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Looking for recommondations for building an NAS

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

While not new to PCs I am far from a high end user. About low level games (Diablo II the highest) and mid for graphics/video.

I have 5 systems running in our house right now -

1 HTPC for the living room
1 HTPC for work out room
1 desktop for wife's home office/house stuff
1 netbook for wife's mobile office
1 laptop for my travel/graphics/gaming

Right now the HTPC has 3 1T drives, my laptop has 750G, the desktop has a 1T and the other two have 500G drives.

Was thinking about setting up an NAS to act, first as a file server for the media (get it off the HTPCs) and second as a place to back up the rest of the PCs. The living room HTPC has close to 2T of media on it and I am a bit nervous at times if there was a crash. Right now I have the media backed up to external drives but that can get increasingly expensive. Also the case is wooden and not the best for air flow so it would be better if I could get the extra drives out of it to help keep things cool.

Was thinking of a 10T-15T RAID 5 system. So recommendations? Warnings? Places to start?

Thanks,
Jim
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilted Candyman View Post

Hello all,

While not new to PCs I am far from a high end user. About low level games (Diablo II the highest) and mid for graphics/video.

I have 5 systems running in our house right now -

1 HTPC for the living room
1 HTPC for work out room
1 desktop for wife's home office/house stuff
1 netbook for wife's mobile office
1 laptop for my travel/graphics/gaming

Right now the HTPC has 3 1T drives, my laptop has 750G, the desktop has a 1T and the other two have 500G drives.

Was thinking about setting up an NAS to act, first as a file server for the media (get it off the HTPCs) and second as a place to back up the rest of the PCs. The living room HTPC has close to 2T of media on it and I am a bit nervous at times if there was a crash. Right now I have the media backed up to external drives but that can get increasingly expensive. Also the case is wooden and not the best for air flow so it would be better if I could get the extra drives out of it to help keep things cool.

Was thinking of a 10T-15T RAID 5 system. So recommendations? Warnings? Places to start?

Thanks,
Jim

RAID 5 over 8TB is generally getting into bad territory. UREs are statistically going to happen at that point during a rebuild, and the rebuild will fail. So while a RAID 5 of 15TB (6 x 3TB drives) may offer great performance, if a drive dies, don't expect to successfully rebuild it. When talking that large, you should be looking at RAID 6 or nested RAID levels (10 or 60). Keep in mind that a RAID 6 (or 60) has an awful write penalty, and is only recommended for data that is "write once, read many" such as media files. You still have good performance with it, but it's not recommended for VM storage, databases, or any other storage that will be written too a lot.

What is the purpose of your storage? Just purely media and documents (video, audio, docs, pictures, etc) or will you be running any VMs off of this storage? If you plan to use the storage in multiple ways, I would recommend looking into separate RAID arrays (RAID 10 for VMs, RAID 6 or 60 for media storage, etc). Are you looking to go hardware or software RAID? There are some great cheap software alternatives such as systems running ZFS (OpenIndiana, ZFS Guru, ZFSonLinux, FreeNAS, NAS4Free, etc) or UnRAID, that are proven to do great when serving media. Hardware RAID is more expensive, but has it's benefits...but hardware vs software RAID is a debate that I am not looking to bring up. If you want cheap reliable storage for media, and aren't looking for serious performance, build a PC (low powered quad core and 8-16GB of RAM), add in an IBM M1015 or two, add in drives, install FreeNAS, and be done with it. quad core and 8+ GB of RAM is way more than you need, but with price of current equipment, you might as well make it powerful in case you ever want to re-purpose it.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick reply.

Yes it is a two purpose server. One to back up the other PCs in the house and second to store and stream video.

From what it sounds like it would be better to just use it as a backup for the media and keep the media local? The upstairs HTPC just streams from HULU and Amazon so it doesn't store media there.

So if performance and streaming video isn't an issue RAID 60 gives protection with say 8 2G drives for 8T of storage protection?

Jim
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilted Candyman View Post

Thanks for the quick reply.

Yes it is a two purpose server. One to back up the other PCs in the house and second to store and stream video.

From what it sounds like it would be better to just use it as a backup for the media and keep the media local? The upstairs HTPC just streams from HULU and Amazon so it doesn't store media there.

So if performance and streaming video isn't an issue RAID 60 gives protection with say 8 2G drives for 8T of storage protection?

Jim

I'm not saying make it a backup of your local storage...definitely make it a centralized storage. RAID, however, is not a backup so it's great to hold onto those Externals for backups.

8 2TB drives in a RAID 60 will net 8TB of usable storage. You would be able to loose 4 of those drives and still be running. If you are just doing 8 drives, and have no plans to expand that array past 8 drives, I would just do RAID 10. No parity calculations, same protection, and faster. Still would have 8TB usable. RAID 60 is great if you are expanding past the initial 8 drives (say up to 20 or something), for media storage.

An 8 drive RAID 10 would give some awesome performance, great protection, etc.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm probably not understanding what I want to do and maybe mixing things up as this is my first jump into servers. Ideally I want someplace to store the movies, TV shows, music and pictures that could stream to the other machines in the house. Would also like to use the storage space to put the backups from the the machines to, just storing the backup files. I would like protection on the drives for the inevitable failures that will happen. Outside of providing the videos performance isn't a huge factor. If I understand that will be more dependent on NIC and routers? Was planning it's own network system for that.

Am I thinking about this wrong?

Thanks for your patience,
Jim
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilted Candyman View Post

I'm probably not understanding what I want to do and maybe mixing things up as this is my first jump into servers. Ideally I want someplace to store the movies, TV shows, music and pictures that could stream to the other machines in the house. Would also like to use the storage space to put the backups from the the machines to, just storing the backup files. I would like protection on the drives for the inevitable failures that will happen. Outside of providing the videos performance isn't a huge factor. If I understand that will be more dependent on NIC and routers? Was planning it's own network system for that.

Am I thinking about this wrong?

Thanks for your patience,
Jim

A 1 GigE network is fine for home use and what you are doing. Take the RAID 5 you referenced above and make it a RAID 10 and move forward. The RAID 10 will give you 2 drive redundancy without the 2 drive write penalty of a RAID 6. If you can afford it and you home internet doesn't have a data cap, then I would also suggest a cloud based backup solution for "mission-critical/not able to afford the lose" data as another layer of redundancy. (Tycoonbob as given some great advice too.)
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q9550 stock Intel DP35DP 8600 GTS Extreme Overclock 8GB DDR2-800 
Hard Drive
2x Intel X25-V RAID-0 and 1 Seagate 750GB SATA 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q9550 stock Intel DP35DP 8600 GTS Extreme Overclock 8GB DDR2-800 
Hard Drive
2x Intel X25-V RAID-0 and 1 Seagate 750GB SATA 
  hide details  
Reply
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