Raid 5 storage for cheap?

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woodsyi

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Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« on: 1 Sep 2005, 02:46 pm »
I have been looking into SB2 and am thinking of storing what CDs I have on my existing computer.  I also have considerable digital video and photos to archive.  I am not an IT or computer guy -- I have just been an end user for the last 20 years or so.   If I get a raid storage enclosure with a controller and 4 250 gig drives as seen on this site ($935.00 before shipping),
  http://www.provantage.com/buy-7adpr01c-2410sa-enclosure-kit-w-sata-raid-cntrlr-drv-chassis-gray-white-adaptec-2065500-shopping.htm

can I just connect it to my PC at home which is a 2 year old Dell Dimensions (8100 or 9100 I can't remember) running Window XP at 2.x GHz?  I have extra PCI slot although I don't know if it meets PCI 2.2

Or is there someone out there who can get a comparable or better 1 Terabyte raid 5 storage for less?  We can work on a just compensation in money or gear?

mgalusha

Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #1 on: 1 Sep 2005, 03:19 pm »
The controller they show uses a 64bit PCI slot. Very few desktop PC's have these. They were primarily intended for server class machines. You might want to find the service tag on your Dell and look it up on their web site. The service tag will allow you to pull up detailed information on the machine and you should be able to find out if the mainboard has a 64bit PCI slot.

mike

JoshK

Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #2 on: 1 Sep 2005, 03:31 pm »
Just a quick point on RAID 5 vs. RAID 1.  When I first started this venture, I really thought RAID 5 was the way to go.  I've since given up on the idea of RAID 5 and am going to go RAID 1.  I really don't think RAID 5 makes much sense at this point for consumers.

Why?  Because RAID 5 really isn't going to be cheaper than RAID 1 for the purposes of audio storage for even those of us with some of the largest collection.  Then there is the complexity and higher failure probability of RAID 5 vs. RAID 1 and it really isn't worth it.

Let's break it down.  Let's say we are going to go with 300GB drives and a street price of about $160 (give or take $10).   Now consider that RAID 5 cards are about $200 for cards that support up to 4 drives.  8 drive cards are in the stratosphere still, from what I've seen anyway.  From a back of the envelope calculation you will see that 300GB will store about 800 CDs in FLAC.   So 4 300GB drives with a RAID 5 card will cost $840 and have 900GB of useful space, which will hold ~2400 CDs.  900GBs in RAID 1 will cost $960.  

So RAID 1 costs a little more, but not really that much and 2400 CDs is a pretty large collection.   I think the couple of points that make the price difference moot are as follows:  
1) With RAID 1 you can buy drives in pairs as you need.  It is going to take quite some time to rip 300GBs worth of CDs so when you get around to needing more space that $160 will have dropped some already, or atleast bigger drives will now be in that price point.  
2) Although RAID 5 technically allows one to grow the array as needed by adding on another drive, real world trials by very tech savvy guys I know how proved to be nightmare-ish.  I have heard story after story about people loosing the entire array while trying to expand the array.  And don't even think about software RAID 5!  RAID 5 also requires you to have all the same identical drives, so you are going to have to plunk down your cash now if you want to be sure to get your drive while they are still easy to obtain.  With RAID 1, you only have to match pairs, so secondary pairs can be whatever's cheap and easy at that time.

Oh did I mention that RAID 1 cards are cheap, and many mobo nowadays even have built-in RAID controllers?

In theory, RAID 5 seems like a great solution, but in practice for our application I think it isn't quite as nice as it first seems.

Brad

Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #3 on: 1 Sep 2005, 04:16 pm »
Agreed Josh - do RAID in hardware if at all possible.

RAID 1 cards for IDE/SATA are much cheaper than RAID5 cards.

RAID 5 does not require all drives be the same - you are just limited to the size of the smallest drive (wasted space) if you use differing drive sizes.

On our servers, we do occasionally have to grow arrays and the process does work - it's just very slow to do it while systems are up.  Sometimes it makes more sense to back up the array, wipe it out, and rebuild/restore.

