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Terabyte Storage Solutions?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the large-arrays-of-fat-disks dept.

Data Storage 574

DeMechman asks: "As many on Slashdot may know, storage is one thing which you can never have enough of. Given the current situation with CD/DVD rot (Personally I can attest to a 10% attrition rate) hard drives in a RAID configuration seem to be a better and more economical solution. If you own more than fifty CD/DVDs, it can be a daunting task to find a file. I am wondering if anyone has found a hardware solution that can inexpensively be set up to handle 10 or more 250GB HDDs in a RAID configuration. Primarily, has any case manufacturer tackled this niche market yet?"

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Frosty Piss (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837315)

It burns and shit.

This is lame

Wow! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837316)

Wow! That's a shitload of porn.

What's "inexpensively"? (4, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837322)

I'd say that $2.82/GB, for a well-built, well-designed 14-drive 3U RAID (0, 1, 3, 5, 0+1, 10, 30, 50) hardware cabinet with dual-2Gb/s fibre channel connectivity, dual-100mbit ethernet and serial for monitoring and management, excellent Java setup, management, and montoring software, redundant hot-swappable power supplies and fans, and that works and is qualified for use with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, qualifies as "inexpensively". But that's just me. []

Academic prices for:

1.00TB - $5399
1.75TB - $6749
3.50TB - $9899

Re:What's "inexpensively"? (3, Informative)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837382)

It gets even cheaper if you want more than one (or other Apple equipment). If you're a development shop, sign up for ADC. The first fully loaded RAID array is discounted about the same amount as the ADC membership fee. The second through nth are considerably cheaper.

Re:What's "inexpensively"? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837388)

What a rip off!!!

Go buy a Lian Li case, 8 x 200gb maxtor harddrives and a 3ware raid controller.

Controller $500
Drives $150 each
Case $150

Total for 1.4TB = $1850

With 400gb drives maybe $3000 for 2.8TB

Re:What's "inexpensively"? (0, Offtopic)

DeezyChee (587489) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837397)

I don't think he mentioned anything about having deviant sexual preferences.

Re:What's "inexpensively"? (4, Informative)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837439)

He doesn't want his 50 CDs to "rot." For giggles, let's do some math:

50 CDs * 700 MB = 35 GB
50 DVDs * 4.7 GB = 235 GB

It would take 250 DVDs (all FULL!) to get you to that terabyte. But you want to put ten 250GB drives together... so you want 4 drives (for the space) and six drives for redundancy.

Expect to put down $5,000+. Or buy a 250GB drive and just store them on there. Buy two, and use the second one as a backup of the first. Total cost? $400.

If you're a home user - don't go overboard. If you're a corporate user that's just trying to cut corners (and therefore cost) then don't shortchange yourself (or your company).

Re:What's "inexpensively"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837445)
5in3 cages x2...

last year I built a 2TB server for ~$2600.

price qty description
$189 8+2 Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB 250GB Hard Drive
$365 1+1 3WARE ESCALADE 7506-8 ATA RAID PCI*
$ 92 2+1 Highpoint RocketRAID 454*
$154 2+1 Cremax MB810AKF 5-in-3 IDE Raid Cage
$ 4 8+2 IDE cables

with spare parts
3122 (3ware card)
2668 (highpoint card)

without spare parts
2217 (3ware card)
2036 (highpoint card)

+computer to hold this (must have 64 bit PCI slot if 3ware controller,
2x 3 5.25" drive bays (6 total, but I need 3 in a row for the raid cage)
motherboard, case+psu, processor(s), ram, video card, Network card
$207 1+1 TYAN AMD-760 MPX Chipset Server Motherboard for Dual AMD Socket
A CPU, Model "Tiger MPX (S2466N-4M)" -RETAIL
$125 1+1 AMD Athlon MP 2400+, 266MHz FSB, 256K L2 Cache Processor - Retai
$231 1 ENLIGHT 5U Rackmount (Pedestal Server), Model "EN-8950" -RETAIL 470W PSU
$ 14 1+1 APOLLO S3 SAVAGE IX Video Card, 8MB SGR, TV-Out, 2X AGP, Model " XPERT PLAY 3000" -RETAIL
$ 20 1 NIC
$140 2+1 512MB â CT6472Y265 DDR PC2100 CL=2.5 ECC Registered

with spare parts
1366 for the example computer

without spare parts

with spare parts:
4468 (with 3ware card)
4034 (with highpoint cards)

without spare parts:
2814 (with 3ware)

Re:What's "inexpensively"? (1)

compwizrd (166184) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837568)

Why do you need a 64 bit pci slot for the 3ware?
And a dual cpu is vastly overkill for anything you're going to put down the ethernet card

Re:What's "inexpensively"? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837561)

FWIW, I'm aware of several customer installations where they have bank of seven XServe RAID arrays, one for each day of the week, each with an XServe to drive it.

So, it's online storage for the last seven days, and tapes for anything a week old or older. The RAID chassis don't typically start out fully populated. The customers add drives in pairs as demand increases.


It's not RAID, but ... (5, Informative)

oostevo (736441) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837324)

It's not RAID, but you could buy a 1-terabyte drive [] from LaCie.

Re:It's not RAID, but ... (1)

oostevo (736441) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837355)

Oh, yeah, and it is inexpensive -- it's only $1,199.

Re:It's not RAID, but ... (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837374)

You could always grab two of them and do software RAID-1, unless I'm mistaken. Even two of those LaCie things are still cheaper than an Apple solution, so if you want the absolute cheapest, maybe this is an option?

