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Home Theater Computers > Guide To Building A Media Storage Server
punksterz626's Avatar punksterz626 04:08 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbmix View Post

to use a hackneyed phrase.."you are comparing apples and oranges". This thread and the answers you have been given are giving you the capabilities of a "media server". A stand alone systenm that can serve files and many other tasks.

The external drive you are talkiing about in your example is simply that, an external storage device. You might be better "served" - no pun intnended - if you simply got a netwark addressable storage device that can hold several drives.

You might take a look on Newegg, or the dealer of your choice, for NAS drive enclosures. These can be populated with 2 to four drives and hook up to your PC over a home network. You can locate them anywhere that your home network can reach. A lot less fuss and bother for someone who does not want to spend time or energy learning about home media servers.

The NAS devices will most likely be cheaper in total dollars than a server application, but you get what you pay for , for the most part. The home media server may simply have more power and capability than you are intereted in.


thanks, i think its what im looking for. The server seems to have alot more capability than what my pea size computer brain can handle Would i be able to add my existing external hdds into this unit? have you seen any NAS storage with more than 3-5 hdds bay? i would be interested in something that could hold about 10tbs or more.

garycase2001's Avatar garycase2001 04:20 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by punksterz626 View Post

thanks, i think its what im looking for. The server seems to have alot more capability than what my pea size computer brain can handle Would i be able to add my existing external hdds into this unit? have you seen any NAS storage with more than 3-5 hdds bay? i would be interested in something that could hold about 10tbs or more.

10TB is well beyond the "simple and cheap" category ... but you could do it using several external cases. Just buy 3 or 4 of these: http://www.buy.com/prod/startech-com...206805460.html

... and put two 1.5TB drives in each one. Then you'll have a collection of 3TB external drives (but not as a single drive letter).

Note that if you built your own PC, you could build a base UnRAID server system with room for 8 drives for ~ $500-$600 ... or with the Norco case for ~ $750 (which will handle more drives than UnRAID supports). If you truly want a single device to hold all your storage ... and if you want 10TB now you WILL want more later ... you may want to consider something along those lines.
ilovejedd's Avatar ilovejedd 04:29 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

... that's why I haven't committed to UnRAID for my personal storage server. I "played" with it a bit, and it works very nicely ... but I'm still tempted by a 24-drive Areca => I'm just too cheap to spend $1400 on a bloody RAID card !! (I may break down and do it ... but not just yet)

... but in reality, as long as the storage server is JUST a storage server; and you have other fast systems to do recompression/re-rendering tasks on, copies can always be done overnight or in otherwise idle times. Clearly faster is better -- but not always necessary.

Lol, that's true. I have a separate "temp" system with ~4TB storage for DVR, ripping and encoding tasks. Anything that gets transferred to the unRAID server is already for archival.
punksterz626's Avatar punksterz626 04:50 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

10TB is well beyond the "simple and cheap" category ... but you could do it using several external cases. Just buy 3 or 4 of these: http://www.buy.com/prod/startech-com...206805460.html

... and put two 1.5TB drives in each one. Then you'll have a collection of 3TB external drives (but not as a single drive letter).

Note that if you built your own PC, you could build a base UnRAID server system with room for 8 drives for ~ $500-$600 ... or with the Norco case for ~ $750 (which will handle more drives than UnRAID supports). If you truly want a single device to hold all your storage ... and if you want 10TB now you WILL want more later ... you may want to consider something along those lines.


i already have a fairly good computer and i dont want to have to spend more for another one. Will this work for my situation? It has 5bay and up to 5tb. I think it will last me sometime

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817332017
MiBz's Avatar MiBz 04:52 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

Agree completely

... that's why I haven't committed to UnRAID for my personal storage server. I "played" with it a bit, and it works very nicely ... but I'm still tempted by a 24-drive Areca => I'm just too cheap to spend $1400 on a bloody RAID card !! (I may break down and do it ... but not just yet)

... but in reality, as long as the storage server is JUST a storage server; and you have other fast systems to do recompression/re-rendering tasks on, copies can always be done overnight or in otherwise idle times. Clearly faster is better -- but not always necessary.

