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Best system for large scale off site storage

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August 18, 2011 9:50:01 PM

Hello, I'm looking to setup a remote computer to backup my photographs. I have over 10 terabytes of data on raid drives but as a professional photographer I want to also have a 3rd copy off site just in case. I think as a 3rd copy I don't need it to be raid. I'm not sure how to set it up though to be able to login remotely. And does anyone have recommendations on the motherboard for handling a large numbers of drives?
I will occasionally be at the remote location and would like to be able to use it the other way around as well (downloading CF cards locally and uploading back to my main computers).
I've built several computers myself and have a pretty good knowledge of technology, but only in-so-far as what I've needed to learn.
Any help is much appreciated.
Thanks,
Mischa
August 18, 2011 10:04:51 PM

If you want to use something like 10 HD's in the setup, I would still recommend RAID, but you could just as easily set it up as a huge JBOD farm of individual drives. At least in an array, your X number of drives get treated as one large volume so it would simplify connecting and backing up. You won't have to search through drive C through H trying to find where a certain archive is.

Any higher end board will meet your needs, the more SATA connectors and drive controllers you have, the more drives your system can support. Server grade boards will give you a more durable, and much more expensive solution. I would say not to invest in server grade stuff until you try out your idea first, and if it meets your needs you can build up a remote server later.

Remote logging in is not difficult to accomplish. The easiest way to do it is to make sure you have at least Windows 7 Pro installed so you get the remote desktop options. Then all you need to do is make sure that firewalls and routers that are in between the path from your origin to remote site are configured properly.

If you want to get fancy, research "wake on lan" configurations and then you'll be able to power up your remote server remotely so you don't even have to keep your remote site up all the time. You can save a lot of power by only keeping the remote machine up when you need it.
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August 18, 2011 10:14:14 PM

How much money you spending? They best system you could get is a system that have more HDD and a decent CPU(Like i3-2120 at least) and also some ram like 8GB since ram is pretty cheap these days... Just get these sata controllwer because it's better than having it on the motherboard and also, for your HDD, recommend getting 6GBs or at least for the boot drive...
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August 19, 2011 7:56:37 AM

I'd like to spend as little as possible while still making it a solid off site backup system. Due to the large number of drives I'm figuring this will cost around $1500.
I started poking around on NewEgg and these are the main parts I'm considering:

I3-2100 CPU $125 (Is the 2120 significantly different in some way I'm missing?)

Asrock P67 Extreme6 mobo $160 (for an open box). This takes up to 10 drives with 6 at 6gbs. Anyone know of a less expensive model with that same functionality?

2x4gb 1333 G.Skill ram $50

4 Hitachi Deskstar 3tb 5400 6gbs drives $120 each (I guess putting them into a single drive letter raid configuration would be a good idea... But does that break all of them if one goes down?)
Should I get a smaller faster drive for my C: drive?

What's the benefit of getting a SATA controller over the MOBO built in? Any one's you recommend?

Win 7 Pro

Case ? (anyone have a good recommendation for an inexpensive case with lots of 3.5" slots?)

PSU ? (I can figure that one out easily enough, but haven't looked yet)

GPU ? (again, that's easy enough to figure out)

Thanks for the help!

-M
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Best solution

August 19, 2011 1:03:20 PM

MoBo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
VC: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD 6x(6 of) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Optical Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Cost: $1548(With shipping)

Note: This build is for you mostly if your doing those kind of photography... The CPU(APU) has a built in GPU so it'll be a crossfire when you add a 6570 onto it by default... Faster RAM will help the GPU on CPU/VC faster by 75% which is great... Any GPU other than the 6570(The fastest one that will CFx) will not be CFx with the CPU's GPU... If you want a better heatsink for CPU, Most AMD heatsink should fit(Those that fits the AM3)... Also I recommend getting these 3TB because it's cheaper and also at same price as a 6GB/s 2tb(1.5TB at $120 and 2TB at $150) so best if you get 6 of 6GB/s 3TB and RAID them so you get huger speed as the MoBo also support 6 HDD to be raid... If you need anything else like Windows 7 than im sorry if the price is over $1600 lol, hope you can increase it by $100 or so...
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August 19, 2011 1:41:52 PM

Since you are still on the fence on how to set up your RAID, you can set them up as a RAID 0, where all the drives are treated as one, and there is no redundancy. This would give you the greatest performance increase, but you are correct in saying that if you lose one of the member disks, you basically lose all your data. RAID 5 is probably what you would want to look into. Rather than try to explain it here, it would be easier to look up a good description on the internet.

Also, an advantage to buying a good controller card and having that manage your disks is that if you decide to migrate to a new system in the future, you can just yank the whole setup and place it in the new system once the drivers are installed there. If you use the built in controllers on the motherboard, you are effectively locked into the system unless you do a more complex migration of your stored data, which could be a long time if your data store gets very large.
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August 21, 2011 2:27:45 AM

Thanks for the input!

Wathman: any advice on SATA controller cards?

LegendKiller: Why do you like the AMD cpu over the intel? What about going Z68 for the integrated graphics?

-M
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August 21, 2011 3:41:25 AM

Adaptec and Intel would probably be the two "best" manufacturers I would go to, but they are also probably the most expensive. Highpoint and Syba tend to get mixed reviews, but don't have any first hand knowledge of their products for controller cards.
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August 21, 2011 3:12:44 PM

mischaphotography said:
Thanks for the input!

Wathman: any advice on SATA controller cards?

LegendKiller: Why do you like the AMD cpu over the intel? What about going Z68 for the integrated graphics?

-M

I DO NOT LIKE AMD OVER INTEL What I DO LIKE ABOUT AMD IS JUST THE BUILT-IN GPU... Why go for a 2100 when all you do is just doing photo and organizing them and stuff? It wouldn't even touch the 2100 much, Intel HD 3000 is not anywhere near the 6550D on the APU... APU is just the best choice for your stuff... INTEL IS FOR GAMERS!!! Photo editing with a gaming rig is somewhat stupid...
Check this Bench,
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/399?vs=289
It's better for your kind of stuff as in Photo Editing... Intel is always better for gaming....
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August 21, 2011 4:20:10 PM

I thought the main purpose of the rig was offsite storage for lots of image file data. If the computer is going to be used 90% of the time over remote desktop, does it need a lot of graphics capability? That's what the OP needs to answer. If there is going to be a significant amount of work done on the machine locally that would change the recommendation.
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August 21, 2011 4:27:29 PM

I don't plan on doing a significant amount of work on the computer. A friend of mine is actually recommending I use Ubuntu for what I want to do and just use my laptop for the bit of work I'm doing at that location.
Either way, I don't really need any graphics capability except to be able to plug in a monitor ;) 

So if I only use it for redundant offsite storage, can I go any cheaper on any of the parts recommended?

LegendKiller, thanks for the heads up on AMD vs. Intel, I hadn't heard that before.
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August 21, 2011 5:38:37 PM

mischaphotography said:
I don't plan on doing a significant amount of work on the computer. A friend of mine is actually recommending I use Ubuntu for what I want to do and just use my laptop for the bit of work I'm doing at that location.
Either way, I don't really need any graphics capability except to be able to plug in a monitor ;) 

Yeah, use Ubuntu because it's actually better than others and is useful for what your ganna be using... The APU is a better choice over i3-2100 if your doing photo editing and not gaming...
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August 29, 2011 5:00:16 PM

Best answer selected by mischaphotography.
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