OMV noob (coming from Server 2012 Essentials)

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    • OMV noob (coming from Server 2012 Essentials)

      I have a WHS V1 with Drive Extender (love it) and a 2012 Essentials server (not a fan). I'm struggling with all the info on this forum and elsewhere on how to set up my drives. I have two 4GB WD Red, one 6GB WD Red, and a 80GB system SSD. On my 2012 server, I have them setup up with a 2TB Mirror, a 4TB Parity, and a 2TB Simple storage space (all thin) and a second fixed 2TB storage space.

      The server works fine but I've had so many problems with the connector software over the years that none of my laptops and desktops are being backed up at this point.

      I set up OMV on a RPi just to try it and successfully backed up and restored a laptop with urBackup! First try, no issues, great!

      I have the entire server backed up on external drives and am ready to build my OMV. My initial thought was to partition the drives 2TB/4TB on the 6TB and 2TB/2TB on the two 4TBs. I could then set up the 2TB Mirror, 4TB Parity, and a couple of fixed partitions with what is left over but reading the forums it sounds like partitioning is difficult and only recommended for advanced users. My questions:

      1. Is partitioning the best idea?
      2. Does OMV with UnionFS provide pools with similar functionality as Storage Spaces on Windows?
      3. If #2 is yes, will I end up wasting a lot of space because of the drives I have (the 6GB might end up being the Parity drive since it's the largest, not ideal)?
      4. I have a hot spare drive for my WHS (a 2TB WD Green). My case really can't accommodate it, but if I can get it in there, would it improve my situation?

      Sorry for the length. Any advice will be appreciated.
    • I would not partition and not mirror or use RAID or aggregate the drives in any way shape or form.

      I would use the whole 6TB drive for the shared online storage. I would use the two 4TB drives only for backups of folders on the 6TB drive and of clients. I would still have shared folders, one per drive each for the full drive. Possibly some extra for docker images and config, but that can be added later.

      I would use rsync to backup the 6TB drive using snapshots with hardlinks to save space and speed it up. I would do this on a folder to folder basis in scripts that are run automatically every day, and that also removes old backups so the drives don't fill up. I'd just keep a dozen or so full snapshots. A few daily, a few weekly and a few monthly. I wouldn't trust anyone else than myself to write those backup scripts. Too much can go wrong if you don't know in excruciating detail how the backup system work and how it can fail.

      I would not trust external drives for automated backups. They might be good for 2nd tier backups (backups of backups) stored off-site.
      OMV 4, 7 x ODROID HC2, 1 x ODROID HC1, 5 x 12TB, 1 x 8TB, 1 x 2TB SSHD, 1 x 500GB SSD, GbE, WiFi mesh

      The post was edited 3 times, last by Adoby ().

    • brucefan42 wrote:

      1. Is partitioning the best idea?
      Given what it takes to restore a data drive from backup, I can't think of a good practical reason for partitioning a drive.

      brucefan42 wrote:

      2. Does OMV with UnionFS provide pools with similar functionality as Storage Spaces on Windows?
      I'd have to qualify the answer and say, "mostly yes", because I don't know exactly what you're looking for.
      I haven't used Windows servers in several years (I had WHSv1 and 2011 BTW); but if you want to aggregate drives UnionFS is the way to do it safely. It's far better than RAID for aggregating drives. Currently, I have a UnionFS drive aggregated from 2 each 2TB drives (for a total of 4TB), and a 3rd 2TB drive is dedicated to SNAPRAID. (For drive, file and folder safety and bitrot protection.)

      brucefan42 wrote:

      3. If #2 is yes, will I end up wasting a lot of space because of the drives I have (the 6GB might end up being the Parity drive since it's the largest, not ideal)?
      You could partition the 6TB drive into two block devices, one at 4TB and one at 2TB, but the issue of restoration becomes a problem. SNAPRAID will protect one drive or, if partitions are involved, one block device. If the partitioned 6TB drive were to fail, you'd lose two block devices meaning you couldn't restore the data on that physical drive. If you want to aggregate your drives, you'd be better of to use UnionFS to add the two 4TB drives together (8TB) and protect them using the 6TB drive as a SNAPRAID parity drive.

      brucefan42 wrote:

      4. I have a hot spare drive for my WHS (a 2TB WD Green). My case really can't accommodate it, but if I can get it in there, would it improve my situation?
      It depends. (I'm assuming that all drives are healthy with good SMART stat's.) But you could throw a 2TB drive into the mix with UnionFS or use it are you are now - a simple volume. Actually, you could start without it and add it later if you like. The same is true of SNAPRAID. You can add a new data disk at any time, run SNAPRAID SYNC, and it's protected. I wouldn't try to protect more than 3 physical disks with a single SNAPRAID drive, but that's a personal preference.
      ______________________________________________________________________________

      BTW: OMV supports URBackup which is far superior to WHS client backup, in just about every way. There is no easier bare metal restoration process that I've ever found. With a clean drive in the client, pop in the client restoration CD, log into the server (admin user name and password), pick an image to restore and that's it. (It's about 5 "OK's" and mouse clicks.)
    • Thank you for the detailed response. I'm using urBackup in my 2012 Essentials Server because I could never get the provided backup to work with pretty much any of my computers. The one thing about WHSv1 is the restore image is self contained and available daily. urBackup by default does a complete image every 60 days and incrementals between full backups. Do you know if you choose an image for restore, does it automatically apply the newer incrementals on top of the image restore or is that a separate step?
    • brucefan42 wrote:

      I'm using urBackup in my 2012 Essentials Server because I could never get the provided backup to work with pretty much any of my computers.
      I had the same problem. GPT partitions and UEFI seemed to end any possibility of being able to do a Windows Client bare metal restore. When this became apparent, Windows servers went out the door. Curiously, open source server software seems to be better supported and is less likely to, suddenly, be dropped.

      brucefan42 wrote:

      Do you know if you choose an image for restore, does it automatically apply the newer incrementals on top of the image restore or is that a separate step?
      It's been awhile since I've done a restore so I can't answer definitively. I believe the range of dates available for restoration are those directly related to an incremental image, which would include the last full image and all incrementals in between.

      **I just checked this on a LAN client - the dates available for restoration directly correspond to all full and incremental backups.**

      brucefan42 wrote:

      The one thing about WHSv1 is the restore image is self contained and available daily.
      That may or may not be true. Just because it "appears" to unified in the GUI doesn't mean that it is. If that was the case, if a full drive image is being generated daily, that would mean that a lot of unnecessary data is being transferred over the network daily.
      ____________________________________

      If you want a daily incremental image, the interval can be adjusted here. (It would also make sense to adjust the maximum number of incremental images to at least 60, to span between 2 full images.) Then, if/when restoring, you could pick an individual day.