I dunno where the hell to begin! Too many NAS questions for a small header!!!

guv69

Active Member
I currently have an old Dell PC running WHS2003. The Motherboard is IDE only, so it has a system drive and 2 external USB drives for the storage. I thought I'd go for a nice neat solution and up my storage... but then the config problems started!!!

OK.... I bought 4 x 2TB drives a fortnight ago. A mate of mine when asked, suggested an Adaptec 2610 PCI card (6 SATA ports and Raid 5) would be the ideal way to go. Luckily I didnt buy the card as it sounds likw there is a 2TB raid limit. Looking around, the only cards I can see which look like they will do the job, are either several hundred quid or even thousands!

So question one..... is there a cheap card solution for this dilema, where I can run 4 2TB drives in Raid 5?

I had looked at buying a pair of these, but not sure if they would be particulalry fast or work together. (I appreciate I'd lose the Raid 5... but speeds of only 300MB may be an issue??)

So my final thoughts, were to build a cheapy PC to be a server that can run Raid 5, take 4 2TB drives as well as an OS drive. Even this seems to be a problem!

It's not getting so frustrating, I'm wishing I hadnt bought the damed drives. (And no that doesnt mean they might be for sale! :)

Bottom line.... I want a solution that isn't going to cost an arm and a leg!
 

t72bogie

Novice Member
the Netgear stora dosent run at "300MB" - thats the speed of the SATA 300 interface that the hard drives connect to

if you want a NAS solution that does 300MB/s you are looking at something with a lot of poke, multiple gigabit interfaces bonded together and >£2000, maybe more like £3-4K

consumer NAS devices for a few hundred quid will do around 30-50MB/s average over a gigabit ethernet connection

SmallNetBuilder has a good buying guide and performance charts for NAS devices so you can see the £ to performance ratio :smashin:
 

MikeK

Novice Member
You can buy 4 port PCI SATA controller cards for around £10 off ebay.
They come from HongKong, so delivery is about 2-3 weeks or so.

eg - 4 Port SATA SERIAL ATA PCI CONTROLLER RAID CARD 2 CABLE on eBay (end time 01-Jul-10 10:14:03 BST)

Just plonk one into your current WHS2003 server - you won't have Raid5 on the new drives, but you'll still have WHS standard redundancy!
Best of all, it'll only cost you a further £10, over and above what you've already spent on the new drives!
 

majnu

Member
I thought WHS doesn't run in RAID, so any controllers you purchase will be wasted. :confused:
 

MikeK

Novice Member
I thought WHS doesn't run in RAID

It doesn't - it runs duplication (file/directory level mirroring)



so any controllers you purchase will be wasted.

:confused:

If you install a 4 port SATA card, and connect a drive to each port, the OS will see the 4 new drives just as it would if they were connected to motherboard SATA ports (which the OP's PC doesn't have).
 

guv69

Active Member
First things first, define what an arm and a leg means to you.
An arm I use to type with and legs to walk. :smashin:

You can buy 4 port PCI SATA controller cards for around £10 off ebay.
They come from HongKong, so delivery is about 2-3 weeks or so.

eg - 4 Port SATA SERIAL ATA PCI CONTROLLER RAID CARD 2 CABLE on eBay (end time 01-Jul-10 10:14:03 BST)

Just plonk one into your current WHS2003 server - you won't have Raid5 on the new drives, but you'll still have WHS standard redundancy!
Best of all, it'll only cost you a further £10, over and above what you've already spent on the new drives!
OK, so going Raid 5 with this old PC is a bit of overkill - or more to the point will cost too much. Will that card deffo support 2TB drives?

Annyingly, my server has just become invisible on my network (I think there were updates) and ive also now added a Netgear ADSL router, though thats not the reason its gone walkies. It is visible from the outside world though, so think its a firewall thing. Just not sure where to start looking!
 

majnu

Member
I thought WHS doesn't run in RAID

It doesn't - it runs duplication (file/directory level mirroring)



so any controllers you purchase will be wasted.

