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Replacing Server HDD's with SSD's

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I need to replace a couple of 15K Server hard drives (currently RAID1) because of suspected hardware problems.

 

When doing a nightly backup with Acronis True Image Server, it keeps reporting errors on the source drive and halts.

 

All tests that I've run on the hard drives have caused the system to hang, so it's a pretty safe bet that there are faulty drive(s).

 

I also noticed that no matter how many times I run Diskeeper, there is still considerably high fragmentation on the partition.

 

The only way I can get Acronis True Image to complete a problem-free backup is to manually defragment the drive and run CHKDSK (with a reboot). It's a bit drastic, but it's better than having no backup at all.

 

I read that Intel SSD's (and probably others) do not require third party defragmenting because they have their own on-board solution.

 

The other concern I have is recovering (or transferring) the image from the original hard drives onto the SSD's using Acronis. Is there a size difference in the SSD data structure that would cause a problem if I was to move the entire system from the HDD's to the SSD's?

 

Any helpful advice would be appreciated.

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I need to replace a couple of 15K Server hard drives (currently RAID1) because of suspected hardware problems.

 

When doing a nightly backup with Acronis True Image Server, it keeps reporting errors on the source drive and halts.

 

All tests that I've run on the hard drives have caused the system to hang, so it's a pretty safe bet that there are faulty drive(s).

 

I also noticed that no matter how many times I run Diskeeper, there is still considerably high fragmentation on the partition.

 

The only way I can get Acronis True Image to complete a problem-free backup is to manually defragment the drive and run CHKDSK (with a reboot). It's a bit drastic, but it's better than having no backup at all.

 

I read that Intel SSD's (and probably others) do not require third party defragmenting because they have their own on-board solution.

 

The other concern I have is recovering (or transferring) the image from the original hard drives onto the SSD's using Acronis. Is there a size difference in the SSD data structure that would cause a problem if I was to move the entire system from the HDD's to the SSD's?

 

Any helpful advice would be appreciated.

I don't know much about your Acronis issue but defragging an SSD is pointless. You need to defrag normal hard drives but doing that to flash drive or SSD will kill as these kind of drives spread out their writes in a manner designed to reduce wear and tear on the SSD/Flash.

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I don't know much about your Acronis issue but defragging an SSD is pointless. You need to defrag normal hard drives but doing that to flash drive or SSD will kill as these kind of drives spread out their writes in a manner designed to reduce wear and tear on the SSD/Flash.

 

Thanks Jeruselem. I already mentioned that in my original post. "I read that Intel SSD's (and probably others) do not require third party defragmenting..."

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Do you have an IOPS issue? A well defined load profile? A boatload of cash?

 

Stop trying to solve a problem that may or may not exist, just replace the drives under warranty. They're under warranty, right?

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Do you have an IOPS issue? A well defined load profile? A boatload of cash?

 

Stop trying to solve a problem that may or may not exist, just replace the drives under warranty. They're under warranty, right?

 

The drives were purchased from an IT company that my client no longer deals with, so that makes things a little awkward. I could always send the drives off to Seagate, but that means the Server will be without drives for some time. I'll check to see if they do advance replacements.

 

It's a difficult one, because my best guess is that the drives are the problem. There is the possibility it could be the controller. Not having components to swap-out makes it a little harder to identify the actual cause.

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If it's the controller, SSDs will only make the problem worse.

 

If it is the drives themselves, SSDs won't solve a problem that isn't there.

 

SSDs aren't magic.

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SSD's ARE MAGIC ! Every time you say they're not, a SSD Fairy dies.

 

Seriously though, the main reason I was leaning toward SSD's was because of the fragmentation issue. I was hoping the SSD magic might help with that. The existing drives are quick enough at 15K RPM.

 

Can you suggest a definitive way to test the drives without breaking the RAID?

 

SeaTools doesn't work on them in the Windows Server environment and the documentation states that running SeaTools in DOS mode will test the drives while they're still in the RAID, but there's a good chance it will be destructive.

 

I've tried using Microscope diagnostics, but the system freezes during the tests.

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What I dont understand is why would you need to defrag the RAID in the first place. It wouldnt matter if all the data was 80% fragmented or whatever, Acronis should make an image regardless of fragmentation. So, from my POV, its a problem with Acronis or a hardware one. Your problem is there so Id find out what is wrong there first.

 

Secondly, the reason SSDs do not need defragmentation is due to its very quick seek times, in the order of 0.1ms, in comparison to a typical HDDs 12-13ms seek time which is 120 times slower than a SSD. Sure they are magic in terms of their speed but theyre bloody expensive.

 

Thirdly, there are other ways of backing up your data other than using Acronis. I suggest looking into them first before pulling anything out for replacement. And why are you using acronis in the first place???

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Acronis TrueImage Server does a decent enough job. It's simple enough to schedule a full system image to an external hard drive after hours. It doesn't take long to perform the backup and verify. The process works very well. I've recovered completely dead servers and workstations in the past using Acronis and I've had no problems with it.

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I think you might be thinking of TRIM support on SSDs, not defrag.

Which of course, doesn't work behind a RAID controller.

 

...

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I think you might be thinking of TRIM support on SSDs, not defrag.

Which of course, doesn't work behind a RAID controller.

 

...

 

Yeah..........even I know that........now.

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Considering some of your helpful posts, I might have a rethink of how to approach this problem.

 

The cheapest and easiest is to reinstall Acronis. There's a new version out now that's available as a fee upgrade, so it's a perfect time to fully remove the old one and try with the new version. Sometimes, that's all it takes.

 

If it is still presenting problems, then I'll get some new drives sent in under advance replacement warranty (yes, chrisbrownie, it is a real server). Even those idiots who installed it knew the difference and bought a real server and not a PC. I couldn't count the number of times I've been called by new clients to fix their "server", only to find that it was a PC running Windows XP Pro sharing files on a workgroup.

 

When I was originally called in by this client to have a look at this particular server, it was one of three servers in a room. It was supposed to be the PDC, whilst the other two were supposed to be a file server and a terminal server. Their previous IT people had been regularly 'working' on and maintaining all three systems for years. When I initially inspected the servers, something didn't seem right, so I had a look around the back and found that two of them weren't even hooked-up to the network.

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