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Best eSATA JBOD?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the throwing-it-out-there dept.

Data Storage 210

redlandmover writes "I already have an HP Media Server (upgraded processor, and memory) that has already been upgraded internally to 3.5TB. I'm sure everyone already has their favorite backup solution (RAID, WHS, a billion external hard drives, etc). My question is: what is the best JBOD (Just a Bunch of Drives), eSATA-connected, external hard drive enclosure? (Preferably, at least 4 drives.)"

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first post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429609)

yes?

I stopped reading the summary (1, Insightful)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429651)

after the cretin suggested that RAID was some sort of substitute for a backup.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429707)

What are you talking about?

With ZFS on my Mac server, tape backups are a thing of the past.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (3, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429793)

Wow, that's definitely some iFail.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28430389)

All it would take would be one slipup of a dd if =/dev/zer of=/dev/disk1 when you meant /dev/disk2, the volume device of that array for that to be history. That, or a burglar or fire.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28432661)

I didn't think anyone actually used MacOS X server edition.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (3, Insightful)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429753)

RAID 1 + swapping out/rebuilding a mirror disk periodically is a perfectly reasonable backup solution.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429819)

Although not an off site solution, I agree

Re:I stopped reading the summary (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429871)

RAID 1 + swapping out/rebuilding a mirror disk periodically is a perfectly reasonable backup solution.

Except that your time to bring the backup/RAID1 mirror into sync with the primary RAID1 disk will be far longer than using something like rsync. Your fileserver will be slower because I/O will be flooded with the RAID sync process instead of the much shorter rsync.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (2, Insightful)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430749)

If you are rotating your swapped-out disks rather than continually using new blank ones, then the re-mirroring (if done vaguely intelligently) will only update based on the blocks that have changed since the last time that disk was running live in the array (i.e. an incremental update, which is much faster than re-mirroring from scratch).

Re:I stopped reading the summary (4, Insightful)

Dan Stephans II (693520) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429879)

Until your controller goes berserk and craps all over your disk or your other disk fails in the middle of the rebuild. Or...

Re:I stopped reading the summary (2, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430203)

yeah sure.

Let's say it again: Backups are:
- off-site
- offline
- multiple
- tested

anything else is just some kind of high-availability solution, that does NOT protect against catastrophic failure, fires, viruses...

Re:I stopped reading the summary (4, Interesting)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430659)

Talk about being old-fashioned. Sorry but you're wrong and all the disk-to-disk backup manufacturers would like to have a word with you.

In all seriousness I'm sure nobody believe you can't have a RAID off-site that is online running snapshots periodically. This protects you from fire, viruses, are equipment failure and at least in my case, allows for business continuity which is pretty important these days.

Of course I do go one further and backup to a 100TB library but thats largely because I don't want to maintain that much online capacity if I don't have to especially since I already had to purchase it once for my main SAN.

Use modern technology, you'll find it much more friendly. Most modern network storage strategies work out great. ZFS does snapshotting making it easy to deploy on small scales. Windows only? Well that's no problem either since you have Volume shadow copy and DFS based on whatever schedule you would like.

I go one further with DFS/VSC and use NetApp snapshotting on the back-end which mirrors the snapshot to another array at another building. Works out great and the only maintenance is the occasional swap out of hard drives when the RAID controllers preemptively fail the drive because they detect abnormalities that will lead to failure.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (2, Interesting)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430727)

Best method I have of backing up my data is simple. First equip/upgrade a few existing computers with 1TB disks even if you never plan to fill them up. They can be at your parents house, siblings house or work. Copy your really important data like work, projects, photos, music, video (movies, tv shows and p0rn don't count), basically anything that is irreplaceable. Copy that to a 1TB USB disk and copy all the data to the computers you equipped with the backup drives. Now you have your data spread out all over. You can use rsync over the net or via a USB disk to keep things updated between machines. You can even partition the large 1TB disks and make a separate partition for your data so it cannot be tampered with. If a machine fails then from any of the others you can replicate the data.

Sounds like a pain in the ass but I keep copies on my brothers PC and my work PC. Its only about 400GB total so its not even half of the 1TB disk which costs about 75 bucks, small price to pay for peace of mind. I have a big software raid 5 array for personal file serving needs but it is in no way shape or form a backup system. I once had my raid 5 go haywire because of some disk controller problems. After a hardware upgrade I almost lost the array but it came back up and had to rebuild itself. Thankfully it didn't send me into a panic because I had my most important and irreplaceable data backed up.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (2, Informative)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430897)

You'll be crying when you rebuild that raid and two disks fail at the same time (happened to me). No - raid isn't a backup solution.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (1)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28431721)

With modern large capacity drives RAID 5 is just for crazy loons, you need RAID 6.

