Hi, back in 2001 or so I was on the bleeding edge and built 4 machines using Shuttle XPCs (SB51g) in order to experiment with load balancing and session failover of web database applications. These things were quite fast at the time, but ran sorta hot. The work I do now requires 64bits and way more RAM than these boxes can take (they have 2GB), so now I use one as a workstation, one as an HTPC, and I have 2 just sitting there.
Looking at the NAS reviews on http://www.smallnetbuilder.com , it looks like the HP x510 is the fastest consumer NAS out there. This is significant to me because it says that a PC setup with RAID can be faster than a dedicated NAS device, and a Shuttle XPC could be as small, and close to as power efficient.
My thought is to turn one or both of the remaining boxes into a NAS. I'm looking to cram 4 x 1TB WD10TEVT 2.5" drives into this nice mount from SuperMicro and use this RAID controller.
These boxes only have 100Mb ethernet, so I'll be using up all their PCI slots with the RAID controller and a GigE card.
The Drive Cage:
One concern is that these drives will not fit since they are 12.5mm as opposed to the normal 9mm of 2.5" laptop drives. I'm hopeful they will fit. I will probably just buy one drive first and try, rather than buy all 4 before I know they'll fit.
One other concern is that the PCI bus only has bandwidth of about 127MB/s, however this is also the maximum bandwidth of GigE, so I should be alright there, until 10GigE comes out
Any thoughts, or suggestions?