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Thread: Raid Advice Sought

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    Raid Advice Sought

    Ok, I've not really looked at much pc related for the past few years so am seeking a bit of advice regarding a proposed raid setup at home.

    Basically I am looking to sort out my storage as for the past few years it has been pretty disjointed and is now at the stage where I can't find most things that I may look for, so I was thinking of ripping all the drives out of one of my pc's and buying this Raid Card with the battery backup module (frequent power cuts in this house) and over the next 2/3 months buying 8 1TB drives to run either raid 5 or 6.

    The pc/array is to be used primarily as storage but with some redundancy and also as a way of me organising everything as I move it to the array, it won't be running more than a few times a month when I want to watch something from it or want to move more data to it, the rest of the time it will be off, though when/if I move next year I would like to chuck it in a corner and just use it to stream to a few media players around the place so would be looking to run it 24/7 at that point.

    Firstly would the above be a good thing to do? also having seen these figure I could use one of the drives that are currently in the pc in this to take a regular image of my main pc and monthly ones of the other two machines plus any important info (pics, emails etc) it would also be handy to use to move data from the existing drives to the array.

    The specs and drives of my 3 pcs are as below, plus also the external nas/enclosures that I run at the moment.

    Main PC:-

    Asus P5WG2WS-Pro
    Core2Duo – 6600 @ stock
    Vista Ultimate 64 bit
    Adaptec AAR-1420SA 4-Port SATA-II RAID Controller
    4GB Ram

    Drives:-
    500GB
    400GB
    500GB
    750GB
    750GB
    1TB
    1TB
    750GB
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed Pc to base array on.

    Asus P5WD2-Premium
    XP Pro -32bit
    2GB Ram
    Adaptec AAR-1420SA 4-Port SATA-II RAID Controller
    Pentium D 3.2@3.7

    Drives:-
    320GB
    500GB
    500GB
    500GB
    400GB
    500GB
    400GB
    750GB
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PC 3

    Gigabyte GA-945GZM-S2
    Adaptec AAR-1420SA 4-Port SATA-II RAID Controller
    Vista ultimate – 32bit
    Pentium D 3Ghz @ Stock
    2GB ram

    Drives:-
    500GB
    1TB
    320GB
    750GB
    750GB
    500GB
    500GB
    500GB

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    External Storage:-

    4x D-link DNS-323 External Nas units containing the following drives:-

    a.) 2x 500GB Seagate drive
    b.) 2x 500GB WD Drives
    c.) 1x500GB Seagate
    d.) 1x 1TB Samsung

    1x Lacie Big disk External 1.28Tb
    1x Lacie Big disk External 1Tb
    1x 500GB USB caddy

    I would really like to be able to ditch some if not all of the external storage as the cabling is a little crazy with everything plugged in and the UPS is only a small one so runs two pc's and a dns unit for only a short time.

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I have let it all slide over the years and have just bought more and more hard drives as I needed storage but it's all a bit much now.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Re: Raid Advice Sought

    I've not had proper chance to read you post yet but the RAID card you mention is loverly

    Proper reply later .....
    Last edited by Vimeous; 21-07-2008 at 07:22 PM.
    Vimeous : i7 7700K | 16Gb | ASUS Strix Z270G | GTX1080 | 960 EVO 500GB NVMe | 850 EVO 500GB | TX650W | NZXT S340 Elite | Dell U2713H + 17" | 10 Pro
    Willowin : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | 2x 1TB 840EVO | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
    Svr : X2 4200+ | 2Gb | ASUS A8N-SLI Premium | HD6870 | SonicFury | 8x 250Gb (2x RAID10) | 3Ware 9650SE-8LPML | Seasonic 700W | CM Stacker 830 | XP Pro
    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
    W : Dell Precision T3610 | E5-1650 V2 | 16GB | Quadro K2000 | 256GB SSD | 1TB HDD | 8.1 Pro | 2x Dell U2515H


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    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Re: Raid Advice Sought

    Questions:

    How full are all those disks?
    Or rather do you think 7Tb will be enough?

