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Windows 2012 R2: software raid5 on os?

Posted on 2014-01-27
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Hi,

Can you make a software raid on Windows 2012 R2 OS? If yes, how?

J.
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Question by:janhoedt
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 39813645
Yes, but why would you want to?  You're much better off creating a storage spool (A storage pool with parity is kinda like a RAID 5... but different), adding a couple of SSDs and you'll have MUCH, MUCH better performance on writes because the SSDs can be write caches for the regular drives.  (And a software RAID 5 is about 2/3 SLOWER on writes than a single unRAIDed disk) based on my tests.  But with a write cache, its faster than single disk.

I'd suggest you learn about Storage Pools in Server 2012 and 2012 R2 (the SSD cache thing is only in 2012 R2).

More info on Storage Spaces below:
https://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2012/10/10/windows-server-2012-storage-spaces-is-it-for-you-could-be.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831739.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn387076.aspx
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by:janhoedt
ID: 39814236
Why? Because of redundancy. If one disk fails.... Raid1 is also possible.

So yes of course I will make a storage pool for data/vm s. I have 3 sata of 2 TB (maybe 4), some ssd of 60 (if not used for os raid) and some of 120.
Please advise on config. I m not interested in knowing all details of storage Pools, just looking for best performance and redundancy.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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PLAY WITH IT.  It's pretty easy - I spent two weeks playing with Storage Pools, SSDs, Mirrors, Parity, and software RAIDs, including RAID 5 and RAID 0 and recovery procedures using a variety of disks.  I went with what worked best for me... I don't know what your workload is or what your server is like and I haven't spent the time learning it.  I'm under the impression that licensing prevents me from publishing my findings so I'm going to err on the side of caution and just say create a pool with SSDs for a cache... but you need to learn what you're doing, especially if you're an admin.
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by:janhoedt
ID: 39814305
Thanks. It s a home lab. We re not using Windows 2012 r2 at work. Therefore looking for a jump start, some eperiences/best practises. Why reivent the wheel. I will experiment and verify what s said to be nest practises but I have to start from somewhere.
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by:janhoedt
ID: 39814310
The server is a vm on an esxi, the disks are raw mappings. Can t imagine a more stable system then esxi. Usb boot, after boot usb isn t needed anymore, have small ups so no worries for me.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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I prefer Hyper-V.  But use what you like.  My system was a lab as well... until I finally settled on a config after playing.

Problem with passthrough disks - you cannot cluster them.
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