Build my own DAS box?

ddotson
ddotson used Ask the Experts™
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Hello:

I am interested in building my own Direct Attached Storage box.  I just built a server with 24 1.5 TB SATA drives in a RAID 6.  We are using this box to store backups.  Surprisingly, I think that we are going to run out of space.  So the idea of a Direct Attached Storage device is appealing.  I would like to build something with a similar array (24 SATA drives, RAID 6, etc).

I've searched for enclosures, and I've tried to research the technology that will allow me to connect these drives to my existing server, but it's not clear to me.

So -

1) Opinion of the project
2) Enclosure?  RAID card?  Other Hardware?
3) Best way to attach the box to my existing server

Thanks in advance.

Dan
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All you'll need is a card that has an external JBOD port and another disk shelf. What are the specs of the build you have now? If you're just looking for a quick working solution you could just go check out SuperMicro's line up and pick what you want.

Author

Commented:
JBOD port?  I'm not familiar with how you are using the term. I think I understand what a JBOD is, however, if my DAS box contains, say, 24 drives in a RAID 6, then how does JBOD port fit in?

Also, not sure what a "disk shelf" is.

My current machine is a workstation class MB (Asus) witn a Core I7 processor.  Using onboard RAID with RAID1 for the OS drive.  12 GB RAM.  Using an ARECA 24 port card to connect to the backplane, where I am running 24 1.5 TB drives in a RAID6 with two hot spares.
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
SemperWiFi means go with an external enclosure.  this is much more desirable as you can hook up one or more host computers to it, in event you need growth. an external enclosure that is JBOD doesn't have a built in RAID controller.  just google "JBOD enclosure" there are numerous vendors.   Go with one that supports BOTH SAS & SATA, so you have an upgrade path.  Personally I think you should strongly consider mixing both devices, at very least use SAS disks for your O/S due to reliability and performance. Just go with RAID1 for those 2 and make the other disks one or more RAID6 datasets.  

Also SAS-2 is now shipping, I have an ATTO SAS-2 card and it has a pair of 6Gb/sec ports and I hooked up 96 SAS & SATA drives to it recently to some JBOD enclosures and it worked quite well.  That is another advantage of external storage.  When you bust out, add another shelf (slang for another JBOD). You aren't likely to be CPU bound so you could easily add on.

So if you use this strategy you won't need to upgrade your server for quite some time
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Author

Commented:
So how does the box connect to the server?  Say, for example, that I build a box with 24 drives.  What sort of cable?  How many cables?  What sort of card supports that?  I'm seeing cards that have "SFF-8088" connections, supporting "8x".  That reads to me that it supports 8 drives.

Sorry about the questions - I check Google before I ask, but it's hard to get anything definitive.

Hey sorry I was off site for a bit.

Thanks dlethe for chiming in, in my absence.

@ ddotson - You have alread been finding the correct 8088 cards. Basically, it has an external port and there is a single cable you'll run from the card to the enclosure.

Here is an example of JBOD enclosure = http://www.sansdigital.com/accustor/as212x2.html

Here is an example of a card you can use: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816103174&cm_re=raid_controller_card-_-16-103-174-_-Product

Here is an example of your cable: http://www.provantage.com/tripp-lite-s524-01m~7TRPA1Q3.htm

 
connection-diagram.jpg

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the help!

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