Low Cost raid 5 solution? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-22-2009, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been planning and saving up for a major server build
(pay pretty close attention to this thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1071162).
i currently have a small home test server that i use for testing and experimenting with (learning machine) running 2003 server standard and a JBOD array of disc. and spare parts that i had laying around.
asus p5ad2-e premium mobo
3gb ram
p4 3.0 cpu
gigabit lan
pci-e vid card
old Pedestal server case (no backplanes)
last night i just experienced another hdd failure on of my machines this is about the 6th hard drive that i have lost.
Now i know that raid should never be thought of as a backup solution, but i am looking for more a more fault tolerance solution. (the JBOD setup just grew over time of fiddling and dumping files) No real significant lost besides time.

So for a quick solution, what are some reliable inexpensive raid 5 options?
I don't think this old motherboard has good support for raid 5
should i even be considering using using a motherboard controller? what are the disadvantages? besides if the mobo fails?

separate raid controller? what are my options? i rather not go with something to expensive since i will be starting my media server build up this coming spring (hopefully).

any idea? or am i just looking into this whole matter the wrong way?


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post #2 of 12 Old 01-22-2009, 08:42 AM
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http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1107752
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-22-2009, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the link samw97 but unfortunately that thread seems to be more about unraid then actual hardware.
i would like to continue running windows 2003


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post #4 of 12 Old 01-22-2009, 02:01 PM
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What are your specific speed and redundancy needs? If you're just watching movies off of a server, you don't need the speed of striping in RAID. If you don't need the fault tolerance of RAID1, mirroring, then you may not need RAID. In my mind, unRaid is pretty ideal for Home Theater storage use. There is a decent level of fault tolerance for non-essential media, like ripped movies and audio, and it's cheaper per unit of storage than most RAID. If you have a crappy old box laying around, you can probably build an unRaid system pretty quickly, and cheaply, given the large number of disks that you already have from your JBOD.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-22-2009, 02:55 PM
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Like the OP I've got a similar desire. In my case our Main Household PC (Win Vista 32-Bit) is used for general apps etc (all on 1 320GB HDD) but it is on this PC I've added 4 x 1TB HDD (with 1 spare sata port) simply for Media Storage that is accessed as shares over the LAN by my other PC's (incl HTPC). I've not even bothered to JBOD them as the front end HTPC server (www.jrmediacenter.com) hides the physical location of the files. It all works but I'd like protection from one of my 1TB Media Drives failing to save from having to re-rip of my disks again (Note: I seperatly backup files to 1TB NAS for those I cannot replace eg my C: Drive's user data and from the Media Disks my Home Vids etc).....so I'm looking either at:
1) Software Raid in Vista: From what I understand I don't think this is available
2) Snapshot Raid: eg Flexraid
3) HW Raid Card: my reading is that these can be more problematic...but any advise is welcome
For me its got to be simple, cheap,expandable and most importantly work!

Thanks
Nathan
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-04-2009, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmone View Post

Like the OP I've got a similar desire. In my case our Main Household PC (Win Vista 32-Bit) is used for general apps etc (all on 1 320GB HDD) but it is on this PC I've added 4 x 1TB HDD (with 1 spare sata port) simply for Media Storage that is accessed as shares over the LAN by my other PC's (incl HTPC). I've not even bothered to JBOD them as the front end HTPC server (www.jrmediacenter.com) hides the physical location of the files. It all works but I'd like protection from one of my 1TB Media Drives failing to save from having to re-rip of my disks again (Note: I seperatly backup files to 1TB NAS for those I cannot replace eg my C: Drive's user data and from the Media Disks my Home Vids etc).....so I'm looking either at:
1) Software Raid in Vista: From what I understand I don't think this is available
2) Snapshot Raid: eg Flexraid
3) HW Raid Card: my reading is that these can be more problematic...but any advise is welcome
For me its got to be simple, cheap,expandable and most importantly work!

Thanks
Nathan

Any response to this?
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-04-2009, 01:13 PM
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I used to use mobo RAID5 and RAID1, worked awesome; i had several drives fail over the years, and each time i'd just overnight a new one from newegg, pop it in, and off it rebuilt itself. Previously I had lost 3 HDDs with DVDs on them, and had to rerip 50-100 DVDs each time. God that sucked. After the mobo RAID5, i've had 1 HDD die, but it was super-duper simple to recover and no re-ripping needed.

The token issue with RAID5 on mobo is that if the mobo dies, you're screwed. If the mobo dies with RAID1 you're ok as you can pop that into another box.

The primary reason I left mobo raid (both 1 & 5) and went to a HW card is that I wanted to exceed 2TB (mobo RAID5 doesn't allow that) and have >6 HDs (most mobo's only have 6-8 SATA slots max). I tried the "cheaper" RAID cards (ie, i have an LSI one that cost me $300 that i'm going to be eBay'ing soon), but i'm not technical enough to get it to work right. I ended up with a damn expensive 16channel Highpoint 3540 RAID card, holy crap is it fast and awesome, but it was $800. I have a 2x1TB RAID1 and a 5x1TB RAID5 on it, expandable to much more. I used WHS and created a GPT partition, so I have a single 3.8TB array (I bypassed the WHS console).

