Anybody try out Storage Spaces?

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BigWorm

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Sep 3, 2012
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Has anybody tried Storage Spaces yet? It seems like a great solution for pooling of drives, but I have not been reading good things about it.
 

Patrick

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Dec 21, 2010
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Still working on performance. The big issue is that I still do not believe that drivers are all 100% optimized for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 yet. I do like the concept though and if Microsoft could figure out a RAID 6-like solution it would be super interesting.
 

BigWorm

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Sep 3, 2012
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I was really hoping that they finally had a DE replacement. I am looking at moving off WHS V1 to Essentials 2012 and build a big Norco RPC-2220 and need some kind of storage pooling. This looks like the answer but not reading good things about it. I agree with you that drivers have not caught up.
 

odditory

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Dec 23, 2010
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You do not want to use Storage Spaces for anything but testing, let alone a pooling solution, not for 6-12 more months or maybe after SP1, and even then I'd worry.
 

BigWorm

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Sep 3, 2012
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Just in time for them to pull it like they did DE on WHS V1. :D

Guess I will try out Flexraid.
 

low858

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Oct 10, 2012
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Been using spaces for about a month. I guess you can say in test mode. So far it seems be okay. I have 2 4tb hitachis in spaces mirrored hooked up to mobo ports no raid. Writes look to be around 80MBs. Not really looking for insane performance on my server, just something for storage and streaming. So far I'm liking it.
 

zicoz

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Jan 7, 2011
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I'm getting 8-15 MB/s write on a Parity space, that can't be right can it? Can CPU power affect the performance?
 
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odditory

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Dec 23, 2010
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Pieter you're not alone in those impressions -- NTFS has been around since '93 so it really is high time for a better, more intelligent FS and ReFS sounds good on paper but realworld is another story - enough gotchas to turn me off. And Storage Spaces isn't very industrial strength at all, nevermind the performance, just in terms of reliability. And abstraction layers - let alone undocumented ones - always make me nervous when it comes to entrusting it with high value data.

I think BOTH have huge potential but it may be 6-12+ months or until SP1 that they're worth trusting data to. And by trust I dont mean running without backups, I mean you have to be able to trust your file and storage systems or a backup system is moot if it turns out that its been backing up corrupt/garbage data while reporting it as fine.

A final point of confusion and curiosity is ReFS's advertised Integrity Streams which is supposed to, among other things, hash data and keep an eye on integrity. Yet as it turns out the tool to manage/scrub is some obscure commandline tool (integrity.exe) that doesn't seem to have been released yet.

The whole thing *feels* half baked but I hope MS continues to develop it rather than abruptly dropping it again the way they did the last time circa Vail/Aurora because there was outcry about a broken storage system from their bigger OEM's. I hope they figure it out because I'd really like a better native storage solution in Windows Server without the need to run a disjointed mix of 2-3 third party solutions for filing, pooling and integrity.
 
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I tried a LSI 9286 in JBOD mode, on Server 2012, with inbox drivers, and storage spaces, and the drives never went to sleep.
http://blog.insanegenius.com/2012/09/22/storage-spaces-leaves-me-empty/

Maybe one day MSFT will publish an actual white paper with working hardware for storage spaces, as of now I've only seen SATA ports go to sleep with storage spaces, and clearly that doesn't scale.

P.
 

odditory

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Dec 23, 2010
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Yeah just as I suspected ATA_SLEEP still isn't being passed from O/S through a SCSI device driver, something I'd hoped would change in Server2012/Win8. It's enough of a grey area that I'm not sure if the problem is actually on MS's end or LSI's end or both.

Which leaves your raid controller to manage sleep/spindown, and AFAIK, LSI removed the "dimmer switch" feature from latest drivers.
 

Lost-Benji

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Jan 21, 2013
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The arse end of the planet
I'm getting 8-15 MB/s write on a Parity space, that can't be right can it? Can CPU power affect the performance?
See bellow for my findings on the fix.
Server 2012, with inbox drivers, and storage spaces, and the drives never went to sleep.
Yeah just as I suspected ATA_SLEEP still isn't being passed from O/S through a SCSI device driver, something I'd hoped would change in Server2012/Win8. It's enough of a grey area that I'm not sure if the problem is actually on MS's end or LSI's end or both.

Which leaves your raid controller to manage sleep/spindown, and AFAIK, LSI removed the "dimmer switch" feature from latest drivers.
Nope.

Ok, background first. I have a bloody Norco (the shit I have with having fix my backplanes has left a dirty taste) 4224 running a GA-X38-DS5, 4GB RAM and a small C2D CPU. In the board, I have a pair of M1015's, LSI IT flashed. These hold 16 drives (8 Seagate 2TB greens, 8 ST3000DM001 3TB's) and the other 8 SATA-II ports bring up the other bays. I have modded the PCI-e x1 slot at top to hold a baby GPU card as the boards get shirty without a video card.
Now for the OS, I have run both Server 2012 and Win8 for which I have settled on as suits my needs better. I am not a fan in any other the excess network BS M$ has plagued windows since Vista onwards, and S2012 was the pits. Half my devices just refused the shares outright while I pulled my hair doing simple things like trying the get the NIC seen a Private rather than bloody public (firewall shits me even more). Win8 does the job fine after some tweaking and killing of the hidden default shares.

Storage Spaces:
4x 2TB Seagate PARITY
4x 2TB Seagate PARITY
4x 3TB Seagate PARITY
4x 3TB Seagate PARITY
I have a 4x 500GB HDD RAID-10 array that runs off the on-board ICH9R (these are great little chipsets) and this is for fast read/writes while hold faster I/O.

The read speeds are to be expected (400+ MB/sec) but the writes were about 10MB/sec. I have since found a simple command line to be run in Admin PowerShell that allows for faster writes.
Code:
Set-StoragePool -FriendlyName <Storage Pool Name> -IsPowerProtected $True
<Storage Pool Name> = the Pools simple name, remove the < >

I now see an average of 60MB/sec which is still not the 100+ I would like but it more than fine for media serving.

I have experimented with simple and mirrored array but they were obscure or ordinary as well. Still have not found a RAID-0 option yet that gives summed write speeds (I want RAID-0 arrays for when I host or go to LAN parties)
 

zicoz

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Jan 7, 2011
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Thanks, will give that a test, you don't happen to have a way to rename hard drives in Windows Server do you? In Essentials and Windows 8 Pro it's really easy, but I can't seem to find a way to do it in Windows Storage Server 2012.
 

Lost-Benji

Member
Jan 21, 2013
424
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The arse end of the planet
Thanks, will give that a test, you don't happen to have a way to rename hard drives in Windows Server do you? In Essentials and Windows 8 Pro it's really easy, but I can't seem to find a way to do it in Windows Storage Server 2012.
Cant say I have had to try it sorry. Are you talking about individual drives or those in pools or the pools themselves?
 

zicoz

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Jan 7, 2011
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The individual drives, it's really easy in Essentials/Windows 8 Pro, but can't seem to find a similar sollution in Storage Server.