Good Cheap Server - HP Proliant Microserver 4 BAY - OWNERS THREAD

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I've been experimenting with Microsoft Storage Spaces on my main PC and my N54L. No problems with parity storage on my PC but on my N54L the 'drive' would become unresponsive when heavily used. In Task Manager the 'Active time' shows 100% yet there is zero disk activity or average response time. I've posted about it here: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/hdd-is-at-100-active-time-and-0-read-write-speed.3759642/
I tried disabling MSI mode as per the link in that thread and I thought the problem was solved - hammered the drive with a backup for a day or so. The I added a 4th disk and the problem returned. So at the moment I just cannot use a parity drive on the server. Has anyone else experienced this and found, at least the reason, if not a solution? I'm running Windows 10 21H2, 19044.1645
Thanks.
 
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It's likely just a case that the processor in the N54L is just too slow at computing parity
I did wonder that, but the processor was never maxed out, running below 50% even, and plus, shouldn't there be some errors logged somewhere? Or the processor slows the write activity to a pace it can cope with? It shouldn't just fall over like this.
 
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I've said it before and I'll say it again: Friends don't let friends use MS Storage Spaces. It is fun to play with, but if you value the data you are storing on it, stay away. It is opaque (you are currently experiencing this), if something goes wrong you very likely won't know about it until it is too late, and it too easily allows you to end up with a configuration that is not safe or at best not ideal for performance. Plus it is pretty slow overall.

From a reliability point of view you would be better off using a Linux filer if you are insistent on having one giant volume, but much better to not rely on any kind of RAID/erasure-coding and just have copies of important files.
 
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Ah really? Have you got any links to bad experiences/studies? I'd be interested in reading them. I've heard mainly good things about it so far - well, that it's better than HW raid. I've also moved disks between machines, not plugged one etc. and it's always picked up as I expected it to. Even the pool that locked up (several times!) on my server worked fine when I moved the disks to my PC. Windows recognised the pool immediately and worked without issue.
I've used the tick of matching the AUS to the cluster size to maximise performance on my parity drive and performance doesn't seem too bad really.
Although visibility of what's going on needs a lot of improvement, overall I'm finding it pretty good. And the fact that you can add/remove disks whilst Windows is running is great - not like the old days of shutdown, make a change, boot up again and cross your fingers.
 
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This sums it up for me (from https://www.tenforums.com/drivers-h...le-possibly-corrupt-metadata-please-help.html):

From what I've seen of people with problems with storage spaces, they end up vowing never to use it again.
Absolutely essential is to ensure you have a backup, and to continuously monitor the disks for signs of degradation. Sadly it seems you were doing neither.

People just don't monitor their hardware in the way that you would in a work environment.

When I played with Storage Spaces a few years ago, I never lost any data, but only because I didn't keep it for long as I very soon felt it was overly complicated, completely opaque ("what is going on?" which made me very nervous), quite limiting depending on the decisions that you made when you set it up (I had to re-do things a couple of times, no big deal, but if it impacts you a couple of years down the line and you can't change it because you don't have enough spare capacity, you're going to be pretty annoyed), and performance was absolutely abysmal. I'd forgotten about "columns" but was reminded just now when I went to have a quick refresher of why I disliked it so much (you have to get the number of columns right at creation point and you can't change it). Adding new drives doesn't give you better performance as performance is linked to the number of columns.

In general, RAID (hardware or software) is not risk-free, PARTICULARLY in an un-supported environment, i.e. when you aren't paying someone to support you when things go wrong. Hardware RAID is fairly simple and well-understood, but you are tied to the hardware controller, and if that dies, and you don't have support, and you can't find an exact replacement, then you've effectively lost all of your data (a lot of cheaper RAID cards are doing the RAID via a software driver, so avoid those as well). Software RAID is a much more complex beast, and while there are known mature implementations (a list that you will never find Storage Spaces on), you are still tied to a complex set of interacting dependencies (OS version, RAID software version, disk controller model/driver/firmware, drive model/firmware/capacity/speed, etc.) -- get the "right" set of dependencies wrong, and you lose your data: "oh, didn't you know that if you use the RocketSATA3000 controller with 12TB WD Red drives you lose all your data after 100 hours?" type of thing. Just like you discovered with that Registry setting that "fixed" the problem.

For playing with and learning about RAID, or for hosting a bunch of stuff that you don't mind losing: go for it. As a method of storing valuable data: please don't do that.

As a pretty universal rule I advocate AGAINST RAID in the home environment, and of all known (to me) RAID implementations, I would rate Storage Spaces close to the bottom in terms of complexity and performance.

I consider Synology to be an exception to this rule, for one simple reason: you are SUPPORTED by Synology who will help you get your data back (and have many years of experience doing this, so I'm reasonably confident in their success rate or we would know about it). Synology devices also have very good hardware monitoring, so the second there was something wrong with a drive, you would know about it.

I'd be interested to see the links/studies you used to decide that it was better than HW RAID.
 
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I had a play with storage spaces a while back, and haven't touched it since..

I still prefer the simplicity of a Windows install and Drivepool from Stablebit and their Scanner app as well if you're that way inclined..
 
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Another couple of interesting links:

Allocation Size tied to performance (512kB allocation units gives good performance, but appalling storage efficiency as each file wastes on average 256kB):
https://wasteofserver.com/storage-spaces-with-parity-very-slow-writes-solved/

Good performance can be achieved, but is tightly linked to the exact specifics of the original setup:
https://www.reddit.com/r/DataHoarder/comments/icxd1i/storage_spaces_parity_performance/

Conclusion: For budget cluster solutions built on Windows (with a similar architecture based on SAS JBOD) with a high write load we do recommend using special LSI Syncro CS RAID controllers (or similar) instead of Storage Spaces.
http://ntfs.com/wss-pros-contras.htm
 
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