Un-raid recommended hardware? (Where in sticky?) - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
sethhorwitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 224
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I can't find it. (After 20 or so pages) Maybe my eyes are going.
sethhorwitz is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 10:00 AM
AVS Special Member
 
JoshDorhyke's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I don't think there is any official recommended list.

This is what Tom builds.

http://lime-technology.com/wordpress/?page_id=49

You could use parts of that to get a working server.

If not then tell me what price and how many drives were you thinking and I'll throw something together.

Peter
JoshDorhyke is offline  
post #3 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 12:16 PM
Member
 
timinohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Are you talking about the Hardware compatibility list?

http://lime-technology.com/wiki/inde..._Compatibility

I know there is other hardware that is known to work on it that isn't on that list.

Finding all of them is more of an art than a science. (you have to search forum threads both here and at LimeTech).

As JoshD asks, what are your price and requirements, maybe we can help you put something together with known compatibility.
timinohio is offline  
post #4 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 12:25 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jimwhite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL USA
Posts: 5,372
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
there's a whole forum section over there dedicated to motherboards... any effort at all will yield several newer boards that work... the "base" system now uses a super-micro board which is fairly low$ at the egg.

no longer avaiulable new, but can be found cheap in re-furb is the Abit AB9 Pro, my favorite

Jim White
St. Petersburg, FL
jimwhite is offline  
post #5 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
sethhorwitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 224
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Cool, thanks guys. It would be great to see a "Recommended Systems" post like those that exist for the other How To threads out there. A basic home media server with minimum requirements and screwed in hard drives would cost a lot less than something being built for a small business that has hot swap bays and needs to serve 50 workstations.

Just a quick question, do you need to add backplanes and port expansion cards up front when you build the array, or can I add them at a later point, like adding a new hard drive? I'm not sure if adding the number of ports to the array is an issue. Thanks.
sethhorwitz is offline  
post #6 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 02:18 PM
Member
 
PhillipH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Edinburg, TX
Posts: 193
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
You can add the backplanes & port expansion cards later as you need them. All of my drives are screwed in. I don't use backplanes..

SageTV v7 WHS + 2 HD200s
Windows Home Server PP3 - Dual Xeon 2.8ghz
23 Drives - 26 Terabytes
Blu-ray Titles 251
HD-DVD Titles 166
DVD Titles - Too Many To Count..
PhillipH is offline  
post #7 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
sethhorwitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 224
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillipH View Post

I don't use backplanes..

Hot-swap is cool, but I have no need for that in a home media server. (Does anyone really need it for this use?) I'd just like to be able to add 5 drives in a 3 drive bay when the case starts to get cramped. I'm in New York City, and each square foot in my apartment cost me quite a bit. (and it's worth less every day. )
sethhorwitz is offline  
post #8 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 07:32 PM
AVS Special Member
 
JoshDorhyke's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
OK, you indicate cheap but still, how many drives do you expect to need?

This is a popular low-end motherboard;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...20GA-MA74GM-S2

Paired with a cheap CPU such as this;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103232

Use this case;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811119152

And one of these;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=STB-3T4-E3-GP

Take the front off of that adapter. Then, you have that adapter to hold 4 drives and the one that comes with the case to hold 4 drives giving 8 drives mounted and 6 drives supported by the motherboard.

You can add one of these to get 4 more SATA ports later;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...aptec%201430SA

If you want more than 10-12 drives then it's time to just look at this case;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...k=norco%204020

And a motherboard with PCI-X slots to expand easily to support your hard drives.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813182142

and adapter cards like these;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...T2-MV8%20-%208

To easily get you to the 17 drives unRAID supports.

I hope that gives you some ideas anyways.

Peter
JoshDorhyke is offline  
post #9 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 07:33 PM
Member
 
timinohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I did screw in HDD's for my first two media server builds. After experiencing the ease of hot swap bays in my 3rd media server build, I'm a convert.

Though, I know what you mean, how often do you really swap out your HDD's to make it worth the price premium. If you can use a Norco though, it's actually cheaper or very near the same cost as screw in hard drive solutions.