Re:It's not RAID, but ... (1)

Uneasysilence (784183) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837417)

I actually do that for my DV editing setup. WORKS GREAT!

.:UNEASYsilence:. []

Re:It's not RAID, but ... (1)

Peartree (199737) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837425)

The Bigger Disk and Bigger Disk Extreme are both RAID, just not fault tolerant RAID.

Lacie also makes some server storage solutions...

Check out the Ethernet Disk [] and their TX12000 [] .

Re:It's not RAID, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837497)

My boss had a LaCie drive just crap out on him.
If you send it in to be repaired and it's a bad hard drive, the faulty drive is replaced and the whole unit is returned formatted. That's understandable.
If it's only the circuit board, it's returned formatted.
If you thought it was a hardware issue and you just screwed up, it's returned formatted.
You aren't even allowed to open it up without voiding the warranty, unless you jump through a bunch of hoops and have a silver tongue ;). The fan is a bit small for the amount of heat generated by the drives.
Just an FYI, the data is supposedly spanned across all the drives, not one at a time. So if you open it up to manually retrieve some data, there's a good chance that you won't be able to, unless you go the uber-cool data-retrieval method (I'm sure someone can do it, but I didn't have the time). Also, the fan is a bit small for the amount of heat generated by the drives. I think it may have contributed to the circuit board failing.

To sum it all up. Not the best configuration, but it does what it supposed to. Just don't count on it for a solid, critical storage device.

RAIC - Redundant Array on Inexpensive Computers (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837326)

Why buy a specialized solution when the easiest solution is usually in your basement (or under your desk, or stacked up against a wall somewhere)? Grab a few PII/PIII boxes and load them up with drives.

LaCie Bigger Disk (0, Redundant)

sunilonline (609351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837333)

I know LaCie makes some [] 1 terabyte+ stuff. I think it's been mentioned on /. before.

Many have (3, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837335)

Apple is one of the cheapest, at 6000$ (with drives)

See page here. []

Re:Many have (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837516)


Lets see, 5 200 MB drives at $120 = $600 + another $600 for the case, MB proc etc... $1200 for a terrabyte server.

I haven't looked (you can do that) but I bet there are plenty of stand alone raid units of that size for maybe twice the DIY price and that is still HALF the price of Apple.

Now THIS is informative!

What we do... (2, Interesting)

ld_hrothgar (755793) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837337)

We just use old server cases and fill them with drives, a couple power supplies (some of those drives suck up POWER lemme tell ya) and then throw a NIC in to get to them all. Mind you, there's no RAID that way... we recently started messing with RAID in small ways and I like it, we will eventually start putting RAID controllers into the boxes and mirroring our setups.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837338)

First Post??

Apple! (1)

wjames (579137) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837339)

There are lots of companys out there that offer raid solutions.

Right off the bat, Apple makes the XServe Raid

Ot would work for that purpose rather well.

Not exactly what you're looking for.. (1)

mr. methane (593577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837341)

.. but might be useful: Linksys' NUSL2 box lets you hang two USB hard drives off a little network box, I use it to back up my systems at home.

LaCie (0, Redundant)

tntguy (516721) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837345)

They have 'em [] . Or an Xserve RAID [] .

how about large disk backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837346)

we have a small RAID array with 500 GB of storage, and i still haven't found a cost effective way to back that sucker up.

John Lennon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837350)

Imagine... a thousand old cheap Pentiums with 1 GB hard drives and ethernet cards in a beowulf storage cluster... in Japan!

Daaaamn! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837351)

Try deleting some stuff! It's free!

not enough storage?! (0, Troll)

Veamon (733329) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837362)

"I am wondering if anyone has found a hardware solution that can inexpensively be set up to handle 10 or more 250GB HDDs in a RAID configuration." clear out some of the porno...good god, if you need that much storage on a personal setup, and it's not research-type data, you are pathetic.

Re:not enough storage?! (1)

Mongo222 (612547) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837481)

Read the post.

The guy wants to use it to backup images of his CD's & DVD's.

Sounds like a fun project to me.

Damn, you are a grumpy bastard.

Re:not enough storage?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837553)

While the odds might be with you you're really kind of dumb to bet on them.

I've got a similar problem but not as extreme. About 200GB of data. Lots of pictures & a few movies. Sounds like porn, doesn't it? Maybe it is-if you get off on dogs.

So am I pathetic? Maybe by your standards-do you have standards by the way? By the standards of most adults I have a very respectable hobby. (If it ever turns a profit it'll be a business but right now it's just a hobby.)

build your own (3, Funny)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837364)

Build a case from Leggos, throw in a bunch of SCSI drives and a power supply, hook it up to an external SCSI card from your computer, presto!

Or you could buy something, but you wouldn't get to play with Leggos.

Re:build your own (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837398)

Are you trying to say LEGO, you stupid fuck? What is "Leggos"... an operating system that runs on legg?

Re:build your own (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837442)

ya ya ya, I hit submit, read it, and yelled doh!

Intel SC5200 5U (2, Informative)

mtwalkup (745000) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837367) hassis/sc5200/index.htm Just bought one myself. You can get em at: Let em know G Force Hosting sent ya!

Easy these days. (4, Informative)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837370)

With 250GB Hard drives for $179 [] these days, a terrabyte is easily put between two computers.

I have a TB here, and rather than raid, I decided to do a nightly "rsync" mirror to a "yesterday" partition.

