Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?



  • @DustinB3403 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @jim9500 backing up a full 48tb to b2 would be something like $247/month

    But with fees if you want to retrieve it. Just be aware that that can be pretty large.



  • @travisdh1 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    The triple mirror means that you will have increased read speed. If you don't need the increased read speed, then that's just a waste of drives.

    It does (sortof) decrease my risk as I would need 3 drives out of any set of 3 to fail. I understand this looks like overkill. It also helps on read speed. Prior to this array I was using 36 600GB 15K SCSI. My goal was similar speed + safer setup + bigger volume. The difference in cost between using raid 10 & 10 ADM using 3TB drives is only about $2,000.

    @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    But it is darn close when using triple mirroring!

    FWIW - you're the reason I migrated to Raid 10 off of my Raid 6 / 36 drive setup. Lots of yelling at me on Spiceworks a few years ago about how raid 6 isn't safe for huge arrays 😛



  • @jim9500 it decreases the risk by a lot. You might already have risk so low that you don't care, but it certainly decreases it a lot more. 🙂



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  • @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    You can go to Linux and XFS without changing your RAID in any way.

    Ah perfect. So I wouldn't need to move to software raid to move away from NTFS. I'm not convinced I need to yet. But if after more research I find out I do - Is it likely I'm going to run into issues using something like SAMBA + XFS as a windows shop network share?



  • @jim9500 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    You can go to Linux and XFS without changing your RAID in any way.

    Ah perfect. So I wouldn't need to move to software raid to move away from NTFS. I'm not convinced I need to yet. But if after more research I find out I do - Is it likely I'm going to run into issues using something like SAMBA + XFS as a windows shop network share?

    Definitely not. You can use hardware RAID anytime. There are no cases where you can't use hardware RAID.

    Well there are, but those are cases where you use hardware that doesn't provide hardware RAID.



  • XFS will present no issues to you as a Windows show. Samba can be a pain to manage, but keep in mind that most NAS products use Samba to talk to Windows. So it is pretty solid when set up correctly.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    There are no cases where you can't use hardware RAID.

    Yea - for some reason I was thinking I would need to use ZFS. I'd prefer to stick to the enterprise hardware as it's caused 0 issues for me.



  • @jim9500 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    There are no cases where you can't use hardware RAID.

    Yea - for some reason I was thinking I would need to use ZFS. I'd prefer to stick to the enterprise hardware as it's caused 0 issues for me.

    Even if you used ZFS, you can use hardware RAID. By definition, all file systems must work the same on hardware RAID as they do on bare metal drives. If they didn't, it means that the hardware RAID isn't working.



  • @jim9500 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    It seems like I remember Scott Miller talking about combining enterprise hardware + SAS/SATA Controller + Linux for storage requirements vs proprietary hardware raid controller.

    @Donahue - Yes. I have a similar setup offsite backup several miles away for disaster recovery / hardware failure etc. I know raid != backups.

    What's the air-gap to protect against an encryption event if any?



  • @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @DustinB3403 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @jim9500 backing up a full 48tb to b2 would be something like $247/month

    But with fees if you want to retrieve it. Just be aware that that can be pretty large.

    Unless your storage provider doesn't charge for downloads... (Wasabi is one -- https://wasabi.com/pricing/)



  • That's a lot of disks for such a small array.

    I'd just put 6x12TB drives in RAID6 and put it on something that has at least 16x3.5" drive bays.
    That way you have enough space to make a new array and transfer the data when it's time to upgrade the storage.

    I'd very much prefer linux over windows for fileserver use and software raid over hardware. It's easier to have the data survive several generations of hardware as you can mount the old drives directly on a new server without problems. It becomes hardware and linux distro/version agnostic.

    For our own use we like Supermicro hardware because they are modular as well. Supermicro sells their stuff as components as well as complete servers which makes it very flexible. Standard-sized server motherboards for instance means you can replace a motherboard without having to source exactly what you had. And you don't have to use their branded memory or branded disks.



  • @PhlipElder said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    What's the air-gap to protect against an encryption event if any?

    What's the air-gap to protect against an encryption event if any?

    My backup server has access to the rest of the network - but it pulls the backups to itself vs backups being pushed. The rest of the network can't directly write to it. My backups happen weekly - so my (hope) is that I would recognize what was happening to my live network before it was backed up.

    I have been contemplating doubling my backup storage space to make sure I have enough space to store older file revisions in a ransomware situation.



  • @PhlipElder said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @jim9500 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    It seems like I remember Scott Miller talking about combining enterprise hardware + SAS/SATA Controller + Linux for storage requirements vs proprietary hardware raid controller.

    @Donahue - Yes. I have a similar setup offsite backup several miles away for disaster recovery / hardware failure etc. I know raid != backups.

