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Pointers on setting up a 3TB RAID array

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cost you under $15K

I think he was trying to do it for less than 1/3 of that.... Otherwise the $3500 external raid that I suggested above makes sense.

Those Promise boxes are pure crap and don't perform well at all. We evaluated them and sent them back inside a week they are such piles of junk.

Our solution, while pricey, could be scaled back to give less storage/performance for far less $$$'s. The RAM itself adds $5000 to the price.

John

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Consider SATA drives and an 3Ware Escalade controller.

Yes, the 3ware 8506-12 (12 SATA drives) will be your friend here.

Also, most (if not all) IDE RAID controllers won't let you 'expand' an array by adding new disks. You have to build a new array. There can be multiple arrays per card though, so you could do something like buy 6 drives now, then buy 6 drives later, and make 2 RAID 5 arrays.

hope this helps.

ELiTe

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Thanks again for the responses.

Also, most (if not all) IDE RAID controllers won't let you 'expand' an array by adding new disks. You have to build a new array.

Hmm, that's going to be a real problem if it's true. There's no way I can afford buying 6 disks at once. Is there no other way to add a new disk but to rebuild the array? (which means erasing all the data, right?)

Furthermore, is there any way to initially build an array on a group of disks without removing the data they contain? or do I have to backup the data before doing this? is there any controller out there that lets you do it without reformatting?

If I have to backup the data before initially building the array and every time I add a new disk it's gonna be impractical. I need to use the disks progressively as I buy them to store the new stuff I get.

Any ideas on how to do it?

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Thanks again for the responses.
Also, most (if not all) IDE RAID controllers won't let you 'expand' an array by adding new disks. You have to build a new array.

Hmm, that's going to be a real problem if it's true. There's no way I can afford buying 6 disks at once. Is there no other way to add a new disk but to rebuild the array? (which means erasing all the data, right?)

Furthermore, is there any way to initially build an array on a group of disks without removing the data they contain? or do I have to backup the data before doing this? is there any controller out there that lets you do it without reformatting?

If I have to backup the data before initially building the array and every time I add a new disk it's gonna be impractical. I need to use the disks progressively as I buy them to store the new stuff I get.

Any ideas on how to do it?

a JBOD array will let you do this, but there is 0 redundancy. If you lose a drive, all data that was on that drive is lost. All other data is still available.

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A RAID1 of JBODs would provide redundancy, but you'd need double your capacity in drives.

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a JBOD array will let you do this, but there is 0 redundancy. If you lose a drive, all data that was on that drive is lost. All other data is still available.

I thought JBOD arrays are just a way to make a RAID controller use a single drive the same way as it would if it was in a regular (NON RAID) controller. If he is going to use single disks he should probably get regular controllers instead and save a lot of money. I have a mobo (ABIT AT7) that supports 12 PIDE drives on it right out of the box and it only was like $120.

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a JBOD array will let you do this, but there is 0 redundancy. If you lose a drive, all data that was on that drive is lost. All other data is still available.

I thought JBOD arrays are just a way to make a RAID controller use a single drive the same way as it would if it was in a regular (NON RAID) controller. If he is going to use single disks he should probably get regular controllers instead and save a lot of money. I have a mobo (ABIT AT7) that supports 12 PIDE drives on it right out of the box and it only was like $120.

Nope. JBOD is not really a RAID level, but it will let you use multiple drives as a single volume. You're basically spanning the drives in hardware. No speed benefit, no redundancy, just one big @ss volume ;)

Not very useful, IMHO....just buy single drives and keep them as such.

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I was thinking that JBOD = 1 drive and there is a separate thing called SPAN but I guess they are the same thing... One thing to mention is if you span disks and one goes bad it will probably affect more than one disk and maybe the whole volume because of the how the file system structures are stored (NTFS). If you wipe out the $MFT...

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Consider SATA drives and an 3Ware Escalade controller.

Yes, the 3ware 8506-12 (12 SATA drives) will be your friend here.

Also, most (if not all) IDE RAID controllers won't let you 'expand' an array by adding new disks. You have to build a new array. There can be multiple arrays per card though, so you could do something like buy 6 drives now, then buy 6 drives later, and make 2 RAID 5 arrays.

hope this helps.

ELiTe

In the future 3Ware intends to add the capability to expand an array by adding a drive.

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I think your best bet is single drives. With NTFS you do not even need to make drive letters for all of the drives and you can mount them to a folder on another drive. So you can make one drive the root and each folder off that drive can be a new drive. It may be a pain to partition the data but you will not need to rebuild the disks all the time. Another option is to add drives in sets of three and user raid 5. This would work good with the three drive bay coolers.

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I was thinking that JBOD = 1 drive and there is a separate thing called SPAN but I guess they are the same thing...

This is a common belief, because the ability to use a single drive on a RAID controller is often done through the use of JBOD.

FYI, JBOD = Just a Bunch Of Disks.

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