Meanwhile, I've bought 6 of the 1.5TB drives and simply installed 3 each on a couple of systems to load a few videos on while I build a couple of new HTPC's that will (eventually) be playing all those videos. Keeps me busy enough to let me keep procrastinating on the storage server

May order another half dozen 1.5TB drives tomorrow to get the 5-year warranty. (Just in case anyone isn't aware, the warranty changes to 3 years for drives purchased on or after 3 Jan 2009)

And you're better off not spending $1400 on a raid card. I have 2 high end Areca's and an Adaptec here if you're interested.

With the latest consumer drives like the 1.5TB Seagates have densly packed platters and a URE (unrecoverable read error) of 10^14. That's 1 URE in 12TB. Seems like a big number, but it's the equivalent of only 8 x 1.5TB drives in a single array. The likelyhood of failure or data loss is quite high now with these larger capacity drives. It's not all it's cracked up to be. There's a bunch of articles on the web about this on slashdot and elsewhere

Stick with a technology that can grow one drive at a time as your needs expand, but that allows you to read each drive independantly if you need to in case something goes wrong. With the $1400 saved, buy more drives as needed to backup the data so it's secure.
garycase2001's Avatar garycase2001 04:58 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by punksterz626 View Post

i already have a fairly good computer and i dont want to have to spend more for another one. Will this work for my situation? It has 5bay and up to 5tb. I think it will last me sometime

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817332017

It should work okay if you have a PCIe x1 slot for the RAID card. It clearly takes a bit of effort to set it up correctly (read the reviews on Newegg), but does appear to work fine once everything's set up.
punksterz626's Avatar punksterz626 05:07 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

It should work okay if you have a PCIe x1 slot for the RAID card. It clearly takes a bit of effort to set it up correctly (read the reviews on Newegg), but does appear to work fine once everything's set up.

how would i know if i have a slot for the RAID card? do i have to open it up?

this is the spec for my computer if you can tell by looking at it.

INTEL QUAD CORE Q6600 2.4GHZ RETAIL
320GB SATA II 3GB 16MB 7200RPM HD
1G DDR2 PC6400 MEMORY
COOLERMASTER LGA 775+ 3.6GHZ FAN
ASUS P5N-E SLI NFORCE 650I SLI MB
AC97 ONBOARD SOUND
SW-160-109 WINDOWS VISTA HOME PREMIUM 32-BIT
SW-160-107 WINDOWS VISTA HOME PREMIUM LICENSE
SW-160-108 WINDOWS VISTA HOME PREMIUM COA
VC-160-113 SPARKLE GEFORCE 8600GT 512MB PCI-E
lifespeed's Avatar lifespeed 05:11 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by punksterz626 View Post

i already have a fairly good computer and i dont want to have to spend more for another one. Will this work for my situation? It has 5bay and up to 5tb. I think it will last me sometime

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817332017

You're on the right track, but not quite. What you need is a good HW RAID card and an external enclosure. The RAID in that enclosure is not up to the standards of Areca, Adaptec, Highpoint and 3Ware. You want a card that supports RAID5 and/or 6.

Get a good HW RAID card and an external enclosure. What you're looking at does not include a good HW RAID card (apparently it has a cheap PCI-e 1x RAID card), but the enclosure might be OK. Really, you want access to the drives directly through SATA. You don't want to go through any other chipset, etc, in the enclosure. That is what the RAID card in your PC is for. You can also look at the Norco 4020 for a rackmount enclosure if you're so inclined.
punksterz626's Avatar punksterz626 05:20 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post

You're on the right track, but not quite. What you need is a good HW RAID card and an external enclosure. The RAID in that enclosure is not up to the standards of Areca, Adaptec, Highpoint and 3Ware. You want a card that supports RAID5 and/or 6.

Get a good HW RAID card and an external enclosure. What you're looking at does not include a good HW RAID card (apparently it has a cheap PCI-e 1x RAID card), but the enclosure should be fine. You can also look at the Norco 4020 for a rackmount enclosure if you're so inclined.

that norco 4020 is not too bad. 20bay, thats alot of room to work with. Now, i would assume i will need a RAID card to go along with this? What is a decent card to serve my need? i basically use this to store mkv files, bluray stuff. dude, im getting excited guys. thanks for all the info. You guys are awesome!
lifespeed's Avatar lifespeed 05:23 PM 12-29-2008
Depends on how many drives you want to hang off the card. 8-port cards are in the $400 range, 16-port cards are $800+. 8 drives buys alot of storage, you might want to start 'small' if cost is a factor.

