I'm in the process of evaluating a storage solution.
I do a lot of development/systems work using VMWare. This allows me to build and configure different test/development environments without messing up the core OS. The only 'drawback' is each install might take around 2-4gigs, and add up pretty quickly.
I will also be using the machine as a SQL server. I will be working with a large 70gig (and growing) database and will be require plenty of aggregate/olap storage. This is more of development/concept server, so testing solutions without killing the production server.
I currently have a single 73gig 15K Cheetah SCSI drive. It's a nice fast drive, but to achieve the same capacity as SATA using SCSI would cost excessive, especially when it appears the newer SATA controller/drive combinations achieve excellent performance at much less cost.
I'm thinking of the Broadcom (Raidcore) BC4452 4 channel controller. Based on reviews (here against a high end card http://www6.tomshardware.com/storage/20040...roller-08.html) it appears to beat most of the competition at a competitive price, as well as allowing a fair bit of expansion.
I'd considering two Raptor 74 gigs in a RAID0 configuration to run VMWare sessions and swap files, and dual large capacity drives (250-400gig) for lots of data.
I'm not sure what big drive to select.. seems a toss up betwen the Maxtor MaXLine III (300gig) and Hitachi 7K400 (400gig).http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200407/20040729revisit_1.html. To me it appears the Hitachi wins over the Maxtor, but it's not completly obvious from the results. Based on my requirements for these drives (large read intensive databases), would there be any significant performance difference between these drives, or similar SATA drives?
Are any competitors (Seagate etc.) releasing updated drives (e.g. 16mb cache) in the near future?
One question, if I keep the SCSI drive and install a pile of SATA drives.. is there a potential for performance issues with the two different technologies? If I run software off the SCSI drives that then reads data off SATA am I creating a significant performance hit moving data across the bus?
And the last question is computer case size.. I currently have a tower that could accomodate the drives but would be pretty packed. It has a 300w power supply and 3 fans. Should I consider getting a mega tower or even a double wide server type case and space things out a bit? Are there any case solutions that are 'cooler' or more efficient than others? Heat is bit important since I work in an enviroment that can get hot.
Any suggestions and help is appreciated.