    I ask because many of your current setups appear a little disjointed with respect drive sizes.
    You've clearly got the case for an 8 disk setup so you already know the issues with shifting the large amounts of horizontally trapped heat.

    I've found the 9650 an easy to use card but I've not got the battery backup as we don't have similar power issues to yourself.

    I don't see any issues with what you plan as long as you plan the cooling well. I'd suggest looking for a 11 slot case and mount the drives in pairs leaving an air gap between each pair. If you go 12 slots I'd suggest D_DD_DD_DD_D to ensure all drive get a cooling gap although it'll be case dependant how well this matches up with your fans.

    I would suggest a server case but fan noise would be an issue just to get enough air through the case.

    Have you considered a basic PC and a pair of NAS devices instead?

    I also wonder if Windows Storage Server would be a good idea on the storage PC build a second simpler PC to use day-to-day?
    Vimeous : i7 7700K | 16Gb | ASUS Strix Z270G | GTX1080 | 960 EVO 500GB NVMe | 850 EVO 500GB | TX650W | NZXT S340 Elite | Dell U2713H + 17" | 10 Pro
    Willowin : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | 2x 1TB 840EVO | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
    Svr : X2 4200+ | 2Gb | ASUS A8N-SLI Premium | HD6870 | SonicFury | 8x 250Gb (2x RAID10) | 3Ware 9650SE-8LPML | Seasonic 700W | CM Stacker 830 | XP Pro
    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
    W : Dell Precision T3610 | E5-1650 V2 | 16GB | Quadro K2000 | 256GB SSD | 1TB HDD | 8.1 Pro | 2x Dell U2515H


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    Re: Raid Advice Sought

    Cheers, from the look of your sig I reckon I've at least chosen the right card which is always a good start

    Answers to Qs

    Unfortunately most of the disks are full, I have around 600GB free spread across all those drives, the drives have just been whatever was available or the best deal when I've upgraded capacity wise over time hence they vary in size depending on when I got them as some occasions I'd buy a batch in one go, last big change was a while ago when I removed 8x320GB drives and replaced them with 500's, have slowly switched over to 750 and 1Tb's as the prices have dropped.

    The case is a Lian Li V2000 and at one stage I did have 16 drives in it (12 bays + 4 bay 5.25" hdd cage) your right though in the small space that it's currently in the heat generated made for some very toasty drives so I would only want to put 12 in for the new build, the eight 1TB's spread across the 12 bays and 4 more in the hard drive cage which takes up three 5.25" drive bays and use the existing Adaptec card and go for Raid 10 with them.

    All this hardware is crammed into one pretty small room (+32" Lcd) which I'm renting so I can't put everything on at once as it'd be roasting in minutes hence whilst I'm still here I'd only have it on for a few hours at a time at most, plus would be putting back in all the case fans.

    I tried the basic pc route (hence ended up with 3 pc's in one tiny room) after I outgrew the storage that allowed I bought a couple of 8-Bay Storage towers I filled them with 250's then 4 and 500's but eventually they had to go after that I ran an old pc with FreeNas and one storage tower for ages which was great until I made what I thought to be a simple change and ended up losing most of it so am way too scared to go back down that route.

    The Other two pc's I have at the moment are just there so I can transfer data to them as the main pc fills up so they are only on for short periods of time, the main rig is my daily use & abuse pc so would like to move some drives out of it as it does run 24/7 and I have strated to note increased drive failures (have rma'd 5 drives this year from it).

    Capacity wise I am hoping to put the 6/7TB array (raid 5 or 6 just cannot decide yet) plus four of the current 1TB's that I have, if needs be I'd keep the external nas units and put the larger left over drives in that and then hopefully at least ditch the Lacie and USB external drives plus take a couple of drives out of the main pc.

    Ok so on the whole what I am planning is looking to be ok? I think, I don't want to get this wrong as it's the last bit of money I can spend for a long time.

    I know nothing Windows Storage Server but will do a bit of digging around tomorrow.

