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Network Access Storage (NAS) suggestions?

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Anonymous
a b G Storage
October 13, 2004 3:23:05 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Does anyone have any suggestions for a consumer version of a RAID 5
NAS at least 2TB? I know that it is not really consumer oriented yet
but I've reached a point that I need such space and am willing to
shell out if need be.

Thanks!
Anonymous
a b G Storage
October 14, 2004 11:35:18 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

In article <4f0df91b.0410131023.1c731423@posting.google.com>, tommy
<tommynospam@yahoo.com> writes

>Does anyone have any suggestions for a consumer version of a RAID 5
>NAS at least 2TB? I know that it is not really consumer oriented yet
>but I've reached a point that I need such space and am willing to
>shell out if need be.

We recently bought and installed an HP StorageWorks NAS appliance. This
is 1U rackmount, so met our requirement for taking up as little room in
a rack as possible. It has a P4 2.8GHz processor and 512Mb RAM.

Only drawback was that it came with "Windows Server 2003 Appliance
Edition", whatever that is, as the OS. This was terminated with extreme
prejudice and Linux installed. Works well.

You could easily build your own with a few SATA drives, a 3ware RAID
controller, a decent case and PSU and a copy of Linux. Pay attention to
cooling the drives properly.

--
..sigmonster on vacation
Anonymous
a b G Storage
October 15, 2004 5:39:00 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Previously Mike Tomlinson <mike@nospam.jasper.org.uk> wrote:
> In article <4f0df91b.0410131023.1c731423@posting.google.com>, tommy
> <tommynospam@yahoo.com> writes

>>Does anyone have any suggestions for a consumer version of a RAID 5
>>NAS at least 2TB? I know that it is not really consumer oriented yet
>>but I've reached a point that I need such space and am willing to
>>shell out if need be.

> We recently bought and installed an HP StorageWorks NAS appliance. This
> is 1U rackmount, so met our requirement for taking up as little room in
> a rack as possible. It has a P4 2.8GHz processor and 512Mb RAM.

> Only drawback was that it came with "Windows Server 2003 Appliance
> Edition", whatever that is, as the OS. This was terminated with extreme
> prejudice and Linux installed. Works well.

My experience also. You can do this with cheaper hardware too,
but get a good PSU and good cooling for the drives. Also a good case
makes installing the stuff far more pleasurable.

> You could easily build your own with a few SATA drives, a 3ware RAID
> controller, a decent case and PSU and a copy of Linux. Pay attention to
> cooling the drives properly.

You can use Linux software RAID. Does not give you worse
performance actually (to my surprise). SATA is at the moment
a bit experimental on Linux, and depending on reliability needed
you might want to stick to IDE drives. In that case cable length
is a consideration so make sure you can fit all the drives into
the case close enough to the mainboard. I use cheap Promise
controllers for extra IDE ports, no problems yet.

One word of advice: I got an Adaptec 2810AS controller for my first
attempt at a large RAID. It really is a badly designed product and
significantly slower than software-RAID. It took a whole day to
resync an array (software: 8 hours) and crashed several times until
I removed it. The so called "commandline interface" is really just
a text-mode "graphical" shell and completely unusable for any
automated things. The SMART monitoring advertosed is not actually
implemented, so you cannot check on your drives.

Arno
--
For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
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Anonymous
a b G Storage
October 15, 2004 12:09:48 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

In article <2t8o1kF1sqpmvU2@uni-berlin.de>, Arno Wagner <me@privacy.net>
writes

>You can use Linux software RAID. Does not give you worse
>performance actually (to my surprise).

I can believe that, given Linux's efficient handling of threads. You'd
need a fairly quick CPU though (not that they're expensive now.)

> SATA is at the moment
>a bit experimental on Linux,

The Silicon Image 3112 controller appears to be well supported.

>One word of advice: I got an Adaptec 2810AS controller for my first
>attempt at a large RAID. It really is a badly designed product and
>significantly slower than software-RAID.

Noted, thanks. Adaptec seem to have dropped the ball since they moved
away from basic SCSI cards.