The two advantages of the nightly rsync over RAID are

  1. It protects against user-error too. If I make a bad edit, I can always 'diff' against /yesterday/home/me/...'
  2. It makes upgrades of both hardware and software easy. Since my live backups are excactly that (live, and tested every day), one machine can be fully upgraded while the other acts as the primary one for a while.
Important data also gets backed up to another large HD in my car and DVDs in a safe occasionally, to protect against a fire or burglars.

Re:Easy these days. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837448)

Important data also gets backed up to another large HD in my car and DVDs in a safe occasionally, to protect against a fire or burglars.

Dude, looking at pr0n in the car is not safe for you or your fellow drivers!

Datastorage (1)

Uneasysilence (784183) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837372)

When it comes to my mission critical data, I want to have a company to stand behind the support when sh*t hits the fan.

I have THIS [] IOMEGA unit deployed, and have not had ONE problem with it. I know you were not looking for a commercial product, but with servers I don't dice it.


.:UNEASYsilence:. []

Re:Datastorage (1)

DeezyChee (587489) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837508)

When it comes to my mission critical data, I want to have a company to stand behind the support when sh*t hits the fan.

Why? So they can confirm that the shit has hit the fan and you're on your own? RTFEULA ... they are not responsible for the data loss.

easy to do with rackmount cases. (5, Informative)

compwizrd (166184) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837373)

you can "cheaply" buy 3U rack mount cases that hold 15 drives in hotswappable SATA or SCSI cages up front. Combined with a 3ware 9500-12, and leave 3 cages empty(or spare drives just not cabled up), this will give you 2.75 TB in each unit of raid5 storage. If you were really hard up for space, you could use a pair of 9500-8's and this would give you 3.25 TB per unit. Some 4U units hold 16 drives, which gives you the full 3.5TB in 2 x raid5 arrays.

Re:easy to do with rackmount cases. (1)

tchuladdiass (174342) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837470)

One thing, SCSI drives are expensive compared to ATA, but it is more expandable than ATA (i.e., you can put 15 devices per channel). So, if you want the convenience/expandibility/hot-swapability of SCSI without the expense, get a few acard scsi-ide bridges -- these little buggers are about $80 a peace, and they turn an ide drive into a scsi drive. They even have dual-channel ones, where you can use one bridge for two ide drives.
Performance is about on par with having the ide drive directly attached to the system.

Re:easy to do with rackmount cases. (1)

wmeyer (17620) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837565)

try cases from, where you will find wide range of solutions. RAID cards from 3ware, Highpoint, or Adaptec (they have a new SATA RAID card with 16 ports).

Inexpensive, not cheap.

External Drives... (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837375)

If you just use external USB2 drives you don't have to worry about case size or power supply capacity. (Assuming speed is not an issue)

2nd Question - Backups (1)

acherrington (465776) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837379)

Has anyone had any success backing up a terrabyte solution on a nightly basis? Thats a whole lotta data.

Re:2nd Question - Backups (2, Informative)

mr. methane (593577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837478)

Yes, I've used an HP/Compaq DLT auto-changer that will do the job.. Don't remember the price offhand, but I remember it was in the over-$100k range.

Re:2nd Question - Backups (1)

Digital11 (152445) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837550)

We back up our entire server farm (no idea how many terrabytes, but alot) to redundant SAN's nightly at our two sites over our DS3.

Terabyte Storage (4, Informative)

Steffan (126616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837380)

I have 8 x 160GB Maxtor drives in a RAID5 array. It's fast, relatively inexpensive [Fry's Electronics recently was selling the 160s for $69/ea]

The 160GB drives used to come with a Maxtor [Promise] ATA-133 card. Two of those will support eight drives. Not the most optimal arrangement because of the bus having two drives on each channel, but it doesn't seem to affect performance too much since it is striping the data across all of the drives. I'm assuming it stripes in order, so you'd want to stagger the drives such that 1 & 2, 3 & 4 are not on the same controller.

Output of df -h: /dev/md2 1.0T 521G 522G 50% /ext

The cost to assemble something like this?

~ $600.00

8 x $70 for the 160GB drives
2 x $20 ATA-133 controllers

The biggest issue is that there is no easy way to back up the array. You could use RAID 6 and have two drives worth of parity info, but it still leaves you vulnerable to a catastrophic hardware (or building) failure.

Anyone have any ideas on how to back up 1TB in a home environment? i.e., not $3000 tape drives & $200 tapes

Re:Terabyte Storage (1)

Steffan (126616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837428)

One thing to add - Just substitute 250GB drives for the 160s and add a third (or fourth) controller.

Also, 3Ware & RaidCore (now Broadcom) have 8 channel & 12 Channel SATA cards for relatively low prices. That would be a better albeit more expensive route to go.

Re:Terabyte Storage (Backup Solution) (2, Interesting)

william_lorenz (703263) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837484)

We use Linux LVM to take snapshots and then do a hot backup of that data to an archive box. That archive box contains removable hard drives (tape drives are just crap), and we then take the pysical drives to an off-site location to provide security and all the goodness that comes with off-site storage. We also use rsync to synchronize our production NAS devices with a parallel NAS device, to which we can hot-cut and have a current copy of all our data to a 15 minute window. Because rsync (with ext3 ACL support, mind you) only copies what has changed on the filesystem, it goes relatively quickly. You can find my rsync packages at [] (as well as patched Samba-3 packages that really work with Winbind and some updated kernel packages for LVM+snapshot support) at that FTP site.

Re:Terabyte Storage (5, Funny)

Achmed (25277) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837506)

> Anyone have any ideas on how to back up 1TB in a home environment? i.e., not $3000 tape drives & $200 tapes

Ummm, yeah, it'll cost you ~$600. make another one and make a copy occasionally...