I use the Higpoint 3520, but any of the above listed manufacturers make good cards.
punksterz626's Avatar punksterz626 05:27 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post

Depends on how many drives you want to hang off the card. 8-port cards are in the $400 range, 16-port cards are $800+. 8 drives buys alot of storage, you might want to start 'small' if cost is a factor.

I use the Higpoint 3520, but any of the above listed manufacturers make good cards.

i'll probably start with the 8-port, should be sufficient. So im assuming 1port=1bay? 1bay equals 1.5tb of space i can put in? Also, can i use my exisiting Western digital external hdds and slap it into this case?
garycase2001's Avatar garycase2001 05:28 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by punksterz626 View Post

that norco 4020 is not too bad. 20bay, thats alot of room to work with. Now, i would assume i will need a RAID card to go along with this? What is a decent card to serve my need? i basically use this to store mkv files, bluray stuff. dude, im getting excited guys. thanks for all the info. You guys are awesome!

To answer your question r.e. whether your system has a PCIe 1x slot -- Yes, that motherboard has one PCIe x1 slot and two PCIe x16 slots ... I assume you're only using one of the x16 slots for a graphics card (do you have two cards in SLI??). The only way to be SURE is to open up the case and confirm you don't have any card installed in the x1 slot ... but that's a fairly safe bet.

As for building a system with the Norco 4020 -- it's a great case; but you're back in the "build another computer" mode with it ... you'll spend at least close to $1000 (probably more) for a reasonable system with a good 8-port RAID card [Not counting the hard drives].

... that ($1000+) is what got you on the "cheap NAS" road a few posts back
garycase2001's Avatar garycase2001 05:31 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by punksterz626 View Post

i'll probably start with the 8-port, should be sufficient. So im assuming 1port=1bay? 1bay equals 1.5tb of space i can put in? Also, can i use my exisiting Western digital external hdds and slap it into this case?

Yes, 1 port = 1 drive.

As for using your existing drives ==> two issues:

(1) The 4020 has 20 hot-swap SATA ports ... so if the drives are SATA, then Yes. If they're IDE, then No.

(2) Unless you set up a simple JBOD, then the drives all have to be the same size. If that's true of all your drives (and they're all SATA), then Yes, you can "slap" them into the case.
punksterz626's Avatar punksterz626 05:44 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

Yes, 1 port = 1 drive.

As for using your existing drives ==> two issues:

(1) The 4020 has 20 hot-swap SATA ports ... so if the drives are SATA, then Yes. If they're IDE, then No.

(2) Unless you set up a simple JBOD, then the drives all have to be the same size. If that's true of all your drives (and they're all SATA), then Yes, you can "slap" them into the case.

they are esata. Is that the same? Eventually i will slowly swap them all out to 1.5 but in the meantime i might need to have them separate size. How do i set up a simple JBOD? is that part of the configuration at start up when you purchase this case? also, does this unit have to be close to my computer?
punksterz626's Avatar punksterz626 05:59 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

To answer your question r.e. whether your system has a PCIe 1x slot -- Yes, that motherboard has one PCIe x1 slot and two PCIe x16 slots ... I assume you're only using one of the x16 slots for a graphics card (do you have two cards in SLI??). The only way to be SURE is to open up the case and confirm you don't have any card installed in the x1 slot ... but that's a fairly safe bet.

As for building a system with the Norco 4020 -- it's a great case; but you're back in the "build another computer" mode with it ... you'll spend at least close to $1000 (probably more) for a reasonable system with a good 8-port RAID card [Not counting the hard drives].

... that ($1000+) is what got you on the "cheap NAS" road a few posts back


wow....i didnt realized a raid card is that expensive. So my best bet is get a small enclosure that has to 2bay and combine 1.5 tb together to get 3tb.
ndv2's Avatar ndv2 06:28 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by punksterz626 View Post

wow....i didnt realized a raid card is that expensive. So my best bet is get a small enclosure that has to 2bay and combine 1.5 tb together to get 3tb.

Your best bet, and I haven't seen it mentioned yet in your case, would be to get a couple of cheap connectivity only sata controllers. They go for about 100 each and they gain you 8 sata ports. Now you can get 2 of them and use the sata ports on your motherboard in a norco 4020 case with software raid. This will allow you to expand to 20 drives or about 25TB raid 5 using 1.5 TB drives after formatting using less then $600 worth of actual computer parts (case included). Minus the drives of course.