--
..sigmonster on vacation
Anonymous
a b G Storage
October 15, 2004 8:33:10 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Mike Tomlinson wrote:
> In article <4f0df91b.0410131023.1c731423@posting.google.com>, tommy
> <tommynospam@yahoo.com> writes
>
>
>>Does anyone have any suggestions for a consumer version of a RAID 5
>>NAS at least 2TB? I know that it is not really consumer oriented yet
>>but I've reached a point that I need such space and am willing to
>>shell out if need be.
>
>
> We recently bought and installed an HP StorageWorks NAS appliance. This
> is 1U rackmount, so met our requirement for taking up as little room in
> a rack as possible. It has a P4 2.8GHz processor and 512Mb RAM.
>
> Only drawback was that it came with "Windows Server 2003 Appliance
> Edition", whatever that is, as the OS. This was terminated with extreme
> prejudice and Linux installed. Works well.
>
> You could easily build your own with a few SATA drives, a 3ware RAID
> controller, a decent case and PSU and a copy of Linux. Pay attention to
> cooling the drives properly.
>

I second that. In my (limited) experience and from following this
newsgroup, it seems that nowadays RAID controllers are overpriced,
underpowered, and have terrible software. This is probably more true
at the consumer level. Software RAID coupled with today's processors
is more than adequate, and on Linux its free and fairly easy to set
up. I also recommend tool-less hard drive mounts. These are so
helpful for dealing with many drives that they should be standardized.
You can find everything you need off of pricewatch.com. Lets see,
ten 250GB hard drives will run about $1400. Not bad.

Another tip. You'll probably be using Gigabit ethernet, in which case
you'll want a server motherboard with a 66Mhz PCI bus. If you get a
standard board with 33Mhz PCI slots, the bus will be saturated and you
won't be able to use the full capacity of the Gigabit ethernet. At
33Mhz x 32-bit, the bitrate is 1.056 gigabits/second, but remember
that PCI is a shared bus. I'd also recommend dual processors to be
able to push around all that data over the network.

Good luck and keep us posted.


http://www.somacon.com/docs/gigabitnas.html
http://www.somacon.com/fasttrak_sx4/
October 18, 2004 4:38:04 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Well, You can build your own NAS server by using off-the-self products. I
build a NAS storage appliance with two mirrored 250GB IDE harddisk (RAID-1)
for under $700. It works great. URLs: Linux Based Embedded NAS:
<http://www.open-e.com&gt; Low-cost 1U server: <http://www.colomachine.com&gt;
"tommy" <tommynospam@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:4f0df91b.0410131023.1c731423@posting.google.com...
> Does anyone have any suggestions for a consumer version of a RAID 5
> NAS at least 2TB? I know that it is not really consumer oriented yet
> but I've reached a point that I need such space and am willing to
> shell out if need be.
>
> Thanks!
Anonymous
a b G Storage
October 19, 2004 5:16:11 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Previously Mike Tomlinson <mike@nospam.jasper.org.uk> wrote:
> In article <2t8o1kF1sqpmvU2@uni-berlin.de>, Arno Wagner <me@privacy.net>
> writes

>>You can use Linux software RAID. Does not give you worse
>>performance actually (to my surprise).

> I can believe that, given Linux's efficient handling of threads. You'd
> need a fairly quick CPU though (not that they're expensive now.)

Athlon 2200XP+ or so is fine.

>> SATA is at the moment
>>a bit experimental on Linux,

> The Silicon Image 3112 controller appears to be well supported.

Support is o.k.. Error handling is not quite there for
some types of errors, at least in the Promise driver.
I got a number of freezes recently (hardware problem).
Hot-swap and SMART is not supported yet either.

However I expect that the next few months will fix these
issues, e.g. SMART is already being worked on as far
as I understand.

>>One word of advice: I got an Adaptec 2810AS controller for my first
>>attempt at a large RAID. It really is a badly designed product and
>>significantly slower than software-RAID.

> Noted, thanks. Adaptec seem to have dropped the ball since they moved
> away from basic SCSI cards.

My impression also. I will stay with software-RAID for the
future. More control, flexibility, documentation and reliability.

Arno
--
For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
!