I would add that RAID anything on a single "shelf" is also playing with fire. I have personally seen an entire shelf of disks failed as a oner, or in *very* rapid succession. Shelf level redundancy is where it's at.

Remember children if it is not offline it is not backed up.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (2, Informative)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430927)

RAID 1 + swapping out/rebuilding a mirror disk periodically is a perfectly reasonable backup solution.

Sure, if you're retarded. I was going to say it was ok for home, but no, that's just stupid. Even a batch job that tars a bunch of directories onto a second HD works better (and no additional hardware either).

Re:I stopped reading the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28431849)

Raid1 doesn't recover from the "oops I didn't mean to remove that file" error. Therefore, not a backup.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429875)

You do know that a RAID can be used for STORING backups don't you? Making your primary storage a RAID is no substitute for a backup. Adding an offline RAID storage can be a backup.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (1)

growse (928427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28433155)

So why use RAID? Why not have an offline storage... you know... disk?

Re:I stopped reading the summary (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429891)

What's a backup?

Re:I stopped reading the summary (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429993)

What's a cretin? Some sort of outdated term for a developmental disorder caused by a lack of iodine here used as a pompous insult while announcing Pop69 was so offended by a mistake in the question that he couldn't be bothered to read the rest of it?

Re:I stopped reading the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28430421)

Should pop69 have bitten his thumb at the OP you may have a point.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (1, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430091)

after the cretin suggested that RAID was some sort of substitute for a backup.

RAID combined with a snapshotting system (Time Machine, VSS, ZFS, take your pick) can function as an excellent backup system. Not including off-site, obviously, but more than adequate for the typical home user.

I've never really looked into it, but I assume you can configure WHS to take regular VSS snapshots ?

Re:I stopped reading the summary (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430819)

RAID combined with a snapshotting system (Time Machine, VSS, ZFS, take your pick) can function as an excellent backup system. Not including off-site, obviously, but more than adequate for the typical home user.

I disagree, since a single mistake (e.g. mistakenly reformatting the wrong device node, or physically losing the system while moving house) could still take out the whole kaboodle.

And for something you really care about, an offsite backup is worth it and not difficult. I uploaded my family photos to my ISP-provided online file space. If you want to make sure it stays private, encrypt before uploading.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (1)

growse (928427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28433169)

Again, why bring RAID into it? A disk combined with a decent snapshotting system can function as an excellent backup system.

RAID use is orthogonal to backup strategy. The two have nothing to do with each other. RAID helps availability, and sometimes performance.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (1, Interesting)

deebeed (1582803) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430099)

I started laughing when he said WHS, BACKUP and data ... storage oh please ;) WHS CORRUPTED DATA FOR A WHOLE YEAR AND MS KNEW ABOUT IT. Do not trust that thing. PLEASE!

Re:I stopped reading the summary (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430159)

after the cretin suggested that RAID was some sort of substitute for a backup.

I realize that English may not be your first language, but can you point out what makes you think that anything in summary implies RAID is any sort of substitute for a backup?

He's looking for a system on which to keep a duplicate copy of his primary drives. RAID gives you relatively cheap mass storage. Such a duplicate copy is generally known as a "backup".

RAID can be used as media for backing systems up. When it is used that way, it is not a substitute for a backup, it IS a backup.

He's asking if that's a good idea or not.

It doesn't seem like a question a cretin would ask, to me.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430713)

Realistically its a question most people should ask themselves because it can make a big difference in the cost of doing your backup and also dramatically impacts the amount of time it takes to get back up and running.

Disaster recovery is very much individual to the company. Our company places a high emphasis on survivability so we naturally have a lot of redundancy online, near-line, or offline with variable policies based on the nature of the content. Financial documents have to stay around longer than temporary internet files for instance.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28430307)

Just to clear up what the parent was saying, RAID is not a backup solution because it does not protect against fdisk, rm, mkfs, crappy filesystems [slashdot.org] or any other weapons of data destruction. Backup solutions do protect against all these and more.

Re:I stopped reading the summary (2, Funny)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28431123)

after the cretin suggested that RAID was some sort of substitute for a backup.

