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jsamilo

Case for BIG RAID-5 server

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I am planning on building a 26-drive RAID this summer (don't ask, I got an insane deal on 120GB drives :D ) Do any of you know of a relatively inexpensive case that could handle this many drives with adequate cooling? The only case I know of that could come close is my current Lian Li PC76 server case, but it could hold only 24 and that is with all the 5.25 inch bays filled with 5-in-3 mounts. It does have incredible airflow, but it costs over $300, and I dont really care what my storage server looks like. I also got a good deal on a dual-xeon board (E7500) and old school 3Ware 8-port IDE cards (max out at 136GB), so all I am lacking is the case.

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I hope you've also made provision for a decent power supply and a quality UPS.

Also, what are you planning on doing about backups? Even if you create two arrays and mirror them, you'll still have data exposure if you have a fire or other disaster, or if some malware damages some of your files.

Another thing to consider when you start thinking about arrays using this many drives is whether RAID 5+1 or RAID 6 makes sense, since the probability of drive failure rises with the # of drives in the arrays. Once you figure out what your time window of vulnerability looks like for rebuilding onto a hot spare, you can do some rough calculations on how probable it will be that a second drive will fail before the first rebuild is complete, thus destroying your array and all data.

I know HP offers data protection against two drives failing with some of their adapters, but I'm not sure what the cost is like. I also know that Areca offers what they call RAID 6 for protection against two drive failure. I'm not sure offhand what the performance impact is of either of those, though.

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I'm really not sure on the case, but have you looked at other options? 26 drives will cost you a lot. You'll need a much better power supply (which will cost MUCH more), and a more expensive case. Your power usage will go up. You'll need more cards.

Why not sell the drives, and buy some that are 250GB or larger? You might not get as good of a $/gb on the drives, but I bet after you factor in the cost for power, cards, and case, it will be cheaper. You'll get better performance, it'll be quieter, and cheaper.

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I am planning on building a 26-drive RAID this summer (don't ask, I got an insane deal on 120GB drives :D ) Do any of you know of a relatively inexpensive case that could handle this many drives with adequate cooling? The only case I know of that could come close is my current Lian Li PC76 server case, but it could hold only 24 and that is with all the 5.25 inch bays filled with 5-in-3 mounts. It does have incredible airflow, but it costs over $300, and I dont really care what my storage server looks like. I also got a good deal on a dual-xeon board (E7500) and old school 3Ware 8-port IDE cards (max out at 136GB), so all I am lacking is the case.

202570[/snapback]

If your current case holds 24 drives, why not just use the two left over drives in another computer? That will take care the problem of getting a new case, it will allow you to have the drives on three controllers instead of four. 24 drives instead of 26 is less than 10% space lost, and saves you lots of trouble.

There is no good way to divide 26 drives into arrays anyway, unless you are really dying for space, 4*6 or 3*8 is sensible. Of course you might consider using two drives for system disk or something giving you problems...

If you really want to use all drives why not consider two computers? Sensible anyway for a fileserver/backup scenario. Monster fileserver using half of the drives and simple backup server using the rest, or if you think backup is for suckers split the workload on two file servers.

Forcing 26 drives into a single computer seems rather desperate anyway, unless the system is designed for it from ground up. If you have 3TB of data worth holding some 26 small drives seems like saving money in the wrong place.

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I´d recommend the Chieftec JUMBO JS-2000 or the JS-1500, but u might have to carry out afew modifications in order to install that many drives.

Another issue would be your PSU, preferably 2 x 400W should be adequate for all those drives plus cooling fans. Best bet would be to to install 10x300GB drives...

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I too would suggest that you just keep your 24disk LianLi and put the two last drives in another computer. However, if stability is important, I'd recommend that you split the disks in two computers.

I have 20 drives in my fileserver and I've had too many problems to recommend it to anyone. My problem is that with so many disks I have to use y-splitters wich is never as good as connecting the drives directly to the psu - it's been necessary to restore one or more drives alot of times because then lsot power and the partition table was trashed.

IF you insist on having all the drives in one case, I'd probably recommend getting the biggest case you can find - like the Chieftec Jumbo something and mod it to fit all the drives and 3-4 good 300W PSUs (so you can connect each drive directly to a PSU without the use of them evil power cable splitters.

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I hope your RAID cards support staggered spin-up with that many drives, and that you've budgeted for serious power supply loads.

A pair of 550W or 650W power supplies should handle 12 to 16 drives each with staggered spin-up on the controllers, if not you're going to be looking at seriously beefy stuff from Zippy/Emacs, Delta, NMB, Sparkle/Forton-Source, Etasis, or others to deal with that kind of load. I've got Zippy 950W 2+1 units here and those suckers are MONSTERS (not just in size...).

My pet project in a few months might be a 12-disk 3U chassis with 12*250GB SATA drives, assuming we get to keep those evaluation samples... ;)

but it costs over $300
Honestly with your chassis requirements, you are not going to get away cheap... Edited by continuum

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Hi

I've got 4 x 5 bay Supermicro SATA chassis in a Coolermaster Stacker chassis.

The case takes 2 PSU's so I have one PSU powering the Mobo (DFI Lanparty Nf4), processor, video card (Quadro FX 3400) etc... The second PSU (550w) is dedicated to the SATA Chassis's.

I'm using the Areca 16 port 1260 PCI-E card with 16 x 200GB Maxtor drives and have 4 Raptor 74Gb's as the boot array off the Mobo.

Works fine and nice slim case.

P

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(don't ask, I got an insane deal on 120GB drives :D )

202570[/snapback]

None of my business, and I am not asking, but, FWIW, the last time I was able to make such a statement, well...

You know what? F*** it. I'm not going waste my time or yours with another Maxtor rant...

I do hope for your wallet they aren't Maxtor drives though...

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No one has seemed to mention this yet. You say you have 26 drives but only have room for 24. Instead of puting them in another computer I would put them on a shelf because with that many drives I would be worried you will have a few failures, and maybe sooner then you would think, then you will have 2 spares.

Also what 3Ware cards you going to use, what ATA speed are they 33? 66? 100? 133? if they are older ATA33 you might want to look into different cards also because you did say old school 8 port, sounds like maybe an older ATA33 card that won't offer full performance from the drives.

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