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alpha754293

Windows Server 2012 R2 storage pools vs. various HW RAID solution data

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Hello. Sorry for jumping into this discussion late, but I'm just looking into Windows Server 2012 R2 for deployment at home (possibly). So what I'm trying to do is to build my second 10 * 3 TB SATA array, but unfortunately, the 2U system that I got only takes half-height cards (2x PCIe 2.0 x8, 1x PCIe 2.0 x4) and there are 6 SATA headers on board, so it looks like that I'm going to have to use the onboard controller and also another RAID HBA.

And I only recently learned about Windows Server 2012 R2 storage pools and how it can create a parity pool. Does anybody have any benchmark data on how that performs vs. various HW RAID solution?

From the reliability/fault-tolerance perspective, would it be better for me to create a parity storage pool from the Windows Server 2012 R2 (so that I can write the parity data across both controllers) or would it be better for me to create two RAID5 arrays using the controllers and then creating a stripped pool to bridge the two arrays? (I'm trying to optimise between capacity, fault tolerance, and write speed).

Any insights or thoughts on this dilemma would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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H/W RAID will generally win in the R5/6 space, where for mirror or RAID0 its pretty much a wash. That said what is the usage for this server? What is the overall budget?

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Thank you for the person who helped me split this topic. I added it to the other thread only because it was the only thing that I really found that was relevant to the parity storage pool aspect of the discussion.

The primary purpose of this server will be to act as a live backup/mirror to my first (30 TB) server. I already have the drives and the 12-bay system already (it's another server, not a DAS or NAS), so really the last piece of the puzzle is what to do with the 12-port SATA RAID HBA that's either half-height or low-profile.

I'm trying to keep the cost of the RAID HBA plus any expander cables to around $200 if at all possible. Speed won't be too much of a concern, since I'll likely run rsync or similiar once a week to keep the two servers sync'd up with each other.

But it would depend on whether I can actually get said half-height/low-profile 12-port SATA RAID HBA because if I can't, then I would either need to built two RAID5 arrays (one on the onboard controller and one on another controller card) and then stripe them together using Windows Server 2012 R2 storage pool (as a stripped volume) or I would have to just leave it as JBOD (for all of the drives) and then create a ZFS zpool.

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For mostly sequential movement... you'd be fine with Storage Spaces.

I know that it will start out as being sequential for the initial/first sync, but I don't know how sequential it will be afterwards.

I read on one of the MS TechNet blogs that the performance can drop from 140 MB/s down to 25 MB/s if storage spaces is what's building the parity data (which, when you're doing the initial sync up of 20 TB, that's going to take an awfully long time).

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Well the tough part you have, is I'd trust Storage Spaces a heck of a lot more than a cheap hardware RAID card. Most options from LSI or Adaptec (the only brands I'd touch) start at over double the budget you had for those cards.

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Well the tough part you have, is I'd trust Storage Spaces a heck of a lot more than a cheap hardware RAID card. Most options from LSI or Adaptec (the only brands I'd touch) start at over double the budget you had for those cards.

Well, it depends. The problem I am having is finding a low-profile card that can take at least 12 drives. Most are usually 8 (if they're low-profile cards).

It's an optimisation. If it would be better to spend the extra money so that I can build a single monolithic RAID5 array, then it might be worth my while.

But I can use either ZFS or Storage Spaces and have IT build the parity volume, with minimal performance degradation, then that can be the more cost-efficient way to go.

Like I said, I can get an LSI MegaRAID SAS 9261-8i from eBay for $175. It's low profile, supports HW RAID5, but it's only 8-ports.

I agree with you. Although I've had Adaptec before and the one that's currently in the primary server is an Areca ARC-1230 I believe (because my primary server actually has a riser to support full-height cards) and that's been working out pretty good. This time, I don't have the riser, and the chassis isn't set up for it either.

That's exactly the dilemma that I am trying to solve/get advice on.

This is what I've been able to find on Newegg (as an example):

www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816151138

It's the Areca ARC-1264IL-12 12-port PCIe x8 2.0 SATA 6 Gbps RAID HBA (with support with RAID5), but it's going for almost $600. :(

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What chassis is this going into (or have you already purchased it)? Any options out there for one with an expander already built in to allow you to route all those drives to a regular 4 or 8 channel card?

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What chassis is this going into (or have you already purchased it)? Any options out there for one with an expander already built in to allow you to route all those drives to a regular 4 or 8 channel card?

http://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/2U/826/SC826TQ-R800LP.cfm

This is the chassis that it's going in. It came with the $200 dual Xeon system. For low-profile cards? None that I've seen that doesn't cost significantly more. The cheapest of the cards I think that I've found is going to be like $600 (see the Newegg link above). Conversely, I'm looking right now at an 8-port card (http://www.ebay.com/itm/121485896238?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) that's going for $115 max, figuring that it is very hard for me to try and justify the cost of a $600 RAID HBA just to be able to build a single, monolithic array. I mean, I would like to, but it's REALLY difficult for me to justify it when the host system was only $200. (And the drives were about $113 each when I bought them).

And the reason why I posted the question here was because I wasn't sure if there was somebody out there that has experience with a cheaper alternative (than the $600 card) that will be able to meet my requirements (low-profile/half height, 12 ports (3x SFF-8087)). And from all of the research that I've BEEN able to do, it doesn't really look like it, but hence why I figured I'd ask in case there was something that I didn't know about.

*edit*

And to be perfectly honest, I actually bought the dual Xeon system BECAUSE of the chassis, not necessarily because it was a dual Xeon with 16 GB of RAM and an 800 W power supply.

Edited by alpha754293

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