How to reduce or eliminate CHKDSK scan times on large SAN volumes?

350945 pts.
Tags:
CHKDSK
DAS
RAID
RAID 1
SAN
SCSI
Storage
I'm currently evaluating upgrade options for our primary Windows server storage volumes. I am trying to build in a solution in the upgrade to the problem of the time it takes to run CHKDSK on large, busy volumes mounted on Windows. In the days when storage volumes were up to a few hundred MB of DAS RAID this could usually be done in a few hours.

However with current systems with multi-TB volumes, especially those with SATA drives and iSCSI interfaces, the time to run a CHKDSK is stretching out to into 10's of hours or even days. Finding an acceptable time window to take a volume offline is therefore becoming very hard.

The only trick I know for working around this from the good old days of DAS RAID is that if you used RAID1 you could deliberately break the mirror, remove one set of drives, mount them in another system (of course you had to have the same SCSI/RAID controller in that system too), run a CHKDSK offline and then re-mirror the drives back together once completed. But even with DAS this wouldn't work if using RAID5. In the current generation of SAN/NAS solutions have you faced this issue? If so how have you handled it?

Have you deployed a storage solution that has been so bullet-proof it has never needed a CHKDSK to be run on a Windows volume? Or do you know of a clever way to use Snapshots, Replication and/or other SAN/NAS features to work around having to run a CHKDSK?

Software/Hardware used:
RAID1

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

If you are in a SAN environment then you can take a snapshot of the volume and run a chkdsk against the snapshot (not a repair, just a check) to see if there is a problem. If there is then schedule the needed downtime.

The other solution is smaller volumes, with less files on them. The larger the volume the more files there will be on it, so the longer the check disk will take. If you create more smaller volumes then the chkdsk won’t take as long.

Discuss This Question: 2  Replies

 
There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when members answer or reply to this question.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
  • ITKE
    [...] 2. Aguacer0 and mrdenny helped out again when asked how to reduce or eliminate CHKDSK scan times on large SAN volumes? [...]
    0 pointsBadges:
    report
  • Tsupasat
    NetworkTimeout.com offers free application-level packet analysis that includes CIFS, NFS, and iSCSI errors and performance metrics. This is one way to identify corrupted volumes or files on your networked storage systems without having to run chkdsk. However, it requires that you register and upload a packet capture. www.networktimeout.com Also see our blog post on this topic: http://www.extrahop.com/post/blog/performance-metrics/cifs-errors/
    30 pointsBadges:
    report

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

To follow this tag...

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Thanks! We'll email you when relevant content is added and updated.

Following