Originally Posted by MIkeDuke
All right, I am thinking about a RAID solution again but I getting all confused on what I should look at. I looked at Buffalo but I am not sure about their track record. Then someone mentioned Qnap. It seems good but more expensive then what I was previously thinking about getting. Qnap was recommended to be by someone I trust who is in the computer field so I am assuming their stuff is good. I am basically just looking for a storage system that I could connect to my server and have it configured it a RAID 5 setup. Can that be done with 4 drives? That seems to be the most "affordable" one if I go the Qnap route.
If anybody in here has any thoughts, I would be grateful to hear them. Here is the other one
I guess because it seems to be a no name one from that site is why it is not as highly recommended.
New Egg and BH have the Qnap one
They both list it for $569. Then I need to add the HD since that is just the box.
This is what is recommended
So when you add all that up, it is cheaper then buying it directly from Qnap but I admit, I am nervous about putting in all the drives my self. I would appreciate any feed back.
One more thing, it looks like the Qnap is running Linux but it also says:
Network Client Platform
Windows XP/ Vista/ Windows 7/8, Windows Server 2003/R2, 2008/R2, 2012, Mac OS X, Linux, UNIX
Since I am running Windows 7, I can assume it will work with server?
Mike, I've been in IT for over 15 years so I thought I'd respond with my thoughts.
You mention directly connecting the storage to your server. If that's the case, your decision is a little easier since you can rule out what are called NAS (Network Attached Storage) units.
Do you know the specifications of your server, in terms of available ports for an external connection? You will likely have USB ports, but it would help to know if they are USB2.0 or USB3.0. USB3.0 offers a faster connection.
That being said, you need to determine how much storage you need/want. A solution like this
from Buffalo would work, but you are limited to 4GB. Keep in mind, that what I linked to is only a 2 drive setup. Buffalo has other models with higher capacity. The key thing here is that the unit comes with the hard drives, and you would have to go directly to Buffalo for a replacement drive should one fail. This is one of the reasons the cost for such a unit is lower than purchasing a chassis and separate drives.
Moving on, we get to units like the Qnap you mention in your post. This is the direction I would take. You have more flexibility in terms of the amount of storage you get, based on the size of the drives you use. In addition, you are not locked into the vendor should a drive fail. You can simply replace it with any drive of the same capacity. Aside from Qnap, Drobo is another popular suggestion. Here's
a listing of some of what Drobo offers. The BH listing offer solutions that include the chassis and drives. LaCie also makes some very nice external drive chassis. Of course, going this route is going to cost a bit more but you have the most flexibility and expand-ability.
Since these drive chassis are USB3.0, they should easily integrate with your Windows 7 based server. In addition, they all basically come with some type of rail that you attach to the hard drives so you can easily slide them into the chassis. You should have no issues getting the drives installed. Once the drive chassis is attached to your server, you will most likely need to access some type of configuration setup (via a web page, cd, etc.) to setup and configure the drive array.
In summary, it all comes down to how much storage you need and how much you'd like to spend.
I hope this reply helps. Fell free to PM me or respond back here should you need some more info on anything and I'll do my best to help out.
One last thing that I just remembered, RAID is not a solution for lost data/media. Meaning, you should always have a backup of whatever is stored on the drive array. Whether it's physical media like DVDs and CDs or even a backup to another external hard drive that is stored elsewhere, you should never fully rely on RAID alone.