Hi I'm hoping I can get some advice as to storage options to cater for storing large volumes of data on a home network for entertainment and archival purposes. I currently have approximately 20 GB of data stored on two separate PCs running Linux with RAID 5 arrays. The data is accessed from a number of locations in the house and is principally streaming audio and video content. The RAID arrays were built using 3TB NAS drives and whilst everything is working just fine, however, I'm faced with the knowledge that in time I will need to expand the arrays/ storage capacity of each. Adding additional drives in a RAID 5 config will almost certainly result in hardware failure during array expansion, and is thus not a viable option. Similarly, should a current drive fail, another may fail whilst integrating a replacement disk. On the face of it I don't really need to have RAID in the mix as I could simply go with individual drives, however, from a media access perspective:
it's great to be able to store things logically, e.g. all artists whose first name starts with the letter A are filed under A/
being able to point to a single volume is pretty convenient
there's a performance gain provided by accessing the array rather than an individual drive
Looking at options and having regard to drive sizes it would seem that RAID is simply not a viable alternative going forward, and with my limited knowledge the only solution I can think of is to deploy individual drives by creating a single folder on an OS disk and including symbolic links to each drive or mounting them to the single folder, along the lines of the following: /mediahome /mediahome/d1 /mediahome/d2 /mediahome/d3 etc. where d1...3 are symbolic links pointing to the mount point of the individual drives, or otherwise used as the actual mount points for each of the drives. Media software can then be pointed to /mediahome and they'll find all the content on the individual drives. What my proposed solution doesn't address at all is being able to store things logically, e.g. all artists whose first name starts with the letter A are filed under A/ (when a drive is filled one is forced to add new albums that should be filed under A/ to another physical drive, presumably under another folder, also A/ ... you can see the mess that will ensue). So, my question is how are others dealing with storage requirements in the home in instances where 20-40TB of storage is required? Are there any affordable enterprise/ SOHO solutions e.g. DAS/ Unified Storage that may be viable and affordable?