Guide To Building A Media Storage Server - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 7891 Old 10-09-2008, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by WeeboTech View Post

Thank you for all the information and help with this!

No problem! I went through the same thing when reading mfr doc's before purchasing my areca raid card. There are always vague or indirect instructions at some point that leave me feeling uncertain as to their effect until I've actually sat down, and stepped through them in practice.

EDIT: I created a 2 disk raidset. I then created a R1 volume (1GB, for quicker init), and a R0 volume (using the remaining available space). It worked great. You can do exactly what you wanted.

Also I added the other 2 hdd's as pass-through disks. It's just as we assumed, pass-through is Areca's terminology for JBOD. The disks were presented to the OS as storage devices without being in an array/volume. There is also a JBOD configuration item (under Sytem Configuration), but I believe that presents every connected disk as JBOD, with no choice to use them in a raidset.
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post #272 of 7891 Old 10-09-2008, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by odditory View Post

I had many 400-disc binders filled with DVD"s to transfer to soft-storage and I attacked it by building two systems with 5 x DVD-RW drives each (total of 10 drives) and then just having five DVD Decrypter instances per system ripping to VIDEO_TS folders, then ejecting upon completion.

I think I might use one of my existing systems for this (max 5 drives). Any considerations with regards to CPU & RAM? Is a stock E2160 (1.80GHz) w/2GB DDR2 667 sufficient? Also, since the final destination is an unRAID server, I won't be ripping directly. Is a RAID0 of 2xWD6400AAKS fast enough? I'll be doing overnight transfers of DVD rips to the unRAID server.
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post #273 of 7891 Old 10-09-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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I built a pc that I have been using as a server/htpc. The htpc part is just for the kids to watch cartoons on and is only hooked up to a CRT tv. For that reason I run vista ultimate as the os. I have been adding drives to it when I need to so I have a mix of drives in it. My only back-up is a software backup from disk to disk (no raid). I want to see what you think would be the best direction to go and what parts I should get. My storage is full so it is time to add more. Here is what I have:

Main Board GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L
Processor Intel Pentium E2140 Allendale 1.6GHz (OC to 3.0)
Hard Drives Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB (OS drive)
Memory OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (4 x 1GB)
Graphics Card EVGA 256-P2-N741-LR GeForce 8500GT
Sata card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16816124003 (originally bought to add esata to old pc)

My storage drives are
(2) WD IDE 250 gb
(1) WD sata 500 gb (RE)
(1) WD sata 500 gb (SE)
(2) WD sata 750 gb (green)

I have 2 of the drives in external sata cases that I originally bought for backups. This has become kind of hard to manage all the different backups. It is probally time to upgrade to some type of raid set-up with some bigger drives. I don't know much about raid and I dont think my motherboard has any raid support. I would like to either add 2-3 drive at least 1 tb or 1.5 tb each. My case will hold 6 drives and has 3 more 5 1/4 slots open I could use. These are the questions I have.

Had raid number should I run?
How many drives would I need to start it?
Can I add new drives later to expand storage with reformating the whole raid drive?
Would I be better off selling the drives I have and getting bigger ones or use what I have and add to it?
Do they all need to be the same size and type of drive?
Is the sata card i have useful for raid or anything else?

Thanks
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post #274 of 7891 Old 10-09-2008, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vindii View Post

I built a pc that I have been using as a server/htpc. The htpc part is just for the kids to watch cartoons on and is only hooked up to a CRT tv. For that reason I run vista ultimate as the os. I have been adding drives to it when I need to so I have a mix of drives in it. My only back-up is a software backup from disk to disk (no raid). I want to see what you think would be the best direction to go and what parts I should get. My storage is full so it is time to add more. Here is what I have:

Main Board GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L
Processor Intel Pentium E2140 Allendale 1.6GHz (OC to 3.0)
Hard Drives Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB (OS drive)
Memory OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (4 x 1GB)
Graphics Card EVGA 256-P2-N741-LR GeForce 8500GT
Sata card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16816124003 (originally bought to add esata to old pc)

My storage drives are
(2) WD IDE 250 gb
(1) WD sata 500 gb (RE)
(1) WD sata 500 gb (SE)
(2) WD sata 750 gb (green)

I have 2 of the drives in external sata cases that I originally bought for backups. This has become kind of hard to manage all the different backups. It is probally time to upgrade to some type of raid set-up with some bigger drives. I don't know much about raid and I dont think my motherboard has any raid support. I would like to either add 2-3 drive at least 1 tb or 1.5 tb each. My case will hold 6 drives and has 3 more 5 1/4 slots open I could use. These are the questions I have.

