Need Help Building Raid Media Server

I am looking for some direction on setting up a raid.

My computer currently has 6 3gbs SATA ports.

I will list my concerns 1st and then maybe you can answer my question on what would me best.

I was planning on buying 6 One Terabyte HDs and putting them in a raid and eventually wanted to transfer these hard drives to a larger system and add more. I did not know if their were certain raids that allowed you to add hard drives once a raid is already setup.

My main concerns in the system is redundancy if a drive fails.
And my other concern is which raid is better if you are writing to the drives a lot.


I have 4 Terabytes of movies and Tv shows spread over 4 computers right now and I want to consolidate them.

I am Torn if I should buy a external enclosure that can hold more hard drives and has a built in card to handle heavier raid arrays.( If you guys think this way is better any suggestions would be appreciated)
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  1. Firstly I would not buy 1TB drives. 2TB drives is what you should go for:

    1) They are better for cost per GB
    2) You'll be able to use less drives which usually means less chance of failure.

    I think all raid types will let you expand. Although adding additional drives to raid 0 and raid 1 will only affect performance or reliability never capacity.

    As for which raid type is "better" for writing to the drives a lot, this is a very generic statement. Do you mean which is more likely to be reliable, which is faster at writing?

    You should consider a 4x2TB RAID 5 array. Which will give you almost 6TB of capacity. Which is enough for your media. This can be done in a number of ways but traditionally done by a central file server. A NAS will do nicely here.

    There are a variety of commercial NAS solutions available which different features. Have a look on newegg or whatever and see if you spot any you like.
  2. What are the advantages of using NAS over my built in Motherboard storage controller?
  3. Using your motherboard means that you are going to have to go away and take into consideration:

    1) Setting up the RAID array and it's management.
    2) Power consumption. Is this PC is going to be on for long periods of time
    3) Security configuration. Accessing the array over the network.
    4) General configuration. The OS, what applications you want to run on it.
    5) Case size. NAS boxes take up less space with their custom cases. Finding small but featured cases is difficult.
    6) Performance. NAS already makes promises about performance. You are on your own if the performance isn't good enough.

    Obviously the downside of the NAS is that it costs a little more than DIY and there is less chance of expandability unless you choose your model carefully. However the time you'll save may be worth it. Definitely work considering.
  4. Any suggestions on a NAS setup becuase I havent seen anything that holds that much for the money
  5. Ah always look for unpopulated NAS boxes as the price soars when you get them prefitted with drives.

    Here's a few examples:
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