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Old 30th September 2008, 14:41   #1
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Default Want to create a storage device

With my music and other media collection getting out of hand, I am in dire need of a device that I can use as a one-stop storage centre.

Right now, I use a laptop, and my data is divided over the hard drives of three machines - the laptop, an adjoining office comp , and a third, personal P3 machine.

The most practical solution for me would be to have added the largest possible 3 hard drives to the P3 and used it just as a storage device. I could set up a small wireless network and access all the data that I need over it, thus storing temporarily very small amounts on my laptop drives.

But I am pretty sure that a P3 will not work with the newer and larger hard drives.

Can anyone suggest any solution? Additional hardware over and above the multiple hard drives should ideally be as minimal as possible. Total storage expectation is about 3TB, keeping a little download activity in the future in mind. And will a wireless network be the best option to speedily access and/ or transfer data?
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Old 30th September 2008, 15:28   #2
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I think we are looking at home made SAN device. Would love to see the solution. A question, is fault tolerance important for you? If yes, than RAID-5 is what we are looking at (Read Cheapest).

Experts, please start scribbling.
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Old 30th September 2008, 15:36   #3
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I too am looking at a single box 2 to 3TB solution. It does not need to be wireless. And it needs to be cheap, lol
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Old 30th September 2008, 15:48   #4
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Cheapest would be an external hardisk and these also have a chinese player built into it so can also be connected to tv/music system for playback of media files.

Something similar to what given2fly suggested.

check these links out:
HDMI 1000GB External Hard Disk Drive MEDIA PLAYER 1TB - eBay Hard Drives, Drives, Components, Computers. (end time 04-Oct-08 23:31:00 AEST)

External Dual Drive e-SATA (eSATA) HDD RAID Enclosure - eBay Other Enclosures, Hard Drive Enclosures, Storage Accessories, Computers. (end time 30-Sep-08 21:45:00 AEST)

1 TB hdd around 8k

Last edited by iceman91 : 30th September 2008 at 15:53.
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Old 30th September 2008, 15:53   #5
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You can add pci to sata card on the P-3 M/c. So you can add newer sata HDD to it.

You can get 500 GB HDD for as low as 3k. 1 TB will be in tune of 7k.
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Old 30th September 2008, 15:57   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by given2fly View Post
is fault tolerance important for you?
I don't know, you tell me. Lol. I dont know what that means. And this Raid is definitely a wired thing. I could understand what sort of cable it would use and where it would plug into in my laptop.

Btw, 1TB HDDs are for 8k? . I thought they must be cheaper now. Arent 500 GB ones for about 3k?
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Old 30th September 2008, 16:04   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
I don't know, you tell me. Lol. I dont know what that means. And this Raid is definitely a wired thing. I could understand what sort of cable it would use and where it would plug into in my laptop.

Btw, 1TB HDDs are for 8k? . I thought they must be cheaper now. Arent 500 GB ones for about 3k?
Flaut tolerent is that you data will be safe. It will be in a case of Raid 0 setup in which two identical HDD will be used and the one will be the main drive and the other will be the mirror of the same. So if one fails you have the another one to backup of it..

Ya 1 TB still comes out to be expresive. The best MB/Cost ratio is of 500 GB close to 3k, and few 640 MB close to 4k (maybe less).
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Old 30th September 2008, 16:11   #8
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Get an addon SATA card/s for your P3 comp. It will fit in the PCI slots and give you 2-8 (or more) SATA slots depending on which one you buy. Beef up your power supply so the drives are not underpowered. Buy 500/750/1TB drives depending on which one costs cheapest/GB. Hook it up to a 10/100M switch. Wireless will be VERY slow if you're going to move a lot of data constantly. Otherwise, copy over most of the data using a wired network, then use wireless for day-to-day downloading.
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Old 30th September 2008, 17:53   #9
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Ummm....why not buy a 500/750 GB external HDD and use it as a storage device & connect it to the laptop when needed? Especially since you seem to only require it when you're in office.
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Old 30th September 2008, 18:24   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by given2fly View Post
I think we are looking at home made SAN device. Would love to see the solution. A question, is fault tolerance important for you? If yes, than RAID-5 is what we are looking at (Read Cheapest).

