win8 "Storage Spaces" good option?

iakovl

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i moved for my RAID 5 via DELL PERC 5/i to a software solution called SnapRAID
a snapshot raid that i do once a week for my video collection

the downside is that it doesn't have a data pool option

the new WIN8 came up with Storage Spaces
does any one used it? and can tell how good or bad it is?
 

McTurkey

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If you never need to write data to it, it's fine - read speeds are very competitive with other RAID solutions. Write speeds are terrible, however -- 20-25MB/s is not uncommon when the same hardware would otherwise see 100MB/s or better. The potential is there, but I honestly don't see Storage Spaces as a viable solution for anyone right now.
 

Valaire

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Storage Spaces is striped, like Raid5, so it's not ideal for media storage like Snapraid/Flexraid are.
 

iakovl

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the only downside for snapraid is that there is no data pool
flex was once my choise and then the dev made it into pay software, don't say he didn't have the right to do so, but still i prefer free open solution
 

Aesma

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Liquesce is a free solution (FlexRAID was not free) : http://liquesce.codeplex.com/

Personally I only use it to view/access my data and not to write to the pool because I don't like DVD/BD folders being dispatched across several drives, I did the same when using FlexRAID.
 
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I'm using Storage Spaces for my file share and am fairly pleased with it. A parity vdisk with 8 drives gets 700MB/s read and 138MB/s write. Write speed for 8 physical drives is very subpar but I only have 1Gb to the share so it's fine.
 

odditory

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Liquesce is a free solution (FlexRAID was not free) : http://liquesce.codeplex.com/

Personally I only use it to view/access my data and not to write to the pool because I don't like DVD/BD folders being dispatched across several drives, I did the same when using FlexRAID.

Prob with Liquesce, development hasn't exactly been active - hasn't been touched since April with SmurfIV having no time to develop, and I think its incompatible with Win8/Server2012.

To the OP's question, Drivebender works with snapraid, but takes some setting up and tweaking - need to expose the individual drives after they've been pooled, etc. As the saying goes you get what you pay for. If its free then chances are you'll be spending time rather than money getting it to where it needs to be. In the end you're still paying, free software is often only "free" if your time is worthless.

With snapraid you're on your own setting up scheduling manually with task scheduler since snapraid its just a cmdline program. With Flexraid you've got everything integrated - the pooling/parity/scheduling all work as one rather than a frankenstein solution with three disparate programs unaware of one another.
 
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mls1995

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I own FlexRAID and I'm really happy with it. A "finalized" Windows 8 version should be ready in a few weeks according to the developer.
 

iakovl

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m... decisions decisions decisions
what would a man do for his collection...

a FLEX full solution is 60$ ain't cheap for a student

but i might "see" another solution, need some opinion on it
SNAPraid is a "perfect" solution except it has no data pool (it has GUI using https://elucidate.codeplex.com/ )
there is a "pool-only" Flex version for half the price

will it work?
FLEX for data pool + Snap for redundancy ?
 

Cool1Net6

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There have been multiple reported issues with Storage Spaces having slow write speeds for the parity mode, like 20-25MB/s. It makes the pool essentially read-only; there are USB 2 drives with faster write speeds. However, performance on the RAID 1-ish Two-way and Three-way mirrors is decent.

Additionally, everything is striped across all drives, regardless of the mode. This means that even the RAID 1-ish Two-way and Three-way mirrors have striped data. You would need to use another Windows 8 machine to recover the data if you had to yank the drives out, and I'm not sure how well documented this is yet.

Also, there are reports that there are bugs with the way Storage Spaces handles different sized drives. For example, if you have a 2TB, a 2TB, and a 3TB, you can potentially lose 1TB of space from your 3TB drive in parity mode. It won't SAY you've lost it, but there will be 'insufficient space' errors when writing to the pool.

And specific to you, Storage Spaces works below the file system, so SnapRAID can't see the individual drives in the first place.

These are the things I heard before Windows 8 was released on Oct 26. We've been discussing it all year on here. [One] [Two] [Three] [Four]

@Child of Wonder: how did you get such fast speeds with SS in parity mode? What is your setup?
 

MarkL

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a FLEX full solution is 60$ ain't cheap for a student

It's really not that expensive when you consider it seems to be the only option available that actually works properly and is not stupidly slow like storage spaces... equiv to the cost of one drive.
 
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@Child of Wonder: how did you get such fast speeds with SS in parity mode? What is your setup?

Was originally getting only 38MB/s with a parity vdisk on 8x 2TB Seagate 7200RPM drives. Since my system is connected to a UPS and will gracefully power down should the power fail I ran the following:

Set-StoragePool -FriendlyName <Storage Pool Name> -IsPowerProtected $True

Then my writes went up to 138MB/s.
 

Cool1Net6

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Amazing that it jumps by 100MB/s by just turning off journaling. I'm surprised none of the many reviews I found has shown that option, or any of the other advanced options.
 

kac77

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Amazing that it jumps by 100MB/s by just turning off journaling. I'm surprised none of the many reviews I found has shown that option, or any of the other advanced options.

This isn't a new phenomenon. However, this has some pretty significant downsides if your box isn't backed up by a UPS. There's some others that are kind of trivial depending on use case.

A lot of times people don't mention stuff like this because people don't heed the warning then one day there's a power failure and then they immediately want solutions to a problem that was completely avoidable.

I'm not saying don't do it or do it. Just be aware that it's not free performance without any drawbacks.
 