Of course RAID is a substitute for backup. If you ever delete data, accidentally reformat, lose files to a corrupt file system, get infected with a virus, or have any other disaster of the sort, it's obviously something you did or should have anticipated. Thus, data loss is a sign you're inferior and a sinner and the gods of IT are punishing you. Accept their swift and painful lesson with whatever microscopic shred of decorum exists within that rotting, unused thing you call a brain and try to rise ever so slightly above the unenlightened mire of your life so it doesn't happen again.

Besides, it was probably all porn anyway.

Signed,
The cult of BOFH, flagellation division

Re:I stopped reading the summary (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28432759)

I stopped reading after he uselessly bragged about upgrading the processor and memory. Isn't there a 'lookatme' tag?

ESata (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429653)

JailBait Of Death?

Sonnet Tech Fusion line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429663)

I like the Sonnet Technologies Fusion line. They are well made, and well supported (Mac and Linux Friendly also)

Not quite what you want... (3, Funny)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429667)

This isn't quite what you want, but I have a $30 6 drive caddy (with 4 drives atm) and a $70 4 port internal SATA card. I just run long SATA cables to it, but it was cheaper than any single-cable solution i found, so that may not be a bad way to go.

One thing I noticed though was that I actually have enough room for all 9 of my hard drives inside my case! I may migrate them in.

And yes, before you say it, that is certainly quite a bit of porn!
-Taylor

Re:Not quite what you want... (2, Funny)

Stickerboy (61554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430371)

>And yes, before you say it, that is certainly quite a bit of porn!

I need some quantification here. Put it in layman's terms - how many Libraries of Congress of porn is that, exactly?

Addonics Storage Tower (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429677)

This is my #1 choice

http://www.addonics.com/products/raid_system/ast4.asp

Duct tape (2, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429683)

Duct tape the drives together, then use software RAID JBOD.
That's what MacGyver would have done.

Duct Tape is a Bad Idea--Use Magnets! (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429797)

Duct tape the drives together, then use software RAID JBOD. That's what MacGyver would have done.

Duct tape? Oh heavens no! No, here's what I did: I went down to the local thrift store and bought a few big shelf speakers for ten dollars. Then I took them apart and got the really powerful magnets out. Using these, you can attach the drives to the outside of your case. There's one gotcha though--some cases are aluminum which means you have to attach the magnets and drives to your CRT if you have one. This usually just means a longer cable though.

The smart thing about this is that the drives are on the outside of the case so they remain cooler than they would in any enclosure.

If you think a RAID is a backup, you'll be overjoyed with the results of my advice!

Re:Duct Tape is a Bad Idea--Use Magnets! (1)

Spacehog320 (985368) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429929)

You attached strong magnets to your magnetic storage device? Did you intentionally want to erase your data after writing it or are you just an idiot?

Re:Duct Tape is a Bad Idea--Use Magnets! (1)

jurv!s (688306) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430095)

whoosh! please reread the last sentence.

Re:Duct Tape is a Bad Idea--Use Magnets! (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430107)

You attached strong magnets to your magnetic storage device? Did you intentionally want to erase your data after writing it or are you just an idiot?

Oh well, I haven't had to recover any of the files so far. At least it doesn't ruin my CRT.

Offtopic but how did you get your post to be colored rainbow? I mean, I can't even get regular bgcolor to work on Slashdot ... I know, I know, I must be new here.

Re:Duct Tape is a Bad Idea--Use Magnets! (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28432169)

I never laugh out loud at work, therefore what I did in reaction to your post was simply an uncontrolled spasm of my diaphragm

Seriously though, that was some frickin funny stuff.

Re:Duct tape (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429933)

Popsicle sticks between the drives, for airflow.

Re:Duct tape (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430049)

Popsicle sticks between the drives, for airflow.

Yes! This is one of those often overlooked PROTIPs that you have to buy expensive trade magazines to find. I have one here from Onion Technology that says:

Duct tape the drives together in packs of two but be sure to put popsicle sticks between the drives so that the ends of the sticks stick out a little. Use the old fashioned connectors to daisy chain the power to the drives and make sure you have enough SATA ports on your computer. Then, put two or three packs of two around your chest on the outside of a swinging technical vest! You've got a mobile backup device--IN STYLE!

The last part merely involves lithium power source and form factor PC in a backpack on your back add a tiny display and you're set to go to your favorite sporting events and fly in style. Be sure to run up to the arenas to gather attention--you are the 1337 geek of everyone, after all!

