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Another Server migration question


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Apologies for creating yet ANOTHER thread about a WHS2011 migration, and whilst I have read through the other threads, my questions are a little differernt so I thought I'd start fresh and see if I can get some simple straightforward answers to my thoughts.

 

Basically I currenty have a 20 disk server build in a Norco case.  All works perfectly, is bullet proof and I'm very happy with it.

 

But I have been given a new 24 bay case with newer internals, ie motherboard, processor, ram and Sata card, and knowing that the newer machine runs cooler and quieter, it makes sense to make a move over to this machiine and move the old case/server on.

 

Looking through the FAQs, just migrating seems to be pretty straightforward.  Once the new system is built and up and running, I just install Stablebit, and then place all of the drives into the new machine, Drivepool should automatiucally pick up and see the pool being imported as such and create that new pool for me automatically.  This all sounds great and hopefully that part will be smooth running.

 

It is at this point that I have a query.

 

As said above, Im moving from a 20 disk to a 24 disk array all being controlled by an ARC1280ML card which seems to have been running well up till now....my current array, whilst being run off of a motherboard and 2 Supermicro cards was using drive letters E through to X which covers the 20 drives.  When I initally built this server 5 years ago, this seemed like the sensible thing to do and I didnt think or comprehend that the drives wouldnt actually need indivdual drive letters.  So my quesiton is this, knowing when I import the drivepool disks into the new machine that I wont have enough drive letters, as Ill be using a system/boot drive plus ill be attaching one of more USB drives at all times too, so potentially 27+, am I able to rename the drives as drive numbers and omit a drive letter or will this mean I lose anything off of the drives.  Im sure this is a simple/stupid question but I wanted to check before I start tearing things apart.

 

Is this the best way to do it, or is there a better or safer way?

 

Hope this isnt too much of a tedious question but Im really hoping to make this as strightforward as possible

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First, we absolutely do not mind. This is migrating your data, and it's a very sensitive subject. Nobody wants to risk their data, so we absolutely do not mind the questions.
 
 
And very nice. Sounds like a very fun upgrade. :)
 

Looking through the FAQs, just migrating seems to be pretty straightforward.  Once the new system is built and up and running, I just install Stablebit, and then place all of the drives into the new machine, Drivepool should automatiucally pick up and see the pool being imported as such and create that new pool for me automatically.  This all sounds great and hopefully that part will be smooth running.


Yup, pretty much just that. Once the disks are moved over, StableBit DrivePool will recognize the pooled disks, and recreate the pool. However, you do need to move ALL the disks over, or they won't be included (the new system won't know about the rest of the disks yet).
 

It is at this point that I have a query.
 
As said above, Im moving from a 20 disk to a 24 disk array all being controlled by an ARC1280ML card which seems to have been running well up till now....my current array, whilst being run off of a motherboard and 2 Supermicro cards was using drive letters E through to X which covers the 20 drives.  When I initally built this server 5 years ago, this seemed like the sensible thing to do and I didnt think or comprehend that the drives wouldnt actually need indivdual drive letters.  So my quesiton is this, knowing when I import the drivepool disks into the new machine that I wont have enough drive letters, as Ill be using a system/boot drive plus ill be attaching one of more USB drives at all times too, so potentially 27+, am I able to rename the drives as drive numbers and omit a drive letter or will this mean I lose anything off of the drives.  Im sure this is a simple/stupid question but I wanted to check before I start tearing things apart.

Well, first, make sure that the disks migrate properly to the new controller. If not, it may be best to move that controller over.
What I mean, is that some RAID cards are very picky about how they pass disks through, and can cause issues migrating to different controllers. In most cases, this is not an issue, but it's always worth checking out FIRST.

As for organizing the disks, we actually have a guide for that. But specifically, it's mounting the drives to a folder path, instead of as disk letters. This also has the advantage of cleaning up the drive list in "Computer"/"This PC".

http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool_Q4822624

 

Additionally, if you want, you can use that guide to completely remove the drive letters and not mount them again. Though I recommend mounting the drives, so that you can still access the contents, if needed (or easier to run a chkdsk pass).

 

Also, if you have StableBit Scanner installed on the system, you can "mark" the locations of the disks in the "Disk Settings" on each disk. It may be worth taking a couple of minutes to configure all of this (especially as Scanner can "group by case". And this information appears in the tool tip and email notifications for DrivePool.

And if you need help figuring out which disk is which, the "Ping" and "Burst" tests in Scanner will help (the "Ping" option continually "pings" the disks, while the Burst option saturates the disks' bus).

