I need to set up an online data archive for 2.5 TB of multimedia files. It has to be reliable, obviously, because there's no practical way to back up that much data. It also has to be reasonably cheap.
First decision, use 300GB ATA disks for cost ... the maxtor Maxline II's seem like the most reliable product.
Second decision, use RAID-5 for data security.
So OK, I need 10 disks minimum (9 data plus 1 parity). That gives me a choice of exactly 1 ATA RAID card, the 3ware Escalade 7506/8506 12-banger. No advantage to SATA here, so I would pick the 7506.
2 problems with this.
First, the Escalade cards totally suck in RAID-5 performance, according to this review:
Second, all 10 disks need to be physically inside the server, which creates problems with cooling... I can find server cases which will hold that many disks, but nothing that will cool all 10 effectively. I don't want to use 2 separate servers for operational reasons.
So. the solution I am thinking about is to use the ATA disks, but with a SCSI controller and cabling. There is a nifty IDE-to-SCSI adapter made by Acard, their AEC-7726Q:
Tom's Hardware reviewed an earlier version of this little gadget, and they found it works well. No significant performance penalty. Naturally I trust every word they say, LOL:
I can buy the 7726Q for $75 with quantity discount, so the price is acceptable as a % of the whole system.
asuming these things work OK, things get really easy after that, because I can use 20 years of SCSI technology and experience. I am thinking 5 disks in the server, 5 disks in a generic external box, and an Adaptec 2120s SCSI RAID-5 controller.
So, any opinions before I blow the $6k to get this thing built?