Sorry, couldn't resist...

Re:Terabyte Storage (2, Interesting)

codeguy007 (179016) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837538)

Not the most optimal arrangement because of the bus having two drives on each channel, but it doesn't seem to affect performance too much since it is striping the data across all of the drives. I'm assuming it stripes in order, so you'd want to stagger the drives such that 1 & 2, 3 & 4 are not on the same controller.

Have you worked with a 3ware card? Believe me when I say that this solutions' performance will suck compared to using a real raid solution such as a Escalade 3ware 9500s. Even on software raid, the 3ware card will kick it's butt (Hmm I not even sure 3ware's Hardware Raid is as fast as Linux software raid on a Fast system).

1) First you are using 2 cards per channel thus it only writes to one drive at a time on each channel. An 8 port 3ware card can write to all 8 at once.

2) The Promise Card is only an ATA 133 card not raid and doesn't support command queuing.

3) You are multiple cards which requires more IRQ requests, which in turn slows down overall system performance.

4) Promise support in Linux sucks. It's better now that it has been in recent years with Libata but it's still crappy promise hardware. (1)

ender_wiggins (81600) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837385)

They make several controlers for raid5ing disks...

3ware Controllers + Drive Friendly Case (2, Informative)

DaGoodBoy (8080) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837393)

Good IDE hardware RAID controllers with Open Source drivers. Appears as a single SCSI drive to Linux. We swear by them.

Re:3ware Controllers + Drive Friendly Case (1)

Bernie (38226) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837510)

Yeah--oddly though I'm getting better Bonnie results by using Linux RAID 5 than their hardware RAID 5. But it is possible (just) to stream full-size, full-framerate PAL video to 'em over NFS! (sustained 40MB/s). Anyway in software you can now do RAID 6 :)

Wow! (1)

genkael (102983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837394)

Could you imagine a beuwolf cluster of these things?!

Sorry, I couldn't help myself...

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837446)

What things?

We did it and have a couple now ... (2, Interesting)

william_lorenz (703263) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837400)

We just added a couple of these at the office. We used a SATA RAID card from LSI Logic (formerly AMI MegaRAID) [] and on top of the 6-port device added six 200GB Western Digital drives [] . From that page, a 200GB Maxtor can be had for around $85.00. Add in a 2U case, which is probably the most expensive part at around $300.00, and you have yourself the most expensive components of what you need, subtract the motherboard, processor, and all that jazz (which can be had for another $300.00 or so). Running Linux LVM with Samba-3 and Winbind for full Active Directory integration and authentication on top of an ACL-enabled ext3 filesystem, of course! ;)

Here comes the Terra via Mexico! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837401) 297_0_10_0_M36

July 23, 2004 -- Middle Easterners with possible terrorist ties have been detained after entering the country from Mexico but released for lack of jail space, said U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness.

"It is true. It is very reliable information, from the horse's mouth, and it's happening all over the place," Ortiz, D-Texas, told The Herald on Thursday.

"It's very, very scary, and members (of Congress) know about this. We have contacted several agencies, and I have talked to some people, but I can't say who."

Ortiz's comments come amid Thursday's release of the 9/11 panel's report into events leading to the deadliest attack on U.S. soil and as the House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to the Transportation-Treasury Bill to stop the use of Mexican identification cards in this country.

Currently, matricula consulars are used by Mexican nationals to open bank accounts in the United States and obtain driver's licenses in some states.

The amendment, submitted by U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, will go before the full House in September.

Culberson said the cards present a danger to national security, pointing to the June 26, 2003, testimony of Steve McCraw, assistant director of the FBI's Office of Intelligence, before a House Judiciary subcommittee.

"The ability of foreign nationals to use the matricula consular to create a well-documented, but fictitious, identity in the United States provides an opportunity for terrorists to move freely within the United States without triggering name-based watch lists that are disseminated to local police officers," McCraw testified. "It also allows them to board planes without revealing their true identity. ... At least one individual of Middle Eastern descent has also been arrested in possession of the matricula consular card."

Ortiz had not heard of the case that McCraw cited or that any potential terrorist had been detained with a matricula card.

"... It seems to me that this is just against Mexicans," Ortiz said, "because (U.S. officials) are picking up a lot of (potential terrorists) and releasing them on their personal recognizance and they (the suspects) don't return to their court dates, and they (U.S. officials) don't know where they are going."

Culberson's spokesmen Tony Essalih and Jeff Morehouse told The Herald on Thursday that U.S. Attorney Michael T. Shelby of the Southern District of Texas told Culberson that several Middle Easterners have used Hispanic surnames to enter the country undetected.

"This was during a meeting in Houston May 25," Essalih said.

The Middle Easterners are from Yemen, Essalih said.

Shelby is not issuing any statements, said Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Herrera of the Southern District of Texas, noting that the office is prohibited from confirming or denying any investigation.

"That is a federal rule," Herrera said.

Culberson's spokesmen said they didn't know how many potential terrorists Shelby identified that have used Hispanic surnames to enter the country.

They said that the potential terrorists apparently entered through the U.S.-Mexico border and were detected in South Texas and as far north as Houston.

Essalih said he had not heard any reports that potential terrorists were being released due to lack of jail space.

He said, "It would be terrifying if that were the case."