    What's the air-gap to protect against an encryption event if any?

    LOL. I like that term. "Encryption Event"

    It implies, quite correctly, that many of those problems are not exactly malware. Many are just bad system design.



  • @dafyre said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @DustinB3403 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @jim9500 backing up a full 48tb to b2 would be something like $247/month

    But with fees if you want to retrieve it. Just be aware that that can be pretty large.

    Unless your storage provider doesn't charge for downloads... (Wasabi is one -- https://wasabi.com/pricing/)

    Right, was talking about B2.



  • @jim9500 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @PhlipElder said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    What's the air-gap to protect against an encryption event if any?

    What's the air-gap to protect against an encryption event if any?

    My backup server has access to the rest of the network - but it pulls the backups to itself vs backups being pushed. The rest of the network can't directly write to it. My backups happen weekly - so my (hope) is that I would recognize what was happening to my live network before it was backed up.

    I have been contemplating doubling my backup storage space to make sure I have enough space to store older file revisions in a ransomware situation.

    Might be a good idea. Although at that size, encryption would take a very long time.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @PhlipElder said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @jim9500 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    It seems like I remember Scott Miller talking about combining enterprise hardware + SAS/SATA Controller + Linux for storage requirements vs proprietary hardware raid controller.

    @Donahue - Yes. I have a similar setup offsite backup several miles away for disaster recovery / hardware failure etc. I know raid != backups.

    What's the air-gap to protect against an encryption event if any?

    LOL. I like that term. "Encryption Event"

    It implies, quite correctly, that many of those problems are not exactly malware. Many are just bad system design.

    Indeed. We've "heard" of cloud vendors that have lost both their own and their tenant's environments due to an encryption event which implies improper setup and procedures.

    As far as the backup server pulling the data on to itself one needs to make sure no credentials are saved anywhere. All it takes is one lazy tech doing so and the baddies are in. Rotating that password regularly would help to stem that.

    Gostev (Veeam) has a regular newsletter and mentioned that offlining the backup server with it firing up to do its pulls then shutting itself back down again once done would be one way of dealing with having an air-gap.

    EDIT: Setting that "Cannot Save Credentials" setting for RDS in Local GPMC would work too.



  • @jim9500 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @PhlipElder said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    What's the air-gap to protect against an encryption event if any?

    What's the air-gap to protect against an encryption event if any?

    My backup server has access to the rest of the network - but it pulls the backups to itself vs backups being pushed. The rest of the network can't directly write to it. My backups happen weekly - so my (hope) is that I would recognize what was happening to my live network before it was backed up.

    I have been contemplating doubling my backup storage space to make sure I have enough space to store older file revisions in a ransomware situation.

    Is it a backup or just a copy? If it's a backup, thinking something like Veeam here, then having multiple backup copies on the backup server won't need say - double the space to have two full copies, it will need the amount of typical changes between backups, though I'd go for twice that difference so you can take a backup, then add the second backup, then add a third backup, then delete the second backup, etc. So you'll end up with two 'copies' on the backup at all time.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    NTFS has improved a lot over the years. This is definitely a big volume for NTFS to handle. ZFS is better designed for volumes of this size.

    You are correct, with your triple mirrored (and hot spare!) setup, it's your filesystem, not your array, that you have to worry about. You have definitely managed to shift the risk from the RAID to the FS.

    This isn't insanely big, but certainly having Windows managing storage always gives me a little moment of pause. Storage is not their strong suit and has weakened, rather than improving, in recent years. ReFS has had issues, the recent releases have had their own issues even with NTFS, and their software RAID has had big time issues (you aren't using that here, so not applicable either.) But this is just generally an area that Microsoft struggles with and doesn't tend to see as critical so seems to mostly poo-poo reliability concerns to focus on other areas.

    If I was doing storage this large, I would almost certainly be using XFS on hardware RAID based on your setup. XFS is faster than NTFS, and pretty much bullet proof.

    I agree. Last place I worked we did 96TB arrays on RAID 10 with XFS.



  • @scottalanmiller I somehow missed this reply. This is the answer I was looking for. The great news is that my hardware will likely stay (almost) the same when I need to upgrade.



  • @Dashrender said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @jim9500 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @PhlipElder said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    What's the air-gap to protect against an encryption event if any?

    What's the air-gap to protect against an encryption event if any?

    My backup server has access to the rest of the network - but it pulls the backups to itself vs backups being pushed. The rest of the network can't directly write to it. My backups happen weekly - so my (hope) is that I would recognize what was happening to my live network before it was backed up.

    I have been contemplating doubling my backup storage space to make sure I have enough space to store older file revisions in a ransomware situation.

    Is it a backup or just a copy?

