Windows Users - Are you using Storage Spaces (Pools)?

Hey gang,
I just purchased a 4TB internal drive to add because my current 2TB was full.
I’m debating whether to just install the 4TB as a regular setup using another drive letter OR to use the Windows 8 feature called Storage Spaces. Are any of you using Storage Spaces, if so, please let me know your configuration…(its like the modern version of RAID).

If I understand correctly, this would allow me to have 3TB of Virtual Disk space set-up as 2-way mirror, HOWEVER, given that one of the drive is only 2TB, if my 4TB drive fails (and assuming it contains more than 2TB of data at that point), only 2TB will be “safely” stored by the mirror, because thats the max available on the smaller drive. Which makes me think now that my idea of using Storage Spaces may not be the best idea… as I’d actually be “losing” the additional 2TB that I paid for when I bought my 4TB drive. Perhaps a better solution is to install them as regular separate drives, and just back them up each externally…

Buying a drive almost requires buying 2 additional drives nowadays. One for onsite-backup, and another for offsite backup.

Thoughts from the Windows users?

An article with some rough speed tests.

From that, it would appear that Storage Spaces provides excellent performance compared to hardware RAID1, though much better on the write side, which is of little use to library users. Note the figures are for HARDWARE RAID1, which will be better performing than the software version, which apparently does not truly support parallel seeks, so SS may actually work better than software RAID1, while providing the same redundancy.

Of course, given that you are only using two disks, it makes more sense for mirroring that they are the same size. If you had several disks, then they could be of any sizes, as long as the totals for each mirror set was the same in total, like 4 + 2 = 3 + 3.

What are you using the drives for? If for sample libraries, then it may be conceptually simpler to have duplicate disks set up to be instant swap-over drives (same folder structure and same drive letter) in case of failure.

However, if you are read/writing huge data sets, SS sounds like it is far superior to hardware or software RAID1, while providing the benefit of being able to natively read the disks in any W8.x computer. I had to get a $100 program to recover data from a RAID1 disk in my NAS, and it was nowhere as simple to use as Windows Explorer.

Of course, those tests don’t show how well SS works for DAWs and libraries, where real-time latency minimisation is critical.

Speed improvements are not always good for latency. For example, Samsung’s RAPID technology for its EVO drives improves data throughput by 3, and lowers average latency by 2/3, but maximum latency goes from 0.8ms to 31ms, which makes it likely to lead to glitches when used for DAWs or samples. DAWs rely on worst case latency, and that is through the roof!

I believe this applies to the 840 series, yes? The 850 series does not appear to have these latency bumps.

I only mentioned the Samsung SSDs to illustrate my first point: that speed improvements are NOT NECESSARILLY accompanied by latency improvements.

Note that the 850 are the older ones (yes, it is confusing), while the 840s are current, so the issue is relevant now. However, it was not meant to be my focus. I have run the Samsung SSD 840 EVO Performance Restoration Software.

Understood thanks… The 850 Pro is actually newer and uses the 3D VNAND.

Thanks for your input Patajanli. I’ve decided to use the two internal drives (WD Black) as regular drives - not storage spaces. I use a 4TB for projects and a 2TB for sample libraries. I ended up doing it this way because I didnt want to lose a terabyte of virtual space, AND because I read an article that explained how my mirror can only be as big as the smaller drive (cant mirror a full 4TB on a 2TB). So it makes more sense to me to use them as regular drives for now, and to perform mirrors manually to external backup drives.

As a side note, my C: runs on an 840 EVO 250GB, which I bought after the latest firmware release date listed on their site. Should I still run the Performance Restoration software on it??

It may have been bought after the date, but that doesn’t mean that the firmware is.

If you run the software, it will tell you the serial number and firmware version of your EVO SSD(s). Compare the latter to the latest firmware.

Note that it can take a while to run, and do a backup of your drive first.