raid5

In computer storage, the standard RAID levels comprise a basic set of RAID configurations that employ the techniques of striping, mirroring, or parity to create large reliable data stores from multiple general-purpose computer hard disk drives (HDDs). [read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels]

  •  I will be building in the next few days my own Network Array Storage (NAS) monster:

    • RAID 6 , instead of RAID5, so 2 disks can fail in the array. A 7 Hot spare is planned
    • Hardware RAID because the cheap motherboard (NVIDIA) only support in best case software RAID5
    • GIGABIT network...
    • Linux powered of course: FreeBSD for security or OpenFiler (RedHat) for it's ease of use...
    • Crypto loop (Linux kernel 2.6 dmcrypt), private keys on USB stick, only 20GB will NOT be encrypted
    • FileSystem: XFS or ReiserFS because I will be storing big files

    The hardware will look as follow:

    • 6 Maxtor 7L300R0 MaXLine III, 7200rpm, 16MB, 300GB, IDE, 24/7 server : 60 Months garanty! 104€/each = 624€
    • AMD Athlon 64 3000+  BOX, Socket 939, Venice, the least expensive Athlon 64     99€
    • Asus A8N-VM CSM, mATX, Nvidia 6150/430 Video, socket 939, SATA RAID, because I need PCI-E for the hardware RAID  70€
    • Promise SuperTrak EX8350, SATA2, 8 SATA port, Raid6 Controller, because Promise support Linux   297€
    • Thermaltake Armor (bought previously)
    • Zalman CNPS9500 LED, Socket 754/939/940/478/LGA775  53€

    I will explain later why I did not bought a SOHO NAS, but briefly because:

    • For the price of my complete system, I have an empty SOHO NAS box or with 250GB (Raid0)
    • I have 8 + 6 = 14 SATA ports!
    • SOHO NAS are only RAID5 in best case
    • Bad performances of SOHO NAS
    More pictures, howto, and benchmarks soon...
  • Infrant released at the beginning of february a new NAS (Network Array Storage): the ReadyNAS NV

    Infrant NSP IT3107
    4 lockable hot-swappable SATA disk trays
    Infrant Expandable X-RAID, RAID 0/1/5
    Programmable backup button
    One USB 2.0 port in front, two in back
    Compact portable design (8”H x 5”W x 9”D)
    Server-rated power supply
    Powerful 92mm cooling fan
    Low power consumption and silent operation
    Compatible with Windows®, Mac, UNIX,   and Linux systems
    Gigabit Ethernet with Jumbo frame support
    Simple setup wizard
    Integrated Backup Manager
    Compatible with leading network DVD players
      and UPnP AV streaming devices
    Multi-lingual browser-based setup
    Kensington lock compatible

    This box is really attractive, because of its size, power consumption (50 watts) and design.
    Price expected to be in the 500$ range without SATA disks.

    Here is some technicals detail on the core board (may not be the one used in NV but show the inside of Infrant previous mainboard)

    One major advantage is that  ReadyNAS boxes seems to have a strong community of users and an active forum

    No word on performances yet, the processor is an intel clocked at 200Mhz (PLD) which realize a semi hardware XOR (a required operation for computing parity in RAID array of disks). A solution which is certainly cost effective but at the cost of pure IO performances. On the other side, a dedicated Raid 5 PCI board often cost more than 600$ alone...Someone has to do some concessions anyway.

    Note there is no PCI slot inside the ReadyNas NV as in the ReadyNas 600. I already ask 2 shops in Switzerland, but it seems the box hasnt hit the shelves, even if it is already listed on Amazon.com

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