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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Out of disk space. Need more... [Nov. 26th, 2006|07:04 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick

I'm out of disk space (at home), and it's kinda annoying.

Current situation
(bunch of laptops/desktops w/ single disks. not counting these. only counting server w/ reliable RAID-protected storage)

2 SATA ports, 4 drive bays:
-- 1 x empty drive bay
-- 1 x 30 GB IDE disk (boot disk, back from early SATA days, no longer necessary)
-- 2 x 250 GB SATA disks (150 GB RAID 1, 2 x 100 GB unprotected partitions)

Upgrade Options:
1) ATA over Ethernet. Seems fine for home use, and hell, people seem to use it in production? Coraid. Except the 15-disk enclosure is $4,000... bleh. And the 4-disk enclosure (too small!) is $2,000. Hell, for $2,000 I could build my own 4-disk enclosure... it's called a computer. Hell, I already have one with 4 bays. And then use one of the two AoE servers (userspace or kernelspace). So AoE doesn't look cheap once you factor in the enclosure. The $300 dev board adapter might be an option, and build my own ghetto case?

2) Bunch of USB 2.0/Firewire external disks? This is somewhat equivalent to AoE above, because even with AoE I'd do JBOD and let Linux/LVM manage the on-disk formats, rather than be stuck with some mystery vendor RAID format.

3) More SATA disks (internal) for existing server... buy a new SATA controller and ditch the 3 existing disks and replace with 4 x 750 GB, for a total 2.2TB or 1.5TB usable, depending on the RAID level. (never been a fan of RAID-5). But 1.5TB (or even 2.2TB) seems like a wimpy upgrade. Sure, better than my 150 GB RAID now, but I have aspirations of ripping all my DVDs (about 250?), and that'd take up 100% of 1.5-2.2TB, depending on DVD size, extras, etc.

4) Buy a storage server like this one, for about $2,000 that has 8 bays. Hell of a lot better deal than Coraid's 4 bay one for about the same cost. Wtf?

So I'm kinda thinking option #4? I dunno.

Any other options I'm not considering?

[User Picture]From: gholam
2006-11-27 03:13 am (UTC)
Check this out:


12-drive enclosure, eSATA interface, $800 including PCI/PCI-X controller.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: brad
2006-11-27 03:19 am (UTC)

How's Linux eSATA support? Last I checked it sucked, but looking again now, it looks like there are PCI cards that have SATA chipsets with fully open specs (Silicon Image 311x/3124 family) ... ?

Have you used eSATA from Linux? If so, which controller/drivers?

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[User Picture]From: d4b
2006-11-27 03:15 am (UTC)
5) Delete some files.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ydna
2006-11-27 03:38 am (UTC)
Coraid is still thinking they're competing against the EMC and NetApps out there. But the FUD machine has Coraid shutout pretty well, so they'll never get a real chance in the enterprise. Yet they continue to price the hardware for that market (where they're "competitive"!?!). If they'd start pricing the machines for all us schmucks, I'm guessing they'd do pretty well.

Oh, and the eval kit is just one of their old PATA prototype boards that have been sitting around. Don't get it unless you really just want to play with it.
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[User Picture]From: matthew
2006-11-27 03:43 am (UTC)
I went something like option 4, but in a desktop chassis with 8 x 250G drives on plain old IDE controllers (had a bunch of 250's and more were cheap) I don't share your distrust for raid5 so I'm running that with LVM over the top. It works out to something like 1.6T usable.
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: valiskeogh
2006-11-27 04:19 am (UTC)
Dood, build your own.

i'm using the highpoint rocketraid 2320 card (8 port sata 300), on an asus A8n32-sli motherboard (dual gigabit onboard). run of the mill 100.00 amd processor since it doesn't do anything but serve files, cheapest pci vid card i could find.

initially i put 4 500 gig western digital wd5000ys drives in there in raid five, i just put another drive in there and using it's OCE online capacity expansion pumped up the raid five array to a cool 2 terabytes.