Hope this helps.

Just nitpicking, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429689)

RAID != backup. Say it with me.

Re:Just nitpicking, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429847)

I use RAID for my backups... that is I have a primary RAID set and then another RAID set off-line that I back up to from time to time.

Re:Just nitpicking, but... (1)

growse (928427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28433187)

Why RAID your backups? Why bother?

Re:Just nitpicking, but... (2, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430181)

Except when your backup server uses RAID...

Re:Just nitpicking, but... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430233)

The RAID itself is not backup, though. The backup server is the backup. How it stores the data is immaterial.

Re:Just nitpicking, but... (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430753)

I'll disagree strongly with you as a 100TB library costs about 70k versus a 60TB proper SAN which will run 100k. Both will provide me with what I need in terms of backup but they both have their drawbacks. The library will take me weeks to recover from while the SAN can keep me up and running with zero down-time. It matters if your company depends on being online.

Of course for the home, I'm a fan of backup to an online service as restore time doesn't really matter and then you don't have to maintain separate gear.

Porn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429699)

2 replies and this hasn't been tagged with porn yet? I'm disappointed in you slashbots.

Just. Fucking. Google. It. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429711)

"Hey guys, got a quick question"

Just. Fucking. Google. It.

JUST

FUCKING

GOOGLE

IT

RAID is no backup solution (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429713)

Please note that RAID and such are not "backup solutions" ! If your FS get screwed, you loose info.

Think of a backup solution as independent from the media where the info is kept. Then you decide if you want to use RAID, tapes, etc.

My backup solution: incremental backups every half-hour. And full backup once a month.

Now for the media I use to store the backups : RAID mirroring for incremental and hard drives put in a safe at the bank with rotation for full backups. (NO RAID used for full backups).

The best ESATA isn't really ESATA at all. (0, Flamebait)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429755)

ESATA is meant as a simple solution to replace the usb 2 interface on external drives. It solves the bottle-neck for a single drive, but doesn't scale well.

You're better off with an SAS external enclosure and a SAS card with external connections. These can be expensive, but will pay for themselves quickly with the lack of extra management.

Re:The best ESATA isn't really ESATA at all. (5, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429865)

You're better off with an SAS external enclosure and a SAS card with external connections. These can be expensive, but will pay for themselves quickly with the lack of extra management.

What management ? You get an eSATA chassis with a port multiplier, slot in some drives, and run a single cable to the eSATA port on the computer. "Management" doesn't even come into it.

It's a home media server. In what was is SAS even remotely justified ?

Re:The best ESATA isn't really ESATA at all. (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430293)

and you do this until you get to ((3.0 Gbps) /(8 bits/byte)) / (best case disk read speed in MiB/s) number of disks. Then you floor that to preferably a power of two or at least a natural multiple of a power of two.

This maximizes your bandwidth to the resulting filesystem.

e.g.

3Gbps = 402653184 bytes/s ~= 400MiB/s

i get some seagates with 75 MiB/s max sustained read.

400/75=5.3 -> 5 disks

5 is not divisible by a power of 2 (duh, its prime)

4 is the closest.

sector size is listed at 512bytes, so ideal stripe size is a multiple of 2KiB. This keeps your IOs clean and the disk cache happy and unfragmented.

enjoy a relatively optimized JBOD.

Re:The best ESATA isn't really ESATA at all. (1)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430469)

5 is not divisible by a power of 2 (duh, its prime)

Interesting way to see if 5 is divisible by 2. I think the same way:

What is 9 times 7? Well, it has to be less than 70 because 9It has to be odd since 9 and 7 are odd.
61 and 67 are prime so they're out.
65 and 69 are square-free and 9 is a perfect square.
So, 7*9 = 63.

(apologies to the actual (and funnier) version that I read but can't quite remember in Symmetry of the Primes)

Re:The best ESATA isn't really ESATA at all. (5, Interesting)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430523)

Despite being at the forefront in almost all areas of number theory, Kummer was renowned for being very poor at elementary arithmetic. (A number theorist who was poor at arithmetic!) One story has him standing at the blackboard during a lecture, unable to compute 7 times 9. One mischievous student suggested 61, so Kummer wrote this on the board and started to continue. Another mischievous student shouted out that it was 69 not 61. At this, an exasperated Kummer, said "come on gentlemen, it can not be both". Later, it was rumoured that he told colleagues, he should have known the answer since it couldn't be 61 or 67, because 61 and 67 are primes and it couldn't be 65 because 65 is a multiple of 5, and he should have realized 69 was too large because 7 times 10 was only 70, so the only odd number left in the sixties was 63.

