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Need idiots guide to Server Essentials storage setup for a home server environment

    Question

  • Server with 6 drives, 4 3TB and 2 2TB. (boot drive is single 240GB SSD)

    4 3TB drives are setup in a storage spaces as drive F.

    I had one 2TB that I was going to use as a scratch drive, so I manually setup as drive E, but the Server has a message telling me to create a new space or add it to an existing.  I tried to create a new space and it complained that the policy did not allow single drive space.   Fine, got a second one, figuring that is probably a good idea.

    Question:

    Recommended setup for home server? 

    Should I set the new pair up as a separate storage space, to give flexibility with security or other possibilities, or make it part of the large F storage space?  Pros / cons / or it doesn't matter much...?

    From what I can read about pools and spaces, I could make it one large pool, but create multiple virtual drives if I eventually need to have a restricted drive, or virtual machine dedicated drive, is that the simplest way to go?  Can I do that from the Dashboard (one pool, multiple spaces)?  (yes or no is fine, I can figure it out as long as I know this is doable and reasonable)

    Lastly, with one large storage space, setup as mirrored, if one drive was removed and plugged into a Windows 8 machine, is it readable?  Or like RAID, one drive is pretty worthless if you try to find data on it?

    Basically the question is, if you were setting up a large home server (backup and media), would you setup one large pool of all of your drives and then setup one or two virtual storage space drives?  If not, can anyone recommend one or two storage setup options for this type of use?

    Thanks!

    Ross

    Friday, July 26, 2013 10:06 PM

Answers

  • Hi Ross,

    Storage pool is a new feature in Windows Server 2012. Thus it will be the recommended option for managing storage in nearly feature. Of course the performance may not good as hardware RAID due to its design. As you said it could be configged from Dashboard as well as PowerShell command. 

    For your last question, it is not tested but personally I think it will work. You may just have a try with 2 hard disks.


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    • Marked as answer by Ross2009 Sunday, August 18, 2013 1:57 PM
    Monday, July 29, 2013 8:08 AM

All replies

  • Hi Ross,

    Storage pool is a new feature in Windows Server 2012. Thus it will be the recommended option for managing storage in nearly feature. Of course the performance may not good as hardware RAID due to its design. As you said it could be configged from Dashboard as well as PowerShell command. 

    For your last question, it is not tested but personally I think it will work. You may just have a try with 2 hard disks.


    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum |If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    • Marked as answer by Ross2009 Sunday, August 18, 2013 1:57 PM
    Monday, July 29, 2013 8:08 AM
  • I am going to try to answer with my own thoughts and see if someone can shoot them down.

    Home server drive setup recommendations using Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2

    1.  For a simple home server, setup everything as one storage pool, and one storage space.  Use folder permissions go control access rights. 

    2. Drive(s) can be set aside for server backup, but this is not ideal as having the backup reside on the same system means it would be presumably vulnerable to loss by malware.   So it is not recommended, but remains an option.

    3. If you intend to use virtual machines, dividing into more than one storage space would allow giving dedicated access to a storage space (essentially a virtual drive) to the virtual machine.   So recommend more than one storage space if you intend to use virtual machine(s).

    4. I cannot think of a reason to have more than one storage pool on a home server, but I am also not sure I understand the storage pool concept.   From what I can tell, it allows multiple physical drives to be treated as one.  And then storage spaces allows the creation of virtual drives and varying software RAID options on top of the storage pool.   So since one storage pool can be used to create multiple storage spaces, no need for more than one on a home server (where the storage pool sizes will be well within the limits).  Best I can tell, the dashboard does not even address storage spaces, only storage pools.

    Ross

    Thursday, August 01, 2013 12:29 AM