 :x

MonkeyK

Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #4 on: 1 Sep 2005, 04:58 pm »
Quote from: mgalusha
The controller they show uses a 64bit PCI slot. Very few desktop PC's have these. They were primarily intended for server class machines. You might want to find the service tag on your Dell and look it up on their web site. The service tag will allow you to pull up detailed information on the machine and you should be able to find out if the mainboard has a 64bit PCI slot.

mike


My 3Ware card is a 64bit card, but it is compatable with 32bit PCI slots (just has less bandwidth)

Regarding RAID 1 vs RAID 5.  Good points have been mentioned.  RAID works best with matched drives.  That means same Make, Model, size, and preferably firmware.  Otherwise you will perform as slow as the slowest drive (at best).  This means that you should probably buy all drives for a particular configuration at the same time.  
If you need the maximum capacity now, get all the drives and go with RAID 5.  If you don't, it will be cheaper to buy 2 of the same very large drives now and then two more larger drives when you need more space.

woodsyi

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Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #5 on: 1 Sep 2005, 05:18 pm »
So if I wanted to go raid1, do I need 2 drive-bay slots, a case (with future expansion slots) or can I use external drives?  Better yet, if you can point me to a source for all necessary parts I would be grateful.  I guess I would start with a pair of drives.

mizzuno

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Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #6 on: 1 Sep 2005, 06:22 pm »
I would have to agree with Josh, although it really depends on what you are looking for. If you want data integrity and fast read speeds I would go with Raid 1, but if you're looking for all around performance and data integrity (best of both worlds) I would go with RAID 1+0, mirroring and striping. You do need a minimum of 4 drives whereas RAID 5 requires a min of 3. I use RAID 1+0 on my Oracle databases for high throughput transaction processing. You can also use software RAID although it is taxing on system resources and takes substantially longer if a rebuild is needed.


Mizzuno

JoshK

Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #7 on: 1 Sep 2005, 06:41 pm »
firewire depot (iirc fwdepot.com) has both USB & FW hardware.  They aren't the cheapest but they will give you an idea of what is available.  Newegg is about the best in terms of price, CS, etc.

woodsyi

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Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #8 on: 2 Sep 2005, 06:31 pm »
I already have one of this. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144365
Is it possible to get a controller for my PC (intel 80532 32bit pentium4 3.4 Ghz running xp pro) and run RAID1 if I get another one? If so, what card is best?

mizzuno

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Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #9 on: 6 Sep 2005, 08:00 pm »
woodsyi, the problem your setup is that you're using firewire, as far as i know there are no firewire raid cards in existence. However, you do have options, I believe you can use software RAID within windows, what version of  windows are you running?

PhilNYC

Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #10 on: 6 Sep 2005, 08:18 pm »

Levi

Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #11 on: 6 Sep 2005, 08:49 pm »
Nice hardware Phil.

You probably will like the Lacie 1Terabyte external HDD (@$850 or less) better.  
Offers same speed or faster and quieter.  Best bang for the buck.  
It has three interfaces: FireWire 800, FireWire 400 & Hi-Speed USB 2.0

woodsyi

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Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #12 on: 6 Sep 2005, 09:00 pm »
Quote from: mizzuno
woodsyi, the problem your setup is that you're using firewire, as far as i know there are no firewire raid cards in existence. However, you do have options, I believe you can use software RAID within windows, what version of  windows are you running?


I am hoping to relegate the Maxtor drive for photos and hope to use this package I have researched for ripping 1000 CDs using EAC to be played back through SB2 that I have just ordered.

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/cooldrives/qu.html
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/cooldrives/saexsa2pcibr.html
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/cooldrives/ra4pnasa2e22.html
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/cooldrives/103fexusesas.html
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16822148065

4 HD's and 4 external cables.

Total comes up to $712 for 1 terabyte array.  (500Gbyte useful for RAID 0+1?)

My PC is Dell Dimension 8300 Pent 4, 3.4 GHz, Intel 80532 32 bit processor running Window XP Pro.

Will this work?  What am I missing?  Are there better alternatives? If it works, should I get bigger drives now even though 250Gig size seems to have the best value at the moment?