Experts, please start scribbling.
Boss, let us not just throw jargon. Here are the various RAID levels:
  • RAID 0 (striped disks) distributes data across several disks in a way which gives improved speed and full capacity, but all data on all disks will be lost if any one disk fails.
This means you will have your data scattered accross multiple disks and you will get improved access speeds, but you lose one disk and your collection will go kaput. This is recommended for high speed activity, but needs a regular backup (read more discs). Not ideal for you application
  • RAID 1 (mirrored disks) could be described as a backup solution, using two (possibly more) disks that each store the same data so that data is not lost as long as one disk survives. Total capacity of the array is just the capacity of a single disk. The failure of one drive, in the event of a hardware or software malfunction, does not increase the chance of a failure nor decrease the reliability of the remaining drives (second, third, etc).
This is like having multiple copies of your data. This is for mission critical data, where you need multiple copies for redundancy. You do not need this either.
  • RAID 5 (striped disks with parity) combines three or more disks in a way that protects data against loss of any one disk; the storage capacity of the array is reduced by one disk.
This set-up allows you to retreive your data even if one HDD conks out. But it is serious compromise on speed. Parity calcualtion and storage takes massive processor capacity. This would be over kill for you.

Then there is also RAID 6 and RAID 7, but they are beyond the scope of this discussion.

Source : RAID - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If I understand your post correctly, you requirement is to store 3 TB of data, accesible across a wireless network. Please answer the following:
  1. Is it just read and occasional write, or is it constant read/write? I mean, you may record a song once or store a picture once and then constantly retreive it.
  2. How important is speed Vs redundancy?
  3. What about backup?
  4. P3 is grossly inadequate. Are you willing to upgrade to a faster PC to act as the main PC to which your SAN is connected?
Cheers,

Rajan
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Old 30th September 2008, 19:13   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
Additional hardware over and above the multiple hard drives should ideally be as minimal as possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
I too am looking at a single box 2 to 3TB solution. It does not need to be wireless. And it needs to be cheap, lol
One solution is to build a Linux box that handles all the disks and you use something like \\databox\songs to access it from PC / Laptop.

That would cost 8k + Disks. I.e.

4 TB solution will cost 40k
2 TB + RAID 1 will cost the same (data is stored twice to safeguard against disk failure)

One example :
Name:  Home SAN Cost example.PNG
Views: 583
Size:  8.9 KB
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Old 30th September 2008, 23:23   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
But I am pretty sure that a P3 will not work with the newer and larger hard drives.
Yes, the motherboard for P3 wont be able to detect high capacity of hard drives.

If your computer has sufficient space in cabinet and you have reasonably high end motherboard, get yourself 1TB X3 Seagate Barracude 7200.11 HDD. However, if you are planning a new system, then buy a motherboard that has support for 6 SATA devices + 2 IDE devices. Buy 1TB X 1 HDD and 500GB X 4 HDD for your data. Additionally, buy 160GB X 1 IDE drive as your system drive and one DvD writer. So in all, you will still have one Sata port free for adding at the most ( as of now ) 1TB drive in future.
I would recommend that avoid Raid here.


Moreover, you want to minimize the space occupied, use RIPbot to convert the audio files or video files or both into other format and store them.

NOTE : I recently used Ripbot and found out that it is useful. If you know any other tool to get more efficient compression, use that.
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Old 1st October 2008, 00:46   #13
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There are 3TB external HDD's. But not cheap. Best thing would be to build yourself a computer with 4 or more SATA 1TB HDD's. Choose a motherboard with lots of SATA connectors and you can go on expanding further.

Some 3TB options are
Cavalry 3TB USB 2.0 4-Bay Disk Array External Hard Drive
SimpleTech releases 1.5TB, 3TB external drives
LaCie Hard Disk 301304U 1 TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive

Get some ideas from Building home linux render cluster .That site is maximising the CPU power, we want max HDD's
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Old 1st October 2008, 09:53   #14
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how about something like THIS (Wireless G Network Storage Enclosure - DSM-G600 by D-Link) and a good external HDD (choose your capacity). Any system can access the files without need of other system.
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Old 1st October 2008, 11:11   #15
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Do you have a spare computer with 2GB RAM? I can setup a nice network file server for you on Linux /Windows with password protected access. Depending on the configuration we can setup a hardware or software raid as well for fault tolerance.

If I were to recommend a Steg MS + Carbon type solution, you must buy an HP DL 585 server with a MSA 60 array containing 146 GB x 16 SAS drives in an array on a fibre channel. This would be the best fault tolerant setup. Throw in a nice internet link and you can access all your files from home as well. Total setup cost should be roughly a mile over $20k.
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