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I am looking to use a combination of iSCSI (Drobo 8-drive device) and Windows Home Server (either an HP appliance or building one from an older machine).

Will WHS + iSCSI work? If so will it work with an HP MediaSmart appliance or do I need to build a server for this particular task?

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migrated from May 7 '10 at 6:46

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WHS 1 no, WHS2 (aka Vail) yes. The old WHS can initiate just fine but Drive Extender won't acknowledge the disks so you can't add them to the storage pool.

It seems like a slightly redundant setup though...

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Redundant in that it's tons of storage, yes. The idea is to have both tons of storage AND a simple (daily) backup and recovery scheme that requires minimal/no user interaction. – Parvenu74 May 6 '10 at 16:23
Well what I was thinking was that both the Drobo and WHS both do data redundancy so why not just connect the drives individually directly to the WHS and skip the extra Drobo layer. Granted, the number of drives might make it impractical, I'm no expert in WHS appliances ^^ – Oskar Duveborn May 6 '10 at 16:55
"Why not just connect the drives individually directly to the WHS and skip the extra Drobo layer?" The HP WHS appliances with which I am familiar hold 4 HDDs, which when filled with 2TB drives "ought to be enough storage for anyone" but the storage target was actually between 10 and 15TB. Another approach that might work is to set up the Drobo(s) on the network, map network drives to the workstations on the LAN, and then set WHS to specifically exclude the networked drives from the backup plan (which might be default behavior, actually...) – Parvenu74 May 6 '10 at 18:16
Well considering the Drobo is quite expensive and most of the cost covers duplicate functionality already in WHS, perhaps an eSATA cabinet with more drives in it connected to that HP Mediasmart server would be an alternative. Or get a VIA 8 drive mini-rackserver and OEM one ^^ – Oskar Duveborn May 6 '10 at 18:34

The Main reason the DE does not work with iSCSI is because DE comes up BEFORE the iscsi stack while booting. WHS2 should support the iscsi stack.

What i suggest is a Cheap HBA(IntelPro1000T or MT) to handle the iscsi stack. then install WHS to the iscsi target. :)

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