PhilNYC

Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #13 on: 6 Sep 2005, 09:07 pm »
Quote from: Levi
Nice hardware Phil.

You probably will like the Lacie 1Terabyte external HDD (@$850 or less) better.  


I actually just ordered one of these (400GB) to hook to my eMac:

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/fw800-drives/

jhenderson010759

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My preferred NAS solution
« Reply #14 on: 6 Sep 2005, 11:17 pm »
I use the ReadyNAS 600 from Infrant http://www.infrant.com.  It runs SlimServer directly on the NAS box, supports RAID 0, 1 and 5 (default is 5), is a print server, sports very fast 1Gbps ethernet and a 1 TB configuration ran me about $1050 from Eaegis.

Works like a champ.

woodsyi

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Re: My preferred NAS solution
« Reply #15 on: 8 Sep 2005, 03:16 pm »
Quote from: jhenderson010759
I use the ReadyNAS 600 from Infrant http://www.infrant.com.  It runs SlimServer directly on the NAS box, supports RAID 0, 1 and 5 (default is 5), is a print server, sports very fast 1Gbps ethernet and a 1 TB configuration ran me about $1050 from Eaegis.

Works like a champ.


Jim,

What is your overall setting?  Where are your PC, NAS, SB2 and your audio gear?  NAS600 1.2 TB is running about 1.15 K now which is still a good deal since it appears to do hardware RAID5.  I couldn't find any 32bit card to do hardware RAID5.

zybar

Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #16 on: 10 Sep 2005, 02:28 pm »
What about this?

http://reviews.cnet.com/Buffalo_TeraStation_NAS_1TB/4505-3382_7-31299300-2.html?tag=top

I have heard good things about it, but no first hand experience.

George

woodsyi

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Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #17 on: 10 Sep 2005, 03:35 pm »
George,

I read some bad reviews of the Buffalo units.  Some said that RAID 5 is really a software RAID and that it was very slow.  1 and 0 were reported to be good.  I was going to go with 0+1 until Hantra pointed me to a NAS unit.  I ended up ordering this.

http://www.atacom.com/program/print_html_new.cgi?cart_id=8171081_138_88_50_83&Pagecode=SEARCH_ALL&Item_code=NASX_INFR_W6_DS&USER_ID=www

I also ordered 4 SATA drives from Newegg.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144359

This way I get 1.2 TB NAS running hardware RAID 5.  Newegg offers the same Infant Ready NAS 600 unit bundled with 1 TB.

There are no 32 bit PCI card that will do hardware RAID 5.  You have to go 64 bit PCIx for that.  NAS is the only way I found that I can get hardware RAID 5 with my PC.

woodsyi

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Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #18 on: 10 Sep 2005, 05:11 pm »
Quote from: zybar
What about this?

http://reviews.cnet.com/Buffalo_TeraStation_NAS_1TB/4505-3382_7-31299300-2.html?tag=top

I have heard good things about it, but no first hand experience.

George


George,

Here is a reply from Infant tech on this question.  
http://discuss.extremetech.com/n/main.asp?webtag=extremetech&nav=start&msg=74081
It's on page 3 (posts 11-15).

shokunin

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Raid 5 storage for cheap?
« Reply #19 on: 15 Sep 2005, 01:55 am »
Quote from: woodsyi
There are no 32 bit PCI card that will do hardware RAID 5. You have to go 64 bit PCIx for that. NAS is the only way I found that I can get hardware RAID 5 with my PC.


Keep in mind that most PCI-X cards are backwards compatible to PCI 2.2 specs running at 32bit / 33mhz.  Obviously bandwidth will be reduced, but as a server, your network connection will be the bottleneck, even with GigE.  3ware makes some good hardware raid cards, I use an older 8 port IDE raid card I got off ebay for $100.  Runs great, very reliable and speeds are faster than I need for storage array.  I use it in a standard PCI 32/33 slot just fine.

The next generation of raid will be in PCI-e which has even more bandwidth than PCI-X.  Areca, Promise, and soon LSI Logic and Broadcom will be out with their PCI-e SATA raid cards.