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  • Question

  • Hi,

    We have a client with an ML350 HP Server, who generate a large amount of files, and are running into storage issues.

    We want to determine the best way for ward, given their current hardware, but so that they can increase there storage 'easily' in future. There is one 'trick' with this setup though, which I will explain, and which cannot be varied - so please don't bother explaining to me why it's a bad idea - I know it is, but explain that to the guy spending the money........

    So I will lay out - the current setup, the 'one trick', 'The issue, and my thoughts/concerns for future issues.

    Current Setup:

    HP ML350 with 4 x 1.8TB 10k SAS drives, in RAID 10 (So 3.6Tb storage) - runing as a single 'Physical' Windows 2012R2 server.

    They currently have 3.3Tb used on the single partition, and are growing the data at a consistent 30Gb per week. (So 10 weeks til a full disk, give or take some archiving)

    The 'Trick':

    The customer insists on having their Main Data share (effectively, all of their usable data) synced through Dropbox, so that they can access it offsite. They use Autodesk etc, so RDS, Teamviewer etc. etc. are all to laggy for remote work.

    The Issue:

    We can easily add more disks into the server, in whatever RAID/Flavour we want - but Dropbox only syncs to one location. Lets say the Dropbox folder (Which contains 3Tb of files), currently sits on c:\ drive. - If we add another 4TB of storage as a separate RAID array, it will 'present' on this physical server as (lets say) D:\ drive - and Dropbox cant 'use it'.

    Being RAID 10 - I haven't found a definitive HP/Forum article that says we can 'Expand' the RAID10 Array using more disks. There's mention of 'if you have a battery backed cache, you 'should' be able to. People suggest that we 'take a backup', blow away the Array, add the disks, and create a larger array, then restore the backup onto this new, larger array. 

    This is problematic, as the customer works at least 6 days a week, and a backup/rebuild/restore of 3Tb of data literally takes days (Especially including the re-sync of the Dropbox.... :( ....)

    We haven't done a lot of MS Hyper-V work, but I'm wondering if there's a better way to do this, perhaps using a VM setup. We're willing to buy some more disks (SSD's?), grab a copy of Windows 2016 if necessary, etc. etc. - But I feel there's got to be a better way than 'backup, rebuild and restore to a new, bigger array' every year or two.

    Best Option?

    Everywhere we read that the best Hardware RAID to use is RAID10 - but if you need to Expand the partition as your data grows, it doesn;t seem like RAID 10 is the best option for us. Could the answer be simply that we change to a RAID 6 setup, cop a performance hit (Which SSD's would hopefully overcome anyway), and then 'add disks' each year as the darn thing endlessly fills up. If RAID 6 is the answer - do we even need to bother with Hyper-V - the old KISS principle has always worked in our favour.

    Your thoughts and ideas would be hugely appreciated.

    Monday, July 8, 2019 3:50 AM

All replies

  • Hiya,

    Gotta "love" a story like that :)

    1: Without an abstraction layer between your physical disks and your O/S storage, you cant really change much on your disks, without changing your O/S storage. As you are already pointing out, the solution is wicked in the foundation, so it's hard to change something on the upper layers, without upsetting the construction.

    Anyway, I am not 100% sure on how Dropbox will look at this, but the Storage Spaces could be a solution for you in the longer run, as it adds the abstraction layer you need for more flexible storage management.

    Bonus thoughts:

    2: Why run RAID 10? If data is already backup in Dropbox, why spend additional local disk capacity for mirror. (Transfer speed of data on internet line maybe?)

    3: In general, have you looked at Disaster Recovery with the client. With this much data, I presume they really really care about their data and availability of that data. So maybe they should rethink how and what they really need.

    4: With a datagrowth like that, you might want to spend a little time looking at data lakes. Just for reference. (Not sure if this is relevant for your customer at all)

    Monday, July 8, 2019 7:32 AM
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    Wednesday, July 10, 2019 3:07 AM
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    Friday, July 12, 2019 3:41 AM