AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
673 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to organize 16 hard drives in a RAID 5. I got two of these server cases:

http://www.rackmountpro.com/prodimages/4u4d.jpg


One is for my existing 2Tb server and the other one is for the new server that I am building right now.


Then I stumbled on this:

http://www.cooldrives.com/fi80013oc5fi.html


and this:

http://www.cooldrives.com/mubay85fi800.html


I now have two options:


1. Hardware RAID 5 with two 3Ware 8 port cards and the rack case. It would be faster, but I would be wasting two drives. It would be a lot more expensive as well.


2. Software RAID 5 with two 800Mb firewire enclosure and Server 2003. Slower, but for DVD streaming should be enough. I would be wasting only one drive for parity. I can also upgrade to 24 or even 32 in the future and have a RAID 5 with 32 drives and wasting only one as a spare. In terms on ease of use, the firewire wins hands down.


What do you guys think? Can you recommend one over the other option? I am seriously leaning toward the firewire enclosures.


Regards,

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,131 Posts
It would not be more expensive to go HW raid, 7506-8s are ~$365 which is less than either FW enclosure. I'm not sure how FW is easier to use either, AFAIK Windows doesn't support online capacity expansion so you would still need to destroy/rebuild the array if you went with SW RAID (which you could do with the 3wares as well.


Definitely go with the 3wares.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Ah, OK, now I agree with you, neither 3ware nor Windows software RAID support online expansion. LSI does, as does IBM, as does the new RAIDCore card, and the linux software support is sort of there, but it's beta and NOT something I'd trust my data to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
673 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I started to look for firewire enclosures and it appears that it is cheaper to get the single drive enclosures(as low as $29). This way I can get all I need to add 16 hard drives to my computer for $480. If I were to build a hardware RAID 5 I would have to spend about $1500 to $2000 for the case, CPU, RAID cards etc. The firewire enclosures would also be more quiet and would take less space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
You would also want to check the ACTUAL speeds from HDs in external (Firewire or USB2) enclosures vs RAID cards.


I have found that drives in external enclosures were slower than on a Raid card. Might of course depend on what you get.


Just FYI.


Arno
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,131 Posts
That's completely different than what you said in your first post. In that post you stated you had the cases already and the FW enclosures you linked to were both $400+.


It may be less expensive, but you have all that mess of enclosures/wires, plus you end up with 16 drive letters that way, I wouldn't trust my data to any software RAID but that's just me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
673 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
By the way, if the main drive in the PC with the Server 2003 installation fails, would the software RAID array survive and be recognized by the new Server 2003 installation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
From what I have seen, the speed of a RAID is not dependent on whether the controller is hardware or software, rather how many IDE or FW controllers you are using (ie 4 drives connected to 1 card with hardware RAID will be slower than 4 drives connected to 2 controllers using software). With similar setups comparing HW and SW, speed difference will be negligible.


As for what happens if the main drive fails, I can't say for sure with Windows, but I know with Mac OS X, any OS X startup volume will see the software RAID (OS 9 won't). That said, I just ordered one of those 8 bay FireWire enclosures. I don't think I am going to go with a RAID setup. I've had a striped RAID fail once, and I'm too cheap to do mirrored or RAID 5 even. If one drive fails, I guess I will just have to re-rip the DVDs that were on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
A few questions- if you use a firewire enclosure like the one in this thread, are the drives daisy chained internal in the enclosure, and then one firewire cable to the PC or Mac? Or do you need 8 FW cables to the computer? This all assumes a JBOD configuration. Also, can you start out with 3 or 4 drives and add more when you want? Does anyone know how external FW 400, USB2.0, or FW800 compare to ATA133 internal speed? The most I can see my server being used for at once is maybe two movies or HDTV files to two client PCs, plus maybe one household music MP3 stream.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
850 Posts
Another option, which is what I do, is to kind of make your own firewire enclosure. I purchased ide to firewire adapters from caloptic for $60 each and each one handles 2 drives. Add a power supply and a case and you have an enclosure which is relatively inexpensive. In my case, I just have my drives in open air attached to each other with a piece from an erector set kit just so they don't tip over, with an old power supply. The enclosures that you refered to have internal firewire daisychaining.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,131 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Sarah Baucom
From what I have seen, the speed of a RAID is not dependent on whether the controller is hardware or software, rather how many IDE or FW controllers you are using (ie 4 drives connected to 1 card with hardware RAID will be slower than 4 drives connected to 2 controllers using software). With similar setups comparing HW and SW, speed difference will be negligible.

???

Where'd you hear that? I seriously doubt that is true, 3ware cards scale very well as the number of drives is increased since each drive has it's own channel, not like some others, with 2 drivers per channel. The 8-port cards have 8 channels (only 8 drives, no master/slave). The 4-port 3ware cards (7450) can easilly saturate the PCI bus, especially with the new crop of HDDs that can sustain 40-50MB/sec.
Quote:


As for what happens if the main drive fails, I can't say for sure with Windows, but I know with Mac OS X, any OS X startup volume will see the software RAID (OS 9 won't). That said, I just ordered one of those 8 bay FireWire enclosures. I don't think I am going to go with a RAID setup. I've had a striped RAID fail once, and I'm too cheap to do mirrored or RAID 5 even. If one drive fails, I guess I will just have to re-rip the DVDs that were on it.
One drive seems like a small price to pay to avoid re-ripping a couple hundred DVDs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
mikemav


You can daisy chain FW drives (1 have 6 x 200g) with one wire to your computer.


My HT room (ie family room) is over the basement. Drilled a hold thru the floor and connected the first with a 15' FW cable to my HTPC. After that, I diasy chained the rest. It removes the noisy drives away from my ears. Still need one or 2 more drives.


I would sugest that 90c4's way of doing it is probably the most inexpense method. Simply buy 3/4 FW-IDE converters with a 300w PS and leave it on a hidden shelf (in the basement if you can). I did not know about the FW/IDE connectors
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top