    There isn't a difference. Backups are just decoupled copies.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @DustinB3403 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    Doesn't ntfs have a limit of 16TB per volume?

    NTFS volume limit is 256TB in older systems.

    NTFS has an 8PB volume limit in modern ones.

    The one caveat to NTFS Volumes as far as size goes is the 64TB limit for Volume Shadow Copy snapshots. A lot of products use VSS for their purposes.



  • @PhlipElder said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @DustinB3403 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    Doesn't ntfs have a limit of 16TB per volume?

    NTFS volume limit is 256TB in older systems.

    NTFS has an 8PB volume limit in modern ones.

    The one caveat to NTFS Volumes as far as size goes is the 64TB limit for Volume Shadow Copy snapshots. A lot of products use VSS for their purposes.

    Major caveat there!



  • @jim9500 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    Have any of you used 48TB Windows volumes? Any resources on risk analysis vs ZFS?

    I have two that are close to 60 TB. But they are REFS and hold a lot of large virtual disks.

    REFS on 2019 is what I would wait for, for bare file storage.

    Are you on 2019 now or looking to move off of a Windows file server?



  • @Obsolesce said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @jim9500 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    Have any of you used 48TB Windows volumes? Any resources on risk analysis vs ZFS?

    I have two that are close to 60 TB. But they are REFS and hold a lot of large virtual disks.

    REFS on 2019 is what I would wait for, for bare file storage.

    Are you on 2019 now or looking to move off of a Windows file server?

    ReFS has a bad track record. It's got a future, but has been pretty lacking and presents a bit of risk. Microsoft has had a disastrous track record with storage recently, even if ReFS is supposed to get brought to production levels with 2019, 2019 is questionably production ready. Remember... data loss is why it was pulled out of production in the first place.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @Obsolesce said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @jim9500 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    Have any of you used 48TB Windows volumes? Any resources on risk analysis vs ZFS?

    I have two that are close to 60 TB. But they are REFS and hold a lot of large virtual disks.

    REFS on 2019 is what I would wait for, for bare file storage.

    Are you on 2019 now or looking to move off of a Windows file server?

    ReFS has a bad track record. It's got a future, but has been pretty lacking and presents a bit of risk. Microsoft has had a disastrous track record with storage recently, even if ReFS is supposed to get brought to production levels with 2019, 2019 is questionably production ready. Remember... data loss is why it was pulled out of production in the first place.

    It's been great in my experience. Though, I am using it in such a way the risk is worth the benefits... replication and backup repositories. It's been 100% solid. And like I said, it's all huge files stored on it, and probably not the use case that you seen results in data loss. I haven't seen that anywhere, so only taking your word for it unless you have links for me to do some reading. Not dumb stuff from Tom's or whatever, reputable scenarios in correct use cases.





  • Run a Chkdsk in that volume can take days..



  • @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @Obsolesce said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @jim9500 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    Have any of you used 48TB Windows volumes? Any resources on risk analysis vs ZFS?

    I have two that are close to 60 TB. But they are REFS and hold a lot of large virtual disks.

    REFS on 2019 is what I would wait for, for bare file storage.

    Are you on 2019 now or looking to move off of a Windows file server?

    ReFS has a bad track record. It's got a future, but has been pretty lacking and presents a bit of risk. Microsoft has had a disastrous track record with storage recently, even if ReFS is supposed to get brought to production levels with 2019, 2019 is questionably production ready. Remember... data loss is why it was pulled out of production in the first place.

    If you're talking about why 2019 (and Windows 10 1809) were pulled, that data loss has nothing to do with REFS. Additionally, REFS was removed from Windows 10 for all versions exception workstation.



  • @Dashrender said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @Obsolesce said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    @jim9500 said in Safe to have a 48TB Windows volume?:

    Have any of you used 48TB Windows volumes? Any resources on risk analysis vs ZFS?

    I have two that are close to 60 TB. But they are REFS and hold a lot of large virtual disks.

    REFS on 2019 is what I would wait for, for bare file storage.

    Are you on 2019 now or looking to move off of a Windows file server?

    ReFS has a bad track record. It's got a future, but has been pretty lacking and presents a bit of risk. Microsoft has had a disastrous track record with storage recently, even if ReFS is supposed to get brought to production levels with 2019, 2019 is questionably production ready. Remember... data loss is why it was pulled out of production in the first place.

    If you're talking about why 2019 (and Windows 10 1809) were pulled, that data loss has nothing to do with REFS. Additionally, REFS was removed from Windows 10 for all versions exception workstation.

    I never said it did. Why would it need to be? There are issues with Microsoft and storage in general, problems with ReFS in general, and problems with 2019 in regards to storage. What more do you need to be wary?


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