MS Server Online Raid Capacity Expansion

Posted on 2012-08-14
Last Modified: 2012-09-05
I would like to setup a business client of mine with a MS server and use RAID 1 for the OS (2x150GB HDs) and RAID 5 for the DATA (3x1TB HDs).  I am familiar with NAS devices like QNAP and DROBO which allow for Online Expansion of the storage but wanted to know if this is possible with standard servers for SMB..if so wherer would i find info on it?  I can foresee adding for storage to the RAID 5 config after the initial rollout of the server
Question by:fastteks0390
    LVL 46

    Assisted Solution

    Yes it is certainly possible.  One can do instant online expansion to volumes hundreds of TB in size if that is what you want and you choose the right platform.  

    I would use something like napp-it which lets you load an open flavor of Solaris on a PC or server.  Napp-it is open source, and gives you a GUI so it pretty much turns your system into an appliance.  Since it uses the ZFS file system, you have online expansion, share-level automatic data compression;  HOT snapshot;  data de-duplication;  RAIDZ2 (similar to RAID6 if you want it).

    You can even create hybrid pools that use SSDs and HDDs together automatically so that the SSDs give you improved performance.   You can add disks whenever and if you have hot swap system, don't even need to reboot anything.   End-user who is mounted on a pool just sees the free space got bigger.

    You can even use it as a apple time-machine server or NFS server if you want.
    LVL 55

    Accepted Solution

    Assuming you RAID controller supports expansion your OS certainly does, For Win 2000 and 2003 you use diskpart and for Win2008 it's exposed in the disk management GUI. The only third party tool needed (if you can call it that) is the RAID controller's management program.

    You should create a GPT disk for the data rather than an MBR one though since without that you can't easily cross the 2TB boundary when it comes time to extend D:.

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