I am building a media server and was planning on using Raid 5 with 3 hdd's with 1 spare.
The other question is if I should bother with raid 5? I would like to drop my costs but also need some warm fuzzy to back up my data. I am looking for suggestions.
The most important data will be the family pics that is currently being backed up with mozy 75GB at present.
If you do decide to go the RAID route, while I suspect all of these drives would work fine, buying the RAID certified drives such as the WD RE4 models (or equivalent) would be better (simply as they're designed to work in that sort of environment). I suspect a lot will depend on how much use the server will be getting eg just in the evneings or 24/7 or how many people are using it at the same time. Of the drives you suggested, personally I'd go with Hitachi or the Seagate Barracuda.
I'm assuming you want RAID5 so your media server is still running if you loose a drive? If you don't need the server to be able to run 24/7 and you were thinking RAID in case of a drive failure could always go RAID1 (although drive failure means the server is down until you rebuild the array.
While the RAID will give you a safety net incase of a drive failure, regular backups should always be done any way.
The value of raid-1 and it's variants like raid-5 for protecting data is that you can recover from a hard drive failure quickly.
It is for servers that can't afford any down time.
Recovery from a hard drive failure is just moments.
Fortunately hard drives do not fail often.
Mean time to failure is claimed to be on the order of 1,000,000 hours.(100 years)
Raid-1 does not protect you from other types of losses such as viruses,
software errors,raid controller failure, operator error, or fire...etc.
For that, you need EXTERNAL backup.
If you have external backup, and can afford some recovery time, then you don't need raid.
I am surprised that you would recommend the Hitachi first pick
As for the RAID it does appear that for what I will be using the server for I may not need to use raid at all. It was my thoughts that RAID 5 would be the best with a spare drive but it seems that it may be something that is not needed.
Hopefully some more peeps drop some info and experiences
depending on the motherboard you have raid 5 can be awful and create as many problems as it is supposed to solve.
personally I'd just use a couple drives with no raid and backup to an external hard drive or another computer files you 100% dont want to lose... say weekly or so.
also I would not use any green drives in a raid 5 array they usually do goofy stuff like auto power down. possibly change rpms.. this is very bad in a raid array and can cause the computer to degrade the array and then rebuild it.. very time consuming.
Make decisions but dont overbuy you can always add capacity.
How big a capacity did you need. Is one terabyte enough for now?
in 6 monthes hard drive prices will probably be down by 1/3 if the usual pattern follows. and 2tb drives right now are a huge premium over 1tb.