Had raid number should I run?
How many drives would I need to start it?
Can I add new drives later to expand storage with reformating the whole raid drive?
Would I be better off selling the drives I have and getting bigger ones or use what I have and add to it?
Do they all need to be the same size and type of drive?
Is the sata card i have useful for raid or anything else?

Thanks

You didn't mention what other tasks your server is running in addition to it's ht streaming role. If you are using it to run other windows based software you might want to stick with a windows based solution, but that's up to you to decide.

I don't think I would recommend software/hardware raid in your situation, unless you want additional speed, beyond what a single hdd provides. Raid has the advantage of speed, but the disadvantage of total array loss in the case of multiple hdd failure (beyond what your selected raid level can handle). It's also really annoying to pick a single hdd size/model and stick to it with the constant advances in hdd tech.

The cheapest way to leverage existing multi-sized hdd's while protecting your data is to use some sort of software solution. If you need windows (based on your answer to the above) then stick with WHS, or Flexraid. If you are OK with the server not supporting windows applications then use Unraid (it's pretty much set and forget).

Order the trial for WHS here (free, no shipping charge), download Unraid and Flexraid and try them all out and see which one you like the best.
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post #275 of 7891 Old 10-09-2008, 09:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshin-san View Post

You didn't mention what other tasks your server is running in addition to it's ht streaming role. If you are using it to run other windows based software you might want to stick with a windows based solution, but that's up to you to decide.

I don't think I would recommend software/hardware raid in your situation, unless you want additional speed, beyond what a single hdd provides. Raid has the advantage of speed, but the disadvantage of total array loss in the case of multiple hdd failure (beyond what your selected raid level can handle). It's also really annoying to pick a single hdd size/model and stick to it with the constant advances in hdd tech.

The cheapest way to leverage existing multi-sized hdd's while protecting your data is to use some sort of software solution. If you need windows (based on your answer to the above) then stick with WHS, or Flexraid. If you are OK with the server not supporting windows applications then use Unraid (it's pretty much set and forget).

Order the trial for WHS here (free, no shipping charge), download Unraid and Flexraid and try them all out and see which one you like the best.

I would like to stay with vista just for VMC. Sounds like I should look at flexraid.
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post #276 of 7891 Old 10-09-2008, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vindii View Post

I would like to stay with vista just for VMC. Sounds like I should look at flexraid.

Gents, while I love the concept of flexraid, and would love to see it come to fruition, my personal opinion is that it's not ready to rock and roll yet. (sorry, spectrumbx). Not to say, it won't be, but it's not there at THIS point in time.

With data storage you want to go with rock solid solutions, whether it's hardware or software, and solutions that have been stress tested for years, down to the bedrock.

Hell, I don't even trust half the hardware RAID cards out there.. So, please be careful when choosing a solution for long term storage. Choose something that's widely accepted, adopted, and tried and true. When things go wrong, you do not want to be in the minority.
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post #277 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by kenshin-san View Post

: I created a 2 disk raidset. I then created a R1 volume (1GB, for quicker init), and a R0 volume (using the remaining available space). It worked great. You can do exactly what you wanted.

Also I added the other 2 hdd's as pass-through disks. It's just as we assumed, pass-through is Areca's terminology for JBOD. The disks were presented to the OS as storage devices without being in an array/volume. There is also a JBOD configuration item (under Sytem Configuration), but I believe that presents every connected disk as JBOD, with no choice to use them in a raidset.

This is perfect! I can have 2 drives being two volumes for unRAID.
1 as the cache (RAID1) 1 as the parity (RAID0).

Considering I would have to use those two drives as single volumes for parity and cache anyway, I think I'll gain allot by having them as a SAFEXX arrangement on a cached controller!
Thank you for looking into this!
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post #278 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 06:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Gents, while I love the concept of flexraid, and would love to see it come to fruition, my personal opinion is that it's not ready to rock and roll yet. (sorry, spectrumbx). Not to say, it won't be, but it's not there at THIS point in time.

With data storage you want to go with rock solid solutions, whether it's hardware or software, and solutions that have been stress tested for years, down to the bedrock.

Hell, I don't even trust half the hardware RAID cards out there.. So, please be careful when choosing a solution for long term storage. Choose something that's widely accepted, adopted, and tried and true. When things go wrong, you do not want to be in the minority.

So can you recomend a direction that I should go with based on my post above? I was thinking something like a raid card and 3 new drives. Not sure if I should get rid of all the drives I have now or if I should just get more 750's? I'm currently backing up 1 750 to another 750 and so on with Genie backup pro. Seems like there is a better way.
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post #279 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 08:37 AM
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What is the best option for a RAID5 on Windows Server that you are able to add more drives without breaking the array? That's all I want.
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post #280 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by jagojago View Post

What is the best option for a RAID5 on Windows Server that you are able to add more drives without breaking the array? That's all I want.

