Help with my WHS storage options (raid 5 with mixed SATA drives??)

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by investinwaffles, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. investinwaffles

    investinwaffles Limp Gawd

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    Ok guys I have had my little WHS 2011 box setup for a while now and I am really feeling the storage squeeze with only 1 750gb 7200rpm OS drive and a 2tb Samsung F4 for storage.

    Right now I only have a 1tb drive for backups and about 300gb of free space left on my 2tb drive (running out of space fast!)
    And to top it off I am paying for college right now and the semester is just about to start (multiple $200+ books) so I can only afford one drive right now :(
    Is it a bad idea for me to go for another 2tb for just storage?

    And as for Raid 5, I have a Samsung F4 2TB right now - should I stick with the same drives or would it be OK to go for a few SATA III drives if I can get a good deal? (SO EXPENSIVE RIGHT NOW!! :( ). And is it an OK idea to use my onboard RAID controller for a RAID5 setup or is it dangerous?

    I know the WD Green drives are out for RAID 5 so I wont even ask (though the 2TB EARX goes for ~100 right now brand new on ebay while the cheapest Sammy F4's I can find are 150). Speed doesnt really matter as its mostly 720p video files.

    Basically looking for advice. What would you do on a budget in my situation? I need more storage space but having most of it un-backed up worries me (I have had many hdd's fail in the past). Love WHS2011 but now I am totally out of space - and will be broke for the most part till im out of college (I hate textbooks).
     
  2. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

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    If you absolutely need the extra space and can afford to spare the cash, then go for a second 2TB drive. If you don't need the extra space and/or can't afford to spare the cash, then don't get the 2TB drive.
    Best bet would be stick with the same drive if possible. With that said, different drives should work okay in the same RAID array. Stick with Samsung and Hitachi drives as those tend to be more compatible with RAID controllers. However, note for storage, SATA 6.0Gb/s doesn't really matter when it comes to mechanical drives. So don't use that particular detail as a major buying point.
    Not dangerous but really slow and a little unstable if you're using Windows. And that's if you're using the Intel ICH10R. I think the AMD RAID controllers are slower and a little more unstable than the Intel ICH10R.
    If you want backup, RAID isn't the answer. All RAID does is provide uptime of your data in the event of a hard drive crash. So not a backup by itself. If you want backup, then your best bet is to buy another external enclosure + drive or NAS or file server or just another drive if you have one of those hard drive docking stations.
     
  3. Jonowxeno

    Jonowxeno Limp Gawd

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    Basically, what Danny mentioned

    Also regarding RAID5, you can't do RAID5 with 2 drives anyways, that would just be RAID1 (mirrored).
     
  4. investinwaffles

    investinwaffles Limp Gawd

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    Ok so quick bump (hopefully no one minds)

    1x Samsung F4 2TB
    2x WD RED WD20EFRX 2TB drives

    I should be OK to put them into a raid 5 setup, right? All are ~5900rpm drives so IO performance should be similar. I basically want one big drive to show up, and I will backup critical stuff with a 3TB External (performance is not that important to me).

    Is it better to get a standalone card, or to just use the onboard raid controller (I generally dont trust onboard devices too heavily though)?
     
  5. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

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    More than likely yes.

    Not really. Different platter design and density means that the performance difference between the drives could be pretty significant.

    If you don't care about performance or the performance hit to the rest of the system, then you don't need the standalone card. If you do care about performance and are using Windows, then yes you should get a standalone card. If you do care about performance and are not using Windows, you really don't need a standalone card unless its for more ports since there are many non-Windows RAID types that are faster and more reliable than Windows built-in RAID or the motherboard's onboard RAID.