 

 

If I missed anything, you need any clarifications, or have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

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Firstly. Thanks for the prompt and informative reply. As many others have said, customer service here is amazing, and although I haven't needed to get in touch much, now that I do need some assistance, you are right here waiting

 

Had one other question whilst I'm preparing for my system migration to start

 

Assuming I'll just build my new WHS 2011 box and then install DrivePool and insert disks and boom! I'm there. But re DrivePool. Which version should I install. As I'm running WHS2011 and was with you from the start, I am currently running V1. Does it make sense to move straight to V2 as I may need that eventually anyway.

 

If I install V2 and just stick my v1 disks in will that work. Or would I need to switch to V2 on existing box first. I'm not sure if individual drives are tagged by the system or if it's purely a directory structure constructed on the system drive.

 

Thanks again in advance.

 

Jon

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Well, thank you for the kind words!

 

As for which version of StableBit DrivePool, it doesn't really matter. Both the license and pool are compatible with both versions.

 

However, the v1.X product does feature better integration with the WHS code (it uses the indexing to display the amount of data in the folders, as well as has a "Pool" tab where you can add and remove disks and change the duplication status). 

However, the v2.X product is newer, and has more features (such as stand alone remote control, reparse point support and File Placement rules).

 

And there should be no issue with installing v2.X and popping in your existing disks. It will see them as pooled disks just fine. There is no conversion needed.

And if you decide that you like 1.X better, you can uninstall the current version, reboot and then install the 1.X version. You'll probably need to reactivate, but otherwise, there isn't anything else you'd need to do.

 

So yes, it's purely a structure constructed on the disk.
Specifically, the pool is located in the hidden "PoolPart" folders, and we don't change the formatting of the folder between versions.

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Sounds good.

 

Whilst I've got spare disks and both server builds to hand I've actually built a test system today and it's working nicely and recognised a pool I had from an old machine just fine. Just got to decide best way to go about a new build but think I'm going to try pulling the other drives onto the test build. Then when everything is fine I'll wipe the SSD from the old server and reinstall using that in new build. Just to cover all bases.

 

One other question I did have was this. When you hover over a drive in drive pool it shows 3 different tags as it were. Two I understand (unduplicated and free space) but what is covered by OTHER. all pooled drives are literally empty before they have been inserted into the pool so I'm a bit confused as to what else this could cover.

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Just wanted to report back.

 

All went well. Well 95% anyway.

 

I managed to lose a few files in the transition but the pool transferred as expected and I was up in running in just an hour or so of moving the pool over.

 

Happy day and what an amazing product.

 

On a trial of Scanner at the moment but will purchase a license shortly.

 

Keep up the good work.

 

One question. Is there a way for me to see the Drive pool remotely from say my iPad across the LAN or does it not work that way

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I'm sorry to hear that you did lose a few files. :(

But I'm glad to hear that everything went smoothly otherwise.

 

 

As for StableBit Scanner: If you own a copy of StableBit DrivePool, you can get StableBit Scanner at a discounted price. To do so, grab your StableBit DrivePool Activation ID, and head to "https://stablebit.com/Buy/Scanner/" and scroll down until you see the "Already own one of our products?" section. Input your Activation ID into the box and hit "Apply Activation ID". Once you've done that, it will will refresh the page with the discounted pricing ($15, instead of $24.95). 
 

 

One question. Is there a way for me to see the Drive pool remotely from say my iPad across the LAN or does it not work that way

Depends on how you mean. If you mean to view the pooled disk (eg, to be able to access the files), then you'd need to share the folders and use an app to access the files (or us a media server such as Plex).

If you have shared folders on the pool, then this maybe useful:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fileexplorer-free/id510282524

 

If you mean to manage the pool, then no, there isn't a way to do this on a mobile device directly.

However, you could use Remote Desktop, VNC, or TeamViewer to access the system and control it that way.

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Ive already done it and I'm very happy.

 

As I reported above, the new server build went smoothly and although I reported that a good few handful of files went missing, I think the main problem was with the actual disc removal process by WHS.

 

But either way. When the files were migrated. Some files were definitely left on some of the pooled discs. Which is obviously not supposed to happen. But I'm not really sure of any way round this.

 

In order to stop this happening again, and when I recently removed a 4TB disc to put in a new 8TB disc instead. I actually moved files from disc to disc manually and was much happier that everything moved as expected.

 

Anyway. Here is a pic of the new 8TB drive I installed and another of the server fully built and running in my AV rack. Enjoy the server porn.

 

post-1425-14251093908135_thumb.jpg

post-1425-14251094413866_thumb.jpg

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That's a nice rack! :)

 

I like the Norco RPC-4224 (I have a 4220 personally, that I got for ... ridiculously cheap).

 

And as for the Archive drives, they do appear to work very well in the Pool. Though, if you're using WHS2011 or Server Essentials, I'd recommend using the File Placement rules to prevent the Client Backup database from being put on these drives. Just in case.

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