Drivebending

26/09/2012 – 22:02

For quite I while I watched my data pool grow towards its capacity limits, a pool I had already split over two 3GB drives manually with a 2GB drive as backup. Managing redundancy and backups was quite a PITA, so I looked out for alternatives.
I considered acquiring a hardware based RAID5 solution, I had a look into flexibility of software RAID 5, I tested Windows 2012 Storage Pools, which I find a intriguing concept. Storage Spools were slow however, and I did not quite like to use a v1.0 solution. So I stumbled over Stablebit Drivepool and Drivebender, which both head into the same direction, and finally settled on Drivebender, which I have now been using for six weeks on the following setup:

Virtual Machine (HyperV) Server 2008 R2
3x 3TB PassThrough disks -> Drivebender Pool
1x 3TB Passthrough disk -> backup drive

I use drivebender to span a pool over three disks inside a VM. This setup can be migrated at any time to a new VM host (take three drives and the VM’s .vhd file), as the drivebender and drive setup are independent of the physical hardware. The pool has a total of 9TB storage, inside which I use the “file duplication” feature of Drivebender to achieve redundancy for my important files. I additionally use a backup drive for vital data and a different location, to which I transfer that data yet again.

At any time I can throw in any size of harddrive I have at hand to extend the pool, and I can evacuate drives I want to take out of the pool.

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