Seagate (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837404)

If the solution lets you choose the drives, you're probably going to pick desktop IDE drives. If you do that you really want to look at Seagate [] who will give you a five year warranty. You'll need to check warranty terms if you're buying OEM drives though. When other manufacturers are only willing to offer a 12 month warranty and you're looking at 10 drives... well I'll do the maths, you could be replacing a drive every five weeks! And if the drives wait a year until they start failing you could be looking at an expensive maintenance contract.

What I did... (5, Interesting)

dewpac (31645) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837410)

I bought a case from [] , a 3Ware RAID Controller [] and 8 200GB IDE drives. I've got 1400GB of usable space in RAID5. It runs Linux with Samba and NFS. I also use it for a MythTV Backend.

Unfortunatly, once you have all this space, you WILL find a way to use it all and need more. I put this system together about 10 months ago, and it's at 85% capacity now. I'm preparing to build a new server with 12 250GB drives, to have just over 4TB between the 2 systems.

Re:What I did... (1)

ouzel (655571) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837457)

What did this do to your power consumption? I'd like to build a 2TB RAID5 server, but I already saw a spike in my electricity bill due to my MythTV box that's on 24/7 :-)

Re:What I did... (1)

dewpac (31645) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837496)

This server, which is a dual CPU Athlon box, along with a single CPU athlon box I use for firewalling and a couple Cisco switches runs around 500 watts combined. Where I live, it's about $26.5/month. The bigger problem is cooling, as my central air was not designed to have such a heat load in a bedroom closet, and I have no basement to hide it in since my recent move.

newegg (1)

maxdamage (615250) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837416)

Look at some of the systems avaliable on newegg [] . One of the best I have seen is a motherboard with 8 SATA RAID ports for $250. It comes with an thing that fits into an expansion slot in the case to make 2 of them external. Most cases can handel 6 harddrives. It also had 1 ATA133 ide channel.

yeah (1)

skeletor935 (790212) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837419)

Yeah, I signed up for as many free email accounts as I could online, and would just email myself some of my documents and stored it on said email servers.

With all the storage upgrades on free email you'd be surprised how much storage one can get with about 10 email accounts

CD/DVD rot (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837420)

Hmm, is even DVD's from established brands like Verbatim, TDK, and so on suffering from the dreaded "DVD rot"?

I'm a bit concerned by this phenomenon and think surprisingly little is said about it, when you consider how common these media area. Has studies been made with comparisons from different brands? I'm not sure a study of unknown brands are very helpful since there could be great differences between different manufacturers, or?

I would never buy a DVD from, say, Princo or other budget brands, and really hope the money I spend on established brands are worth it. :-/

Re:CD/DVD rot (1)

bigberk (547360) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837569)

Check your own CDRs for rot. You can use the DriveSpeed utility that comes with Nero. In one of the menus there's a 'ScanDisk' option which can show you what percent of the disk is damaged (these are not critical errors but degrading spots). Fresh discs I burn have 0 to 5% damage, and several year old discs I scan show 10% to 50% damage! I have not yet encountered a disc that is unreadable due to errors, luckily.

CD/DVD Rot can mostly be prevented (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837426)

I've found the most times where I've encoutered DVD/CDR rot is because people burn the discs at unreasonably (maximum) high speeds instead of a lower, more stable speed. 48x maximum, sure... but do you drive your car at maximum speed all the time? If you did, I'm sure the thing would rot/fall apart just as fast.

Another factor to consider is handling and storage conditions... Most people abuse the crap out of their discs. CDRs (and DVDRs too I'll bet) also have a finite read lifetime. Though not being written do, a drive laser will fade the dye. The lighter the shade of die, the less of a read lifetime it has. For this reason, I ALWAYS pick dark blue dye CDRs, such as Verbatim. I believe even the CDR FAQ talks about this. The lighter shade (greenish but almost clear) dyes have a read time of about 300 hours per spot on the disc. The darker ones? Somewhere in the thousands. I can be off, but I know this is a factor.

But, of course... the quality of the media. Even if the CDR prices have practically bottomed out and there are only a small handful of different companies making these rebranded CDRs... QUALITY DOES MATTER!! Buying the Free-after-rebate or $9.99 for a 50 pack spindle (worse when the spindle is just a shrinkwrapped stack of discs) is certainly going to have corners cut somewhere... usually in the top coat (has none) or the laquer/hard coat on top of the foil (thin, fractures easily or has none)... CDR/DVDR rot happens also because of oxidation. This is really why you want to get *top* quality CDRs that put multiple protective coats on the top... or in DVDRs where the dye AND foil layers are sealed in between two halves of a disc.

The shittiest discs I used, sure, they all died within 5 years. I still have some discs that I originally burned when I first got my CDR nearly 10 years ago and they all still work fine.

GeorgeW.Bush must be removed to ensure world peace (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837427)

Whatever people, just be sure to cast a vote helping to *remove* George W. Bush and his failed adminstration from office this year.

I can't think of anyone (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837433)

who makes big raid arrays, except maybe Apple, HP, IBM, Sun, and all the usuall server and storage folks.

Well.. FW800 RAID 5 solutions.. (1)

warpedrive (532727) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837435)

From FW Depot, and Micronet are now out.. du cts_id/657 num_raid.htm

They take 5 IDE drives, and cost about $1200 for the case, supply your own drives..

Front panel setup, and a lot of internal intelligence.. Seems like a good entry level external solution.

Nexsan ATABoy (1)

jakedata (585566) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837440)

I have two AtaBoy raid systems w/ 3.5 T each. Works very nicely. Comes in Ultra160 LVD/SE and FC flavors. I use one of each.

relatively cheap raid boxes... (2, Informative)

psych-major (767984) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837449) Bought one of these at my previous employer and we really liked it.

