I recently purchased a big ATX tower that can accomodate up to 10 internal 3.5" HDDs. Additionally, it has 4 x 5.25" external bays, which I suppose I can use (with 5.25-to-3.5" adapters) to mount up to 4 additional HDDs.
So I'm looking at building a server machine that can support 14 3.5" HDDs for media storage and streaming over LAN to other devices.
At this point, all I have is the case, and I am just conceptualizing the rest of the H/W requirements for my particular needs, which are the following:
-Ability to add HDDs beyond system board SATA limit (via SATA controller card, PCI or PCI-e)
-Recovery of data from 1 or 2 HDD failures in drive array
-Networking (GigE LAN)
-Hotswap for all HDDs in data array (excluding system/OS drive)
-Compatibility with the latest high capacity (3TB+) HDDs with advanced sector format (64-bit OS is required for this, right?
-Wish: spin down unused drives for power conservation
Currently, I have a desktop PC that uses the Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3, plus an AMD Athlon II 250 CPU. I am thinking that I can upgrade the desktop to a newer Intel platform, and then downgrade the AMD/Asus combo for my server.
The Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 mobo (complete specs from Asus found *HERE*
) has 5 x SATA3 + 1 x eSATA. So in order to get beyond the board limit, I'll need to add in some SATA controller cards.
For system expansion, the Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 has the following:
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (blue)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode, gray)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x1
3 x PCI
None of these are used, so any of them are available for dropping in SATA controller cards to expand the HDD array.
I am totally new to server building, but I think this would fit my storage needs more than any commercially available NAS solution. I figure that I can get my feet wet by building a server using just the mobo without any SATA cards, initially. I have 5 SATA3 ports on the mobo, so I can use one for the system OS, one for an optical drive (i.e. DVD reader to load OS and programs), and the remaining 3 for media storage with redundancy. For the redundancy, I am considering SnapRAID, running on Win7 64-bit.
This is my initial pass at planning the build, and I am putting it out there for scrutiny by this esteemed community. Is my plan reasonable so far? Any feedback would be welcome. Thanks in advance