Photoshop workstation: Windows Storage Pools

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element6
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Photoshop workstation: Windows Storage Pools

Unread post by element6 »

I'm researching my wife's next photoshop workstation build. Last time I did this I had a RAID card and several disks to give me 6T of storage. Fast forward a bunch of years to today: Her computer is full, we have an external RAID and a backup. There are about 8T of total files and they are growing. I'm going to take a clean sheet approach and go with a modern architecture with ability to grow. A couple of points then on to my question:

1) There is a large archive with over 6T of files which are not actively worked on but need to be available. Currently these are stored on a 12T RAID 0 with secondary hard drive backup.
2) Recent photos are loaded, worked on and after a month or two could be archived.
3) Current working disk is only 1T and I hear complaints once a week about being full.
4) I have very little storage expertise and am looking for fast, low maintenance, and expandable.
4) I am budget sensitive.

My strategy for new system:

1) Windows 10 Pro
2) 1T NVMe OS disk (c: drive)
3) a tri-mode HBA card which allows combinations of NVMe (2T+) and SATA disks (10T+) to create a large array for photo files.
4) Use Windows Storage Pools to set up an array that combines NVMe and SATA drives to get about 12T of storage. Ive never used WSP but it seems like a great feature?
5) Connect a large single HHD for backup.

I would like to hear some better ideas or errors in my strategy. :idea:

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Vinster
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Re: Photoshop workstation: Windows Storage Pools

Unread post by Vinster »

Great questions.

my thoughts...

1) Yep, good option

2) 2TB NVME's are not that expensive anymore. you can get a samsung or sabrent (my prefered manufacturers) at a decent cost.

3) Sure, but a windows file pool requires a disk to be inserted RAW (MBR/GPT). you can just do that with the ports on the MB. No real need for that card.

4) Yep, I've used these and they work great. To add storage just select "add storage to pool" and just add the drive... it great as it's flexible for adding drives. but doesn't protect you from any HW failures at all you can't use any RAID HW for this. this pool is managed by windows. Also a problem (not really a problem but could be) is your data is scattered within the pool (when thinking about recovery). Build one, add files to it then break the pool or move the disks to a different PC and you'll see what I mean. it's a pain that way, folders will be scattered on multiple disks, but the nice thing is the disks stay in an MBR or GPT so they are accessible outside of the pool. it's just a bit daunting to put the data back together, but you don't have to send your disks away for say a RAID recovery.

5) I recommend here is get a basic 4 disk network NAS (I like Synology, they have a good interface and their support was good the 2 times I needed it), use 6, 8 or 10TB disks in a RAID 10 (you will end up with 12, 16 or 20TB as your final storage) and make it a network drive to the PC, then enable file history in windows and select all the data you want backed up and point to the NAS. The folder structure will be maintained and then the NAS will have your HW redundant file backup.

6) to add to 5, I'd invest in cloud storage for off-site backup. or the nice thing about Synology, they have a cloud storage sync tool built in. also a friend of mine setup another Synology NAS at a friends place and configured an FTP like backup to it. I don't know how he did it, but he's not all that technical and figured it out. For this i recommend a weekly backup.

6.1) the alternative to a NAS offsite backup, a large USB disk to backup the NAS. just plug in a USB drive and you can schedule this in the Synology application.

Remember, you don't have a proper file backup unless you have a backup of the backup... think of that as you go through this process. I can't tell you how many times I've had to revert to a single disk or USB drive on a dark day after a series of failures.

So here you have your adjustable pool, then you have your NAS in a RAID10 with Windows File History (so your 2nd copy of the data) and Synology RAID 10 is your HW failure. Then the USB weekly backup or second NAS protects you from accidental randsom-ware attacks.. you will lose up to a weeks worth of data, but not all of it.

Vin

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element6
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Re: Photoshop workstation: Windows Storage Pools

Unread post by element6 »

Thanks Vin. This helps. I did a little playing around with Windows Pools.

Question: If I am backing up my primary storage pool to a stand-alone external RAID 1 (NAS), should I bother with redundancy, striping, or parity in the storage pool?

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Vinster
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Re: Photoshop workstation: Windows Storage Pools

Unread post by Vinster »

it depends on your risk and fear of data loss. doing that is only hardware redundancy. if you get a virus, delete the data and clear the recycle bin, randsomware, the data is lost.

I don't in mine. I have my pool set as a RAID 0 array for speed (fixed size, hardware raid set in the MB). and then my backup is a RAID 1. then I have a 3rd backup of the backup in 1 week intervals to an external drive. With that I focus on the main pool for speed and ease of access.

Vin