Well, now that i've typed that out you'll see that HW RAID isn't really low cost, but it is expandable and it is awesome and just works. Then again, so is mobo-level RAID, and for 99% of the populace I think the odds of a mobo dying are quite low.

I don't know squat about Vista, but I have to believe that ICH8R/9R/10R (mobo RAID) must be able to work on it, that's what i would recommend. You can even build multiple arrays up to whatever # of HDDs your mobo supports. A single 1TB boot disk, 2x1TB RAID1 for "critical data", and a 3x1TB video array gives you 3.5TB of usable space (.5TB on the boot, 1TB on RAID1, and 2TB on the RAID5).

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post #8 of 12 Old 03-04-2009, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmone View Post

Like the OP I've got a similar desire. In my case our Main Household PC (Win Vista 32-Bit) is used for general apps etc (all on 1 320GB HDD) but it is on this PC I've added 4 x 1TB HDD (with 1 spare sata port) simply for Media Storage that is accessed as shares over the LAN by my other PC's (incl HTPC). I've not even bothered to JBOD them as the front end HTPC server (www.jrmediacenter.com) hides the physical location of the files. It all works but I'd like protection from one of my 1TB Media Drives failing to save from having to re-rip of my disks again (Note: I seperatly backup files to 1TB NAS for those I cannot replace eg my C: Drive's user data and from the Media Disks my Home Vids etc).....so I'm looking either at:
1) Software Raid in Vista: From what I understand I don't think this is available
2) Snapshot Raid: eg Flexraid
3) HW Raid Card: my reading is that these can be more problematic...but any advise is welcome
For me its got to be simple, cheap,expandable and most importantly work!

Thanks
Nathan

If you have to run Windows on your main storage box, I don't think there is a RAID5 or RAID6 solution that can meet all of your requirements. There is simply nothing available that I would consider to be Simple, Cheap, Expandable and Reliable (my interpretation of "work").
Personally, I chose Simple, Expandable & Reliable and bought a relatively expensive 3Ware 9550SX-8LP hardware RAID card. This was a while ago, so I wouldn't currently recommend that specific card, but it is absolutely reliable, easy to manage, and easily expandable. It can even deal with the 2TB limitation of XP 32bit and can provide a single volume that is up to 16TB.

- Mike
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-04-2009, 01:58 PM
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I'll echo Seth's comments about UnRaid - it may feel a bit unconventional, but it works great and I love the flexibility.
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-04-2009, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmone View Post

Like the OP I've got a similar desire. In my case our Main Household PC (Win Vista 32-Bit) is used for general apps etc (all on 1 320GB HDD) but it is on this PC I've added 4 x 1TB HDD (with 1 spare sata port) simply for Media Storage that is accessed as shares over the LAN by my other PC's (incl HTPC). I've not even bothered to JBOD them as the front end HTPC server (www.jrmediacenter.com) hides the physical location of the files. It all works but I'd like protection from one of my 1TB Media Drives failing to save from having to re-rip of my disks again (Note: I seperatly backup files to 1TB NAS for those I cannot replace eg my C: Drive's user data and from the Media Disks my Home Vids etc).....so I'm looking either at:
1) Software Raid in Vista: From what I understand I don't think this is available
2) Snapshot Raid: eg Flexraid
3) HW Raid Card: my reading is that these can be more problematic...but any advise is welcome
For me its got to be simple, cheap,expandable and most importantly work!

Thanks
Nathan

Quote:
Originally Posted by S2G-Unit View Post

Any response to this?

No perfect solution yet despite all the brains trying to solve this problem.
You can throw a lot of money at it or you can settle for what fits your budget.

If I can ever get FlexRAID Live! out, you will have something to truly smile about (real-time, cheap, fast, reliable, and flexible).
The snapshot nature of FlexRAID Basic can be a serious shortcoming depending on what you are after.

If you are really frustrated, just mirror your data and call it a day.

Flexible RAID:
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post #11 of 12 Old 03-04-2009, 05:46 PM
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You can buy a dell perc 5/i controller on ebay for around $100. Supports 8 SATA drives and does RAID5 like a charm. check out this link:

http://www.overclock.net/hard-drives...card-tips.html
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post #12 of 12 Old 03-05-2009, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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i have come across a logic LSI ser 523 revb2 card. (not too sure on how good of a card this is - i have to research more on it...i came across it for free) I will be using this for the meantime in raid5 i just hope the mobo and cpu will be enough. the primary use will be for. file sharing HD and SD movies (mostly in mkv format for HD contents) as well as ftp and minor torrents. storage is my main concern as i have alot of dvds and i know i will run out of space quickly. ( i have been pacing and selectively choosing my dvd rips)


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