    Big Thanks for the advice.
    Last edited by kameio; 21-07-2008 at 08:28 PM.

  5. #5
    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Re: Raid Advice Sought

    Going by your numbers you're using approximately 20Tb of unformatted space.

    With you proposed for max space:

    Main PC
    4x 1Tb RAID10
    8x 1Tb RAID5
    Total = 9Tb

    4x 2 Drive NAS
    3x NAS with 2x 750Gb RAID0
    1x NAS with 2x 500Gb RAID0
    Total = 5.5Tb

    Grand Total 14.5Tb

    At the moment you're a touch short of space unless you keep the others PC's as standby. If you decide you want to protect your NAS drives as well you'll be left with 11.75Tb or roughly half what you need for you current data.

    I'm going to suggest one possible solution that needs further investigation - a tape drive.
    A second-hand LTO-3 and a stack of tapes might save on space with the inconvienience centred on restoring the files you want to empty space on you RAID array. It'll save huge amounts of space but you'll need to weigh up the relative speed and reliability before going down that route.

    See what you think.....
    Vimeous : i7 7700K | 16Gb | ASUS Strix Z270G | GTX1080 | 960 EVO 500GB NVMe | 850 EVO 500GB | TX650W | NZXT S340 Elite | Dell U2713H + 17" | 10 Pro
    Willowin : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | 2x 1TB 840EVO | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
    Svr : X2 4200+ | 2Gb | ASUS A8N-SLI Premium | HD6870 | SonicFury | 8x 250Gb (2x RAID10) | 3Ware 9650SE-8LPML | Seasonic 700W | CM Stacker 830 | XP Pro
    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
    W : Dell Precision T3610 | E5-1650 V2 | 16GB | Quadro K2000 | 256GB SSD | 1TB HDD | 8.1 Pro | 2x Dell U2515H


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    Re: Raid Advice Sought

    Yep I would need to keep the other pc's which is fine with me as they aren't really worth anything to sell so may as well hold on to them, it's the number of external boxes that I am trying to cut down on plus having somewhere with sufficient storage capacity that I can order and transfer the majority of my data across to it.

    The Nas drives will have to fend for themselves as with the amount of data I have I can't see a cost effective way of backing that lot up so will stick with raid1 and will switch to new drives every 18 or so months.

    I had my eye on a backup tape drive from work as they were upgrading but unfortunately it got restasked at the last minute I'll have a look around the bay for prices on lto drives + tapes, for me the most important data will be my emails and various files (pics,scanned letters etc) for which I have a 16GB usb memory stick doing nothing that I will call into service to regularly backup too, the rest of the data I would hate to lose but it wouldn't be devastating if it went one day as there is only so much I can do to minimise potential data loss.

    Many Thanks for your help, you've given me a fair few things to mull over. Should get the card today so phase I is almost complete

  7. #7
    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Re: Raid Advice Sought

    Did you order cables with the card?!

    I don't think Scan supply the cables - I cannot remember lol
    Vimeous : i7 7700K | 16Gb | ASUS Strix Z270G | GTX1080 | 960 EVO 500GB NVMe | 850 EVO 500GB | TX650W | NZXT S340 Elite | Dell U2713H + 17" | 10 Pro
    Willowin : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | 2x 1TB 840EVO | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
    Svr : X2 4200+ | 2Gb | ASUS A8N-SLI Premium | HD6870 | SonicFury | 8x 250Gb (2x RAID10) | 3Ware 9650SE-8LPML | Seasonic 700W | CM Stacker 830 | XP Pro
    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
    W : Dell Precision T3610 | E5-1650 V2 | 16GB | Quadro K2000 | 256GB SSD | 1TB HDD | 8.1 Pro | 2x Dell U2515H


  8. #8
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    Re: Raid Advice Sought

    I had a look at the faq on the 3ware site and it stated no cables unless the kit version was purchased so I bought the cables elsewhere (they arrived on Friday).

    I think the card has arrived a few mins ago as I see there is a large brown package on my desk but now is not the time for me to be opening it.

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