I just know when I had to take two drives out of my tower screw in HDD server case it was a real PIA.
timinohio is offline  
post #10 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 07:40 PM
Member
 
timinohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
What JoshD said, I was about to do a follow up post asking how many HDD's you would want in your server build. He answered your question both ways.

And Peter (aka JoshD), great minds think alike. I used very similar hardware for my first/second (I changed cases and added some more drives) build. I used the adaptec and the 4 in 3's. I used the Asus P5B-VM DO which was available then. Pretty much that build for my new server build too (the Norco case, X7SBE, 8 port cards).
timinohio is offline  
post #11 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 08:08 PM
AVS Special Member
 
hifiaudio2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 2,622
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Liked: 62
I havent built a media server yet, but many of the newer Coolermaster tower cases have an awesome hard drive mounting system that requires no screws at all. They arent hot swap, but at least require no tools and put the drives on vibration mounts. My Coolermaster HAF case holds 5 drives I believe. Ill go research if they have a similar case that holds more...
hifiaudio2 is offline  
post #12 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
sethhorwitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 224
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I'd like the ability to go up to 15 drives in that one case over time, and would really prefer a pedestal server as I don't have the horizontal space in my living room. I was leaning towards that Coolermax after reading about it over in the Un-Raid support forum, and would probably need three of those 3-into-5 bays. My question, though, is if I can fill up the existing nine bays first, and then swap out to 3 of the 5-bay backplates without screwing up the array. I assume that each disk's physical address is stored somewhere. Would moving them from 9*1 to the 3*5 layout cause an issue? I guess it wouldn't as long as you use the same ports on the MoBo, but that leads to my next question. Do you need all of your port expanders installed when you build your array, or can you add those as you go just like a hard drive? Thanks guys.
sethhorwitz is offline  
post #13 of 24 Old 01-21-2009, 05:06 AM
AVS Special Member
 
captain_video's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Posts: 3,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Liked: 134
I use the Antec Nine Hundred case and three Supermicro 5-in-3 SATA backplanes. I currently have 11 drives installed in the case with room to spare. If and when I ever expand to the full 16 drives (15 data and 1 parity) I have an external 1TB eSATA drive to add to the 15 that fit in the backplanes. The nice thing about having the backplane setup is that you never have to crack open the case to add or remove a drive. Having the drives screw-mounted in the case is a royal pain if you want to make any configuration changes. Once you start populating the case with that many drives you run out of room to work because of all of the data and power cables. With the backplanes, you hook everything up inside the case and never have to deal with it ever again.

Probably the most important feature of having the backplanes is that they're designed to stagger bootup of the individual drives and reduce the load on the power supply. Without the backplanes, every drive would attempt to boot at the same time. If you don't have a hefty power supply, the total load imposed by all those drives booting simultaneously could bog it down and prevent the system from booting up.

I'm using a Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard with an Athlon 64 X2 processor (I forget the exact model) and 2GB RAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sethhorwitz View Post

My question, though, is if I can fill up the existing nine bays first, and then swap out to 3 of the 5-bay backplates without screwing up the array. I assume that each disk's physical address is stored somewhere. Would moving them from 9*1 to the 3*5 layout cause an issue? I guess it wouldn't as long as you use the same ports on the MoBo, but that leads to my next question. Do you need all of your port expanders installed when you build your array, or can you add those as you go just like a hard drive? Thanks guys.

Yes, you can swap out the bays at any time with no problems. An easy way to make sure you've got the drives configured as they were originally is to print out the web page that shows the drive assignment for each slot. When you put everything back together, check the current list against what you had originally and make sure everything matches. If it doesn't, simply unassign the drives and then reassign them according to the printout. It really doesn;t matter which SATA ports you have them connected to on the motherboard as long as the correct drives are assigned to the correct unRAID drive slot.