Re:The best ESATA isn't really ESATA at all. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28432921)

I don't understand why people simply don't evaluate by doing something like this: 9999 x 4 = 10000 x 4 - (1 x 4) doing this in your head is much simpler than moving digits all around.

Re:The best ESATA isn't really ESATA at all. (2, Informative)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430937)

Make sure to find a port multiplier with FBSS (FIS-based switching) support. Also make sure that your SATA controller supports this feature. Otherwise, there can only be one outstanding command for all attached disks, and performance will be abysmal.

Re:The best ESATA isn't really ESATA at all. (1)

ppbimix (1582825) | more than 5 years ago | (#28431731)

You're better off with an SAS external enclosure and a SAS card with external connections. These can be expensive, but will pay for themselves quickly with the lack of extra management.

What management ? You get an eSATA chassis with a port multiplier, slot in some drives, and run a single cable to the eSATA port on the computer. "Management" doesn't even come into it.

It's a home media server. In what was is SAS even remotely justified ?

Forever to go ! www.hjtj.ru

I use the Mediasonic ProBox BUT... (3, Interesting)

rei_slashdot (558039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429813)

...I can't get the manufacturer to acknowledge or confirm that there is problem when copying between hard drives in the same enclosure. Windows hangs and eventually the Event Logs show "device is not connected" or some sort of issue. Copying between drive and the motherboard's SATA drives works fine but it always hangs/times-out/becomes inaccessible after a random amount of transfer. It's surprisingly well put-together without looking tacky and well-priced but this copying issue between drives inside it is a pain. Transfer between drives inside it seem to work without a hitch using slower USB. http://mediasonicinc.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=150 [mediasonicinc.com] It syncs with your PC's power so if the PC goes off, the box goes to sleep and wakes up when the PC power is restored.

It depends (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429815)

Do you want an erection with that backup?

Wut (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429835)

Why do you need an enclosure that does JBOD?
In my opinion you need an enclosure that does 2 things.

Encloses your drives.
Provides power (since current eSata doesn't, LOL).

Let your system handle the JBOD. Everything supports JBOD. Or, you know, just have them as 4 separate drives and be organized, so you can deal with them as raw drives if need be, and so if one goes dead, it'll be a lot easier to get your shit from the others.

I have yet to see a multi-drive enclosure that DOESN'T force it's shitty controller on you, unfortunately.

I would get 4 enclosures and 4 drives.
Stack them on top of each other.
Strap them together with masking tape (less residue than duct tape, provides a good space to write a label, etc.).
Split the output of a single 12v AC adapter (make sure it can put out enough amps) to all 4 inputs.
Run 4 eSata cables to the back of your PC.

Success.
The only issue is splitting the power lead (not hard, but you will need to find the jacks and you'll have to do it yourself) and running 4 eSata cables.

Yes, I'd be willing to do that just to get away from the shitty controllers in external enclosures. Now, if this were SCSI, you could daisy chain the power and the data for the drives.

If only there was a serial-attached version of SCSI.

Re:Wut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429991)

I would agree with this, except that I would replace masking tape (or tape of any kind) with Velcro straps around the whole thing, two around widthwise, one around lengthwise. More secure and no residue, and expandable/collapsible depend on the length you get.

Seriously external enclosure controllers (and drive formating schemes) are pure shit.

Re:Wut (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430599)

Thanks for the tip, I have never used external enclosures with "shitty controllers" but I have been tempted by them. I've only used file/backups servers that I would setup myself with computers running Linux.

Have you actually tried any of these external enclosures with "shitty controllers" ?

Details on problems would be fun to hear about...

Re:Wut (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28431969)

Basically, I don't trust any enclosure to be a hard drive controller as well. Even higher-end boxes. If I want a controller, I'll use my motherboard, or a dedicated storage PC/server. Yes, I have tried many.

Even if they were trustworthy, I would want to avoid them. It's just one more thing to fail, have to update firmware for, track down drivers for, worry about, etc.

This is for your backups, right? Take a minimalistic approach. Just get shit that works. Hard drives work. You're just putting them in a case outside your case with my method.