:confused:

If you install a 4 port SATA card, and connect a drive to each port, the OS will see the 4 new drives just as it would if they were connected to motherboard SATA ports (which the OP's PC doesn't have).
First Bolded Comment - Yup that is what I thought.

Second Bolded Comment - Sorry I should have been more specific. I imagined that the OP was getting a RAID controller, which would have been a waste. It was hearing WHS and RAID which made me :confused: lol
 

majnu

Member
An arm I use to type with and legs to walk. :smashin:



OK, so going Raid 5 with this old PC is a bit of overkill - or more to the point will cost too much. Will that card deffo support 2TB drives?

Annyingly, my server has just become invisible on my network (I think there were updates) and ive also now added a Netgear ADSL router, though thats not the reason its gone walkies. It is visible from the outside world though, so think its a firewall thing. Just not sure where to start looking!
Will you be upgrading to the Beta Release for WHS called Vail that is 64bit. I think it is built of WHS 2008 IIRC.
 

guv69

Active Member
I imagined that the OP was getting a RAID controller, which would have been a waste. It was hearing WHS and RAID which made me :confused: lol
To be fair, I was only thinking about raid 5 because thats what was recommended. Can you not have RAID 5 in WHS2003?


Will you be upgrading to the Beta Release for WHS called Vail that is 64bit. I think it is built of WHS 2008 IIRC.
I'm just using an old 32bit Dell. Is something in that release of interest/use?

So looking at the ebay link quoted above, the guy seems to have 2 similar 4 port cards

Which is best?
 

graham.myers

Well-known Member
Will you be upgrading to the Beta Release for WHS called Vail that is 64bit. I think it is built of WHS 2008 IIRC.
WHS V1 is 32-bit only and build on Windows 2003 Small Business Edition with unneeded features disabled.

WHS v2 codename Vail is currently out on beta and is Built on Windows 2008 Release 2. Specifically release 2 not release 1 as they are quire different beasts

R1 of win2k8 is built on a 6.0 Kernel,which is vista
R2 of win2k8 is built on a 6.1 kernel, which is Windows 7 and you correctly state is 64-bit only. Windows 7 is the final Windows release to feature a 32-bit product
 

majnu

Member
To be fair, I was only thinking about raid 5 because thats what was recommended. Can you not have RAID 5 in WHS2003?

Reading the comment from MikeK, would suggest No. But I will wait until someone gives a definite answer incase I read it wrong before you purchase your connector :suicide:


I'm just using an old 32bit Dell. Is something in that release of interest/use?

So looking at the ebay link quoted above, the guy seems to have 2 similar 4 port cards

Which is best?
See Inline
You can read about Vail from:- Windows Home Server “Vail” Overview and Review
 

MikeK

Novice Member
So looking at the ebay link quoted above, the guy seems to have 2 similar 4 port cards

Which is best?


You'll probably find that all the 4 port "SATA only" cards will be the same!

Don't bother with any which state PATA/IDE in the description - one port of the four is ide, and one of the three remaining SATA ports is external (though not eSATA)



Can't confirm for definite that Sil3114 based controllers support 2TB drives - never tried it. As long as the OS and drivers/bios support it, then I can't see why not TBH, but that's just my opinion!

Post #8 here seems to indicate that it works OK
http://forums.storagereview.com/index.php/topic/28412-controllers-compatible-with-2tb-hard-drives/

and the last post here incates the same
http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=68407


AFAIK, WHS currently only supports MBR disks, not GPT, so 2TB may well be the limit that the OS can support for storage pool drives!
I don't use WHS, so I can't really help much with it I'm afraid!
 
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deckingman

Novice Member
Snip.....

Can't confirm for definite that Sil3114 based controllers support 2TB drives - never tried it.

I can confirm they will.


As long as the OS and drivers/bios support it, then I can't see why not TBH, but that's just my opinion!

SI are pretty good with drivers/bios downloadable updates if needed.
I think there is some sort of 2Tb limit with WHS though - not individual discs but collectively. e.g. a single 2TB may work but a 1.5 TB plus a 1 TB would not? Don't use it so could be wrong.
 

