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mikeyb

Advice On Serial Ata Raid

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Hi,

I need to build a serial ATA RAID systems (chose serial because of the costs savings) to hold about 1 TB data, ideally expandable. The general idea is to have a rack unit with serial ATA drives in it, maybe 4 per rack, and ideally, if at later date I wish to expand it I can then just add-in another rack unit with serial ATA drives in it. The marketing people have ask for the rack unit and drive enclosures 'took look as cool as possible, lots of flashing lights' :rolleyes: Any ideas? I plan to run RAID 5. It will be used for video work.

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Are you asking about a rackmount server chassis with enough bays or a rackmount chassis for drives?

If it is only to hold drives, then how do you want to connect back to the system?

(I'll assume a server chassis with bays.. but no ideas quite yet.)

One can never underestimate the "wow factor" of flashing lights along with some chirping and beeping (low volume). :)

Dogeared

8^)

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Good point - I'm thinking of a rack mount server with enough space for at least 4 serial ATA drives + a CDROM, something like this http://www.xcase.co.uk/acatalog/Chenbro_2U...nd_Options.html

This model : RM214 2U, Serial ATA + 6xHotswap + rails + powercable + backplane + I/O + Optional 40mm Fan + 460W EPS Redundant PSU

with the option of somehow, and this is the bit I'm unsure about, of connecting this server into another RAID rack if required. I guess I will have to add another serial ATA controller to the rack to do this?

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HA! Chenbro was what I would suggest.

The 215 allows 8 drives and the front is full of drive bays. So it looks like a drive rack. (My choice over the 214)

Their 3U models allow 12, and the 4U goes up to 16 bays.

It comes down to what capacity is likely? And there are two ways to answer that: add drives or replace drives.

If you can see adding another TB fairly soon, and possibly another within a year or two after that... then go for the 3U w/ 12 bays.

I'm not sure how much cost is a factor

I don't know if external SATA solutions are up to speed. They don't seem to be. If you want full SATA speed on all disks, then you'll need the big server chassis.

You could buy the 2U now, and hope that external SATA racks are available in a year when you need to jump to 3TB.

Comparing to SCSI: SCSI allows you to start with a smaller chassis and add drive racks.

Obviously you have a few ways to configure a system like this.

Starting with the 2U 8 bay chassis seems to be a good idea. If you really need the bandwidth ( not sure if the video storage is on-line or backup), then go for the 4U w/ all of the bays.

[You can wire the "on" LED on the carriers to stay lit w/o a drive in it. So it looks *full* :)]

Another thought: Expand the system using SCSI. If you need more than the 2TB (8 bays), 3TB ( 12 bays) then you could add a SCSI adapter and use a standard SCSI disk rack. Just a thought.

You have a few scenarios to choose from...and the cost analysis is the fun part!

- 2U (8bay) Chassis hope for external SATA when the time comes (SAS should bridge this gap)

- 2U (8bay) Chassis expand with SCSI

- 4U (16bay) Good for 4TB+ (replace drives if more capacity is needed)

Hope that wasn't too disjointed,

Dogeared

8^)

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Thanks for the info. Lots of choices. I got a feeling this project is on a slow burn time scale. SCSI would be nice but the price for 1TB SCSI RAID seem to be a hell of a lot more than SATA. There will be only 1 or 2 users accessing the system at any one time.

I like your suggestion of using Chenbro 3U or even the 4U. Now say I bought the 4U Chenbro, added 4 SATA drives in and wanted to add another 6 a few months later I take it this is no biggy? I guess I have to add another controller card.

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Yep.

Each bay would need it's own cable (at least the ones that I have seen). So two 8-port SATA cards and you could fill that bad boy up.

Wow - 4TBs. Remember when 1TB was an amazing amount of storage? :)

Given enough budget, the 4U would be the way to go. Also I would try getting the empty drive carriers to show a "light" as well.

In the past I have added a wire to the empty drive carriers that tapped into voltage from a pin on on the connector PDB (w/ appropriate resistor).

If those folks are impressed by lots of lights, having all 16 bays lit will bring cheers of admiration. :D

Dogeared

8^)

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I love your idea of wiring up the LED's on spare bays. At this rate I will soon have it looking like the bridge on the Enterprise! :D Got to look into some way of backing this sucker up - seen transtec tape unit that can transfer 100GB per hour and 100GB per tape, seems the neatest solution.

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