And I wasn't joking about SAS either:
(Random links for fun. Always fun to look at site other than newegg.)

http://www.shopwiki.com/External+Mini-SAS+to+eSATA+Cable [shopwiki.com]

http://www.pc-pitstop.com/sas_controllers/ [pc-pitstop.com]

http://www.vantecusa.com/front/product/view_detail/354 [vantecusa.com]

Slap in some drives and rig up (or find on some Chinese site) a 12v AC adapter with 4 outputs and a few amps.

Re:Wut (0, Troll)

Captain Segfault (686912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430789)

JBOD means "present the drives individually" (as in, don't present them as a single giant possibly RAIDed disk)

I would call your solution a (primitive) JBOD. However, ideally you only need to connect one data cable to the entire shelf, rather than one per individual disk, although that's a little hard to do with SATA. (in contrast to SAS or other SCSI)

Re:Wut (0)

DaHat (247651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430955)

The OP is almost certainly going to use this with his Windows Home Server... which prefers to deal with JBOD instead of SCSI (which is unsupported) as it turns a JBODs into one massive storage pool where drive letters and differences between physical disks don't matter much.

Re:Wut (0)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28431847)

Uh, no.
JBOD is when you link all disks together.
JBOD means "just a bunch of disks" strung together.

http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/raid/levels/jbod.htm [pcguide.com]

Re:Wut (1)

Captain Segfault (686912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28432953)

Yes, I am aware that JBOD is also used to refer to simple spanning. It can also refer to drive shelves/enclosures without a RAID controller, which present "just a bunch of disks".

The OP was asking about enclosures, not RAID levels.

Re:Wut (1)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430983)

Can't agree with the masking tape. If you don't peel it off pretty quick, you get an awful residue. Duct tape residue will clean off with a little rubbing alcohol.

Re:Wut (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28431823)

Have never had that issue.
And old duct tape residue (several years) will require significant work to remove.

raid can help with backups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429853)

it appears he is expanding a home server.
raid can help with backups, if he needs a large volume to back up OTHER COMPUTERS ON HIS NETWORK!

Re:raid can help with backups (2, Insightful)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430691)

He NEEDS another computer on his network.

With only one computer/disk controller if one of them fails, all FS might end up toasted.

He also needs incremental backups, just overwriting a snapshot of you data is no good when you realize that you have just overwritten your data with corrupted data because your main computing is failing slowly.

Why? (1, Informative)

Doug Neal (195160) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429855)

I think Linux and Windows can both do this quite easily in software... but why bother? JBOD is the worst of both worlds when it comes to storage arrays. You have all the risk of losing everything if one drive dies, without gaining the performance benefits that RAID 0's striping gives you. Hard disks are cheap enough for a 2TB RAID 10 array to be affordable.

Yes this was quite a predictable comment, but someone had to say it..

Re:Why? (1)

Dan Stephans II (693520) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429923)

Use a JBOD enclosure to present the physical devices to the OS where you can do your own logical volume creation and management (such as with ZFS). Just because he wants a JBOD enclosure doesn't mean he's going to use the physical volumes individually.

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

caseih (160668) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430349)

No that's not correct. JBOD is just that. Just a bunch of disks. Has nothing to do with redundancy (or lack of redundancy). What you do with them is completely up to you. You can implement a RAID-Z with them on solaris (which is actually faster on my Enterprise-class disk array than the built-in RAID-6 in hardware!), Linux RAID-5, RAID-10, or whatever. Except for issues of battery-backed caching, I have come to the opinion that for most low- to middle-end storage needs, a large JBOD and software RAID is the way to go.

Re:Why? (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430891)

I see that as a good method for tier 2 storage and definitely for backup tier storage.

I wouldn't want primary storage to use that method for obvious reasons but I haven't really played enough with alternatives to Raid 6 so you've given me something to try! Thanks

Re:Why? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430917)

The main reason people choose JBOD is because they have a bunch of differently sized drives, which are not well suited for redundancy or striping.

In my surviving collection of misc drives, I've got a 40 gig (8 years old), a 200 gig (5 years old), and a 500 gig (9 months old)

There isnt any concievably usefull redundancy method using these, but I can treat the entire lot as a 740GB backup drive..

If its for a home media server, backups and redundancy probably isnt a serious issue.. and performance definately isnt.. capacity would be the only real issue..

Re:Why? (1)

Jason Pollock (45537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28431155)

In my case, it's because I don't care if I lose the data. They're rips of DVDs/CDs that I own, so 1 DVD represents 5minutes of time. In a lot of the RAID setups, if you lose a disk, you lose the entire RAID. In others, if you lose the card/motherboard, you lose the entire RAID.