Cheap Fast Reliable (1)

stuce (81089) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837454)

Cases are difficult but.... (1)

fozzmeister (160968) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837455)

Lian-Li PC V1000 handles 6x3.5 + 5x5.25 so by converting 4 of the 5.25's you'd get your 10x disk storage. The 6 are stored in a seperate area as well which is pretty sweet and will hopefully help the heat situation. I had problems with the PSU for this case tho and had to dremel out a section to make it fit.

Ever Try External Hard Disk Enclosures? (3, Informative)

tjasond (680156) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837464)

I use a Hard Drive Enclosure [] for backing up files. With IDE HDD's getting less and less expensive, picking one of these versatile enclosures up for less than $50 is a good value. I own a DVD burner but rarely use it for data storage since the enclosure is way more convenient. Now as far as 10 250GB drives in a Raid configuration, how redundant redundant do you need you data to be? Or is it that you're just overly cautious after having your backup DVD's fail? Just curious.

RVM backup to large raids using rsync (1)

w3rdna (253598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837469)

This project is working on backups to large raids using Rsync. I think his test system has 3tb.

Werdna []

Promise (0, Redundant)

ttrafford (62500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837475)

Promise sells some really cheap.

Not sure about 10 or more but. (1)

zorkmid (115464) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837479)

I've put together 2 systems using the ams electronics CF-481 case. 8 exposed 5.25 bays using 300GB Maxtor SATA drives + a 3ware 8506-8 gets me close to 2TB at raid 5 (each system).

I think they priced out to about $3500 per server (not including my time $).

You also may want to look into 29

1.6TB on a spiffy firewire enclosure. $2200

Not Cheap, but available (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837483)

T3 Storage Array s= SunStore&cmdViewProduct_CP&catid=51844

HP MSA20 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837488) tstorage/sharedstorage/sacluster/msa20/


The HP StorageWorks Modular Smart Array 20 Enclosure (MSA20) is a SATA 1.5 Gb/s disk drive storage enclosure with Ultra320 SCSI host connectivity. These enclosures deliver industry-leading availability, storage density, and upgradeability to meet customers' demanding and growing storage needs. The MSA20 delivers the ideal mix of low-cost and high capacity, for minimum I/O workloads such as reference data, archival, and disk-to-disk backup

Just built one... (4, Informative)

SlashChick (544252) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837489)

I can answer your question, as I've just built one as a giant backup solution for our hosting company. []

I went with Serial ATA for a couple reasons:
1) It's cheaper and has more capacity than SCSI;
2) Cabling is not a mess as it is with regular IDE (if you've never seen serial ATA cables, the first thing you will notice is that they are small!);
3) It can hotswap, unlike regular IDE;
4) It's not that much more expensive than regular IDE.

I custom-built a 3U server from InterProMicro. [] They are a small (local if you are in the Bay Area) SuperMicro reseller that does great work. (If you need something, call and ask for Andy. Tell him Erica from Simpli sent you!)

The machine I specced out was as follows:
* 3U case with 8 hot-swap SATA drive bays;
* 8-port 3Ware 8506-8 SATA RAID controller;
* 5x250GB SATA drives in a RAID-5 array;
* Dual Xeon processors.

The 5 drives give you 1TB of storage, and expanding up to 8 gives you 1.75TB. I would also recommend a separate mirrored SATA 10KRPM array for the OS if you want really fast speeds. :)

This whole solution (Xeons; 5 drives; 3U case) cost just over $3000... which is pretty reasonable for 1TB of network-accessible storage. Interpro has solutions that go up to 24 SATA drives [] , which at 250GB each gives you an ungodly amount of space (5.75TB, if my calculations are correct.)

My suggestion is to go with a niche server builder like InterproMicro over Dell or Compaq or any of those guys. You can get the same high quality from a custom manufacturer without paying the steep brand name price from a larger manufacturer. As for the drives, any time the goal is "as much space as possible", SATA should be your first choice.

Good luck!

How cheap are you trying to get this done? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837495)

Probably your best bet is to get a full tower case and add some drive bay capacity to it with sheet metal. You'll need to add several new fans, and you will want probably a good 500W of power supply capacity if not more. If you can get drives with a spinup delay which you can specify, then you can probably get away with less. Two or more cheap power supplies should do the job, I bought a couple of 250W power supplies for $7 each a while back, should be easy enough to do that still.

Adding drive capacity is easy, cut out two sheets of sheet metal (or have them cut, but sheet metal shears are plenty inexpensive) the same size and then draw two parallel lines down them at the same width as the distance between the front and back screws of a hard drive, then measure some lines that cross them at a comfortable distance. With a little bit of planning you can bend the sheet metal (the edge of a metal table or railing, a hammer, and a couple of cheap C-clamps can get this done for you, just hammer back and forth along the edge gradually) at the front of the case so you can install some fans. Punch or drill holes for the hard drive (and fan) mounting. If you are drilling, do yourself a favor and clamp it down to a piece of plywood, because if the drill bit catches the sheet metal it will spin it around in circles and you can easily slash open your wrists and bleed out. I am not kidding, this has really happened to people.

A full tower case should have enough room to hold at least ten drives. Slap in a cheap athlon xp, duron, or sempron with GigE, add some cheap IDE PATA cards, and do software raid in linux (or similar.) Hardware raid is expensive and typically no faster than doing software raid on a dedicated system.

