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Thank you,

Feature Request

edited March 2011 in DrivePool
I for one would like to see the ability to add drives to the pool without needing to assign a drive letter to them.  Right now you are limiting a user to 23 drives (26 letters - A,B, and C).  That may see like a lot, but there are plenty of users that meet or exceed that number.  Plus, it will clean up the console a bit, not presenting the DrivePool drives to the default storage/hard drive tab.

Comments

  • Alex, I would second that recommendation (as we talked about using new drives either for the pool, or not, but not both).  Drive letters would only be for those drives that a user wishes to use for something other than the pool (which probably won't be the majority).
  • Covecube
    I will consider this. But I think straying too far from the way that WHS 2011 does things is not a good idea. It might cause problems down the line.

    I definitely see the advantage of this though.

    So you would have to mount these pool parts somewhere, perhaps in C:\ServerPool\PoolParts ?

    How would the user experience work, you would plug in a drive, format it and leave it unmounted. Then through the add drive to pool wizard DrivePool would mount it for you in special secret location?

    What about backup? Right now you can backup the pool parts to backup your pool. How would you backup path mounted drives?

    Regards,
  • Member

    In my opinion having it work like you describe is perfect, where it is actually mounted shouldn't really matter to a users, maybe the user could be presented a choice to assign driveletters or not, but only for the user to use them, not DrivePool itself.

    And about the backup, who needs backup (like implemented in WHS) if we have folder duplication? The only backup I desire is off-site backup and I would use something like Live Mesh 2011 for that.

    Cheers,

    Danee 

     

  • Alex,

    I would like to chime in with my support for such a feature. In fact, I just used Stablebit's "Contact Us" form to drop you a similar note. I'm sorry I didn't come across this forum thread beforehand.

    I would leave the folder mount point up to the Stablebit software. I would not present any option to the user unless absolutely necessary. The manner in which your software currently works appears to function in a similar manner, though all folder and duplication needs are automated.

    To your question about what would happen when a user adds a drive to the system... I need to qualify my statement by saying that my test system is a custom build. I have to manually mark my disks as "Online" and assign them a drive letter before the WHS 2011 console will recognize them. Hypothetically, your software can detect the disk once it's marked as "Online". I'm already going through the rigamarole of manually mounting disks because my hardware configuration requires it. While I'm sure this won't be the case for users buying into various OEM products, for the custom builders out here (such as myself) the idea of having to use your add-in within the console to define a few parameters shouldn't be an overwhelming process.

    As to your question about backup, I'm riding with Danee's comment above. I am a power user. Your software (assuming it works correctly) offers duplication. I will continue to manually run backups for offsite disks.

    Thank you for taking the time to field our questions and for listening to our needs.

    Cheers,
    -H
  • edited April 2011 Covecube
    As far as I can see, WHS handles new disks as follows:

    • Disk is connected.
    • If disk is formatted with NTFS then it's auto-assigned a drive letter (what happens if there are no more drive letters?).
    • If disk is not formatted, a notification is (supposed to be) issued letting you know that you need to format this disk. I've had trouble getting this to show up in practice for USB disks.

    We can augment the process like this:

    • Disk is connected.
    • If the disk is formatted then everything works as normal.
    • If the disk is not formatted, in addition to the notification, you will see the disk in DrivePool's list of available disks under a new uninitialized group. You get to add the disk to the pool, and in this case it will be formatted for you and you will have the option of hiding it from WHS. Hiding simply means it will not be assigned a drive letter and mounted in some special location.

      The advantage of a hidden disk would be that it would not consume a drive letter.
      A disadvantage would be that you won't be able to put non-pooled data on it (at least not easily).
  • Member
    I like it, assuming that the option for hiding a disk is also available in case the disk is allready formatted.

    Cheers,

    Danee
  • @Danee

    "...hiding a disk is also available in case he disk is already formatted."

    This would be a nicety for sure, but is not required. As Alex pointed out, when a formatted disk is inserted in the system, it is the behavior of WHS 2011 to automatically mount the disk and assign it a drive letter. If the system administrator does not want to have that disk mounted and associated with a drive letter, then he is welcome to remote into the WHS machine, open the Server Management Console, and manually unmount and format the disk.

    That being said, I wonder if there is some hinderance or technical disability which would prevent DrivePool from overriding all "disk mounting" duties?

    Since this feature request only carries pertinence for systems with more than 26 physical disks or partitions, it is fair to assume that an advanced user is at the helm. I would have no qualms manually managing a "pre-formatted" disk.


    This scenario sounds very good, assuming data security remains intact, and disk I/O is not crippled. Would this scenario still present mounted folders in Explorer view (like it does currently) and would we still be able to create / move / destroy folders through the WHS management console?

    I can see few scenarios where may need one or two disks specifically mounted with drive letters. I would intend to add all other disks to the DrivePool storage pool, turning on folder duplication wherever necessary. To me, this would be the most similar in function to WHSv1, including the virtually unlimited number of disks which can be attached and associated with the system.
  • edited April 2011 Covecube

    This scenario sounds very good, assuming data security remains intact, and disk I/O is not crippled. Would this scenario still present mounted folders in Explorer view (like it does currently) and would we still be able to create / move / destroy folders through the WHS management console?
    It should not change anything in terms of I/O or functionality, except being able to easily create non-pooled folders on the hidden pooled drives (at least theoretically).

    The pool would still be a mounted volume @ C:\ServerPool.

    I can see few scenarios where may need one or two disks specifically mounted with drive letters. I would intend to add all other disks to the DrivePool storage pool, turning on folder duplication wherever necessary. To me, this would be the most similar in function to WHSv1, including the virtually unlimited number of disks which can be attached and associated with the system.
    Keep in mind, that you can add non-pooled folders to pooled drives. So in effect, you can have a few pooled drives that are not hidden (with drive letters) and the rest can be hidden. On the non-hidden ones, you can create regular non-pooled folders.
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