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[HOWTO] dynamic disks and/or mounted VHD(X)


Jellepepe
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Hi everyone,

After dreading that i would have to add an additional drive to my server to be able to mount my clouddrives (which would cost me a lot, as it is not local to me), I tried a lot of possible workarounds.

While i understand the reasoning for not allowing certain drives to be pooled, and I do not recommend doing this unless you understand the risks, I am happy to report it definitely works, with no issues in my testing.

So a as a TL;DR;

You can create a VHD(X) file on a dynamic volume, mount that, then create a storage space with this mounted VHD(X) file, which can then be pooled and/or used as clouddrive cache.

The performance decrease is quite minor, as you can see from some quick testing on a old 840 evo drive;

unknown.png

[LEFT: local disk mounted directly, RIGHT: mounted VHDX -> Storage Space -> Drivepool]

Step-By-Step:

Doing this is easy, and it only takes a few steps;

  1. Create the VHD(X) file
  2. Mount the VHD(X) file as a drive
  3. Create a storage space with the mounted VHD(X) drive(s)
  4. Use the storage space as clouddrive cache or add it to a drivepool pool

1. First we make the VHD(X) file if you do not have one yet, which we can simply do from disk manager; Action -> Create VHD

you are then presented with the following prompt, in which you can choose the size and location of the VHD(X)

image.png.eabbf1312a8f77cf717dc16c313919e4.png

For optimal performance it is recommended to choose 'VHDX' and 'Fixed size'

2. Next we need to mount the VHD file if it hasn't done so already, which we can also do from disk manager; Action -> Mount VHD

We don't need to initialize or format the drive, it will undo this in the next step anyway.

3. Almost done! We now need to create a storage space, as the mounted VHD(X) still cannot be used by clouddrive/drivepool

To do this, we open the storage spaces configuration screen (search 'storage spaces'), and choose 'create a new pool and storage space'

in the following screen select the mounted VHD drive ("Attached via VHD"), which should show up under "Unformatted drives" be careful to not select a different drive, this will wipe all data!

In the wizard we can now select the size, parity settings, and format settings, in this example we are using 'simple', but you can choose other settings if you're using multiple VHDs.

image.png.78b4ec6f6820b1a8ca1185362d80e87b.png

4. If everything went well, we should now be able to detect the new storage space drive in both clouddrive and drivepool, ready to be used!

And we are done!

For some reason because we created a storage space, we no longer need to manually mount the VHD drives on reboot, so the system keeps working.

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