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I need to improve my home storage to add some resilience.

I currently have four disks, as follows:

  • D0: 500Gb (System, Boot)
  • D1: 1Tb
  • D2: 500Gb
  • D3: 250Gb

There's a mix of partitions on there, so it's not JBOD, but data is pretty spread out and not redundant.

As this is my primary PC and I don't want to give up the entire OS to storage, my plan is to use OpenFiler in a VM to create a virtual SAN. I will also use Windows Software RAID to mirror the OS.

Partitions will be created as follows:

D0 P1:  100Mb: System-Reserved Boot
D0 P2:   50Gb: Virtual Machine VMDKs for OS
D0 P3:  350Gb: Data

D1 P1: 100Mb: System-Reserved Boot
D1 P2:  50Gb: Virtual Machine VMDKs for OS
D1 P3: 800Gb: Data

D2 P1: 450Gb: Data

D3 P1: 200Gb: Data

This will result in:

  1. Mirrored boot partition
  2. Mirrored Operating system
  3. Mirrored Virtual machine O/S disks
  4. Four partitions for data

In the four data partitions I will create several large VMDK files, which I will "mount" into OpenFiler as block-storage devices, combined into three RAID arrays (due to the differing disk sizes)

In effect, I'll end up with the following usable partitions

SYSTEM  100Mb the small boot partition created by the Windows 7 installer (RAID-1)
HOST     50Gb the Windows 7 partition (RAID-1)
GUESTS   50Gb Virtual machine Guest VMDK's (RAID-1)
VG1     900Gb Volume group consisting of a RAID-5 and two RAID-1
VG2     300Gb Volume group consisting of a single disk

On VG1 I can dynamically assign storage for my media, photographs, documents, whatever, and it will be safe. On VG2 I can dynamically assign storage for my data that is not critical, and easily recoverable, as it is not safe.

Are there any particular 'gotchas' when implementing a virtual OpenFiler like this? Is the recovery process for a failing disk going to be very problematic?

Thanks.

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