You can add expansion cards at any time. I started with just the four SATA ports on my motherboard and then added a 4-port SATA controller. I later added an 8-port PCI card to bring the total SATA ports up to the 16 port maximum supported by unRAID. As long as they're supported by unRAID they should be recognized when the system boots after they're installed.
captain_video is offline  
post #14 of 24 Old 01-21-2009, 10:23 AM
AVS Special Member
 
JoshDorhyke's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by timinohio View Post

Pretty much that build for my new server build too (the Norco case, X7SBE, 8 port cards).

Did you post that MB over on the unRAID forum? I just copied it from there. The PCI-X stuff seems about the cheapest way to get to 17 drives.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sethhorwitz View Post

I was leaning towards that Coolermax after reading about it over in the Un-Raid support forum, and would probably need three of those 3-into-5 bays.

Just beware, the 5in3 RAID cages don't have slots in the sides. So, any case with the tabs to hold the 5.25" drives in place (like a drive shelf) will not fit the cages without modifying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sethhorwitz View Post

I assume that each disk's physical address is stored somewhere.

unRAID matches a hard drive to a "disk number" without regard for the actual hardware connection. So, as long as you know the model/SN info of each hard drive and which "Disk #" each one was before you tear it apart you can put everything back where it was. You can replace all the hardware but the hard drives and flash and still have the full array just like before. The easiest way to do this it to take a screen capture of the configuration screen which is a web page you open with Internet Explorer.

Heck, even if you completely change the settings you are OK. You would just "Restore" the array which isn't really a restore but rather a reset. You lose the protection of the parity drive until it is rebuilt but any drive formatted and holding data isn't touched.

That's the beauty of unRAID - each drive is it's own file system. You could send me 2 of your data drives, I would plug them in, power up, assign the drives and press "Restore". The drives would then be a part of my array.

Peter
JoshDorhyke is offline  
post #15 of 24 Old 01-21-2009, 05:42 PM
Member
 
timinohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshDorhyke View Post

Did you post that MB over on the unRAID forum? I just copied it from there. The PCI-X stuff seems about the cheapest way to get to 17 drives.
Peter

No, it's on the hardware compatibility list, along with a lot of AVS members and LimeTech forum users have mentioned using it. For a (comparatively) reasonable server board (so a board that has PCI-X) it's one of the only choices.

If you want to read/see my build you can go to:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1110689
timinohio is offline  
post #16 of 24 Old 01-21-2009, 10:45 PM
Member
 
miglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
That supermicro 8port card doesnt necessarily need a PCI-X slot. I'm using mine in a regular old PCI slot. It just wont be quite as fast.
miglo is offline  
post #17 of 24 Old 01-22-2009, 05:41 AM
AVS Special Member
 
captain_video's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Posts: 3,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Liked: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by miglo View Post

That supermicro 8port card doesnt necessarily need a PCI-X slot. I'm using mine in a regular old PCI slot. It just wont be quite as fast.

It's plenty fast enough to stream HD video to my HTPC, which is all I need it to do. It's by far the best deal out there for adding 8 ports to an unRAID server. Works great in a standard PCI slot.
captain_video is offline  
post #18 of 24 Old 01-22-2009, 09:50 AM
AVS Special Member
 
JoshDorhyke's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by miglo View Post

That supermicro 8port card doesnt necessarily need a PCI-X slot. I'm using mine in a regular old PCI slot. It just wont be quite as fast.

Yes, it is true the card can be used each way. If wand a true budget build then the first motherboard and that 8-port card can't get much cheaper. It won't be particularly fast reading from multiple drives on that card though.

From what I remember, PCI has the ability to support reading from about 1.5 drives simultaneously. PCI-X can support about 10. Maybe I'm getting the numbers mixed up though.

The other problem is that the PCI and PCI-X busses are shared between the different slots. So, stick 2 of those cards in the PCI slots on a home class motherboard and you really slow things down. However, that server board has a 100MHz PCI-X buss and a 133MHz PCI-X buss so you can put a card into each and they won't use-up each others bandwidth.