You can use either windows software raid 5 or linux. Either way, you can expand when you want and not splurge on an expensive areca card. You can also share that via nfs from either windows or linux and in doing so you create your own NAS (network attached storage) server.

Keep in mind, now your CPU will have to handle the parity calculations and it will bog your system down. A nice quad core should suffice without any user perception of system usage.

At 10TB+ you are outside of what you can buy off the shelf cheaply.
I can give you details on software raid setups and actual parts lists for the above setups if you would like them.
dbmix's Avatar dbmix 06:46 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by punksterz626 View Post

they are esata. Is that the same? Eventually i will slowly swap them all out to 1.5 but in the meantime i might need to have them separate size. How do i set up a simple JBOD? is that part of the configuration at start up when you purchase this case? also, does this unit have to be close to my computer?

I'm thinking you are talking about the drives you have in external enclosures. You don't know for sure what the actual drive interface inside might be....might be IDE. You won't know unless you take the enclsures apart.

As far as NAS (network addressable storage) that you can add your won drives to, here is a 5 bay device on the sort of high end for this type of product.

5 bay device

and another one that is

cheaper

or this one that is much cheaper and you can just hang your existing external drives off of it. This fits your requirements of getting it away from you computer so you don't have them eating up your wall plug sockets!

Peck around these catagories for the simplest solution for what you expressed as your interests. Spend much more and you probably should go for the unraid solution of what have you. My impression is that this will lead to the least amount of frustration on your part.

These solutions, in particular the last one are very much plug and play, and the software walks you through setting up and using it.
garycase2001's Avatar garycase2001 06:52 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by punksterz626 View Post

wow....i didnt realized a raid card is that expensive. So my best bet is get a small enclosure that has to 2bay and combine 1.5 tb together to get 3tb.

Your "best bet" depends very much on exactly what your storage goals are. If all you want it a lot of storage as cheaply as you can get it, you could simply get a 7 port powered USB hub and plug in a bunch of external 1TB or 1.5TB drives. If you want to reduce the number of these, you could use the 2-drive RAID enclosures I noted before (so each "drive" could be up to 3TB).

But if you want a single drive letter or network share to represent ALL of your storage, you need some form of RAID array ... whether an UnRAID server, or a RAID-5 array. Just how you implement these can have a major impact on what it will cost ... there are MANY options.

If you're going to buy the Norco case & a power supply as a first step, it's only an extra $300 or so to make it an UnRAID server [motherboard, CPU, memory, & an UnRAID license]. Or you could buy a server-class motherboard and a $1400 Areca 24-drive RAID card ... which would add ~ $2000 to the cost. Or any of many options in-between those numbers
lifespeed's Avatar lifespeed 06:58 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by punksterz626 View Post

they are esata. Is that the same? Eventually i will slowly swap them all out to 1.5 but in the meantime i might need to have them separate size. How do i set up a simple JBOD? is that part of the configuration at start up when you purchase this case? also, does this unit have to be close to my computer?

You will need to have this case within SATA cable length, which is 1.5m. However, for that constraint you will experience the full bandwidth of SATA II which is 300 Gb/s.

Although the Norco is a 'server case', you don't have to put a motherboard in it. You can, if you want, just house the drives and cable them to your existing PC. If you already have a nice PC it might make the most sense to move the electronics into their new home.

I recommend you stay away from the cheap add-on SATA cards that use Silicon Image or Marvell chips. Their price approaches that of a real hardware RAID card for 8 ports.

You want the Intel IOP 3XX chip which does hardware parity calculations. Kind of like a good video card offloads your CPU. The real RAID cards give much improved performance in RAID5, which is want you want if immunity from a failed hard drive is a feature you would like. Oh, and there is the fantastic read/write performance.
punksterz626's Avatar punksterz626 11:15 PM 12-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

Your "best bet" depends very much on exactly what your storage goals are. If all you want it a lot of storage as cheaply as you can get it, you could simply get a 7 port powered USB hub and plug in a bunch of external 1TB or 1.5TB drives. If you want to reduce the number of these, you could use the 2-drive RAID enclosures I noted before (so each "drive" could be up to 3TB).

