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Moving from Windows Storage Spaces to DrivePool


theGeek
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Hello - new guy here.  

I am new to DrivePool as I have been using Windows Storage Spaces for years and it hasn't really been an issue at all until recently. I'm running into some of the built in limitations of Windows Storage Spaces and my 34TB worth of drives have been limited to 15.9TB.  I'm not a tech guy but I understand that it has something to do with using 4K clusters when I set up the system.  

The frustrating limitation has a resolution but it involved rebuilding my entire volume and losing my data in the process since Windows Storage Spaces formats the drives when the pool is created.

So... I'm looking at other options.  

DrivePool was suggested to me but I want to make sure that, when I set it all up, that the data won't all be lost.  I know that DrivePool won't delete the files but I wasn't sure how Storage Spaces manages the data - do I risk losing data when I "separate" the drives and re-pool them?

I hope this makes sense what I'm asking... thanks in advance.  

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Yep - you ran into the 4k cluster volume limitation at 16TB.  Drivepool has no such limitations - the max pool size is (for all practical purposes) unlimited.

As far as breaking your Storage Spaces volume up, it'll depend on what kind of grouping the drives have.  If it was a "no resiliency" pool (and it sounds like yours was created that way), each drive that you remove from the Storage Spaces pool will have it's data moved on to other drives in the pool, before the drive is completely removed and available for other uses.  To do this, open the "Physical Drives" area in Storage Spaces, and next to the drive you want to remove click "Prepare for removal".

Your Storage Spaces pool should have partially empty drives in it, since you've hit the 16TB cap using the others already.  You can look at each physical drive in the Storage Spaces GUI to determine which have data on them and which don't.  Remove those with the smallest used space first, as they stand the best chance having their data migrated to free space in the rest of the pool.

Once you start getting drives out of the Storage Spaces pool, you can use them to create a Drivepool pool and just copy data from one pool to the other.  Once all the drives are moved over, install the Disk Space Equalizer plugin for Drivepool, go to the Balancing area of the UI and toggle it on (which forces a full re-balance of the entire pool).  When it's done, toggle it back off, then have a Coke and a smile.

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to recap here, yeah the 4K cluster size limits the volume to 16TBs.  That said, you can add additional partitions/volumes to the drive to expand it past that, actually. But that isn't as ... neat.

That said, StableBit DrivePool stores the data on the underlying disks (as NTFS disks), and uses a virtual drive.  So there is no limitation of the size that the pool can be. 

That said, no, StableBit DrivePool does not require wiping the drives.  In fact, you could add the Storage Spaces array to the pool, seed the data, and continue to use it until you have enough disk space to "nuke" the storage spaces array. 

As for how to seed the data: http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool_Q4142489

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