample) - so constraining the system by using a small system disk is going to introduce issues.

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You are welcome to your opinion but can you give more background to how you come to this conclusion. The backup functionality of WHS is one of the key features. What is the flaw that you see. Microsoft have made recomendations on making the "system" disk as large as possible (although conventional wisdom suggests 500gb is ample) - so constraining the system by using a small system disk is going to introduce issues.

I am still working out the PP1 implications, but it is not indicative of how it will end up. My data drive with PP1 is filling up and won't seem to off-load to the other drives till it is nearly full. Hence it doesn't deem to matter what size it is, it will keep filling till about 10Gb free. You then have to hope it can off-load to the other drives quicker than you can carry on filling it (which it should as network should be slower than disk-disk transfers). I am hoping they make the Drive Extender a bit more aggressive than I have on my PP1 before final release.

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I am hoping they make the Drive Extender a bit more aggressive than I have on my PP1 before final release.

Ouchh....thats not good - have you reported it on Connect?

Are others experiencing that issue?

I'm going to post a link to your comments over in the PP1 discussion thread as this looks an interesting PP1 "feature" if others are also experiencing it

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Ouchh....thats not good - have you reported it on Connect?

Are others experiencing that issue?

I'm going to post a link to your comments over in the PP1 discussion thread as this looks an interesting PP1 "feature" if others are also experiencing it

I have seen others report it. I am doing some more tests at the moment and compiling a series of results.

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Well, unless you copy very large files, 80 GB should be enough. In that case, it has a 60 GB 'landing zone' and distributes from there. You'll be wanting a bigger drive when you, for example, do the .torrent thing on the server. Some (all?) .torrent clients allocate the space first and then keep filling up the empty file with actual data. Meaning, you'll have those huge files in the landing zone all the time until they are finished. Same would probably go for video files you start to work with immediately after copying it over too.

In short I'd recommend to get a large system drive. First, you'll be safe for the future without having to worry about space. Secondly, the prices for storage are down right now so a few € or $ more will buy you a lot more space. And using some old drive isn't recommended anyway as it'll probably run 24/7.

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Well, unless you copy very large files, 80 GB should be enough. In that case, it has a 60 GB 'landing zone' and distributes from there. You'll be wanting a bigger drive when you, for example, do the .torrent thing on the server. Some (all?) .torrent clients allocate the space first and then keep filling up the empty file with actual data. Meaning, you'll have those huge files in the landing zone all the time until they are finished. Same would probably go for video files you start to work with immediately after copying it over too.

In short I'd recommend to get a large system drive. First, you'll be safe for the future without having to worry about space. Secondly, the prices for storage are down right now so a few € or $ more will buy you a lot more space. And using some old drive isn't recommended anyway as it'll probably run 24/7.

Torrent allocation depends on your client. Not to mention, I use the D:\ drive for a bunch of stuff, like WSUS, MySQL, utorrent and a few other things. Not to mention, it is the landing zone....

I personally recommend 200GB-500GB for the system drive. And getting an enterprise class drive may be a good idea.

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