MikeK

Novice Member
that cant be right. I have a 6tb data drive :) comprised of 6x1tb
Or do you actually have a 6TB storage pool comprised of 6x1tb?

AIUI (from my admittedly limited knowledge) the limit is the other way round - individual drives can't be bigger than 2TB, but the storage pool can be!
 
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guv69

Active Member
OK... my PCI SATA card has arrived. Its been fitted to the PC, but I'm unsure where to go from here. As expected there are no instructions, but there is a disc. On the disc there are numerous devices though the clue is "3114" which is the card chipset.

On bootup, the card is detected and needs drivers installed. There are numerous options though. One marked Raid 5, one Raid and another "Novelle netware" and last IDE (which it obviously isnt.)

I tried the RAID5 one, but after thought it should probably be the Raid.

There is also software on the disc. "Sata5 raid management", "java sataraid", "Windows i586",

After installing the sata5 raid management, it continually bluescreened on boot. Removing wasnt easy (and not possible in safemode), but eventually its off.

On boot, There is an option (F4) to enter a RAID setup. Since I have 4 2TB drives, I thought RAID5 would be the best option. However, nothing is seen on bootup.

Ive now decided to used JBOD and currently formatting. 1%............................................................................... 2% Zzzzzzzzzz God this is slow for a 2TB drive.

In the meantime (and baring in mind Im using Win Home Server 2003) any tips or pointers appreciated.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Have you tried searching Silicon Images website for 3114 Datasheets, Manual's etc.

I'm pretty sure I've got an SI3114 integrated on the MOBO of one of my machines (dead at the moment so I can't check) but IIRC it wasn't RAID-5 capable in hardware, it'd only do RAID-0, RAID-1 or RAID-10. Again, a check of the SI website will probably help.

Novel Netware is server O/S - if you don't know what it is, it's very likely you don't have it.
 

guv69

Active Member
Have you tried searching Silicon Images website for 3114 Datasheets, Manual's etc.

I'm pretty sure I've got an SI3114 integrated on the MOBO of one of my machines (dead at the moment so I can't check) but IIRC it wasn't RAID-5 capable in hardware, it'd only do RAID-0, RAID-1 or RAID-10. Again, a check of the SI website will probably help.

Novel Netware is server O/S - if you don't know what it is, it's very likely you don't have it.
Yes, that sounds right (RAID 0, 1 or 10) It would explain why it has RAID 5 software, though its weird that the driver shows itself as RAID 5.

I'm still confused though!

Ive managed to settle it down now. All 4 drives are seen by the server, but not in explorer. (Which is annoying as I want to add all 4 of these 2TB drives, but remove the 2 USB drives that are currently used as server storage. (ie I have 1.5TB of media to transfer)
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
If I'm reading you correctly, you have connected the discs to the controller and configured them as JBOD in the 3114 controller BIOS..? Can you see them in using Windows Disc Manager?

If so, it may be that you simply need to create and format the volumes you desire with the appropriate file system (NTFS usually on modern Win boxes.)

Disc Manager usually let's you create software RAID'd and/or spanned volumes as you wish, though it may depend on the version of the O/S as to whether it'll do RAID-5 in software.
 

guv69

Active Member
If I'm reading you correctly, you have connected the discs to the controller and configured them as JBOD in the 3114 controller BIOS..? Can you see them in using Windows Disc Manager?

If so, it may be that you simply need to create and format the volumes you desire with the appropriate file system (NTFS usually on modern Win boxes.)

Disc Manager usually let's you create software RAID'd and/or spanned volumes as you wish, though it may depend on the version of the O/S as to whether it'll do RAID-5 in software.
Thanks.... I knew I needed to do this, but couldnt think where the hell it was, so a quick Windows Disc Manager google search found what I needed. (ie run compmgmt.msc)

So Ive created a volume to transfer all of the server contents over to. I'll then "remove" the existing drives from the server (which are USB). I'm assuming the 2TB drive I've aleady added, will "balance" the spanned content - but I dont want to take any chances.

So, it now seems things are under way. But.... I have just connected as JBOD as you've said. Is that the wisest choice with 4 2TB drives and this chipset card?
 

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