This should only cost you about $200 over the cost of the drives. It is not the most robust solution, but it is probably the cheapest. Depending on your client operating systems you will want to set up NFS, Samba, and/or netatalk for Unix, Windows, or Mac clients respectively. (Last I checked MacOS had "issues" connecting to SMB shares with full compatibility, like in 10.2.6 it did not allow perfectly legal characters on files written to SMB shares.) If you want to solidly install the sheet metal into the case, I suggest a pop riveter, which you should be able to get with a sufficient supply of rivets for $20 or less. I know this sounds kind of ghetto but it is definitely the cheapest way to go and is frankly little less robust than buying a completed solution. If you want to be extra classy about it, visit your local scrap yard and pick up some aluminum. However, to cut aluminum properly (it's going to have to be around 1/8" thick to have the rigidity you'd want) you'll need a shear, so the sheet metal is probably the way to go. Turn the edges of the sheet metal on the back side (where the drives slide in and out) out slightly and cover the edges with something.

Similar question (1)

StarWynd (751816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837498)

For what it's worth, there was a similar inquiry [] not too long ago.

problem with harddrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837500)

heat, noise, electricity.... eliminate them, and people will start working on mundane thinks like software config.

hom0 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837507)

Maybe LVM (1)

bigberk (547360) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837515)

LVM [] is easier to set up then RAID (although it doesn't have the same redundnacy/recovery features as RAID). Think of it as chaining together several disks, throwing out the conventional notion of partioning. It makes it convenient for dealing with large disks, and several of them! And EIDE storage is cheap...

3Ware (1)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837523)

3Ware Escalade -- []

The Escalade 8506-12 has 12 x SATA ports onboard. Full hardware implementation; appears as a SCSI host adapter to the OS. Drivers and management utilities for MS-Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD. It will even email you if you have a disk failure.

3Ware was one of the first ATA RAID vendors to put a driver in the Linux kernel, and it was a fully-supported, GPL driver from day one. Rock solid stuff. Good tech support, too.

Highly recommended.

Yes and No... (1)

Supp0rtLinux (594509) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837525)

I have two servers with 6 each of 200Gb SATA drives. There are 2 drives per Adaptec, RAID capable SATA controller, so three Adaptec controllers total. One server has a RAID 5 of all 6 drives which yields just under 1TB of storage. The other is setup as JBOD and yields just under 1.2Tb of total storage.

More recently I've purchased 500Mb and 1TB LaCie Big Disk and Bigger Disk storage devices. They work extremely well and have almost no latency for their size. I use them for testing things and have been quite impressed. In one scenario I had them connected via firewire 800 controllers to separate 1U servers running RH Linux and Oracle 10G with DRDB sync'ing them as a test cluster scenario. In another case, I had three of the 500Mb ones connected via USB 2 to a Windows 2003 server and a software RAID 5 setup in Windows (Windows can RAID any number of disks of similiar architecture... ie: multiple IDE, multiple SATA, multiple USB, multiple firewire, etc.).

Presently, I have a 1TB LaCie Bigger disk connected via a PCMCIA Firewire 800 card to my laptop and two 500Mb LaCie Big Disks in a s/w RAID 1 connected to my file server and used for disk to disk backup.

As for the 10+ disks you asked about, I haven't tried anything of that size since I haven't found a server case that can take that number of drives with standard power supplies. The most I have is the 6 SATA drives in a tall tower with a 600Watt power supply, but these also need cooling.

Of course, cost usually becomes an issue. The LaCie 1TB Bigger Disk is only $1100.00 if you shop around. The smaller 500MB Big Disk's are closer to $500.00. Compare this to the "buck a gig" pricing for SATA drives and 4 x 250Gb SATA drives will cost you right around $1000.00, but after formatting you get less. Plus, for a RAID, you need another drive, so for approx 1TB you need 5x250GB SATA = $1250.00 plus the case, high end power supply, etc. The LaCie drives end up being more disk for the buck if you don't mind external storage.

In RAID, IDE has the disadvantage... (2, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837527)

It's almost funny... Once you start talking about RAID with more than 2 drives, IDE is at a disadvantage.

I'm not referring to performance, reliability, etc. (although those are serious issues), but about price.

If you have a master & a slave, then you reduce performance... That can be a very serious if you have a RAID configuration. So, if you want to put 7200RPM hard drives together, you start to need a 6 or more channel RAID card (whereas a single channel SCSI RAID card would work fine). And guess what? Decent quality 6+ channel RAID cards are very expensive, perhaps even negating the savings from using IDE drives rather than SCSI in the first place.

Remember, that's based on price-only... I haven't even begun talking about how much worse the performance would be, or reliability issues with using inexpensive IDE drives.

Multi-Terabyte Solution (1)

davec_76 (675296) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837530)

2 of these controllers: [] with this case: s=304&pid=62 [] and you can have SATA 250GB X 24 = 6TB of storage. That or buy a bunch of 9.1GB SCSI drives, and a lot of arrays - and you'll end up with a fairly cheap storage solution, and one heck of a horrible power bill.

Several options (1)

stienman (51024) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837533)

There are many manufacturers that make raid cases and rack mounts to hold many hard drives. They are usually meant for companies that want a complete supported solution, though, and not available barebones to hobbyists. They contain everything, including the drives, management software, etc.

You can find RAID cards that will support up to 8 drives, but few that will support more, and often those that support multiple drives cost more than the drives themselves.

