Originally Posted by Hoots
yes, buy some time while planning and budgeting for a more a solution with more scale.... a cage with lot's of empty slots & management scheme where I can just add drives as I grow and not end up with a complicated Frankenstein.
What rough order of magnitude budget would you suggest for a new FlexRaid server (minus the drives) using new parts (vs. laying around)?
I would like to learn from your work vs. repeating the learning process.
How does this FlexRaid approach compare to the Synology offering?
First you can buy Flexraid now and install and use it. ($69) You can also buy another hard drive and install it (either SATA or USB) ($99-150) That would gain you 3-4TB more space now, and get your feet wet with Flexraid. You would gain the benefit of pooling your drives together into one big drive, and also gain parity back up recovery. Not bad for that cost. Using exactly what you have now.
In time, you can upgrade to a better long term solution and waste non of this cost spend now. You can re-use the same hard drive (even "shuck" the external to make internal later) and Flexraid. You can also reuse you existing other hardrives (even with data on them already) too. Not much downside here.
For a new build the sky is the limit. But if you wanted a simple media server and you did not need much power for transcoding I would get something like this:
($79-120) Asrock Extreme3/4 Motherboard (I choose this because it has Intel LAN NIC, and also has more PCI lanes and slots for dual sata cards or tv tuner card or gpu or whatever but you can downgrade to a H series "PRO4" for only $80 )
($60) Haswell Pentium CPU LGA1150
($50) DDR3 (do you have some ? Get 8GB of 1600mhz or higher)
($50) PSU ( I like the Rosewill Captsone 550 watts at this price)
The case is your choice. I have an expensive case (Norco 4220) but you can get cases for $80 that might suit your needs. Andy and a couple others in this thread have the same case as me ($300) if you want to go all the way it's a proven winner. Sometimes you want a form factor that is a tower instead of a server style, or even an ITX cube. It's hard to recommend a case for someone I think- it's a personal decision based on size and looks and budget. No single answer exists universally.
If you get a motherboard like the Extreme4 it will have 8 SATA ports. Likely this might not be enough so you can add a SATA card (HBA) to add more ports. Look for a good quality x8 speed card like the IBM and DELL mentioned and used by many in this thread. This should run you under $99 depending on luck and timing and if you want to flash yourself even cheaper. If you want the easy way you can buy one from Andy Steb or Techmattr here on AVS- I trust them both to flash it properly and give you a good deal.
One card would get you 16 total ports. Assuming 1 is SSD for OS, and another is optical you get 14 hard drives, and if one or two are parity that gives you at least 12 data drives. If you go with 3TB drives you get 36TB of data.
That's really about it.