But if you want a single drive letter or network share to represent ALL of your storage, you need some form of RAID array ... whether an UnRAID server, or a RAID-5 array. Just how you implement these can have a major impact on what it will cost ... there are MANY options.

If you're going to buy the Norco case & a power supply as a first step, it's only an extra $300 or so to make it an UnRAID server [motherboard, CPU, memory, & an UnRAID license]. Or you could buy a server-class motherboard and a $1400 Areca 24-drive RAID card ... which would add ~ $2000 to the cost. Or any of many options in-between those numbers

that would be my last resort if all else fail to have the 2drive raid enclosures. At least, it will clear half my outlets. But eventually, it will run out and probably its feasible to think just a Honestly, i dont need something crazy ie. powerful, just something big enough to store multiple hdds i could used my computer to click and play my movies
garycase2001's Avatar garycase2001 12:05 AM 12-30-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by punksterz626 View Post

... i dont need something crazy ie. powerful ... just something big enough to store multiple hdds i could used my computer to click and play my movies

... Yep. That's how we all started down this trail

==> then the collection grew ... and grew .... and grew ...

... and then we decided we wanted to be able to stream it anywhere in the house with enough bandwidth to play 3 or 4 (or more) streams at once [not something we ever DO of course ... we just wouldn't want a system that couldn't support ALL of our systems at once] => so our 100Mb ethernet had to be upgraded to 1000Mb (and some of us even use teaming adapters)

... now if Norco would just make a nice expansion unit for the 4020 case that would sit on top of it and add 20 MORE drive bays !!
JerryW's Avatar JerryW 04:54 AM 12-30-2008
Just a note to save anyone else the headache I just went through.

The norco case has individual sata ports rather than those 4-in-1 multilane ports, so if you buy a multilane raid card like the ML line from areca, you will need to use multilane break-out cables.

Beware - these breakout cables are NOT bi-directional. They make two kinds that look identical but are not - a forward break-out cable and a reverse break-out cable.

You need a forward break-out cable to go with the norco case - if you get reverse break-out cables it will all plug in just fine, but your raid card will not see any of your hard disks.

So, watch out for those SFF-8087 aka mini-sas 4i breakout cables, make sure you order the forward break-out not the reverse break-out.
miimura's Avatar miimura 01:51 PM 12-30-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryW View Post

So, watch out for those SFF-8087 aka mini-sas 4i breakout cables, make sure you order the forward break-out not the reverse break-out.

I knew there was a reason why they made both types. It just didn't immediately make sense what the difference would be.

- Mike
plasticquart's Avatar plasticquart 03:29 PM 12-30-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryW View Post

Just a note to save anyone else the headache I just went through.

The norco case has individual sata ports rather than those 4-in-1 multilane ports, so if you buy a multilane raid card like the ML line from areca, you will need to use multilane break-out cables.

Beware - these breakout cables are NOT bi-directional. They make two kinds that look identical but are not - a forward break-out cable and a reverse break-out cable.

You need a forward break-out cable to go with the norco case - if you get reverse break-out cables it will all plug in just fine, but your raid card will not see any of your hard disks.

So, watch out for those SFF-8087 aka mini-sas 4i breakout cables, make sure you order the forward break-out not the reverse break-out.

I take it this is the proper "forward" cable?
http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?p=CBLSFFCF05&c=fr&show=p

And if this is the correct cable, anyone got a better/cheaper source?
miimura's Avatar miimura 11:40 AM 12-31-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticquart View Post

I take it this is the proper "forward" cable?
http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?p=CBLSFFCF05&c=fr&show=p

And if this is the correct cable, anyone got a better/cheaper source?

That's the correct forward breakout cable. Twelve bucks is a good price for that cable. 3Ware has a good cable reference document here that describes all the cables and which ones to use with their controllers.

- Mike
MiBz's Avatar MiBz 01:56 PM 12-31-2008
Guys, the general good practice for large raid arrays is to keep each array to a limit of say 7 to 10 drives and use volume managment like LVM in linux or Volume Managment in Windows to add the arrays into a single volume or drive letter so you don't have to deal with many drive letters.

Someone asked me the other day what happens when one of the arrays in a volume is lost. I wasn't sure as I've never set it up that way.

