Mirrored Storage Array LUNs for fault tolerance

Posted on 2010-11-15
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
We have two Dell MD32000i storage arrays. Our main Win 2K8 R2 file server shares a LUN on SA1 for our user files. I then robocopy the data to a LUN on SA2 each night (takes about 3 hours) as a backup, ready to cutover if we have a failure of SA1. Why couldn't I mirror the drives at the File Server level for fault tolerance? Is this a crazy idea? There may be a slight performance hit, but it will protect me gainst the failure of either SA, one of which is housed in a remote building but still on the LAN.
Question by:goodvibes
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 2
  • 2
LVL 42

Expert Comment

ID: 34142797
You can use DFS replication to keep everything up to date on the other server. I think that's a better option than using dynamic disks to create a RAID1 set, because I hate dynamic disks, and using RAID1 won't leave you with an operational server in case something goes wrong with your sever, which is more likely than a failure in your storage array.

Expert Comment

ID: 34148905
DFS is good.  It's also asynchronous, which is probably what you would want.  You'd want another server at the remote site too.  That would also let users access the data depending on which site they were at, which would cut down on latency and network traffic.

If you had a sychronous mirror (or RAID1, RAID10 volume) that spanned multiple data centers/locations.  You then get into the fun stuff SAN admins have to tackle - Latency.  Roughly add 1ms latency for every 100 miles you span - that can vary depending on the # of hops, type of connection, etc).

I agree with Kevinsieh on DFS.  It would also give you better redundancy/fault tolerance.  You could have an antire server fail and still be up and running.


Author Comment

ID: 34150575
This is not really what I'm after. We are only one site, I am only looking to mirror the LUN in the most efficent manner possible, not the server. Although I will check out DFS, we tried it back in the server 2000 days with mixed success and abandoned it.
LVL 42

Accepted Solution

kevinhsieh earned 250 total points
ID: 34150961
We're suggesting DFS Replication because it gets your LUN and server mirrored. Something on your server is more likely to break than the MD3200i. DFS Replication is much, much better than the File Replication Service that is in Windows 2000.

Otherwise, you can probably to use dynamic disks to mirror the data to both arrays. I would start with a test volume first, and make sure you can take the volume from 1 MD3200i offline and then read off the other copy.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 34151012
Not what I was originally after but provides avenues to explore

Featured Post


Modern healthcare requires a modern cloud. View this brief video to understand how the Concerto Cloud for Healthcare can help your organization.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Compliance and data security require steps be taken to prevent unauthorized users from copying data.  Here's one method to prevent data theft via USB drives (and writable optical media).
A look at what happened in the Verizon cloud breach.
This video teaches viewers how to encrypt an external drive that requires a password to read and edit the drive. All tasks are done in Disk Utility. Plug in the external drive you wish to encrypt: Make sure all previous data on the drive has been …
This Micro Tutorial will teach you how to reformat your flash drive. Sometimes your flash drive may have issues carrying files so this will completely restore it to manufacturing settings. Make sure to backup all files before reformatting. This w…

623 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question