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RAID solution for MS Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007

Posted on 2010-01-05
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Need some quick advice here. We are trying to deploy a DPM 2007 server in our organization to backup/protect our SQL 2008 DB server, app servers, Domain controller etc.

We have setup a box with 6 1.5 TB drives for this. We created 1 Virtual disk with a total of 6.8 TB in a RAID 5 config. We created a 300 GB partition and installed windows 2008 on it and then install DPM on it. However, DPM is unable to see the rest of the space. We checked around to find a reason for the problem and found this :

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsbackup/thread/d69e8636-0f0a-454b-9121-10c5fc67f87b

That seems to imply we need to create a separate Virtual Disk in our Raid for the OS/DPM installation from where we intend to do the storage.

Assuming that statement is correct (please correct me if it isn't) I guess we need an external solution to add 2 drives to this server in a RAID 1 config to put the DPM/OS on.

Can anyone please recommend something for this? There is no more space.in the server to add more internal drives and we can't waste 2 of the 6 internal drives for just the OS/DPM installation.
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Question by:kk5000
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by:Patmac951
ID: 26187724
My opinion is you should always have the OS on a separate logical drive from your data and at least mirror the OS to two separate drives using RAID1 for redundancy.  Not only for redundancy but performance.

In your case... instead of wasting one of your 1.5TB drives for the OS.  Buy two other 300GB drives attach them to the Raid Controller or better yet get a secondary RAID controller for the OS drives and mirror the two 300GB drives using RAID 1 and then create your RAID5 Array using all of your 1.5TB drives.
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by:kk5000
ID: 26187917
This is EXACTLY what we wanna do but there is no space in the server to add 2 more internal drives. Recommend a product to put the 2 new 300 GB drives externally in raid 1 please (whether using the current RAID card or a product with its own RAID solution).
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by:Patmac951
Patmac951 earned 600 total points
ID: 26187983
I would not suggest trying to put the Operating system on any sort of external storage device.

So from the information in your original post the server in question can only hold a total of 6 internal drives? Is it completely necessary to use all 6 drives for the data storage of 6.8TB? Secondly I am not sure what type of servers you have and how much budget effects this solution.  But for example Dell and pretty much all Server manufacturers give you the ability to plug in an additional storage vault to the existing server.  If you can afford it the ideal situation would be to have the OS loaded on the servers internal  RAID controller and have your huge data volume consisting of your 6 1.5 TB drive  be housed on a separate controller using a separate  storage device.
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by:kk5000
ID: 26188219
The server is Dell. Can you recommend a Dell storage device for the external drives?
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by:Patmac951
Patmac951 earned 600 total points
ID: 26188237
Yes I would suggest an MD-1000 Power Vault....an excellent piece of hardware that can hold over 12 hard drives.  

However make sure you know the Dell Service Tag number of your server before ordering to make sure the device is compatible with your server.  The Dell Service Tag number can usually be found on the back of the server.
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by:kk5000
ID: 26188288
Well, the MD1000 goes for $ 2700. Cost isn't a major issue with us but still, $ 2700 is what we paid for the whole server and just to incorporate a couple 300 GB drives to boot the OS this does seem like overkill :-) The server already has the 6 drives we need. The only reason for these additional drives is to put the OS on them.

Isn't there a cheap 2-disk DAS solution we could use here?
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by:Patmac951
ID: 26188382
Of course there are different solutions that will get this done.

However your Operating system should not be loaded on an external device.  If you are trying to save money and use the existing hardware my advice would be to create one logical drive in the RAID bios for the OS using one of the 1.5TB drives and format it using RAID0.  Then using the RAID BIOS  take the remaining 5 1.5TB drives and create a RAID5 array for your data files.  Not the ideal situation for best performance....because you want your OS and your data to be on separate disk controllers.  But this will work.

But if price is not a major factor and you want to be able to expand your existing storage on the fly then the MD-1000 would be ideal.  Plus it would separate the OS from the data on completely different disk controllers.
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by:kk5000
ID: 26188458
> create one logical drive in the RAID bios for the OS using one of the 1.5TB drives and format it using RAID0

In this scenario we have no protection if that drive fails. I guess we will do what we originally thought and create raid 1 with 2 drives and use 4 in raid 5 for storage. If we run out of space we will go get the MD-1000. BTW, can the MD-1000 be used with multiple servers or will only be able to provide storage to just the 1 box? If just the one then we should probably be looking at a NAS unit no? If yes, any recommendations on the Dell NAS equivalent of the MD-1000?
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PowerToTheUsers earned 900 total points
ID: 26201218
I'm not a Dell-expert (more familiar with HP), but can't you configure the RAID-setup to create a smaller LUN to install the OS and the rest as a LUN for DPM-storage? If those LUNs are defined on the hardware-level of the raidcard, it will appear to the server as different physical disks.

Furthermore: I think the recommendation is to use only disks of 1.5TB for DPM, so create LUNs of 1.5TB for the dPM-storage, in stead of presenting 8TB or so as a whole. DPM will take care of spanning it's data over the different 1.5TB-volumes.
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by:kk5000
ID: 26202146
As far as I can see, there is no option to grow a LUN in the BIOS setup of the Dell PERC 5/i, Integrated Controller Card
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by:kk5000
ID: 26202197
ah, we are using SATA drives....
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by:PowerToTheUsers
ID: 26205059
Is there a possibility to temporarily add another disk? If so, you can install the OS with Dell-tools on that disk (perhaps USB, or SD-card?). On HP-servers it's possible to create different LUNs from the graphical management tool in windows, whereas it's not possible with the text based boot-time utility... perhaps the same with Dell?
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Author Comment

by:kk5000
ID: 26290290
To answer some of the questions I asked :

1. Dell NAS equivalent of the MD1000 = MD3000

http://www.dell.com/us/en/enterprise/storage/pvaul_md3000/pd.aspx?refid=pvaul_md3000&cs=555&s=biz

Yes, it costs a little more than twice as much as a MD1000 but unless you are never going to be needing extra drive space on any server except one I would highly recommend getting this instead of the MD1000.

2. In the end, we decided to go with Raid 1 for the OS and use the rest of the 4 drives in Raid 5 for backups which was sufficient for now. DPM 2007 was able to see the Raid 5 VD when it was untouched by OS.

If we ever need extra disk space we will be getting a MD3000 :-)
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Author Closing Comment

by:kk5000
ID: 31673327
To answer some of the questions I asked :

1. Dell NAS equivalent of the MD1000 = MD3000

http://www.dell.com/us/en/enterprise/storage/pvaul_md3000/pd.aspx?refid=pvaul_md3000&cs=555&s=biz

Yes, it costs a little more than twice as much as a MD1000 but unless you are never going to be needing extra drive space on any server except one I would highly recommend getting this instead of the MD1000.

2. In the end, we decided to go with Raid 1 for the OS and use the rest of the 4 drives in Raid 5 for backups which was sufficient for now. DPM 2007 was able to see the Raid 5 VD when it was untouched by OS.

If we ever need extra disk space we will be getting a MD3000 :-)
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