future expandability was key when i made the box, so it's in a 12u server case (had on ebay for 150.00)

the drives right now are going for 170 on zipzoomfly.com

case : 150
highpoint card : 275
processor : 100
ram : 100
power supply : 100
video card : 50
80 gig sata drive for OS : 60
system without drives = 835
5 500 gig drives at current price = 850
total cost for 2 terabytes fault tolerant storage = 1685.00

best part, i can continue to add drives into that system. the case can house 26 drives total. if i were to fill out the box tomorrow i can add another power supply to drive more drives, two more 8 port cards, and 19 more drives for something around 10+ terabytes of storage. and those drives can be added one at a time to increase storage as needed.

hell, gimme 4 grand and i'll make you one ;)


(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: askbjoernhansen
2006-11-27 11:48 am (UTC)
oh no, don't get the highpoint crap.

It's all binary drivers (with a thin "open source" shell on top). It's crapidicrap.

Or, let me rephrase that: Get a highpoint card! I'll sell you a great 4 or 8 port one for the low low price of ... (I forget if I had a 4 or a 8 port version - but it sucked a lot during the 20 minutes I tried it).

- ask
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[User Picture]From: krow
2006-11-27 05:57 am (UTC)


Did you consider NAS?

Just how much space do you think you need? I'm up to few TB at the moment and I am not finding anything other then "build my own".
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[User Picture]From: dorkmatt
2006-11-27 06:01 am (UTC)
Uh, Home NAS's have been around for years - I have a ReadyNAS with 2x750Gb drives.

  • UPnP & SlimServer
  • Quiet
  • 3 USB ports (IPP or plug in thumb drive, press button, it syncs up)
  • Cheap ($600 without any drives, holds 4 SATA), cheaper then
  • Write cache clued with USB UPS plugged in

  • No source, SSHd (Debian based banner), but no root login
  • No RAID-6
  • (Reply) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: avatraxiom
    2006-11-27 08:49 am (UTC)
    Oh man...you ran out of all those yottabytes? :-D

    Something like GFS might be an option, if you had a bunch of machines lying arond that could just run hard disks. I don't know that many people who actually use AoE. iSCSI is usually a more popular protocol for those things, although I understand AoE is cheaper.

    I think there may also be some Fiber Channel solutions that are decently priced, for large storage.

    (Reply) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: pfig
    2006-11-27 11:58 am (UTC)
    quite happy with infrant, and know about a couple of friends who are very happy too.
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    From: funzoneq
    2006-11-27 01:17 pm (UTC)
    You could try the MD1000 or something like FreeNAS for your own NAS-solution.

    We use the MD1000 in our datacenter for storage. I got a great price via my sales rep @ dell. They are widely expandable, you can link another one to it via one cable.
    (Reply) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: snipersock
    2006-11-27 06:03 pm (UTC)

    what, no mogile cluster?

    I'm somewhat surprised you don't have a rack in the carport for your own mogile cluster. What gives?
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    [User Picture]From: bsdguru
    2006-11-29 10:49 pm (UTC)

    Re: what, no mogile cluster?

    I would have expected him to be using a Sun Thumper.
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    [User Picture]From: taral
    2006-11-27 10:33 pm (UTC)
    Buy a SATA cage and convert a few 5.25" slots into 3.5" SATA hotswap bays.
    (Reply) (Thread)
    From: pos_le_terrible
    2006-11-28 11:18 am (UTC)

    Lacie ethernet drive

    This is a NAS unit, with a Via CPU (low power consumption)


    2TB for 1400$
    (RAID 0 I think, but you should be able to change that).
    It comes with Windows CE installed, but you can install any OS (you will loose Lacie's "1 Year Limited Warranty" but you'll still have the warranty of the disks themselves anyway...)

    It is very similar in concept (and hardware) to Capricorn Technologies' Petabox (used by Internet Archive). The main focus is on lowering the Watt/Tb ratio.
    (Reply) (Thread)
    From: legolas
    2006-11-28 11:06 pm (UTC)
    Nothing much to add, except point out the maybe obvious-but-not-to-me thing that your option 3 is to add another SATA controller, but to only use that and not the exisitng one as well? If you use the new and the old one, 8x750GB instead of 4x ?
    (Reply) (Thread)