PigLover

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This isn't a new phenomenon. However, this has some pretty significant downsides if your box isn't backed up by a UPS. There's some others that are kind of trivial depending on use case.

A lot of times people don't mention stuff like this because people don't heed the warning then one day there's a power failure and then they immediately want solutions to a problem that was completely avoidable.

I'm not saying don't do it or do it. Just be aware that it's not free performance without any drawbacks.

Its also not unique to Storage Spaces. How many of the high performance hardware raid users turn off cache protection even though they are not on a UPS or using a BBU? How many ZFS users turn on asynchronous mode even though they don't have a properly protected ZIL just to show a bit more write performance?

Of course, in both of those cases, write throughput usually bottlenecks at the speed of a single drive and the improvement from taking a risk with your data is small. Storage spaces seems limited to a small fraction of the speed of single disk and turning off the journal has a huge impact. Its clear that MS still has a lot of work to do on SS performance before it will really see wide adoption.
 

kac77

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Its also not unique to Storage Spaces. How many of the high performance hardware raid users turn off cache protection even though they are not on a UPS or using a BBU? How many ZFS users turn on asynchronous mode even though they don't have a properly protected ZIL just to show a bit more write performance?

Not many. The downsides are too great when the performance is more than acceptable. I have a 3Gb/s Raid Controller in my main machine with write back cache off and I still get 200 MB/s on writes on RAID 6. I also have a ZFS box as well (async = off) and can easily saturate 1G connection at around 108 MB/s on writes. Performance just isn't an issue to risk the data.

Of course, in both of those cases, write throughput usually bottlenecks at the speed of a single drive and the improvement from taking a risk with your data is small. Storage spaces seems limited to a small fraction of the speed of single disk and turning off the journal has a huge impact. Its clear that MS still has a lot of work to do on SS performance before it will really see wide adoption.

Like I said before I'm not saying to do it or not. I'm just putting it out there that there are drawbacks. But if you must then you must.
 

PigLover

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Not many. The downsides are too great when the performance is more than acceptable...

I'm betting its more than you think. Read though the various ZFS threads and see how many people recommend setting async mode so that they can "saturate their 1gig links". Its a shocking number - and very little, if any, discussion of the downsides...
 

danswartz

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True enough. I run sync=disabled, but am very clear about: 1) my server is on a large UPS, 2) it's an all-in-one, so the issue of a power failure or some such corrupting things is extremely low, and 3) i have my data pool replicated on a 5-min interval to a totally separate server which doesn't have async mode, since the write rate to its backup pool is low (after the initial replication zend/receive).
 

kac77

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I'm betting its more than you think. Read though the various ZFS threads and see how many people recommend setting async mode so that they can "saturate their 1gig links". Its a shocking number - and very little, if any, discussion of the downsides...

ZFS can saturate a 1G link without it. If I saw that recommendation I would have spoken up. I had a really long drawn out discussion with someone months ago about the effects of not using ECC RAM with ZFS.
 

kac77

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True enough. I run sync=disabled, but am very clear about: 1) my server is on a large UPS, 2) it's an all-in-one, so the issue of a power failure or some such corrupting things is extremely low, and 3) i have my data pool replicated on a 5-min interval to a totally separate server which doesn't have async mode, since the write rate to its backup pool is low (after the initial replication zend/receive).

See but most people don't do what you did. Most people go "SWEET moar speed" and don't realize the risks.
 

PigLover

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See but most people don't do what you did. Most people go "SWEET moar speed" and don't realize the risks.

+1 for this.

Also, without the 5-minute backups to a second server even danswartz's approach is vulnerable to an OS fault. We are still talking MS-Windows and the wonderful world of BSOD.
 

Silenus

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Also...lets not forget that there are any number of of other failures that a UPS doesn't protect against. A controller failure, power supply blowing up, motherboard frying...ect can in effect cause a sudden power "loss" and consequent data loss/corruption. When disabling journeling, or sync on ZFS...a UPS is nice but not a guarantee of protection. However...the imnportant thing is that effort is put into understanding risks, and having adequete backups of critical data. Then all should be well!
 

danswartz

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Good point, silenius. This wasn't a concern for me, since anything HW related like this is going to take out the whole server, and since it's an all-in-one, there is no issue I can see. Guest OS panics or such IS a possibility, but having almost real time replication covers me enough for my peace of mind.
 
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Also...lets not forget that there are any number of of other failures that a UPS doesn't protect against. A controller failure, power supply blowing up, motherboard frying...ect can in effect cause a sudden power "loss" and consequent data loss/corruption. When disabling journeling, or sync on ZFS...a UPS is nice but not a guarantee of protection. However...the imnportant thing is that effort is put into understanding risks, and having adequete backups of critical data. Then all should be well!

You're absolutely right. Even though I have disabled journaling and have a UPS I still have my data backed up to an external drive.
 

Cool1Net6

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Also...lets not forget that there are any number of of other failures that a UPS doesn't protect against. A controller failure, power supply blowing up, motherboard frying...ect can in effect cause a sudden power "loss" and consequent data loss/corruption. When disabling journeling, or sync on ZFS...

And this is why, even though I see a vast increase in performance, I'm not sure if I would enable that setting. I've had my OS crash for stupid reasons or run it without a UPS for a short time, and I would hate to lose data because I wanted to transfer a file a bit quicker.

Well, all the other things I explained are also reasons I wouldn't go Storage Spaces, but I'm still rooting for Microsoft to improve it. I really, really want it to work.
 
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