Peter
JoshDorhyke is offline  
post #19 of 24 Old 01-22-2009, 10:06 AM
AVS Special Member
 
captain_video's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Posts: 3,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Liked: 134
UnRAID doesn't spread files across multiple drives so you're never reading from more than one drive at a time unless you're rebuilding parity. With DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-Ray rips, unRAID writes the entire contents of the original disc onto a single drive (i.e., it will write the contents of a folder to only one drive). Using the PCI-X 8-port board in a PCI slot is perfectly fine for most home users unless you absolutely require a higher transfer rate and the ability to read and write to and from multiple drives simultaneously. It works just fine for my purposes.
captain_video is offline  
post #20 of 24 Old 01-22-2009, 09:19 PM
AVS Special Member
 
hifiaudio2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 2,622
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Liked: 62
Please forgive the newbie question, but it seems to me that once you have bought an extra card, or two, at $99 each, and paid for unraid software, you could have bought a quality 16 port true hardware raid card. ...

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?p=ARC...b2790911b8dc54


Am I missing something about unraid funcionality that is better than a real card?
I guess different drive sizes supported and an easier setup?
hifiaudio2 is offline  
post #21 of 24 Old 01-23-2009, 05:22 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
sethhorwitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 224
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifiaudio2 View Post

I guess different drive sizes supported and an easier setup?

That's a big one when budget is an issue. You can also add drives as you go, which normally requires a full array rebuild with other RAID solutions. Also, if you drop two disks and lose the operability of the unraid array, the other disks are still functional and all of the data on them is intact. A RAID array with striping is dead once you blow past the fault tolerance. (From a home user's perspective.) Also, if your hardware card goes with a RAID controller, you usually need to replace it with an identical card. With unraid, you can pretty much plop all of your drives in to a completely different system, plug in the USB drive that contains the OS, and be ready to go. While the "operating" fault tolerance isn't any higher than RAID, once things start to get bad, unraid is a bit easier to recover from in a home environment. If you want complete(ish) security, you're better off with a RAID 5 + 1, but that's a lot more expensive for backing up non-essential info. (With all of those redundant disks)
sethhorwitz is offline  
post #22 of 24 Old 01-23-2009, 05:42 AM
AVS Special Member
 
hifiaudio2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 2,622
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Liked: 62
thanks.... I think I answered a big one for myself with a little more unraid research... turning off unused drives...

seems like that would save a lot of power in a large 12-16 drive setup.
hifiaudio2 is offline  
post #23 of 24 Old 01-23-2009, 05:55 AM
AVS Special Member
 
captain_video's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Posts: 3,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Liked: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifiaudio2 View Post

Please forgive the newbie question, but it seems to me that once you have bought an extra card, or two, at $99 each, and paid for unraid software, you could have bought a quality 16 port true hardware raid card. ...

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?p=ARC...b2790911b8dc54


Am I missing something about unraid funcionality that is better than a real card?
I guess different drive sizes supported and an easier setup?

The card you referenced is $675 at the sale price. You could build a complete unRAID system with two 8-port cards for much less than that, sans hard drives. Since most motherboards usually have at least four SATA ports you'd only need to add about a dozen extra ports. 4-port cards are relatively inexpensive, depending on the make and model.

UnRAID has far more flexibility than a conventional RAID setup. Sethhorwitz already identified some of the major points but there are other features as well. One of them is the ability to not only mix and match various sized drives but also the drive types (i.e., SATA and IDE). This allows you to start building an unRAID server with whatever hardware you have lying about for minimal startup costs. With drive prices what they are, it's not uncommon for anyone to have a bunch of old drives sitting unused after upgrading a PC. No doubt you'd want to upgrade to large drives down the road but at least it allows you to get your foot in the door with minimal expense.
captain_video is offline  
post #24 of 24 Old 01-23-2009, 11:18 AM
AVS Special Member
 
hifiaudio2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 2,622
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Liked: 62
Has anyone found a sata card with a pci-e interface and 12 or more ports on a single card that isnt a true (and expensive) raid card?
hifiaudio2 is offline  
Reply Home Theater Computers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off