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Why does everyone here use this software instead of Drive Bender...

 

I ask because I am about to choose one over my present parity formatted MS storage spaces. (I am at the limit of the cluster size for the MS storage pool and to increase the cluster size from 4K to 16K so I have to remake it from scratch (come'on MS really?!)... sigh...)

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4 hours ago, Mesonto said:

Why does everyone here use this software instead of Drive Bender...

 

I ask because I am about to choose one over my present parity formatted MS storage spaces. (I am at the limit of the cluster size for the MS storage pool and to increase the cluster size from 4K to 16K so I have to remake it from scratch (come'on MS really?!)... sigh...)

I tried Drive Bender at the same time as DrivePool. Both seem to do a good job, and from my point of view, both worked probably as well. I decided to go with DrivePool because it appears they have more frequent updates to the software, and of course, the DrivePool forum is much more active than Drive Bender (do they even have a user's forum?)

Prior to switching to DrivePool, I was running Windows Storage Spaces with about 26 HDDs for about 5 years. Despite planning for 2 drive loss failure, I had one drive die on me and lost massive amounts of pool data. Not once, not twice, but the third time this happened to me I gave up on Storage Spaces and their stripping technology. One failed drive crashed my whole Storage Spaces pool when the pool failed to repair itself. I was not the only one reporting these issues to MS, but nothing was ever fixed. I spent more time trying to maintain my pool then actually using it in the end.

With both Drive Bender and DrivePool, if you lose one HDD, at worse, you only lose data on that drive because complete files are written to the drives and not stripped over NN drives in the pool. Also, you can set duplication on a per folder basis in Drive Bender and DrivePool, so any important data can be duplicated 2X, 3X, 4X, etc... on the pool. In Storage Spaces, you had to set the complete volume to your highest duplication setting. 

I was initially impressed with Storage Space's parity option to save space and provide a rebuild option (in theory) if a drive failed. In real life, I had one pool drive fail and it crashed my entire Storage Spaces parity volume. I was not the only one in reporting that exact issue. Anyway, with DrivePool, which does not have parity, you can duplicate important data on a per folder level and just leave the less important data to single (non)redundancy. As it works out for me, I now store more data on fewer disk without parity in DrivePool then I was able to store on Windows Storage Space with parity. I do have a few folders set for 2X or 3X duplication, but really only a few folders need that level of protection.

Bottom line, I am much happier with DrivePool than I was with Storage Spaces. Depending on how you set up Storage Spaces, you can get some very fast transfer times with it as it will read/write bits of data from all the drives at the same time on which it split the file up. That was nice. However, when I added an SSD to the front end of my DrivePool, I now get even faster writes to DrivePool than I got with Storage Spaces. Read speeds in DrivePool are still limited to the speed of the drive the file is actually stored on. If you have 2X duplication for a folder, DrivePool has an option to read from both copies of the data and increase the read speed. I really don't need it for my media storage pool reads, but the option is there if you want faster reads. 

Storage Spaces is great when it works, but when it fails, there is little ability to recover data. Both Drive Bender and DrivePool are good programs, but in the end I choose DrivePool for myself and would highly recommend it over Storage Spaces.

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Thank you so much GTAUS for your time. I am at the point where I have to either:

 

1. REFORMAT STORAGE SPACE WITH A 16K CLUSTER SIZE for MS Storage Spaces, which means reformatting the drive in powershell and then rewritting everything back, all 17tb from my Synology NAS backup. A few days work.

2. Switch to Drive Bender, learning curve (find the app interface ugly)

3. Switch to DrivePool, learning curve (much more pleasant interface)

 

But I have heard that Drive Pool is a better programmed piece of software. The problem is that comment is from 2016! It was due to DrivePool's low level drivers.

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I have been working with DrivePool for less than a year, but already in that time I think they have come out with 2 or 3 updates. So that shows me that someone is still maintaining the software. I have had no problems with DrivePool in the time I have been using it on my system. I had one drive start to fail, and the hard drive monitoring software caught it in time. I was able to offload all but maybe 2 files off a 4TB HDD in that case. Pretty darn good I thought.

I used Windows Storage Spaces for 5+ years at home. When it works, it works great. However, when it fails, it can really fail hard. At the end of my experience with Storage Spaces, I was almost always in PowerShell trying to fix problems manually that the program was supposed to fix automatically - but did not. I spent literally hours, days, weeks and even months trying to repair problems with Storage Spaces at the end of my run. If you have a problem with Storage Spaces, you are pretty much on your own as there is little to no help in the community.

In my experience, DrivePool just works. My life is just so much better using DrivePool compared to Storage Spaces that I cannot recommend Storage Spaces to anyone. I thought Drive Bender was a good system, but in the end I chose DrivePool based on what I perceived as DrivePool's more active updates and the community forum where you have a chance on getting some help, if needed.

The big disadvantage I noticed when moving from Storage Space to DrivePool was in my read/write speeds. Since Storage Spaces stripes the data to NN drives all at the same time, I was getting some really fast read and write speeds. DrivePool, on the other hand, writes a complete file to only one drive, so it is limited to the transfer speed of that drive. After three catastrophic failures, I was willing to the sacrifice speed of Storage Spaces for the reliability of DrivePool. But, like I said, I recently added an SSD to the front end of my DrivePool and now I get faster write speeds on DrivePool than I got with Storage Spaces. So, goodbye to Storage Spaces and I don't miss it.

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Gtaus I bought DrivePool and switched over.

The process of moving over 16TB of data is going very quickly. I smartly decided that instead of copying my files from my Synology backup I would just remove the largest drive in my Storage Spaces pool and then start coping those files back from Storage spaces onto my first Drive Pool drive. Then I did the second drive, etc. The process has been fairly smooth.

But I have to tell you the speed that I get with DrivePool puts my implementation of Storage Spaces to shame. I am copying files from 3rd party drives over the network at over 100Mb/s and as of now I have 2 drives coping over the last files into the storage pool so I am getting over 230Mb/s internally! WIth Storage Spaces I was getting about 112Mb/s for the first few seconds and then around 34Mb/s for the majority of the file transfers.

When I add those last 2 drives I will rebalance and then see what I would like duplicated (even though this is all backed up on a Synology). After which time I am going to add a spare SSD as my "front end" to increase the speed even further.

 

I cannot tell you how happy I am I switched already. I hope that my enthusiasm holds out for a long time. I have yet to buy the drive monitoring software, but so far this is the best $40 (CDN) I have spent on software in a long while.

Thank you so much for your help, I may not have made this switch without your enthusiasm and thorough replies.  

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