Your best bet, I suspect, is to make a dedicated RAID server. Buy a tower case, and mount the hard drives in there - there are brackets that fit three 3.5" drives into a full height 5 1/4" slot, and a full tower should be able to fit 3-4 of these for a total of 9-12 removable drives. Then use your favorite OS that has software RAID and add a gigabyte ethernet card for a direct connection to the computer you will primarily access this array from, and another for a network connection. You'll need to add additional IDE adaptors, but they are inexpensive. I'd shy away from using raid cards or onboard raid, and then raiding the resulting fewer drives in software - too many layers to keep track of. This is not meant for hot swap usage, so plan in extra unused drives so you only have to shut the machine down once a year to replace 1-3 drives.

Be sure to use a beefy power supply, and hard drive holders with fans built in - you need lots of power and lots of cooling, even when the array is idle.

I recommend OpenBSD, mainly because you know that only the things you install yourself are active. If not, then go to freebsd-stable.


Re:Several options (1)

stienman (51024) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837566)

Also keep in mind that a cheap 'hot-swap' alternative is an external firewire drive. Plug it in while the system is active and make some commands to find it and replicate to it. Then you don't have to shut down as much. Perhaps even consider putting in several firewire cards and having a completely external raid array - hotswap problem solved.


3Ware & P-link (1)

iakirai28 (594107) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837534)

I've recently been given a similar task in constructing a new fileserver, and when I came across the products available from 3ware I knew I found the answer. Their raid cards are rock-solid, work exceedingly well with linux and come in almost any configuration you could ever ask for. The real kicker is that they're built around supporting inexpensive PATA and SATA hard-drives, rather than high-end SCSI. []

Then for a case to put all those drives in, P-link offers a few that do a decent job. The quality of these cases is somewhat mediocre, but the price is hard to argue. Just don't buy swappable drive bays here, as those can be found for half the price anywhere else. []

Distributed RAID (1)

randall_burns (108052) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837541)

I thought this article was cool. What I would personally rather have here than just a simple RAID in one location(for something like my entire data collection) is the ability to distribute replicas accross a variety of locations--that way I wouldn't loose my collection even if my house burned down or whatever.

eBay is the answer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9837545)

Get yourself an old/used hardware RAID off eBay, one that uses LVD SCSI drives, and replace the drives with cheap ATA units, equipped with SCSI-ATA bridges.

SCSI-ATA bridges []

Only trick is it can be a bit challenging to mount the ATA drives in the chassis, depending on how the original drives mounted. Some arrays are nice enough to use complete trays with a separate connector, but often they'll just use basic rails and rely on the drive's SCA connector, which is bad news for this type of adaptaion

Here what i run. (1)

Preacher X (545221) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837546) 8u rack mount 16 bay case. ~400US Promise SX6000 ~275US 6x Maxtor 200GB drives ~150 ea. and other various intricasies. total system was about 2500

Good solutions still cost a reasonable amount (4, Informative)

Zergwyn (514693) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837547)

I have just been grappling with this very issue. What kind of solution can find depends on a couple of factors:

-What RAID level you want (5 usually requires better hardware)
-Whether you want hardware RAID (I strongly recommend this) or soft RAID
-How much redundancy you need (Battery backup cache? Redundant controllers? Hardware environmental controls?)

If you are looking for good pci cards, I would strongly suggest a card from 3ware [] , and a card from a place such a Seagate [] . Getting a super-duper cheap card when terabytes of data are on the line is just fundamentally stupid. You can save some bucks now, but be ready with your next Ask Slashdot: "How do I recover data from my dead RAID?" Seagate now has a nice 5 year warranty, which match well with good quality and reasonably cheap drives. Look at some of the SATA drives like the Barracuda. However, any decent quality drive maker can work. If you have even more money, you can look at some of the things offered by places like StorCase [] . A larger initial investment can become cheaper as you scale up the cheap harddrive count, and it can be a good thing in the long run. Obviously, the more time you are willing to invest doing things yourself, the cheaper you can get to some extent vs premade items. However, no support as well.

Do read up on some of the fundamentals of RAID: Everything you need to know (and lots you don't) is probably at least mentioned in the PC Guide [] on RAID. Look through that. Things like hot swap and hot spares are important to understand. Finally, you should remember to check compatability. Unfortunately, I for instance have not been able to find much of anything in the way of controller cards that is compatable with OS X (except the obvious, the XServe RAID). So I have something set up on a BSD box in my server closet that I then link to, more like a storage appliance. Happily, the 3ware cards and many others are now compatable with a wide variety of *nix and BSD flavors along Windows, but do check to make sure.

Last but not least, remember this!: RAID is *not* a backup solution, but an highly redundant onsite storage system. Have another form of backups, even if it is just a RAID 1 off site, or DVD-Rs, or something. If a disaster happens (thieves, fire, nuclear destruction, John Ashcroft) on site storage won't save you.

Off the shelf or build yourself? (2, Informative)

egarland (120202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837554)

Promise has a nice off-the-shelf solution [] and you can get it [] for arround $3600.

If I were going to do it I'd build it my own by combining a nice case [] and a 12 port 3Ware controller [] with whatever server configuration and SATA drives I wanted to get.

All about the Apple Xserv Storage Arrays (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 10 years ago | (#9837558)

Seriously. If you need some good space (I think the new models are 3 terribyte), its only a couple thousand. The older 1 and 2 terribyte arrays can be had for even cheaper. I personally can't say enough about them. Hardware supported RAID 0, 1, 5, 0+1, which means no overhead to actual software/cpu for using the different raid levels. I know its not quite what you were asking about, (i.e. not a DIY case), but you will be hard pressed to find something this cheap with these features even if you build it yourself.

Besides, you know you want flashing blue, green, and red LEDs :P

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