Since FlexRAID is still in its infancy, I would say VST Pro 2008. Just check the list of supported chipsets on the motherboard compatibility guide. Alas, the online store seems to be currently unavailable and I'm not sure if it's just a glitch or if it's long term.
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post #281 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagojago View Post

What is the best option for a RAID5 on Windows Server that you are able to add more drives without breaking the array? That's all I want.

As said below, otherwise a hardware/fakeraid RAID card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Since FlexRAID is still in its infancy, I would say VST Pro 2008. Just check the list of supported chipsets on the motherboard compatibility guide. Alas, the online store seems to be currently unavailable and I'm not sure if it's just a glitch or if it's long term.

Yup, VST Pro will do it. The store is probably down because of the transition from Ciprico to Dot Hill systems. I suspect it will remain down for some time.
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post #282 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Yup, VST Pro will do it. The store is probably down because of the transition from Ciprico to Dot Hill systems. I suspect it will remain down for some time.

Just tried calling the number to try to get a license. The customer rep informed me it's already been sold to Dot Hill Systems. Should have bought it a couple of days ago when I still had the chance. Hopefully, Dot Hill Systems will still have it available for consumers... *sigh*
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post #283 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 09:44 AM
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I wonder how much VST will cost? Sounds like it's right up my alley.

HTPC: Intel e6300 2.8ghz, Intel DG45ID, 2gb DDR2, Radeon 5570, MCE IR receiver, Yamaha RX-V663 receiver via HDMI, panasonic ax100u, 145" S-I-L-V-E-R painted screen, 2x Roku 3's, chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Vizio M602i-B3
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post #284 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 09:54 AM
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I wonder how much VST will cost? Sounds like it's right up my alley.

It was $49 which is very reasonable. After the transition to Dot Hill Systems, I don't know how much it will cost or if it will even be still available for sale.
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post #285 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by kenshin-san View Post

Order the trial for WHS here (free, no shipping charge), download Unraid and Flexraid and try them all out and see which one you like the best.


You don't have to order WHS, you can simply go to MS Connect here
https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer

click on TEST, then join 'Connect' on that page (It's free) or use your LiveID, and then download fully functional WHS that's valid for 6 months.
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post #286 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 11:34 AM
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It was $49 which is very reasonable. After the transition to Dot Hill Systems, I don't know how much it will cost or if it will even be still available for sale.

I thought Kapone said that this only works with ciprico cards?
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post #287 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 11:35 AM
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I thought Kapone said that this only works with ciprico cards?

Ciprico cards and onboard Intel ICH SATA ports.
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post #288 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 11:45 AM
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I'm sorry, I must be missing something here (so please excuse all the questions).

What are the benefits of VST over the raid capabilities built in to windows? It doesn't look like it supports online capacity expansion which is one of the main reasons I didn't recommend windows raid in the first place, VST looks very similar to.

OCE imho is fairly important in a media server (my dad has a 3ware card that doesn't support OCE for example, and he asked if he could come use my array as temporary storage so he could add another hdd to his array )

If he does decide to go with software raid, purchase new drives, and forgo OCE, why would this be a better solution than Windows Raid 5?

Here's a tom's hardware review btw:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...id,1970-3.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

You don't have to order WHS, you can simply go to MS Connect here
https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer

click on TEST, then join 'Connect' on that page (It's free) or use your LiveID, and then download fully functional WHS that's valid for 6 months.

Sweet! Thanks for the link!
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post #289 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshin-san View Post

I'm sorry, I must be missing something here (so please excuse all the questions).

What are the benefits of VST over the raid capabilities built in to windows? It doesn't look like it supports online capacity expansion which is one of the main reasons I didn't recommend windows raid in the first place, VST looks very similar to.

OCE imho is incredibly important in a media server.

If he decides to go with software raid, purchase new drives, and forgo OCE,. Why would this be a better solution than windows raid 5?

Here's a tom's hardware review btw:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...id,1970-3.html

Who said VST Pro doesn't support OCE?? (or ORML for that matter) It does, and does it beautifully, and quite fast I might add.
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post #290 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Who said VST Pro doesn't support OCE?? (or ORML for that matter) It does, and does it beautifully, and quite fast I might add.

That's great (actually amazing), and why I asked the question . OCE is not listed on the ciprico product page, nor in the product spec (update: arcrobat ate the second page the first time I viewed it, I see it now ), nor in the review I linked from Tom's.

Does it take advantage of multi core cpus?
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post #291 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshin-san View Post

I'm sorry, I must be missing something here (so please excuse all the questions).

