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Best way to setup a 10TB+ RAID array?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So I'm currently running out of space on my system for media storage. I have four 1TB drives in two separate RAID-1 mirrors resulting in total storage of 2TB. I also have two extra 3.5" drive slots in my PC so I was thinking of replacing the four 1TB drives with six 2TB drives.

If I were to do that I'd want the ability to recover the array if one drive dies on me. I'm thinking RAID-5 would be a good choice for me since it provides protection against one drive failure. Am I correct in assuming that such an array (six 2TB drives in RAID-5) would result in a total storage space of 10TB?

If my above assumption is correct, what RAID card and 2TB hard disks would you recommend? This array will be used for media storage and playback/streaming across my home network. Primarily 720p and 1080p video files. I'm currently using Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB drives and love them, was planning to get the 2TB versions if I decide to do this.
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post #2 of 13
Assumption is correct.
Personally I would use linux with MDADM. By doing this you circumvent any 'single point of failure' on your RAID card and can transplant your entire array, as well as have it operational with 2 or 3 commands. Performance can easily saturate a gigabit (including writes).

Anything non-green should be preferred.
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Probably should have specified that this will have to be Windows based as it's actually my primary desktop/gaming system right now. In a year or two I will be retiring it to the home file server roll when I build a new gaming desktop. It may even become an HTPC/file server type deal connected primarily into our home theater and secondary to the network.

Windows will be the OS in all situations however.

Also, for RAID card recommendations I'm hoping to keep the price point under $250.
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post #4 of 13
Decent RAID5-capable cards under $250 limit you to Dell 2nd user PERC 5/i or PERC 6/i cards from eBay. But there is no way I would put 10TB in a RAID5 array - you should be thinking of RAID6 for that much data, as the chance of an error during a drive rebuild is too high with drives that large (for my tastes at least).

As 2TB drives are so cheap nowadays though, rather than spending a few hundred on a RAID controller you would be better advised to buy a few extra drives and mirror your important files rather than running RAID.
post #5 of 13
Another option would be to run Windows Home Server in a virtual machine such as VirtualBox, VMware Player or Hyper-V, and let it see all of the drives intended for your storage. Then use Drive Extender to pool together the drives, and have some kind of replication.

Another option would be to use something like unRAID or FlexRAID and combine with a JBOD.

Either option would far cheaper than a remotely decent RAID card. An eBay-sourced PERC 6/i would be a more-than-viable option though.
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well I want protection from at least one drive failure, not to concerned about two failures at the same time. I've only ever had to replace a hard disk once in all my own PC builds, and that drive was nearly 8 years old. I've got some that are 10+ years old and still working just fine.

I'll look into those PERC systems, does anyone have anything to say about this card?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816115026
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post #7 of 13
I use a RocketRaid 2640x4 (4-port SATA/SAS) that I've been quite happy with. I would guess the 2300 series (SATA only) is pretty similar to the 2600 series (SATA/SAS). Take a look at the 2680...it seems to be less expensive than the 2320 you linked to. None of them are true hardware raid 5, though...nothing is at that price point except for the PERC's, really. And the RocketRAIDs I mentioned don't support RAID 6 if you decide to go that direction.
Edited by gmikol - 2/7/11 at 11:29pm
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I think I may wait a bit here and go with a 12TB RAID-6 (8 WD Caviar Black 2TB's instead of 6) on the PERC 6/i. I'll have to get rid of the two 500GB drives I'm currently using as my OS RAID-0, but I can replace them with a single 600GB WD Velociraptor in place of one of my optical drives.

Gonna cost around $1,500 frown.gif
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post #9 of 13
I would look in to a RAID enclosure for a couple of reasons considering storage seems to be that important to you:

Power: it will be seperate from your computer not drawing from your PSU.
Redundancy: A good enclosure offers most forms of RAID and supports spares (YOU WANT TO RUN A SPARE).
Simplicity: You'll have one eSATA cable from the unit

Cons: Cost.

Here's one I'd suggest:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816111157&cm_re=raid_enclosure-_-16-111-157-_-Product

You can either run 5x2TB drives with no spare of 5x3TB drives with one spare (to meet your desired 10TB min).

A 4-bay version that's less expensive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817707234&cm_re=raid_enclosure-_-17-707-234-_-Product
Edited by Dark - 2/9/11 at 5:50am
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post #10 of 13
Doesn't WD still have the TRL turned off. there for the WD drives would have issues of constantly dropping from the raid or have they corrected this FINALLY.

PS. I'm, in the process of doint the same thing with my old desktop. I just picked up a PERC's, and am planning on running 4x 2TB hdds in raid 10 for a total of 4tb of space.
 
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