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Summary

Toaster RAID Returns, Better Than Ever
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Mini-ITX has been around for a while but it seems to be finally coming into its own. It and other small computer and single-board form factors have really come out of the box, so to speak. There are many products and vendors offering interesting solutions. The speeds and feeds of small form-factor motherboards are limited only by the size of the footprint since only one or two memory modules, a single CPU, and maybe a PCI Express slot will usually fit on a mini-ITX motherboard. But they also can handle a front side bus, CPU, and memory components with access/clock speeds that match those that larger boards can handle. There are lots of possibilities for new, different, and creative computing systems using small form-factor and low-power motherboards.

Future Plans For Toaster RAID

While planning this system's build, there were several alternative motherboards and drive configurations that could have been used. There are much higher capacity 2.5-inch drives available, and for an additional cost, a server with 2 TB or more of capacity could have been built. There are also several interesting small motherboards on the market that would make for a good file server, as well.

Pico-ITX Board

The pico-ITX board from VIA looks interesting and I would like to build a very small toaster RAID with it. It only offers one SATA port but maybe something innovative can be developed. There are solid state storage solutions available for reasonable prices.

Atom CPU On A Mini-ITX Board

The new low-power Atom processor from Intel also looks interesting, and there are Atom boards available with four SATA ports.  Low-power systems, global positioning processors, packet-data modems, vehicle bus interfaces, and wireless carrier accounts all mean that interesting and powerful in-vehicle computing systems could be developed for a reasonable price.

VIA 7500 With Five Ethernet Ports; 7800 With Eight SATA Ports

The VIA NAB 7500-15DVB Network Appliance Development Board has four SATA ports and five Ethernet ports. With all these network ports, this would make a good network file server. The VIA NAS 7800-15LST NAS board has eight SATA ports, and an option for four more. This could be used to make a Toaster RAID with tremendous capacity.

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  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , February 4, 2009 5:11 AM
    I thought the idea in fitting a NAS into a toaster is that you plugged the disks through the bread slots!
  • 1 Hide
    NateDawg80126 , February 4, 2009 5:15 AM
    "Is that Patrick Swayze!?" -Moses as he looked across the Red Sea.
  • 3 Hide
    boostercorp , February 4, 2009 8:40 AM
    ytoledano3I thought the idea in fitting a NAS into a toaster is that you plugged the disks through the bread slots!

    yeah it would ve been nice if you could just shove in two hot plug & play drives in there.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 4, 2009 4:28 PM
    gives a whole new meaning to "hot swappable" ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    Astara , February 4, 2009 8:44 PM
    boostercorpyeah it would ve been nice if you could just shove in two hot plug & play drives in there.

    Imagine a backup-product like the various 'one-touch' backup offerings -- but in this case, you just push a drive into the toaster slot -- it begins the backup process, when done, it can eject** the drive. That sounds very sweet.

    **-raise drive, not physically throw it out of the toaster! :-)
  • 1 Hide
    Shadow703793 , February 4, 2009 8:57 PM
    Quote:
    Using the small 2.5" drives, there is easily room for eight to 12 drives.

    Then why not use some of the 640/750GB or 1.5/2TB drives?

    Any ways cool mod.
  • -2 Hide
    ph3412b07 , February 4, 2009 9:26 PM
    ghetto-fab :D 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 5, 2009 10:11 AM
    Here's a better one:
    http://www.embeddedarm.com/software/arm-netbsd-toaster.php
  • 0 Hide
    arkadi , February 5, 2009 10:41 AM
    Grate job, looks perfect mate.
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , February 5, 2009 3:30 PM
    wouldve been cooler to put in a dvd drive in the bread slots.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 9, 2009 4:22 PM
    How's this hold up in a heavy sea? Data corrupt, read errors as you pound to weather could be a problem. Also where's the view of the light show, I wanted to see those led's flashing and shining thru the bread slots. A hollow-graphic hula girl shining a-top the slots would be a motivational feature. Ideas for toaster RAID 2012
  • 0 Hide
    studiopronto , February 17, 2009 7:59 PM
    Maybe you could connect it wirelessly to your network and "hide" it in your kitchen.
  • 0 Hide
    boostercorp , February 18, 2009 6:02 PM
    studioprontoMaybe you could connect it wirelessly to your network and "hide" it in your kitchen.


    hmmm and then your girlfriend get's a craving for some toasted bread ...
    all kinds of crumbs and sh** inside your raid
  • 0 Hide
    annihilator-x- , February 19, 2009 9:55 AM
    Seems like a perfect place to hide all the p0rn, innocent looking toaster.
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , May 22, 2009 12:12 AM
    studioprontoMaybe you could connect it wirelessly to your network and "hide" it in your kitchen.


    Sounds like an amazing way to hide something.
    Possibly make it so 1 of the slots work, and insulate the computer from the heat? Forcing a shutdown if the toaster is actually used. All wireless of course. :) 

    boostercorphmmm and then your girlfriend get's a craving for some toasted bread ...all kinds of crumbs and sh** inside your raid


    Ha. My brother used to put waffles in our VCR, and yet it still lived. A protected compuer would be fine.