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Best way to setup hard drives for server/nas?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Not sure on OS yet as I have windows hs and linux/amahi are obvious options. But my future server I am building will be storage/backup, remote access, and temp hosting plus any programs that seem relevant.

My question is how should I set up the hard drives and should iget a controller card and if do which one? Will the card allow me to put the drives in another system down the road (raid card).

I was thinking three 2TB F4 drives in raid 5 plus an ssd for boot and programs. Plus will I need to move any user folders to the raid or is that not necessary?
post #2 of 8
Getting a controller card would provide the safest future proofing option for when you switch systems/upgrade as well as best performance. RAID5 is horrible via intel onboard.
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post #3 of 8
Since this will networked attached, performance is probaly not that important since many current HDDs can almost saturate 1GbE.

You probably do not need hardware RAID (RAID5, RAID6). Software-based redundency is probably good enough (unRAID, Drive Extender).
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo;13465455 
Since this will networked attached, performance is probaly not that important since many current HDDs can almost saturate 1GbE.

You probably do not need hardware RAID (RAID5, RAID6). Software-based redundency is probably good enough (unRAID, Drive Extender).

Will this still let me hot swap if a drive goes down? And will it sacrifice performance? Will it automatically rebuild the replaced drive? And will I be able to put the drive setup onto a new system in the future?
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo;13465455 
Since this will networked attached, performance is probaly not that important since many current HDDs can almost saturate 1GbE.

You probably do not need hardware RAID (RAID5, RAID6). Software-based redundency is probably good enough (unRAID, Drive Extender).

I essentially want to have automated backups that kick in, in case of failure. And ease of replacing a drive without much down time.

Speaking of software backup what would you do in the case of the sandy bridge build I just finished (minus physx and audio cards). I have a 64gb c300 ssd for boot plus adobe cs5, two 1TB F3 drives in RAID 0, and a 2TB F4 drive for backup. I need to set the F4 as my automated backup plus image my ssd into it once cs5 if on it. Further would it be better tup simply throw cs5 onto the raid given it will only leave 5 gb or so on my ssd?
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoddimusPrime;13465828 
Will this still let me hot swap if a drive goes down? And will it sacrifice performance? Will it automatically rebuild the replaced drive? And will I be able to put the drive setup onto a new system in the future?

With drive extender in Windows Home server, it's not a "raid" as we know it. You configure the server to make sure folder 1 is duplicated, or redundant in case of a drive failure. So the windows Drive extender will make sure that the data in that folder is on 2 of those 3 drives, however it sees fit. If one of those drives fails, or you take it out, the software will automatically start duplicating your data that isn't duplicated any longer, due to the missing drive. So that is what a "rebuild" would be in that case. You put in a new drive, and the drive extender calculates the best way to keep the data stored. It's really good if you have multiple mis matched drives. My home server has 1x2tb and 2x1tb drives.

For your case, unraid would be a better software choice, but hardware Raid 5 is never a horrible choice, just doesn't run well with onboard controllers. You might be able to find a PCI-E x4 controller that would support 4 sata ports(or more) and raid 5 for around $100. But you should look around the hard drive forum for the raid card ratings and performance reviews.
post #7 of 8
I just got my unRaid box setup, highly recommended. Super easy to setup and manage, lots of plugins and its cli only linux with a web interface so no resources are wasted on a GUI.
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post #8 of 8
@OP:

Personally I would use RAID 1 for the OS drive(s) and either RAID 5 or storage pooling for the data drives. I would use the on-board controller for OS drives and either use the on-board RAID 1 (Windows) or software RAID 1 (Amahi or other Linux).

For the data drives, this depends on how flexible you want to be. If you go the Windows route you can use Drive Extender as explained above, and if you need to read those drives from a Linux OS in future, you can do so.

If you go the Amahi route and use Greyhole for pooling and duplication, you'll have much the same benefits as with WHS, but Linux filesystems cannot be read by Windows, should you change OS in the future. Additionally, you could use Linux software RAID 5 rather than Greyhole, but as explained above, it won't make much difference over a GigE link.

Following on from that, it will not make much sense to spend money on a hardware RAID card - as much as they are O.S.-independent, that becomes kind of moot once you format the drives. A decent 4-port or 8-port HBA would be more than enough.

The Samsung F4s are good drives - I also have three in RAID 5, and they are excellent. Personally, I wouldn't bother with an SSD for an OS drive, unless you're really that anal about power consumption - a cheap SATA laptop hard disk - Scorpio Blacks are good - is more than enough. SSDs are all about access times, but servers do not boot very often.
Edited by parityboy - 5/15/11 at 8:07am
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