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Go Back   MacGurus Technical Forums > General Hardware and Software Discussions > RAID

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Old 09-22-2009, 02:04 PM
Greentree_uk Greentree_uk is offline
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Default Central Server

Hi Guys,

I'm topping my data storage needs out at the moment. I have 1Tb in my imac, nearly full and 1TB of data on an external Raid 0. and 3 time machine backup drives.

I have 4 macs in the house and I think it's time I did some consolidation.

I have a G5 Dual 2.0Ghz 2003 model dropped into my lap. I was thinking of using it as a server, perhaps even using mobile home directories. Toying with putting a Rocketraid 2220 into it and as many Large drives as I can afford. perhaps buying 3 1TB drives and Raid 5 and using the remaining 500gb satas I have lying around in a 2nd array on the card. Centralising a time machine server and media/data server. the data on the server will be protected only by Raid 5, I'm happy with that amount of redundancy the time machine backup may be RAID 0. if I lost everything on the server it wouldn't be a massive deal obviously important stuff would be on both server and main machine. my plan is for this to last a couple of years then replace the drives with 2TB ones or more as the price comes down.
My house is cabled gigabit to the media centre and main computer and the attic, probably my servers home. the other 2 iMacs use wireless - 802.11n.

I'm doing this on as tight a budget as I can. I'd appreciate people's thoughts or input. recommendations on drives, the 500gb's I have are ST3500320AS, may not really be suitable for RAID arrays.. the 1TB's I've still to get. can I get away without buying enterprise RAID drives... I have an option to buy a drobo 8 bay array, for €650. good price and has the flexibility to grow an array at will which I like but I'd still need to buy drives.

Thanks Guys

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Old 09-22-2009, 03:46 PM
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ricks ricks is offline
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I don't see an issue with the Seagate 500s you already have, they'll do fine inn a RAID.

When it comes to Enterprise drives the issues are in firmware and instruction sets - most desktop controllers, either RAID or just standard bus chipsets, desktop controllers are never tested or designed to get along with Enterprise drive feature sets. You can see some strange behaviors with them that are totally random. Usually safer, unless the chipset manufacturer recommends a specific Enterprise class drive, to stick with desktop models like Barracuda, Deskstar, Cavier et al.

Drobo = cheap consumer grade junk. Too many of our photographer customers went with them and when they have a corruption issue they then found it impossible to recover. The database is proprietary and the reliability is questionable. In my opinion though, the type of RAID you use is of far less consequence than the type and reliability of the backup. Nothing wrong with a Drobo if your backup is simple and extremely reliable.

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Old 09-22-2009, 10:56 PM
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unclemac unclemac is offline
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I tested exactly one Drobo (second gen. FW 800 model) and really liked it....for what it was. Ran it for about 4 months 24/7 without a hiccup, as a backup source for a CrashPlan server. Only one test, and from what I understand, the earlier Drobo (first gen.) had some issues. Still consumer stuff no matter what.

Know one guy who setup the 8 bay via iSCSI, and he claims it has been great. Not seen it in person.

As for HiPoint stuff, I have a customer that loves them. A big shop with 100+ Macs, and about 10 Servers. Running RocketRaid in a few. Tech crew, very savvy Unix command line guys, but very happy with them. Not sure I would recommend to a consumer, at least based on the interfaces I have seen on older cards. I'm sure you would be fine with them.
"Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

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Old 09-22-2009, 11:41 PM
Greentree_uk Greentree_uk is offline
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I've put a couple of Rocket Raids into clients and they've been nothing but reliable. as for drobo. yes early firmware was dodgy but once updated they've been fine. what I like is the flexibility to grow. what I don't like is that they're slow n comparison even to a rocket raid. but then that's why the price is what it is. I can't afford a full Raid solution unless one falls into my lap.. which could happen, but even then it would probably be a PATA Xserve RAID and pretty limited then in size. Rocket Raid not nearly as fast as a good Burly but on a standard gigabit network and at home where if it takes a week to get data off in future then it doesn't matter to me. I'm just wondering whether I need to get something like the Sonnet G5 Jive. keep it tidy and all. I was planning on removing the optical drive and sitting 4 drives in there, 2 drives in existing bays and stacking the remaining some how. but G5 jive looks like a better solution esp. with that many drives.

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Old 09-22-2009, 11:47 PM
Greentree_uk Greentree_uk is offline
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I do wonder what the running costs of a server like this will be.....

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Old 09-23-2009, 07:57 AM
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Damien Damien is offline
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Originally Posted by Greentree_uk View Post
I do wonder what the running costs of a server like this will be.....
I run a small server. B&W (G3) G4/500 with a 15k Cheetah boot drive on a 2940U2B. It has a Rocketraid card that is currently driving a single 160GB Cuda. It serves (mainly) an iTunes music library. It has a gigaNIC card and a Rage 128 video card. Mostly runs 24/7 unless I leave for a vacation and I have never noticed a corresponding increase/decrease in my power bills.

You're looking at a lot more drives but they are also a lot newer and more efficient

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Old 09-28-2009, 05:00 AM
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Nicolas Nicolas is offline
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the real hardware RAID cards from Highpoint are fine. But there support is a mess. For the money of a good rocketraid (running linux) you can also have an Areca or 3ware/aamc card. So I tend to Areca/3ware and their support is good. And since 3ware is part of LSI their products and their support are even better than before.

The lower cost Highpoint software/firmware RAID products are a no go IMHO you would not like to mess around with.

Drobo well, as long it is running no probs but if the array is getting degraded and you'll need to rebuild the thing went crazy duno which version it was but the data was gone.

Better experience with the Synology and their DS409+. Freescale 1.06GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, RAID 0, 1, 5, 5 and Hot-Swap, 6, JBOD, CIFS, AFP, FTP, NFS, , print-, UPnP-, iTunes-, web- and email-server, 50Watt max with 4 drives reading/writing. One eSATA do attach another HD (without RAID).Recovery/Rebuild works fine too. Datatransferrate about 35MB/s with 4 HD's in RAID5 over Gigabit ethernet, not bad.

Another good NAS is the Intel SS4200-E, not all the features as the Synology but well made and more favorable.


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Last edited by Nicolas; 09-28-2009 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:12 PM
Greentree_uk Greentree_uk is offline
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bought myself a G5 Jive, it was a reasonable price and seems to take away from the stacked up drives in the optical bay!!

Rocketraid has been reliable for me. I feel it'll do what I want. I need to get to 4Tb or so and with 8 drives I can probably achieve that.

I'm still looking around for a cheap 2220, Ebay etc. I thought I had one but some clown of an ebay seller doesn't know what he has or it seems what he's selling, as he listed it saying he had 10 over 5 different listings, then claimed he had none, offering me a 2224 and then relisted it 4 days later saying he had 3. After contacting him again he said it was an error. eejit.

Anyway does anyone know the difference between the 1820A and the 2220? as far as I can tell the just renamed the 1820A.

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Old 09-30-2009, 03:29 AM
Greentree_uk Greentree_uk is offline
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I found a Speed comparison and it seems the 2220 is not identical and a little bit faster.

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Old 10-06-2009, 01:53 PM
Greentree_uk Greentree_uk is offline
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finally bought the card. so it's inbound from the US! does anyone know where I can find the power specifications for the G5 mac? I can't seem to find out how many watts are free for loading on drives. I know the PSU is 600W but how much is left for expansion? assuming 8 drives @ 35W then that's 280W without the rocketraid. obviously removing optical drive will lighten load.

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