"The Making of a 1+ TB ARRAY for 2 grand"

Posted on 2004-08-27
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Im going to make a cool storage system at home.
I have been tossing around different methods, and the two
that excite me the most are:
1" Using SCSI and Enterprize level SUN array from E-Bay, make a fiber channel array"
2"Buying 8 250 Gig SATA's from newegg and a 3WARE Esclade 64BitPCI card and putting them in
removable drive bays with a dual athlon MP 2.8 GHZ"

Now I want others input and Ideas.
My friend Dynamic1 has been talking to me for a while in a different post I made, and turned
me on to the idea.

Quantity and Safety are important to me.

Lets get the ball rolling.
Question by:joncolby
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Author Comment

ID: 11917839
This is cool and shows you the space of diffent setups.

Here is the cheapest 250 Gig WD SATA at newegg as of today.

Here is a 3WARE 8X Sata RAID Card.

Here is a Seagate 36 Gig SCSI Drive at newegg

LVL 10

Accepted Solution

Dynamic1 earned 500 total points
ID: 11922288
Hi Jon I am going to do some benchmarks I will also provide you some links. BTW Dual AThlon MP's= Mobiles @2400-2600GHZ I have a Tyan Board running this way they run cooler at that speed then the stock MP's @1800Mhz.

Expert Comment

ID: 11922445
For reliabilty issues stick with SCSI or Enterprise SATA class drives.  Those desktop SATA's aren't meant for 24/7 operation in a server environment.  I've built IDE RAIDs before and the drives just can't last as long as my SCSI file servers (but that's just my experience).

Also if performance is an issue, the SATA drives/controllers will get owned by SCSI U320 if they don't use the latest SATA spec (features like command queuing).  Also the 8000 series 3Ware SATA cards is their "value" line that doesn't support command queuing like their "high-performance" 9000 series.  Another thing that boosts performance is a nice cache on the controller too (the 8000 doesn't have the option).

You might want to look to NAS devices for more implementation examples such as :

Good luck

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Author Comment

ID: 11945304
what are some of the sata drives you are talking about ?
the ones that can last a long time ?
do you have a link ?

Expert Comment

ID: 11946812 is an Enterprise class SATA drive from Western Digital.

Maxtor has some nice full duty cycle drives as well - they even support SATA II.  The link is ugly so just go to and look at their MaxLine III drives (250-300GB capacities).

There have been several articles regarding the importance of full duty cycle HDs in NAS/SAN environments - basically the enterprise drives have undergone more stringent testing and contain higher quality components than their desktop counterparts to ensure minimal drive failure.

Author Comment

ID: 12012493
ok, Ive made a decision to do 2 different projects.
The first is the 'budget projetc'
it consists of shopping at newegg.
it is a codegen server case. $198.00
Vantec Tornado Drive coolders 32.00 Ea X8
a 3ware 8 port SATA RAID Card.
and 8 SATA hard drives.
(I havent bought the hard drives yet.)
I have decided to go with the cheapest sata drives I can find.
250 or 300 gb.
the reason  is, for the amount of money you spend on enterprise level drives for more life expectancy.
I would rather just buy 1 or 2 new drives to fix the ones that fail.
also, the Western digital Drives that are enterprize level ARE 10,000 RPM.... BUT
they are max of 74 GB... that sucks!!!! Major.
so, I figure since I am running raid5, it dosent matter if a drive ****s out in 2 -3 years, Ill just buy new ones later on.
the size per megabyte is what I am after in this first system.
I alredy have a gygabite dual athlon MP mobo with 64 bit PCI and 2 gig ddr ram.
I figure it will work good and will have lots of storage and be cheap but reliable because of the RAID5.
ok, that is all for now... more to come soon...

Expert Comment

ID: 12013960
The Western Digital Caviar RE drives are enterprise level and cost 50 bucks more than their desktop counterparts...

I hate to throw in some more variables but the SATA-II (double the throughput per port @3GB/s plus and an extended instruction set like command queuing) interface is coming out soon... ...which may make these SATA-I drives and controllers cheaper.  As far as drives go, Hitachi/IBM just released their 10K300 drive - a enterprise level 300GB 10Krpm drive (which is probably going to be really expensive - but will drive down the price for smaller drives).  On the SATA-II front, there is the - Maxtor drive which is still expensive compared to the SATA-I drives.

Author Comment

ID: 12020441
Goodie Goodie Goodie !
I havent Purchased the controller or the drives yet.
Maybe Ill take my time, and togather, all of us, via this fourm can find the "Sweet spot" Time to buy.

Ive got the Hard drive coolers and the case and 18" sata cables.
I can get newer cables too if the new sata2 stuff needs newer cables.. that is no problem
they are only a couple bucks each at newegg.

What I do have is the mobo, Dual athlon MP's 2.8 GHZ and 2 GB ddr ram and the video and 1 ide HDD for the OS
and the other basic stuff, cd, floppy ... bla bla ba..
I just need to get drives, controller, and maybe newer sata cables.
ooohhh goodie .. this is getting fun!

Who knows about RAID6 ?
is there such a thing. ????

Ive heard that 2 out of 8 drives can fail on RAID6 and you can STILL access the data.
you can replace the 2 failed drives whenever you like ... No time crunch to replace them to get your data operational.
-Is it true ?

Expert Comment

ID: 12021647
After RAID 5, nomenclature gets a little fuzzy.  A bunch of manufacturers use >RAID 5 names like RAID 6, RAID 7... then there are the nested RAID levels like RAID 5+1.

A great site for descriptions for both single level (number) and nested (multi number) RAID definitions:

Personally with the cost analysis on the failure/recovery vs. total storage vs. performance, RAID 5 is pretty much the way to go for a NAS.

RAID 1+5 or RAID 5+1 is the uber RAID configuration where in a RAID 1+5 you can lose up to 3 out of 8... or RAID 5+1 where you can lose up to FIVE out of 8 as long as the mirrored RAID 5 sets does not have more than one failure.  Quite impressive but also quite expensive in terms of the low total storage in these RAID configs.

As far as price point goes with computer stuff... it ALWAYS gets cheaper - it's just a matter of how patient you are :)
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 12023453
Just my .02 the raptors are still the fastest drives on the planet 5 year warranty opposed to 3 on the drives listed above latiencies on 73GB raptors are about halp the other above drives. Only Problem is 73GB is the biggest they offer let me see if we can fit enough into 2 Grand actually I do not even need to see not going to be price effective would be the fastest though even on a cached controller.

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