Managing RAID volumes for failure tolerance in Windows 2000

Watch out for physical disk space and fault tolerance in Windows 2000.

Managing raid volumes for failure tolerance in windows 2000
Rick Cook

Windows 2000 increases the separation between logical and physical storage. In general this is a blessing for storage administrators since it makes it easier to manage storage in logical volumes without having to worry about factors like the physical size of the disk. However administrators still have to pay attention to the physical disks and the actual location of storage when setting up fault-tolerant volumes on Windows 2000.

While the logical volumes are managed as independent disks, what usually fails is a physical disk. Since a physical disk may have all or parts of several logical volumes, it is important to allow for that when allocating space for recovery on the system. Veritas (, a maker of storage-management software, recommends using separate physical disks for the recovery capacity on a system and to make sure each disk has a capacity at least as large as the largest volume in the failure-tolerant group. As a general rule, Veritas recommends at least one hot spare disk for each ten disks that are part of a failure tolerant volume with a minimum of one spare disk for any disk group that contains failure tolerant volumes.

Veritas offers a number of best practices for managing Windows 2000 volumes in a white paper on its Web site. While the white paper is geared toward the company's Volume Manager for Windows product, much of the advice is broadly applicable.

Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.

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Related Book

The Windows 2000 Professional Handbook--Administrator's Advantage Series
Author : Louis Columbus
Publisher : Charles River Media
Published : Jan 2001
Summary :
Focusing on the needs of the technical professional who is responsible for a series of Windows NT and Windows 2000 systems, The Windows 2000 Professional Handbook is designed to be both a handy desk reference in addition to a textbook for MCSE courses. This book provides readers with insights into how Microsoft's latest enterprise-based operating system solves the connectivity challenges with hands-on examples and cases that arise in organizations running multiple operating systems.

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