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Storage Solution on My homebuilt - point me in right direction

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May 18, 2009 2:22:45 AM

I built this computer over a year ago now and it has worked wonderfully as a gaming platform...but now I'm wanting to look at storage for all the stuff that is piling up. Could someone point me in the right direction. I have been overwhelmed with information about storage possibilities and need some help deciphering it. Below are the computer stats

My goal use the current hard drive as my windows gaming platform, the 150GB is plenty to maintain the games I play at any time. I take allot of pictures and video and want a second set of drives for storage at a minimum of 1TB...I was thinking more like 2+ TBs with the HD video camera I am getting. I first looked at online storage but read that this could take up to 200 days to initially store 600GB of data so that seems a bit ridiculous. I then thougt about building a second Windows Home Server set up...but realized I have plenty of SATA plug ins on my mother board. I was thinking maybe hook up a total of 4 1TBs, with a 2 sets of 2 TB drive set ups. I would use one set of the HDs as a 2TB hard drive for all my media storage, then I would use the other 2TB drive as a back up drive where I will use the Norton 360 backup feature to back up the 1st 2TB drive to the other 2TB drive. In other words each of the 2 TB drives would be made up of 2 1TB HDs setup in i think Raid 0...

does this sound possible and or should I be looking in other directions?


Motherboard: ASUS Striker II Extreme LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI ATX
Memory: 4 – Ballistix 1GB 240 pin 128MX64DDR2 PC2 – 8500 CL5 EPP (total 4GB)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3.0GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
GPUs: 2 – nVidia GeForce 8800 Ultras
Hard drive: Western Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive
DVD drive: LITE-ON DVDRW LH-20A1S
Case: Antec Nine Hundred
Power supply: ULTRA 1000w ATX Power Supply
Sound: Sound Blaster X-Fi
Running Windows XP
a b G Storage
May 18, 2009 4:08:58 AM

If this article is accurate, 2GB drives run very hot. Hot enough to force you to get additional cooling for the rest of your system.

Unless you're looking for tremendously fast hard disk access speeds, I suggest you keep things simple and forgo RAID? Also, unless you upload 1GB of data to your computer everyday, you won't anything more than a single 1TB hard disk, IMO.
May 18, 2009 11:59:50 PM

The video camera I'm getting stores HD video at about 4 hours for 64GB. I plan on taking a decent amount of video footage as My wife and I have some kids on the way. At 64GB for 4 hours...I plan on using up a TB pretty quick. Sure I'll edit and cut allot of that down, but, ya, goal is 2TB or better for now.

A person at work today suggested Drobo as a back up tool with 4 TB Hard drives in it, and keeping 4TB hard drives RAID 5 in my case as a main data storage place this would give me around 3.25 TB of storage capacity and back up capacity.

Then I though if I'm going that far to have that much back up capacity, might as well not raid the case hard drives and just back up each individual drives to Drobo to sqeeze out another .5 TB (Since Drobo is a more efficient RAID setup).

Any other suggestions?
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a c 127 G Storage
May 19, 2009 12:22:51 AM

WD Green drives may be a good pick for the video storage, since that is mostly sequential access and these disks, although having higher latency are quite good at that, with 100MB/s+ transfer speeds at the outer tracks. I would recommend against using RAID5, since on Windows that is troublesome and has no good drivers. Instead, a RAID0+1 of 4x 1TB drives, or two RAID0s of 1TB drives being a backup of eachother is probably a safer route.

Another option would be to only concentrate on speed for your system disk, and building a NAS running FreeNAS or whatever to make a good RAID5 which you access over the network. That means you gotha have gigabit and preferably a switch capable of 7000 bytes MTU (also called Jumbo Frames) to allow for higher transfer speeds. FreeNAS is a simple web-GUI NAS-oriented operating system.
a b G Storage
May 19, 2009 2:19:01 AM

Ah, no wonder. Yes, push for 2TB or up! :p 

If you'll be doing a lot of video editing though, I think you'll have to push for high speed across the board, or at least on your system drive and on the drive where you'll edit the video files. I'm thinking sub mesa's FreeNAS idea would do great for your storage, while a RAID 0 on your desktop would make your editing life easier.

sub mesa, where'd you hear about the troubles with RAID 5 and Windows?
a c 127 G Storage
May 19, 2009 11:28:10 AM

Well RAID never really worked out great in Windows, for the speed the misalignment issue has wasted alot of potential, for the reliability NTFS light meta-data only journaling cannot protect against large write-back buffers, and a crash here results in data corruption or split arrays, this issue can be found on many forums including these. After i couldn't get proper RAID5 performance on my windows system, i began looking for software equivalents available under Linux and later BSD. Both do a much better job, and its ZFS specifically that is worthy of attention. This beast is now available on both FreeBSD and FreeNAS; available to the big public. People should make use of it, if it supports their cause.

Windows is lacking, we were promised a new filesystem (WinFS) by Vista, but we're still stuck with NTFS. No option for better journaling or a copy-on-write model filesystem. In other words, Windows + RAID is going to be troublesome. You need at least a battery protection on the write-back buffer, and the disks themselves should not fail either since these employ write-back as well. With so many disks, it would not be hard to overrun the small metadata only journaling employed by NTFS to safeguard its data in the case of a crash, power issue, device timeout, driver bug, etc. So i'm highly sceptical of using windows to store data on RAID5. It works as long as nothing goes wrong. But ofcourse something will happen over time, and then the problems start.
May 19, 2009 9:25:45 PM

I did some price comparisons to building my own NAS system with a 4 card controller versus just going and buying a DROBO or QNAP system. Your comments took me off searching and I ended up on a tangent Idea that goes like this: Start small, get two 2TB HDDs and put one in my computer case and one in a QNAP TS-539. Do all my video editing on my main hard drive, the 10000 rpm 150GB disk, and all my storage of finished product and raw video on the 2TB disk in my computer (And backed up on the QNAP). Then when I edge towards 80% capacity, buy two more HDDs which may end up being 3TB if it takes long enough for technology to go a bit further to consumers like us, and through 1 new HDD in my case, and plug the other in the QNAP. maintain them as separate HDDs and keep all my storage on these larger HDDs and Backed up on the QNAP HDDs. Eventually, 2-3 years down the road, I'll have say 5 HDDs in my box, (I have 5 3.5 slots left + the original 10000rpm main HDD), and 5 HDDs in the QNAP. The drives will be set up for specific things, like 1 music, 1 documents and pictures, and the others all video. the companion drives that I install in the QNAP un RAIDed (if possible) would be direct copies of the HDD they are meant to mimic. I keep the QNAP unplugged and separate and back each HDD up an a weekly/monthly basis.

How bout dem apples?

Stu
!