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Home Storage Solution

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May 25, 2011 1:54:24 PM

Hey guys, i've been through the forum trying to find a solution that meets what im trying to do but cant seem to find one.

Essentially I want 2 arrays, one being a 2 x 300GB raptor array (raid 0) and a 4 x 3TB Raid 5 array for storage. Both these arrays need to be connected to my PC (But must remain external to the pc).

Now Im really not sure where to begin. How can I house the HDDS, what kind of SATA card will i need, are there hardware limits with raids (could i use 3TB drives with raid 5) etc.

The raid needs to be external to the pc as it will sit in a cupboard a few metres away so if my PC gets nicked, my storage drives should still be nice n hidden in the cupboard. Also I don't want a NAS solution as I want to keep my network traffic clear.

Crude graphical diagram:



For the drives, im thinking:

4 x Hitachi 3TB Deskstar 7K3000 3.5" Hard Drive SATA 6GB/s 7200RPM 64MB Cache
2 x WD 300GB 3.5" SATA-II Velociraptor Hard Drive - 10000rpm 16MB Cache - OEM

What do you think? Where should I start?

D

More about : home storage solution

a b G Storage
May 25, 2011 2:13:28 PM

I think you need to rethink your solution.

This is a lot of work with the massive assumption that thieves will stay out of your cupboard!

Perhaps consider keeping the raptors in the machine and putting the storage drives elsewhere.

I know you said no NAS but if it's only being used as storage there will only be network traffic when you want it rather than when the OS demands it.
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May 25, 2011 2:30:43 PM

Rusting In Peace said:
I think you need to rethink your solution.

This is a lot of work with the massive assumption that thieves will stay out of your cupboard!

Perhaps consider keeping the raptors in the machine and putting the storage drives elsewhere.

I know you said no NAS but if it's only being used as storage there will only be network traffic when you want it rather than when the OS demands it.



I'm hoping if someone stole my pc (which looks v nice), they'll simply snip all the wires and do a runner with it.... thats the thinking anyway.

Regarding the raptor idea, I cant see any reason why I couldnt do this, so I will :) 

With regards to the NAS comment though, I do own 2 NAS's and the data transfer speed from them is around 16Mb/s over a gigabit ethernet - its awful. I was hoping that an external sata raid solution would give me a much better transfer rate. (ideally 60Mb/s+).

How would I go about acheiving those kind of speeds with a NAS? (The nas's i currently own are a buffalotech 1tb linkstation - actually it broke after a year, just like my brothers, and a DLINK DNS-323 which is housing 2 x 4tb drives).

I'm also a little anti- going for NAS as I dont want to be tied in by NAS hardware really as the companies that build them dont offer the greatest of support either.

D
a b G Storage
May 25, 2011 2:44:33 PM

Yeah it's not a terrible idea and I'm sure others do the same. For me you are just gambling on someone's intelligence though. If you were raiding a house would you not check cupboards?

I also have a commercial NAS, a little Netgear ReadyNAS Duo. It has 5-12MB/s transfer speeds. It's not particularly speedy.

So when it ran out of space I decided just to build my own NAS. Sure it's a little bigger than a commercial solution and it ultimately cost me more in terms of money and time but I have full control over it. I haven't configured it as a network share though but I'm expecting > 60MB/s.

FireWire2 had a nice solution using this controller in this thread. So there is proof that with the right hardware you'll get > 60MB/s.
a c 130 G Storage
May 25, 2011 2:54:46 PM

Dont think that controller ^ will do what he wants, which is external drive RAID. For that you want external enclosures with the RAID guts built into the box, not the PC connection.
May 25, 2011 2:54:50 PM

The link you've posted on firewire2 solution doesn't work - could you repost?

D
May 25, 2011 3:00:06 PM

hang-the-9 said:
Dont think that controller ^ will do what he wants, which is external drive RAID. For that you want external enclosures with the RAID guts built into the box, not the PC connection.


You saying i should be going for a solution where the enclosure for the external raid should actually handle the configuration and management of the whole raid itself and that i only need 1 sata cable back to my pc?
a c 130 G Storage
May 25, 2011 4:26:57 PM

Delerium69 said:
You saying i should be going for a solution where the enclosure for the external raid should actually handle the configuration and management of the whole raid itself and that i only need 1 sata cable back to my pc?


From what it looks like you are trying to do, that looks to be the best option. eSata or USB3 will work. USB2 is a bit too slow for use in a permanant storage setup.
a b G Storage
May 25, 2011 5:14:48 PM

hang-the-9: I'm pursuing the NAS option rather than an external storage device that's why I'm suggesting a raid controller that meets the OP's transfer requirements of 60MB/s.

Delerium69: I'm using the UK forums so the URLs are slightly different. I thought changing the domain to com instead of co.uk was enough but apparently not. I've changed them back to co.uk, perhaps they'll work now.
May 25, 2011 11:22:06 PM

Think im more inclined to follow the direct esata route really. Question is, how is that build made up?
May 26, 2011 1:48:07 AM


Delerium69 said:
Hey guys, i've been through the forum trying to find a solution that meets what im trying to do but cant seem to find one.

Essentially I want 2 arrays...


Ok, this is what I did.

