I use one of these for my server: -
Ah, my mission critical comment was not very well explained. What I mean't was enterprise level servers tend to cost the earth and feature hot-swap and other redundant/fail-over stuff so as to minimise downtime. Obviously re-ripping everything would be a right pain but I wouldn't mind having a day or so "down-time" whilst I rebuilt the raid array. I read that software RAID tends to be easier than hardware RAID for "novices" to maintain. Is that so?
I'm actually running Windows Home Server in my setup, so no RAID backup, just the backup built into WHS. It has actually made my media server setup far, far simpler (I was running Windows Server 2003 before). With WHS you add all your drives to a storage pool, and just create public directories that share the storage. With 2003 I then had to share all the individual drives i.e. with 15 drives I would get 15 shares across the netork for all my media, and I had to point all my clients to 15 places. With WHS I get just 3 shares (Movies, Photos and Music) which will never change no matter how many drives I add. I also love the how easy it is to upgrade drives in WHS - just tell it remove a drive from the storage pool and it copies all the data off elsewhere.Thanks cj, that's a serious case, isn't it. I looked on the Lian Li website when I was hunting for a good case but must have missed this one. Thanks.
It sounds like you've already done what I'm looking to do.
So are you running a software RAID5 setup? Does that card allow your drives to spin down when idle? What OS are you using? Are you running your server headless? If so, do you have onboard graphics or a separate graphics card? Any idea what the power consumption of your rig is when idle? Is it nice and quiet when idle?
Sorry about all the questions (I've plenty more where they came from )
I'm fairly sure you can still use a hardware RAID with WHS, it's just not recommended. For me the benefits of the shared storage far outweighed any RAID capabilities - just having a couple of shared directories rather than well over 20 has made life a lot simpler in my network. I just keep photos and documents backed up, as like you I've always got the optical to fall back on. Anyway, good luck and keep us posted300watts is not bad assuming that is with all drives spinning and not simply the mobo and fans consuming all that power
I did look at WHS but decided against it because it only offered pseudo RAID 1. To backup all my movies would require double the diskspace obviously and with disks approaching £200 a go I couldn't afford to do that I know that RAID5 is not a proper backup but I figured it'd be a bit give me a bit more protection than having nothing at all. I've always got the original DVDs to fall back on if everything goes pear shaped and I have to start again from scratch.
One of the other benefits is speed. More spindles will read a lot quicker than a single spindle. RAID controllers can have very large cache sizes to further increase read and write speeds.I still can't see the point of having RAID for storing DVDs and music to be honest as you'll need to back it up as well anyway