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dtgoodwin

Balancing not following rules

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Hi everyone, I have a WHS2011 server with 8 active pool drives.  I have one drive that's very old and I don't trust.  I'm using the add-on balancer "File Placement Limiter" and it's the top priority.  I've told it not to store unduplicated files on this drive.  The little red arrow shows my setting of "Unduplicated file placement limit 0.0%", however it's currently balancing and shows an unduplicated target of 108GB of files to this drive.  I have never been able to get it to adhere to these rules.  The other day I had a drive develop SMART errors and I have the "StableBit Scanner" balancer as second in priority and have requested that unduplicated data be moved off of drives with SMART errors.  It showed it with the same unduplicated file placement limit, but again didn't do anything with my unduplicated data on the drive.  I'm not sure why it won't follow these rules.  

 

Synopsis:

 

File Placement Limiter balancer as top priority balancer.  Specific drive told not to store unduplicated data.  Drive balancer shows a limit of 0.0% for unduplicated files, yet it is storing unduplicated files on it, and adding more.

 

Stablebit Scanner balancer second in priority, with the rule enabled to move unduplicated data out of drives with SMART errors.  Drive with a SMART error shows the same 0.0% limit for unduplicated files, yet no unduplicated files are being removed.

 

Disk Space Equalizer is enabled as a third priority balancer set to equalize by percent used, using both duplicated and unduplicated files.  

 

Drive Pool version 1.3.5.7572

StableBit Scanner version  2.4.2929.

 

Any ideas?

 

I've attached a screenshots of the Disks page showing the balancing, and also the various active balancers and their settings.  NOTE: I've removed the drive with SMART errors as it is truly going bad.  The drive I've set for no unduplicated files is listed as Internal 3 (N:).

 

Thanks

Doug

 

 

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Currently, I have 202 GB of unduplicated data on that drive.  I have 1.6 TB free across all my drives, and 3.4 prior to removing the 2 TB that has SMART errors.  It still had the same behavior.  Is there no way for me to absolutely prevent unduplicated data from being on that drive?

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The File Placement Limiter setting was the issue, however I don't understand why that causes the issue.  That sounds like a requested option, but shouldn't override my direct request to NOT put unduplicated files on these drives.  There is plenty of space to move duplicated files to these drives and keep the unduplicated on the other 7 drives.  Now that I set it to 99%, it rebalanced and did remove the unduplicated files, however the drive is at 54% filled, whereas my other drives are 88-92%.  Most of my files are duplicated, so there should be plenty to move around to balance.  I do have the option checked in Disk Space Equalizer to use both duplicated and unduplicated in balancing.  

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Try unchecking "unduplicated" files in the "Disk Space Equalizer" options, or just out right disable that balancer and see if that helps.

 

And as to why, is that the balancers are checked in order listed. But there could be weird interaction between the two balancers. Disabling one should indicate if there is a conflict.

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If I disable Disk Space Equalizer then everything is okay.  If I enable it, even as second priority, and having the option to only use "Equalize using duplicated files", it still wants to place unduplicated files on that drive unless I leave the "try not to fill a drive above xx%" at 99%, but then it doesn't equalize the drives.  No combination seems to allow me what I want to do.  The end goal is to have the drive space equalized by percent used, but to not put unduplicated files on a specific drive or two.  There is plenty of space to allow this to happen, it just seems like the Disk Space Equalizer balancer doesn't obey the rules about not filling a drive with unduplicated files.  As I stated in the original post, and as you can see by the picture, the little symbol shows that the unduplicated limit is 0 bytes, but equalizer seems to ignore that.  I suppose I'll have to either live with drives out of balance (only a concern as I like to keep them from filling above 90% for NTFS performance reasons), or allow unduplicated files on drives I don't trust.  Of course, I do have a backup, it's just offsite and recovery would be slow.

 

Thanks for the replies.

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Dough,

 

The first problem that I can see with this is that you may not have enough disk space on the other disks to accomplish this. Filling a disk completely to capacity can cause problems if files need to expand in size. That's why we have the option "Try not to fill a drive above...".

 

Let me explain what should be happening, based on your screenshots:

  1. The Disk Space Equalizer runs and redistributes your files equally across all disks. Not considering any other factors.
  2. The StableBit Scanner balancer runs and does nothing (since you have no damaged disks).
  3. The File Placement Limiter runs and sees that you've requested to:
    1. Move all unduplicated files out of drive N:\
    2. But never fill the other drives above 85%

Step #3 now sees that the other drives are all above 85% full and tries to move enough data back onto N:\ to satisfy condition #3.2

 

Based on that, is some step not working here as described, or are you trying to accomplish something else?

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Okay, this is very weird.  I got a replacement drive for the one that had SMART errors (which I have also told not to store unduplicated data on until I trust it).  I put it in and tried playing around with the balancers again.  Even though I would now have almost 4 TB free, enabling "Disk Space Equalizer" still wanted to put unduplicated data on drives where the higher priority balancer "File Placement Limiter" had been told NOT to put unduplicated data on the drive.  As per the screenshot, and as continues to be, there is a red tick mark below the graph showing how much space is being used on the drive that when highlighted correctly shows "Unduplicated file placement limit 0.0%".  Per Drashna, I unchecked in Disk Space Equalizer, the Balance using unduplicated files option and it had no effect.  However, I reversed them.  I left checked, equalize using unduplicated, and unchecked equalize using duplicated.  THIS changed the behavior, however that seems reversed to me.  A check saying to balance using duplicated should only use duplicated files, but the exact opposite is happening.  It now is balancing placing no unduplicated files on the drives I requested, exactly like I want it tom, and showing that it will be trying to fill all drives to the exact same percent used.  I haven't checked, but maybe there is a new version of this balancer?  Mine is 1.0.1.  

 

Alex, everything above is behaving like I expect it to with the exception of the above described behavior in Disk Space Equalizer.  I had changed File Placement Limiter to allow 99% of the drive to be used.  It didn't put unduplicated data on my drive N:\, but it also didn't balance it, the unduplicated data was just moved to other drives.  What I expect to happen is because I have File Placement Limiter as the highest priority, that other balancers shouldn't overwrite a setting telling it not to store any unduplicated data on "x" drive.  To me, that should be a rule that is followed unless there is no space for duplication (clearly not the case in my system).

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