For example -
Array 1 - 7 x 1TB raid 5
Array 2 - 8 x 1TB raid 5
both mounted to a single volume as E:\\Media

What happens when Array 1 or 2 is lost ?
alamone's Avatar alamone 03:22 PM 12-31-2008
I was actually testing this out with a spanned volume in windows, and it didn't quite work out too well.

The scenario is this: let's say one of the arrays went offline because of a loose power connector or something, and not because the disks failed. If the dynamic disk thing is working properly, it should be able to reintegrate the failed array once it's back online on the hardware side, by doing "reintegrate missing member" or something like that.

That's the theory - in practice, I wasn't able to get it to work. Windows wouldn't recognize the array that was brought back online as being equal to the missing disk. In other words, it just treated it as a new disk. Thus, it refused to reintegrate the "missing disk" even though it was there, it just wasn't being identified properly - I suppose maybe the dynamic disk metadata got screwed up or something, or the way that the hardware driver adds the restored array causes Windows to think it's a new disk.

I did this test on empty disks so I didn't lose any data, but consider it a warning for anyone trying that approach.

If one of the arrays really did die, then you're probably screwed,
because if one member of a spanned volume dies, you still can't
access the data on the other good member, because it's a single
logical volume. It's like RAID0 without the striping.
Data recovery might help, but I don't know if the partition tables
and file allocation tables are spread or duplicated across a spanned volume.

Thus, I'm quite hesitant to use any of the windows dynamic disk features, as they don't seem quite reliable enough. I've had dynamic disks go offline for no apparent reason, and I had to hex edit the HDD partition to convert it back to basic.

Note I'm only talking about the windows volume management dynamic disks here - spanned multiple arrays might work better using linux volume management, which I hear is much more robust.
kenoka's Avatar kenoka 05:44 PM 12-31-2008
Another classic AVS novel/soap opera/technical manual thread. Thanks to everyone for their views, information, and shenanigans. It's great to learn and be entertained at the same time.

I've been toying with the idea of building a media server build for 2009, and was stymied by my own ignorance. You guys have provided a nice education on the subject, and I now feel able to make a somewhat informed decision. Although this thread never made it to an organized "guide" format, it does provide an excellent resource for those like me who are looking to enter the deep waters of modern storage architecture.

At this point I'm strongly leaning toward an unRAID solution for a number of reasons:
1. Reasonable fault tolerance: While I understand that neither RAID nor unRAID can substitute for a proper backup, I feel comfortable with the parity drive and lack of striping in unRAID providing "enough" fault tolerance for my needs, especially as I now have 3+ TB of media files completely unprotected.
2. Ability to use my old hardware: I have a system I'm looking to upgrade that has an Asus A8N-SLI board and an Athlon 3200+. While it's now a dinosaur, it should have plenty of power for an unRAID build, as it's well above their minimum specs. I won't even need an additional SATA card at first, because it has 8 SATA ports built in. This, combined with the ability to use most of my current storage pool and add capacity as needed swayed me toward unRAID even more.
3. Cost: For this build, I'm only out the cost of the Norco case, a hefty power supply, two 1.5 TB seagate drives and the unRAID license. Total cost should be under $800. I currently have 1 1.5 TB and 3 1 TB drives I should be able to reuse, for a total storage pool of 6 TB, and two SATA ports left for expansion before I need to think about an additional controller card.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed, and Happy New Year!

One last thought: There is a huge volume of information in this thread, covering the three major options currently available (e.g. RAID, WHS, unRAID) and their pros and cons. For organizational purposes, it might be nice to keep this thread to go over the pros and cons of the various options available, but then to create actual guide threads dedicated to those options. Since each of these options has vastly different requirements, there's really no way to have a single guide that can cover the major questions and provide hardware suggestions for novices like myself.
plasticquart's Avatar plasticquart 10:29 PM 01-02-2009
bump
MikeSM's Avatar MikeSM 01:23 PM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticquart View Post

I spoke to a Chenbro rep briefly today and he stated that they had them in stock but that you had to go through a VAR to purchase them... ie., the Bell Micro's, ASI's, Synnex's of the world... who typically require a business account to be setup before you can even see their stock/pricing.

Anyone have an account w/ any of these companies?
http://usa.chenbro.com/corporatesite...tail.php?pos=2

I have a friend with an acct at ASI and Malabs, both of which carry Chenbro gear. I could probably coax him into buying a few, but the hassle factor would have to be pretty low.

thx
mike
Tags: Computers
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