I installed an internal raid backplane drive box http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=119 that holds 3 3 1/2 inch SATA drives. It is strapped to a 6in X 2ft oak board that is clamped to my desk using C clamps and uses a power cord that I made myself using heavy gauge wire (16 gauge) and crimp-on connectors. It is quite nice actually, I will be ordering wire sheathing also. The drive box is connected to my motherboard SATA connectors using 1 meter SATA cables. This is the maximum length, btw.

Now then. I have another drive box, identical to the first. This will be mounted directly below the first in the same manner giving me 6 external drive slots. A Scythe 80mm fan cools each box along with a Zalman Fan Mate 2 fan controller. I am running 4 WD RE4 drives in RAID 0 and RAID 10, 3 arrays, RAID 0 for the OS, RAID 10 for my home directory, and RAID 10 for backup. My raid controller is an Adaptec RAID 2405.

I like this set up so much that I have a new Adaptec RAID 2805 sitting on my workbench. In a month or two I will have 6 WD RE4's, 4 mounted in my case, 2 mounted in an external drive box for a 6 drive RAID set of 3 RAID arrays: RAID 0 for the OS, RAID 10 for my home directory, and RAID 10 for backup storage. That will leave room for two more drives for an 8 drive RAID set and backup drives that can be inserted and removed in a matter of seconds.

Think about this because I think this is what you want. You aren't going to get these speeds using NAS. I will have a total of 6 external drive slots, each connected directly to my raid card or the motherboard with sufficient cooling for each drive. There are internal drive boxes that hold more than 3 drives each, I chose these as they were sufficient for my needs. Really the only work involved is clamping the oak board to the desk and making the power cables which really turned out to be quite easy. The limitation is the 1 meter SATA cables.

I wanted to use my own raid card and high quality power supply and that is what led me in this direction. Let me know what you decide to do.





May 26, 2011 1:56:37 AM

And oh yeah, the data transfer rate is over 500 MB/s for sequential reads and writes, what you would expect from a 4 drive RAID 0 array. The RAID 10 arrays aren't as fast but each is over 350 MB/s. This will go up with 6 drives.

I recommend that you replace the Raptors with SSD's, perhaps two of the new Crucial SSD's.
a b G Storage
May 26, 2011 11:20:04 AM

Delerium69 said:
Think im more inclined to follow the direct esata route really. Question is, how is that build made up?


I still think having a secret set of hard drives in a cupboard near your PC isn't the best solution. SATA cables, like r0ck3tm@n said, have a maximum length of 1m. That's insanely restrictive. Cat 6 on the other hand is 55m which would give you plenty of options to hide away these drives.

For example you could have these drives in your attic and if they were actually part of a NAS they could be networked by wired or wirelessly.

But whatever.
May 26, 2011 11:05:21 PM

Thanks for all the comments. Done some more research and finally think im going to go with the direct sata connection rather than NAS. Rather than cupboard, im going to integrate it behind my desk drawers which has plenty of airflow and space.

I've found the following hardware:

1 x 4 in 3 SATA I & II Internal Raid Backplane (MB454SPF-B) - mfr link: http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=50
4 x Hitachi Deskstar 3TB 7K3000 SATA III Hard Drive - http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3tb-hitachi-deskstar-7k3...

Now Im stuck when it comes to picking a decent SATA III controller card. Looking at the spare card slots in my pc, i have:

1 PCIe 2.0x16 and 2 PCIe 2.0x1 slots as well as 3 PCI slots.

Any recommendations?

Del
June 8, 2011 9:02:24 AM

Ok the backplane wasnt the way to go, the rocketraid card, wiring hanging out etc was awful (and it also crashed my OS drive). Sent all that back and got a QNAP 4 bay NAS. Read speed is 55MBs+ (happy with that). Initial write speed is indicating around 23MB/s which is good but the nas was still building the array at the time so i imagine the speeds will be much faster when finished.

D
a b G Storage
June 8, 2011 9:14:49 AM

Glad you went for the NAS in the end. It was always the way to go! ;) 

Did you hide it in a super secret, but well ventilated, place?

Also I'm assuming you put the raptors in your PC and the 4x3TB drives in the QNAP?
June 8, 2011 3:35:49 PM

Rusting In Peace said:
Glad you went for the NAS in the end. It was always the way to go! ;) 

Did you hide it in a super secret, but well ventilated, place?

Also I'm assuming you put the raptors in your PC and the 4x3TB drives in the QNAP?



Its in a cupboard that has an open back near the wall so should be fine.

Haven't done the raptor bit yet - the only real reason I wanted raptors was for an impending internet upgrade (planned september) that offers download speeds of up to 100mb (its fibre optic cable). I just wanted to make sure my pc's hdds could handle that speed (and im reluctant to use SSDs for downloads).

I guess nearer the time ill make a decision and break my pc again :p 

D
a b G Storage
June 9, 2011 8:26:58 AM

Doesn't that mean your download speed is 12.5MB/s then? Any drive should be able write at these speeds.

SSDs are absolutely fine for downloads and intensive i/o. I wondered about this in the past but PhilFrisbie said it was fine.
June 13, 2011 8:00:27 AM

It does but when you take into account that you're downloading multiple files as well as extracting at the same time, the HDDs struggle.

NAS tested - managing 60MB/s downloading from it and 24MB/s uploading - happy enough with that.

D
!