What are the benefits of VST over the raid capabilities built in to windows? It doesn't look like it supports online capacity expansion which is one of the main reasons I didn't recommend windows raid in the first place, VST looks very similar to.

OCE imho is incredibly important in a media server.

If he decides to go with software raid, purchase new drives, and forgo OCE,. Why would this be a better solution than windows raid 5?

Here's a tom's hardware review btw:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...id,1970-3.html

It supports OCE. It also acts similar to Intel Matrix RAID in that you can carve a hard drive into different arrays. There's also ORLM and drive roaming plus ability for expansion (should he outgrow the motherboard's built-in SATA ports) using HBA controller. You can check the product brief here.

No multi-core CPU yet, though. As I remember from all my reading, I think it was supposed to be introduced with the 5400 series.
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post #292 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 12:13 PM
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As far as we saw from kapone's own Cirprico build benchmarks, it is multi processor aware.

My only reservation in investing any money on Ciprico hardware is that the company has filed chapter 11 and no longer operating. It's assets have been sold to DotHill as mentioned, but it's uncertain as to what this new company will do with the technology.

For all we know that may incorporate it into some other proprietary equipment which would leave anyone with these cards flapping in the wind.

The cards aren't cheap so as long as you know this going in ...you should be fine.
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post #293 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 12:16 PM
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Unless I missed it, I haven't seen any comments about the recently released readynas 'pro' with 6 drive bays and x-raid2.

http://www.netgear.com/Products/Stor...adyNASPro.aspx

Apparently there is, or will be a diskless version (Pioneer), albeit with less features than the 'business' version.

http://www.readynas.com/forum/viewto...adynas+pioneer
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post #294 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 12:25 PM
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Here's some IMHO advice.

For the same money (or less) than 2 Ciprico 8 port cards, you can get one of http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816115031 16 port cards that will do everything you need including Online Expansion, array spin down, staggered spin up and so on.
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post #295 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

Here's some IMHO advice.

For the same money (or less) than 2 Ciprico 8 port cards, you can get one of http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816115031 16 port cards that will do everything you need including Online Expansion, array spin down, staggered spin up and so on.

While I agree, that buying the Ciprico cards "retail" makes almost no sense (although, the whole host based RAID has it's advantages, but still), the Highpoints are something I'd stay away from. Call me, cautious, but Highpoint does weird things in their RAID implementation, and I have yet to see a large array built (and operated successfully, in a sustained manner) on Highpoint.
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post #296 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

Here's some IMHO advice.

For the same money (or less) than 2 Ciprico 8 port cards, you can get one of http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816115031 16 port cards that will do everything you need including Online Expansion, array spin down, staggered spin up and so on.

Edit:
For the same money (or less) than 2 Ciprico 8 port cards, you can get one of these 16 port cards that will do everything you need including Online Expansion, array spin down, staggered spin up and so on.
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post #297 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 12:46 PM
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Who sells ciprico cards?
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post #298 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by aaomember View Post

Who sells ciprico cards?

No one at this point. Once the bankruptcy stuff is settled, Dot Hill will choose whether to continue the product line or not (I suspect they will, there's too much IP invested here).
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post #299 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagojago View Post

What is the best option for a RAID5 on Windows Server that you are able to add more drives without breaking the array? That's all I want.

I don't know the best options, but intel's onboard raid w/ the ICH10R south bridge supports RAID5 expansion.
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post #300 of 7891 Old 10-10-2008, 01:04 PM
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The VST Pro 2008 package seems almost ideal -- until you note the $350 cost of an 8-port adapter. Two of those plus the software =~ $750. You can get a 16-port Areca card for about that price. Add a 3rd 8-port card and you're at $1100 -- about the price of a 24-port Areca card.

The real attraction of VST is the potential cost savings of a software solution ... but with the price of the RAIDCore cards that seems to disappear. I keep looking at the options -- and keep coming back to the conclusion that I should just bite the bullet and buy a 16 or 24 port Areca card

... I just ordered a couple of 1.5TB Seagates to "tide me over" with a bit more storage until our friendly local "guinea pig" finishes testing the Areca compatibility with these drives [Thanks kenshin-san ]. I suspect that's what I'll buy as long as there are no issues with the 1.5TB Seagates.

... but if the VST software would work with a simple Supermicro 8-port card I'd be very tempted to use it with 2 of the Supermicro cards and a few onboard ports to save $1000 !!

The only thing I've decide for sure on is the Norco case and the 1.5TB drives. Meanwhile, I'll just buy a few 1.5TB drives and load a bunch of my videos on them -- I can then just copy them over to the array once I get around to building it
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