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LumberJackGeek

Migrating from Windows Server 2019 Storage Spaces

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Hi everyone,

 

I've spent probably 30 minutes to an hour trying to find an answer to the best way to migrate. I currently have about 15 gigs of data in RAID10 using Windows Server 2019 storage spaces, and I am considering switching to unRAID. My original plan was to spin up an unRAID VM using Hyper-V, and then buying a Proraid bay and buying new 4 TB disks, and using unRAID with Proraid to transfer all my data over through the VM, and then flattening my Windows Server environment and running just unRAID once all the data is migrated.

 

Now I realize that Hyper-V doesn't do USB flash drives for passthrough, and unRAID can only be used using a flashdrive. So should I look into using Virtual Box to accomplish what I am wanting, or would that not work either? Is there a better upgrade path? I assume unRAID won't be able to read the Windows Storage Spaces, but maybe I am wrong?

 

Thanks for any help/guidance folks can provide!

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1. Unraid as a guest in a VM is problematic at best, it's unsupported so you would pretty much be on your own trying to get it to work.

2. Unraid doesn't work well with USB attached array members, it is supported though with many known limitations, mostly reliability and longevity.

 

Is there ANY way you can source some old hardware to temporarily spin up another box? That way you can keep your existing rig running while you put Unraid through its paces using a trial install, and if you like it you can migrate your data over the network to your new drives. After the drives are populated, it's easy to move all the Unraid drives with data intact back to your permanent server hardware.

 

The only issue with moving Unraid drives from box to box is possible hard drive controller issues, Unraid needs direct access to the drives with no RAID translation or modification. Plain HBA's allow migration at will. (some USB enclosures translate or modify drives, see point 2.)

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Welcome, @LumberJackGeek

 

I would say @jonathanm's recommendation is probably the way to go: Install UnRaid and test on another rig.  It wouldn't have to be your production server, but maybe something low-powered with the new drives and then switch over.

2 hours ago, jonathanm said:

Is there ANY way you can source some old hardware to temporarily spin up another box? That way you can keep your existing rig running while you put Unraid through its paces using a trial install, and if you like it you can migrate your data over the network to your new drives. After the drives are populated, it's easy to move all the Unraid drives with data intact back to your permanent server hardware. 

 

And I wanted clarification on this...

7 hours ago, LumberJackGeek said:

I currently have about 15 gigs of data in RAID10 using Windows Server 2019 storage spaces, and I am considering switching to unRAID.

Do you really have only 15 GigaBytes of data??  You can save that  to a $10 flash drive or upload to some cloud storage while you try out UnRaid on your hardware.

 

 

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Sorry, I meant 15 Terabytes. And if there really is no other way to do this without setting up a whole new rig I guess unRAID isn't for me. I am shocked there's not a better way to migrate data.

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Posted (edited)

Go to a few garage sales.  You should be able to find some OLD computer that has at least 4 (without parity protection.  Preferably, six if you want to use 4Tb drives with parity protection)  SATA ports.  The basic Unraid server setup will run fine on 10-12 year old hardware.  The one thing you will probably want is a Gb Network connectivity on that PC.  Otherwise, a slow transfer will become agonizing slow at 100Mb... 

 

One more point, I would probably be looking at using 8TB drives rather than 4TB drives.  In case you didn't realize it, even if you use 8TB drives in your Unraid server, you can still add those old 4TB drives from your old Windows setup in the Unraid server as data drives.  Unraid only requires that the parity drive be larger than any of the data drives. You can mix data drive sizes as you see that I have done on my Test Bed server.  

Edited by Frank1940

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The fact that it's 2019 and that's the best solution to unRAID's data migration problem, shows a very big, glaring problem for unRAID.

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1 hour ago, LumberJackGeek said:

Sorry, I meant 15 Terabytes. And if there really is no other way to do this without setting up a whole new rig I guess unRAID isn't for me. I am shocked there's not a better way to migrate data.

If you can ever get your data onto disks that can be read in isolation then migrating data is easy enough.     You set up Unraid with at least one disk in the array.   You then plug in the disk with data on it (using USB or SATA) as an Unassigned Device, and then copy the data to the Unraid array.   Once the data has been copied then the disk in question can be added to the array to give more space.    Repeat as many times as necessary.

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Right, and I thought had a solution with Proraid, but then I was told unRAID has problems with that. It seems there's no good, easy way to migrate to unRAID, how is this something that has been so easily overlooked? If you are building a platform you want folks to migrate to, there should be an easy, simple way to do that.

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Posted (edited)

Most people simply plug in the data drives via USB and copy their data off onto Unraid array drives.

 

The other common alternative is to copy the files over the network onto Unraid.

Edited by itimpi

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How do you manage your backups? Perhaps you could leverage your current backup strategy to recover your data to the Unraid array.

 

Also, you could likely set up a Windows VM in Unraid and pass through your current storage spaces drives.

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36 minutes ago, LumberJackGeek said:

It seems there's no good, easy way to migrate to unRAID

Many people have migrated to Unraid and without much difficulty. It just depends on what you are migrating from. Probably many things don't have any built-in capability to read

On 5/15/2019 at 1:43 PM, LumberJackGeek said:

RAID10 using Windows Server 2019 storage spaces

As mentioned, if you can present it one disk at a time then it should be easy. Or if you can have your

On 5/15/2019 at 1:43 PM, LumberJackGeek said:

Windows Server 2019

on the network at the same time then it should be easy.

 

If you have an actual RAID controller that presents your RAID10 as a single volume then it might be possible to mount that using Unassigned Devices, depending on the filesystem used. NTFS is supported.

 

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No my current RAID setup is a software RAID using Windows Storage Spaces. Copying the data over to a "network" would mean standing up another machine, which is what I am trying to avoid by doing VM.

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One option that might work is to setup unRAID on the current PC without touching or overwriting the OS drive, or the Storage Spaces drives.

You need to have at least one hard drive (get 8TB if you can, and remember the Parity Drive requirement to be just as big or bigger than other drives) and another smaller drive (preferrably an SSD) to act a cache and hosting a Windows Server 2019 VM.

* Unplug window server 2019 HDD so we don't accidentally touch it. Unplug the storage space drives as well to be safe.

* Boot up unRAID.

* Assign the new drive as array member.

* Assign the other drive as a cache drive.

* Create a Windows Server 2019 VM.

* Shutdown

* Attach the storage spaces drives (by USB is you absolutely have too - I don't know if there will be recognition problems on Windows)

* Passthru the disks to the VM (by attaching the USB bay, or perform controller pass thru)

* Windows Server 2019 should be able to mount the storage spaces drives

* Windows Server 2019 should now be able to move files from a single drive (or at least migrate and fill out the unRAID drive)

* Remove freed drive from storage spaces. shutdown VM. detach from VM

* Stop Unraid array, add the freed drive

* Repeat and loop until all drives have been processed.

* Delete Windows 2019 VM

* Delete Window 2019 installation

* Reuse last HDD

* Add parity drive

There, you should be done.

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Thanks, that mostly might work except for the fact that I am running RAID10, so I won't be able to just "free 1 drive", I have to free all 15TB's of space before I can do anything. Virtualization Windows on unRAID might work. I just wish I could play with unRAID before making the leap.

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