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XAlpha

Feature Request - Fault Tolerant Disks

Question

I have a few systems with a similar hardware configuration - several internal hard drives (up to 10) each with its own drive letter, plus at least one external Drobo disk array.  My conundrum has always been - include the Drobo in the pool, or leave it out?  I use duplication on all my folders...

 

Drobo's are great, they're fault tolerant using either single or dual parity; however when coupled with a DrivePool box, adding the Drobo to a pool that has all its contents duplicated would be a waste of drive space that's already protected by duplication.  

 

So it would be great to be able to qualify a disk as "fault tolerant," allowing DrivePool to write files/folders that are enabled for duplication to only the fault tolerant disk (such as a Drobo).  I also have had RAID-6 arrays that I had broke up and put each drive in DP; however, it would be nice to be able to mix and match single drives along with RAID arrays without wasting disk space.

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Thanks, but that designates whether to duplicated and/or unduplicated data on each disk.  I'm proposing that if a disk is fault tolerant (an option to designate that would have to be made available), then the data that's on it isn't duplicated even if the folder containing it is set to duplicate.  I realize this wouldn't protect against controller failure, but it would still protect against HDD failure, which is what happens most of the time anyways.

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Hmm. I do like the idea of giving DrivePool the ability to cooperate with natively fault-tolerant hardware to avoid "double-duplicating" data. However, fault-tolerant hardware often obtains that tolerance via closed or poorly documented formats.

 

XAlpha, a couple of questions:

 

Q1. What is the entry for your Drobo array in the Fault Tolerance column in Windows's Disk Management? 

 

Q2. If a Drobo dies, can the disks inside be mounted as standard readable NTFS volumes by a non-Drobo device?

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Windows only recognizes drives as fault tolerant if Windows is managing the dynamic volume. RAID controller volumes and drobos both show up to windows as not fault tolerant. So the gui for drive pool would need to have a section that would allow fault tolerant disks to be designated.

 

For your 2, that would be the downside. As I mentioned, a controller fault would still leave you vulnerable, but while it happens it is extremely rare. Post people would take that chance. To answer your question, no a drobo drive or a drive in a RAID pool cannot be pulled out and read as a standard NTFS volume. However, the drobo drives can be put in a different drobo as long as it's a comparable model, and RAID arrays can be move to a different controller.

 

I realize it's not a "clean" a solution as having a bundle of a dozen disks in a server, but for instance I have three systems at work that have three drobos plus an internal RAID array, and it'd be nice to be able to pool them all without double duplicating.

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