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Mass Storage Solution

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phunkey_monkeh

Guest
Im in a right mess. Trying to decide what to go for.

I'll cut to the chase.
I have approx 400 dvd's. I eventually want to store them all on a hard drive. I expect this will take 1-2TB or space, with room for future purchases.

What is the easiest and cheapest way of doing this.
At the moment i only have 1 media pc, but i expect i will have another within the next few months so is will have to be a solution that i can network.

Ive been looking into the possibility of the new Netgear SC101 SAN's. And ive also been looking into the possibility of building another computer simply for hard drives. The advantage of the latter is that its a little easier to customise and i can use a gigabit connection. The netgear solution is only 10/100mbps.

Im also concered about data integrity. I dont want to spend weeks transferring all of this data only to lose a hard drive down the line. But at the same time i cant afford to have expensive raid setups mirroring the data.

I want something where i can add hard drives as i go, as the initial cost of setting up a 2TB drive system is prohibitive, and the more options i look into the more frustrated i become.

Can someone offer a relatively cheap way, and reliable way of doing this. (for the layman i should mention)

Is there anyone else who has transferred there entire DVD collection to a 'server' ?

Thanks in advance.
 
check out lacie...www.lacie.co.uk, like i told oyu before, get the 500GB NAS, and it has usb ports on so you can connect two other 500GB drives to....i think they offer the best solutions, or go for the 2 terabyte Gigabit NAS...
 
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phunkey_monkeh

Guest
Thats over £1500 ;)
Far too costly.

As ive said, i realise that setting up such a system isnt going to be cheap, the drives alone would probably cost alot. Hence why im after something that will allow me to add drives as i go.
 
phunkey_monkeh said:
Thats over £1500 ;)
Far too costly.

As ive said, i realise that setting up such a system isnt going to be cheap, the drives alone would probably cost alot. Hence why im after something that will allow me to add drives as i go.
get the £500 500Gb NAS, you can add USB hard drive to to to increase the storage, and access it all over ethernt, no need to leave your computer pwoered on, just hook it all up to the router...
 
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phunkey_monkeh

Guest
But in the long run you are talking £2000 for 2TB.
Its still far too expensive.

I think the best option is going to be the Netgear SC101.
£80 for the unit, and another £400ish for 1TB of drives. These are ethernet, and i can hook them straight upto my router aswell.
 

fraggle

Active Member
Build your own PC just for storage. 250GB drives are only £80 now, £320 per TB.

Faaaaar cheaper than a pre-built units, and you can go for a RAID 5 array, needs a min of 3 hard drives but can stand one of them dying (IIRC)
 

TheCrow

Active Member
I've been looking into this myself.
The most attractive thing I've found so far is a Buffalo Terastation it has Gigabite Lan, apparantly it's quite, has USB2 for expansion and you can buy 1TB for around £500 exVAT
 
I prefer the Lacie 500GB Mini Ethernet disk myself, it's small and looks good, the Netgear Is way to big and ugly, the Lacie is an all in one design and it's from a reliable Data storage company not a company that deals in networking...Lacie have more experience, and 4 hard drives for the Buffalo, it's too big and prolly loud to, Lacie uses one fast drive I believe...only way netgear wins is you do not need to map the drive...
 

Barbarosa

Standard Member
Get an 8 chanel RAID 5 card, but make sure that it has online expansion this means that you can add discs to the array to expand it. An 8 chanel card will cost just under £200. Put it in an old PC and add discs as you go. Using 300Gb discs, 900Gb net would be about £550, another £350 would expand it to 2.1Tb net.
 

Big Adam

Novice Member
Antec P180 = £95
Tagan 580W Easycon PSU = £85
Coolermaster 4-in-3 Unit = £12

Gives you an attractive chassis capable of holding 10x 3.5" HDDs with 5x 120mm fans to keep things nice and chilly.

Add into this mix a motherboard with decent raid support. The Asus P5AD2 Premium offers:
- 1 x UltraDMA 100/66/33
- 4 x Serial ATA (Intel Matrix RAID 0, 1)
- 4 x Serial ATA (Silicon Image 3114R RAID 0, 1, 10, 5)
- 2 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 with JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 0+1 support

This might not be the most efficient RAID setup in the world but, hey, it's only media storage and will be plenty fast enough for that! No need for additional expensive RAID cards.

Finally add your choice of HDDs to the mix. ATM 250Gb and 300Gb drives are the best value and I'd recommend Samsung or Seagate but that argument is as old as time!
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
I'd go with barbarosa's recommendation if you want RAID.
Cheap RAID controllers are a nightmare waiting to happen IMHO, bearing in mind that you'll have an array so big it can't possibly be backed up..... ;)


Which is why i use pairs of external drives, at cost of £1 per gig ( and can be done much cheaper if you're not lazy) and you have a second copy of all your data, which can be kept at a remote location if desired.

RAID5 'indestructibility' is a complete myth, even in server-world where cost is no concern whatsoever. Drives fail, controllers fail, tempers fail.. :devil:
 

fraggle

Active Member
meansizzler said:
I prefer the Lacie 500GB Mini Ethernet disk myself, it's small and looks good, the Netgear Is way to big and ugly, the Lacie is an all in one design and it's from a reliable Data storage company not a company that deals in networking...Lacie have more experience, and 4 hard drives for the Buffalo, it's too big and prolly loud to, Lacie uses one fast drive I believe...only way netgear wins is you do not need to map the drive...
I'd avoid anything with a single disk unless you don't care about loosing your data.

And if it doesn't have some form of redundant RAID I'd make sure you take backups too.

I've had a disk in a large non redundant RAID array die on me and destroy everything, not nice. Not nice at all.

