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Can I make a 1 Terabyte homemade SAN appliance?

Posted on 2004-08-04
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I can't afford the big $$ for a commercial SAN.

Is there any way to build a box that I could have 100ea 100GB IDE or SATA harddrives in and connect to a network.
Run OS or ?? on 1 harddrive to assign drive letters?

Does anyone have an idea how this can be accomplished?
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Question by:FUROG
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by:FUROG
ID: 11722601
Sorry...100ea of 100GB would be a xenobyte?
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 50 total points
ID: 11722811
You mean 10 x 100GB = 1 terabyte.

This is being done by people who want their own video servers.  Basically, start with a good quality pc and add a controller card like a 3Ware Escalade 7506 that can handle up to 12 drives.  Get a big power supply, NIC, some good fans and the box is ready.
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by:timothyfryer
timothyfryer earned 200 total points
ID: 11722821
I'm not an expert on things larger than 40gb and 1 drive although I can say that occasionally I have difficulty with that level of sophistication as well.  Overlooking for a moment the fact that you might have to use a lightning rod for the bus, from what I understand, the new SATA interface is theoretically capable of making that many connections on one bus, 224 according to the vendor in the link below.  SCSI interface is 16 max, IDE is 2.  That doesn't mean they would all plug into the motherboard.  Usually the motherboad has two connectors for SATA, so you would have to use controller cards to expand the array. From the looks of things in the links below, I suspect 16 devices or so might be the practical upper limit with a maximum capacity somewhere over 1 terabyte, or 1000 gigabytes, (not trilobyte, which is a prehistoric roach) for any one computer with current technology but I'll let you decide for yourself.  I have enough trouble with one.

http://64.78.237.115/tech/sata.html
http://www.snwonline.com/evaluate/shared_bandwidth_04-29-02.asp?article_id=119
http://www.i-tech.com/Storage%20Info%20Center/indnews246.php

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by:timothyfryer
ID: 11722848
Looks like the guys in the first link might actually be getting that many drives together but I would read the fine print closely.
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by:FUROG
ID: 11723076
Hmmmmmmmm......so I can build a trilobyte (wasn't it that fuzzy thing on Star Trek too?) terabyte, xeno-machine after all.

Noticed the 3Ware controller was JBOD but didn't support SBOD (fyi).

Looks like I will be digging for custom boxes, power supplies, fans and the such. Ideas of where to look?
I am not aware of any "home" builder specs or kits on the market.
I am relatively intelligent but don't want to build a $5K home box that would have cost me $3K on the market so a plan goes a long way in my book.
Plus I will need to rationalize an OS or someone else's storage management software.

Hmmmmmmmm.....

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Expert Comment

by:orion411
ID: 11723292
You want an Adaptec iSA1500. It is a iSCSI storage array that supports 1TB of storage. Now this isn't going to be fast, but it is the cheapest thing you can get to start building a Storage Area Network (SAN).


http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/product/proddetail.html?sess=no&language=English+UK&prodkey=iSA1500_UK

http://itresearch.forbes.com/detail/PROD/1089715951_991.html&src=fbs

You can get one starting around $5000.
http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=adaptec%20isa1500&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wf
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Expert Comment

by:timothyfryer
ID: 11723296
I build little computers every once in awhile and the best place for price is http://pricewatch.com
The best place to check out the dealers on pricewatch to see if they're crooks is http://resellerratings.com
The best way to run a computer with a 100 disk drives is without Windows
The best place to find 'tribbles' is on star trek-trilobytes are prehistoric roaches-roaches don't purr or chirp-only 'tribbles'
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by:
orion411 earned 250 total points
ID: 11723373
If you're really looking to built a low cost SAN with one hundrend 100GB disks than you are on the right track with SBOD. But you're not going to be able to buy the disks for $5000.

Look at something like this.
http://www.peripheralstorage.com/raid/enterprise_raid/diamond3_jbod.htm
You can put 16 SATA drives in this SBOD enclosure. So you will need 7 of these and 21U of available rack space in order to hold 100 SATA drives of whatever size you want.

Now all you need is Fibre Channel RAID controller to manage all those disks. Something like this will work.
http://www.peripheralstorage.com/raid/enterprise_raid/copper1_raid_controller.htm
http://www.xyratex.com/products/storage/rio.htm

You'll have to be careful how you build your RAID sets so you don't have single points of failure.
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by:timothyfryer
ID: 11837217
Thanks for the points.  Good luck with the project.
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