I decided to load DriveHarmony, the data pooling add-in from DataCore, onto my WHS2011 RC virtual machine.  Read on for some feedback on this greatly anticipated tool.

DriveHarmony

Last week, Andrew told you that DriveHarmony is now available as a beta.  I downloaded and installed the beta onto my WHS2011 RC virtual machine.  Here’s a rundown of the machine that I used for testing:

  • VMWare Server version 2.0.2;
  • Host machine is a HP HPE390t running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit, two cores from my i7-980X and 4GB of memory allocated to the VM;
  • One 400GB IDE drive harvested from my old 2001 era Gateway desktop, loaded into a ThermalTake Silver River DUO Enclosure using USB 2.0; and,
  • One 500GB Seagate drive that was originally in my HP EX475 MSS, loaded into a RocketFish USB 3.0 3.5” SATA Hard Drive Enclosure.

My installation process was as follows:

  • Add the external enclosures to the HPE390t;
  • Allocate these USB drives to the host machine in VMWare Server;
  • Allocate these drives as new virtual drives in the virtual machine that is running WHS2011 RC;
  • Install DriveHarmony;
  • Create a protected disk;
  • Add about 40 GB of data to that virtual disk using the Move the Folder wizard.

At the end of this install, I expect to have a drive added to WHS2011 that is the size of the smaller IDE drive with RAID1 type mirroring configured.  I expect the process to be easy to implement with acceptable performance.  Could a relative newbie handle this installation and get the results expected, without being a RAID expert?  Let’s find out.

Before we begin, I need to give a shout-out to Nigel Wilks from MediaSmartServer.Net for his excellent guide to installing VMWare Server and WHS2011 on the VM.  Nigel, thanks for the help.  If you are interested in setting up a VM for free, give this tool a look and use Nigel’s guide to help you to implement it.  Now back to business!

Step 1: Add USB Drives to the HPE390t

Easy as pie: plug in the USB cables from each drive to the desktop, plug the power supplies into the power strip, fire up the desktop, and ensure that Windows 7 sees the drives.  I renamed them with the brand name of the related enclosure just to make sure that the names made sense to me.  Once the host system sees the drives, we can give them to the VM’s.

Step 2: Allocate the USB Drives to the Host Machine

First, I added the two USB drives to the VMWare Server host machine.  Bring up the VMWare Server home page and log into the web tool.  Under Inventory, click on the host machine.

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Now click on Add Datastore. I provided the paths of H:\ and O:\ to let the USB drives that were added be found by VMWare Server.  Click on OK, and then ensure that they now show up under the Datastore section in the middle center of the screen.  If they show up here, they can be added to a VM.  Now that the dives are added to the host, time to add them to the VM.

Step 3: Add the USB Drives to the VM for Testing

Make sure that the VM is shut off. All major hardware changes should be performed with the VM shut down.  Select the target VM, and then click Add Hardware.

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Click on Hard Disk. Select Create a New Virtual Disk.

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Click Browse and find the drive that you added to the host. In this example, the RocketFish and ThermalTake USB drives are the ones that I added to the host.

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Click OK and Finish and you’ve added the disk to your VM! Congratulations!  Now on to adding DriveHarmony!