The other solutiuon is to do what I now do, have that many computers that your data is on at least two machines :)
 

DNWILLIAMS

Novice Member
Ckeck out www.serverelements.com

They have a NAS O/S that allows you top turn an old PC into a Network Attached Storage system, its quite hands on but the forums are very helpful. I have an old K62 AMD pc with 128mb RAM and serverelements installed and have a 400gb HDD on my network on which I stream MP3's, digital photos and movies, inclusding some trial high def stuff. You could build a couple of terrabyte servers to store your movies on for little more than the cost of the drives.
 

Derek22

Novice Member
Might be an idea to check out the netgear forums first url below. Also the sc101 seems to be picking up extremly good user reviews but also very bad user reviews. Main things to look for

1. cooling seems to be borderline.
2. potential problems over mirroring
performance --- half the throughput as basically software writing to both disks at once(client I pressume), ie not hardware mirror.
reliability --- people have reported the mirror breaking for no apperant reason.
recovery --- problems reported recoverying a mirror.
3. Client is windows only and proprietry

Product definatly has potential and a big market, but may be early days just yet. If you are going down the mass storage route and want redundancy you do want it tobe failsafe, and not create problems in its own right.

netgear forum .. http://forum1.netgear.com/support/viewforum.php?f=38

user reviews
http://computershopper.com.com/NETGEAR_SC101_Storage_Center___hard_drive_array/4852-3382_7-31470528.html

If you do get one and evaluate could you post a review..
 
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phunkey_monkeh

Guest
I've decided that the SC101 isnt going to be the right choice for me.

Ultimately i could end up with 4 or 5 of the things, which isnt ideal. Plus the lack of gigabit was putting me off.

Im going to build a cheap pc, with an 8 channel raid card, and go from there.
 

mac_monkey

Active Member
Ive got the same problem. I'm using my Mac mini as a media player/HTPC box and I'm filling hard drives like it's going out of fashion.

Initially I started out with a Lacie 250Gb tripple interface and an 'icy box' caddy with a 250Gb drive. These soon ran of space out so I bought one of these and put the two hard drives in it and sold the caddies on ebay.
When aldi had their offer of 250Gb Hard Drives, WD 8mg cache for £59.99, I bought another 2. I have also bought one of these to sit under the mini.

In retrospect I wish I hadn't bothered with all the caddies and just went for a Coolermaster stacker with a decent PSU. With 250Gb drives @ £60, mass storage isnt as expensive as you think. BTW Iv'e currently filled 870Gb with 126 DVD's (Full RIPS including extras etc). So your 400 DVD collection is going to be closer to 3TB than 2.

Q.

Is gigabit ethernet needed for straming DVD's across a network and how much spare bandwidth is available for other network operations?
 
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phunkey_monkeh

Guest
It may be closer to 3TB. But i dont plan on putting extras on there.

With regards to the network connection. 100mbps is fine for streaming dvd's.
The reason i want gigabit is because its quicker to place the dvd on the 'server' to begin with.

ie, i rip a dvd on my main computer. its 7gb for example.
on a 100mbps lan that would take about 15 mins to transfer to another pc.
On 1000mbps lan its obviously going to be more like 1-2 minutes.

Anyway, ive made a few more decisions.

Ive gone for a cheap server type case, an Enlight 7820 with a 420w power supply. Iv also bought a basic ATX motherboard and 512mb ram.

Ive got a 8 channel raid card on order at £180, and im planning on buying 3 400gb sata drives to begin with in RAID 5. I will probably have one hotswap available aswell.

I need redundancy, so im probably going to spend the better part of £1000 setting this up.
 

Mr. Wilby

Novice Member
Another option:

Infrant technology make a small raid 5-based system, called ReadyNAS. It comes with their own custom-built HW and SW and can be used to hold up to 4 SATA hard disk drives.

They offer two devices. The ReadyNAS 600 is a more SOHO oriented device and then there is the X6, which is designed for home streaming usage.

The biggest difference between the two is that the X6 has better streaming performance (600 has better multi-user performance) and more interestingly, the X6 supports dynamic raid 5 expansion. As you add more disks, the raid can be expanded on the fly to make more use of each disk. With one disk you get JBOD, with two, you get Raid 0 (IIRC) and with three or more, you get raid 5 (IIRC).

There is one UK reseller here who sell prebuilt units, or you can buy barebones.

Its more expensive than the buffalo but the support seems brilliant (check out Infrant's forums) with regular software updates and feature additions.

You can by a cheaper clone of the ReadyNAS units (OEM) from here .

I've ordered an X6 but am waiting for delivery.
 

Mr. Wilby

Novice Member
Also, regarding the netgear - I understand it uses a proprietary protocol for file transfer - so you can't just plug it in and go (you have to install SW on your target device).

Don't know how much of a problem that is for you, but its a deal breaker for me as you can't use the device with XBMC (or any other OS that doesn't have a driver).
 

baldrick

Novice Member
I'm looking to start doing a similar thing. I want to store my movies in native format, but can save space dropping out the unnecessary soundtracks/commentaries etc...

My real concern is going to be storage requirements once hi-def films are available...
 
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phunkey_monkeh

Guest
The Netgear SC101 is only RAID 1, so ive decided not to go for that.
Id need about 6 of them lol, and therefor about 12 400gb hard drives. :rotfl:
 

baldrick

Novice Member
I've been looking around at RAID controller cards and I've a question. Can you have multiple controller cards in one box?

By my reckoning a 6 port RAID controller with 6 300GB HDDs will give you 1.5TB storage in RAID 5

Therefore 3TB will require 2 RAID controllers and 12 HDDs...
 

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