In that situation, the frustration represented by losing the entire array when a disk (or card) bites the dust is a lot higher than the performance benefits, or the supposed reliability benefit.

Remember, in a consumer environment it can take _weeks_ to replace a drive under warranty.

Heck, I use drive failures as a method of culling media on the server. :)

Posting in Spanish Now? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429873)

Where is JBOD? How the hell should I know?

If you need more than ten disks, go for cheap SAS (4, Informative)

Robotbeat (461248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28429895)

You can get an external (4-port, but acts like one big 1.2 GiByte/s pipe) SAS RAID card for less than $500 that will allow you to make multiple RAID sets of up to 32-disks in a set using true hardware RAID 5,6,10, etc. You can even get a battery backup unit for the RAID card cache for $100 (priceless on critical DB systems).

An external SAS card allows you to connect over a hundred drives through one connection using SAS expanders (some cards support up to 256 devices). Some external SAS RAID/JBOD cards have two SFF-8088 connections, for eight SAS lanes total. That's 2.4 Gigabytes/sec raw. At that rate, it's your PCI-e bus that's usually the bottleneck.

A lot of SAS expanders are expensive, but Chenbro has some ones for $300 that spread one x4 lane SAS cable into 24 or 32 cables, plus they can be daisy-chained for more storage. Then, buy a nice 24-slot Supermicro 4U chassis with dual-redundant power. That's a little less than $1000. All you need is the Chenbro expander in the chassis, no need for a motherboard.

If you're really cheap, you can use a cheaper $150 external SAS JBOD-only card, but hardware raid really is a must if you have a lot of storage. Plus, a hardware raid can use write-back cache, since it has effectively non-volatile RAM using the battery backup unit. And no, a UPS is NOT a replacement for NVRAM... Has your system ever crashed for any reason or hung for any reason? I've never had a RAID card hang or crash.

So, basically, besides the external SAS card, you have:

24-slot chassis with redundant power: $1000
chenbro SAS expander: $300
cables: depends

That's about $60/slot, plus you have redundant power (and an upgrade route to dual-redundant controllers). You can scale this to hundreds of terabytes, too. Over a petabyte if you have multiple controllers (with raid array rebuilding on one card not affecting rebuilding on another).

Re:If you need more than ten disks, go for cheap S (1)

Robotbeat (461248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430043)

BTW, you can use SATA disks with this SAS setup. Also, this is hot-swap.

Re:If you need more than ten disks, go for cheap S (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430921)

hardware raid really is a must if you have a lot of storage

No, hardware RAID is a bad idea. You're locked to a proprietary controller and a proprietary on-disk format. ZFS is a much better idea.

Re:If you need more than ten disks, go for cheap S (1)

Robotbeat (461248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28431081)

ZFS won't give you good performance for a large array because your random read speed is basically limited to the equivalent of one drive per raid set. That is unacceptable if you need performance:

http://utcc.utoronto.ca/~cks/space/blog/solaris/ZFSRaidzReadPerformance [utoronto.ca]
"...adding more disks to a ZFS raidz pool does not increase how many random reads you can do per second."

Re:If you need more than ten disks, go for cheap S (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 5 years ago | (#28431249)

ZFS won't give you good performance for a large array because your random read speed is basically limited to the equivalent of one drive per raid set. That is unacceptable if you need performance

Cheap, reliable, fast: Choose two.

Cheap + Reliable: RAID-Z and cheap drives
Cheap + Fast: Stripe on a non-ZFS filesystem
Reliable + Fast: ZFS mirrors on good drives. Go a step further, add L2ARC on SSD (readzillas).

You can't have your cake and eat it too. That said, RAID-Z and RAID-Z2 perform quite well for most people. I like the data integrity ZFS offers, but that's just me. I'm done with traditional filesystems and volume management.

Re:If you need more than ten disks, go for cheap S (1)

zen_sky (1157991) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430965)

Jeez, why do I feel I like drank my slurpee too fast? Thanks for the info dump! :)

lime-technology.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28429909)

lime-technology.com

The Rosewill RSV-S8 (4, Interesting)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430269)

The Rosewill RSV-S8 [rosewill.com] is pretty much exactly what you've described. It's an eSATA enclosure with 8 drive caddies, a power supply, and a fan. It presents the drives to the system as JBOD or one of the various common versions of RAID (implemented in software, I assume). Ignore the comically inflated MSRP; it's $300 on Newegg. It ships with its own eSATA card for compatibility purposes, but I assume it would work with any eSATA adapter that followed the proper specifications. There's also a five drive version available for about $100 less, give or take. I can't speak to the reliability or ease of use, but this sounds like it will fit your requirements.

