Once again, when you mention "an Intel Z87 platform with RST"
I read that phrase to imply that you want to maximize data integrity
with a single motherboard. If you look around at on-line retailers
like Newegg, there are tons of refurbished and low-end PCs
that will buy you completely independent "mirrors" by
backing up all your data on a dedicated storage server
as often as your needs require.
Just compare the cost of a low-end motherboard e.g. G41 chipset,
and low-power CPU, against the cost of losing valuable data entirely:
what is the true time/labor cost of replacing the data you lost?
That cost can be enormous, for example, if you have saved
only 1 copy of your latest drive image, and the storage device
hosting that drive image fails? What then? Do you have the
time to do a fresh install of the OS and then all additional software?
How much is an hour of your time worth?
We have storage servers running AOK with old Intel D 945 CPUs
and LGA775 sockets: I think we paid our guru about $20 recently
to ship 5 of those, because I know I sent him $100, and that
covered shipping too. Yes, the D 945 does not support virtualization,
but the storage servers I'm talking about will never need that feature.
With twin systems, then you are better positioned to build
your primary SOHO system with enough redundancy
to get you through the occasional HDD failure.
And, it's always a good idea to configure a "mirrored" RAID
using a RAID mode with which you already have some experience.
Just PLAN on a HDD failure, because you KNOW that
all storage devices fail at some point e.g. just the other day
I read that some retail SSDs which experience sudden power
losses are losing ALL of their data i.e. total loss and the
SSD is NOT recoverable either. Heck, you won't see any
mention of THAT error in any SSD marketing literature!
The other things that I constantly stress, because they are
relatively cheap and they buy you a LOT, are proper cooling
and ventilation of your storage subsystem, and of course
all of your systems should be powered by a quality UPS.
LaserPrinters are a well known exception, because
they draw too much power to heat up properly.
Lastly, we've had lots of success with RamDisk Plus from
SuperSpeed: we've moved all of our browser caches
to a 12GB ramdisk on our primary workstation:
in the long run, given all of the work we do on the Internet
during any given work day, hosting those "cached" files
in RAM has relieved the HDDs we do have from all of that
wear and tear, resulting in greater longevity.
Finally, in case you don't already know about this,
some rotating platters like Western Digital's "Black" series
can consume a lot of time doing internal error checking & recovery;
and some RAID controllers will drop them from the array
because they are NOT responding quickly enough to
routine "polling" by those controllers. Because I don't
have much experience with Seagates, I strongly recommend
that you stick with Western Digital's RAID Edition HDDs,
and buy ONLY the ones with 5-year factory warranties.
Compute price per warranty year, and the 5-year warranties
usually come out ahead on that metric.
All of WDC's RAID Edition HDDs now come with a feature
known as TLER -- time-limited error recovery: this keeps
a RE4 HDD in touch with the RAID controller by responding
timely to polling requests whenever they are issued by the
RAID controller. Do NOT try to build a RAID array with
WDC's "Black" Edition HDDs, although I did read some
confirmation recently that WDC's "Red" NAS Edition HDDs
now support TLER. However, I just checked and confirmed
that WDC's 1TB "Red / NAS" only has a 3-year warranty
Hope this helps.
Edited by MRFS, 08 December 2013 - 09:11 PM.