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mod10

Suggestions on a 32 drive NAS?

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Hello,

I've been tasked with building out a NAS with which will hold raw video files to serve up to our content editing guys. I don't believe that speed will be much of an issue since it'll be limited mostly by the gigabit ethernet that'll connect to.

I've been handed two, second hand SuperMicro SuperChassis 836E16-R1200B that each contain two, dual core Xeon processors at 2.6GHz, with 8GB of RAM, and each containing 16 WD SATA 1TB Black drives, which connect to a 3ware 9650SE16ML RAID card.

Beyond the hardware, I really am not certain how to set this up. The most I've dealt with is a 4 drive setup running FreeNAS, of which I'm quite comfortable with. My networking skills as well as SA skills in managing users and authentication are lacking, but can figure out most anything with enough googling. An SA friend of mine suggested that I run a total of 4 separate RAID 6 arrays and concatenate them into a single storage solution. I plan on using ZFS, and while I could setup the RAID6, I'm not entirely certain how to combine them together under FreeNAS or if there are better systems out there to manage this data.

Can anyone recommend to me some user guides, a book, or some websites that will give me a better idea of how to pursue this? I'm also open to suggestions on how I should structure the data on the systems as I have the hardware but need to figure out the rest. Thank you in advance for your help.

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I'm curious which version WD Caviar Blacks you are using, since some don't have TLER settings which can cause some RAID problems. If they have been in service though without problems that should be fine.

As for the setup and configuration, I'll ask around to see what some industry contacts say. At a certain number of drives you really need to start looking at multi-drive failures since losing 2 or more drives could be a valid concern in such a large array. You really need a lot of fault tolerance, but I wonder if it would be better handling that through a RAID card or through software.

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Yes, the WD Caviar black drives have been in use before and didn't see any issues that I'm aware of.

I hope to address the multi-drive failures with the 4x RAID6 array concatenated together over the 32 drives. The data on the NAS while valuable, won't/shouldn't be the only copy of the data, as the NAS that's running now is RAID 0 and has no backups (so this system will be a great improvement!)

Thanks again for your help. I look forward to any information that users can provide to me.

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