Re:The Rosewill RSV-S8 (3, Interesting)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#28431617)

This [geeks.com] is a 5 disk eSATA for $180. Appears to be similar (Silicon Image bits, single cable w/port multiplier, etc)

How about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28430351)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816111048

bare hard drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28430419)

I like to use bare hard drives. The Thermaltake BlacX is a great little dock that lets you plug in bare hard drives like Nintendo cartridges. I also like Hudzee cases for protecting the bare drives (see hudzee.com [hudzee.com] ).

Be careful about your hardware and software (1)

ballyhoo (158910) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430551)

If you're going to to this, you really need to be very careful about your choice of hardware and software. You need to avoid anything which isn't AHCI 1.3 compliant, as previous versions of the AHCI specification defined only a single FIS register per port, which effectively means that the controller card has to serialise all commands to the port multiplier. So even if you've got a port multiplier with a pile of separate disks, your throughput is going to be trash because the host operating system can only talk to a single disk at any one time. AHCI 1.3 fixes this and allows the host operating system to talk to multiple drives simultaneously.

You also need to be careful in your choice of software driver and operating system. Most of the free unix clones have some form of support for port multipliers these days, but this support is not really optimised towards high performance from sensible hardware yet. NCQ (native command queueing) is really important for performance here. I'll guess that with Windows drivers, you just won't know in advance, because the drivers aren't open source and you just can't tell what's going on inside them.

As previous people mentioned, it's important to configure multiple disks like this in some form of redundant mode. If you have a single volume spread across 5 disks, your risk of failure is going to be 5 times more likely than for a single disk, and the consequences of losing that data is 5 times worse than that of a single disk.

Old AT (pre-ATX) case (2, Insightful)

metallurge (693631) | more than 5 years ago | (#28431237)

The old AT cases had a power supply with a mechanical power switch, rather than a soft-switch like ATX power supplies. Old AT cases and power supplies should be just about free, just strip out the old motherboard and you have a decent, inexpensive solution. Like someone else said, just get long SATA cables, and run them directly to the drives. You can bundle them together with zip ties periodically down the length, or use wire loom if you want something a bit neater. You may need molex-to-SATA power adapters, but those are very cheap and reliable. If you pick the right case, it will have plenty of drive bays and cooling capacity.

Or, you can use one of those 4_3.5"_drives-in-3_5.25"_bays solutions if you need even more space and cooling capacity beyond what is already in your case. Even a small mid-tower case should support at least 6 drives using one of these.

Pick up a spare AT power supply while you are at it, and you will have a very reliable, well-cooled, very cheap solution.

Re:Old AT (pre-ATX) case (1)

metallurge (693631) | more than 5 years ago | (#28431297)

If you want to make it really neat, cable-management-wise, get some of those SATA-to-eSATA brackets to go between the drives and outside of the AT case.

Re:Old AT (pre-ATX) case (1)

cadu (876004) | more than 5 years ago | (#28432993)

Cool solution, BTW, if you don't have an AT case and power supply, you can 'emulate' that hardware switch behavior even with an ATX case:

  1- Get the main 20/24-pin atx molex and use a clip or a small piece of wire to patch permanently the only _green_ (atx power sens) wire to any black wire (GND) or if you don't care about reusing the power supply, ditch the molex, insulate everything else and twist the green and one black wires together, and insulate.

  2- If you have any cruft inside this case (old cdrom drives/motherboard) remove everything and put only the hard drives for extra air flow :)

  3- wire with sata-2-esata adapters or very long sata cables.

  4- Turn on your 'JBOD' with the power supply's back power switch (AT-like behavior)

  5- ????

  6- Profit??

Drobo (0, Offtopic)

ThousandStars (556222) | more than 5 years ago | (#28431915)

See the Drobos [drobo.com] at the linked page. No eSATA, but perhaps you can get an eSATA -> firewire 800 or iSCSI (sp?) dongle. The best part about them is ease-of-use.

home array backups? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28433127)

As a on-topic secondary question: how do people do backups of large (5TB) arrays? Specifically, I'm looking at my media server at home. I -could- buy a tape drive, but those look like they get expensive quickly.

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