Need additional storage - suggestions please

mryerse

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
2,110
I plan to build on my media collection with HD content (Blu Ray rips and TV show recordings). Right now I have a 1TB array for most of my SD content which has been find, but now it's not enough.

Of course I'd love to buy a norco 4020 with a hardware raid 16x controller and 16 drives on raid 6. However, that is way too expensive for me right now. Maybe later.

Right now I have 3x drives on a DX38BT motherboard (ICH9r with 6x sata). 2x WD 640's striped for the OS (160GB partition) and data (1TB partition), and 1x 500GB drive for backup. My case has 7x internal 3.5" drive bays. I have an Ultra LSP650 650w Power Supply.

My plan is to drop the 500GB drive, buy 4x 1.5TB drives, and put them in raid 5 on the ICH9r. I know that it won't perform as well as hardware raid, but it doesn't need to so long as it can stream HD. My WD 640's striped can handle anything that needs higher performance.

My questions are:
1) Will my power supply need to be upgraded? Or how can I accurately figure this out?
2) Will adding a raid 5 array to my existing raid 0 array on the ICH9r reduce the performance of my existing array? This would be undesirable.

Later on when I have the money I would then buy a norco 4020 with a 16x controller and a ton of drives in raid 6.

I know I could eat 4TB quickly, but it would work for a while at least while I save for a larger storage solution.

Thanks
 

JRS

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
371
...and put them in raid 5 on the ICH9r. I know that it won't perform as well as hardware raid, but it doesn't need to so long as it can stream HD

This is key - HD does NOT stream any faster off a ultra-high end Raid controller running 10 15K sas drives over a single 5400rpm laptop drive. Don't spend the $$$ on a Raid solution just because some [H] tells you software raid stinks. Identify your need and go from there - and you are already headed that way.

1) Will my power supply need to be upgraded? Or how can I accurately figure this out?
I am not familiar with the PSU you listed, but I can say that my Corsair 650tx easily runs 7 - 7200 rpm drives as well as an OCed Q9550 and an ati 4850 video card. I would have no qualms about going to 10 drives with the cpu and video card as well. If it was just running hard drives, mobo and cpu, I'd have no problem putting 16 hard drives on a good 600w+ PSU.

Typical 7200rpm 3.5" hard drives need 25-30w at boot/spin up, and ~7-8w at idle. If you have a quality PSU, to hit its max when all your drives are spinning [eta] up is okay.

In reference to the system in your sig, you'll be okay running 6/7 hard drives.

2) Will adding a raid 5 array to my existing raid 0 array on the ICH9r reduce the performance of my existing array? This would be undesirable.

I have no idea - but I doubt it, as the raid 5 hit will be mostly when you write to it and it chews up some CPU cycles to calculate the parity. If your plan is to store media on that raid 5 array, that typically means write rarely, and read/stream often. In this scenario, I'd be suprised if you experienced any peformance hit on your primary raid0 array.
 

Ockie

*** Self Proclaimed Storage King ***
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
18,001
My recomendations would be to look at WHS.
 

epimetheus

Gawd
Joined
Jun 20, 2004
Messages
815
+1 WHS

I doubt you need to upgrade you PSU. I'm running 6TB (1 WD Black and 5 WD Green), E5200 in a Norco 4020 and I'm barely breaking 100W idle at the wall.
 

mryerse

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
2,110
Thanks. Glad to know my PSU should work for now. Just a matter of enough sata power connectors.

I do think there's still a case for a server with a decent raid 5 controller in my home though. It's likely that in the life of the server, there will be multiple HD read streams, with multiple write operations at the same time. I have two TV's in the house (one HD one SD), and a laptop that will also be streaming from the media server. So at one time, there could be 3 read streams (2 HD 1 SD) plus write operations (BT, HDTV Recordings, plus file copy from my desktop). I could see myself maxing out a gigE port (125 MBPS) at times. Functionality is another thing I want to consider. From what I've heard, cheaper raid cards can be harder to work with when rebuilding damaged volumes, or performing other administrative tasks on an array. I want to buy a quality card that works and works well.

@Ockie - I'll check out WHS when I build a file server. I'm also going to consider running linux to save the $ on the OS. Maybe I'll dual boot to compare them starting out. Right now I have Vista 64 on my desktop (YUT in sig). I plan to install Windows 7 beta on a spare parition to test it out. I won't be installing WHS on my desktop.
 

epimetheus

Gawd
Joined
Jun 20, 2004
Messages
815
Most HD streams are in the neighborhood of 5MB/s. I'd imagine you'd have trouble maxing out a gigabit connection with home streaming.
 

Shockey

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
2,240
You can still go for the norco case and use it for future builds but with only upgrading the parts in the system if you wish.

As for your need for raid or not. entirely up to you. You could always install software raid on the box transfer some data to it and see what the performance is like. Same with your current board. Run raid5 with your raid0 array and see the performance. If your not happy then in the future you can buy a raid card to do raid5/6 like your saying in the first post


Its windows home server ;)
 

mryerse

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
2,110
You can still go for the norco case and use it for future builds but with only upgrading the parts in the system if you wish.

As for your need for raid or not. entirely up to you. You could always install software raid on the box transfer some data to it and see what the performance is like. Same with your current board. Run raid5 with your raid0 array and see the performance. If your not happy then in the future you can buy a raid card to do raid5/6 like your saying in the first post

Thanks... it's a plan. Raid 5 on current system, which should tell me if I want hardware raid on a server build or not.
 

drgnfang

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
1,085
About the only thing I can add that others haven't is that my WHS can handle multi DVD streams (raw VOB to VMC) while uploading new content to the server (usually ~ 20-30 MB/s (unless vista means Mb/s?)) without any problems. Running the SM SAT8 PCI-X card in a PCI slot, various drives (WD, Seagate; 500g - 1t). Will be adding a second SAT8 and a 4 port Promise card when I rebuild in the Norco.
 
Top