What is the most economic way to provide network storage on my server?

Eric October 26, 2010

I have a server with Ultra320 SCSI drives, and if it were possible, I am wanting total storage around 1 TB while using RAID5. I have 6 hot-swappable bays to achieve this. Most common drive size I found for Ultra320 was 146 GB, which doesn’t meet my goal of 1 TB.

Cost is an important factor, so if I could use the server I already have, that would be great. But if I am limited by Ultra320 specs, what would be the next best solution with what I have?

  1. StarWind
    October 28, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Maybe, some iSCSI Storage will be a solution for you? They can be affordable and convenient.

  2. Anonymous
    October 28, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    These are pretty expensive per GB of storage, and the real advantage comes
    when building data centers. The power consumption is reduced and is about 8W while the drive is busy.

    HP Smart Array Ultra320 SCSI Storage Controller
    Utilizing both SCSI channels (1 internal and 1 external) of the SA-642 allows you to configure up to 20 hard drives (6 internal, 14 external) to store up to 2.9TB of storage per PCI slot.

    you can have some ideas on the best storage

    EnhanceRAID™ R4,

    if you need high availability on your server, you'll probably need to use a SAN. If you don’t have strict high-availability requirements, you can probably get by with locally attached storage

    hard drives

    By combining Serial Attached SCSI's wide ports with PCI Express's wide lanes, a system designer can maximize total storage system performance. For example, a 4-wide Serial Attached SCSI port will support bandwidth of up to 1200 Gb/sec for up to 16 hard disk drives. And with the Serial Attached SCSI initiator attached to a PCI Express 8-wide lane, the entire data path through the system will be optimized with bandwidth to spare

  3. Joseph
    October 28, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Unfortunately, with your current hardware, and not knowing your software, you are not going to be able to meet the 1TB goal, with any RAID setting. I am guessing that you want to have RAID 5, if not RAID 10. But with any stripping, the drives have to be the same size, or you will just be wasting your money on the larger disk, because you can only have enough space as your smallest drive. With a RAID 10 setup, would give you 3 pairs of drives, set 2 pairs to mirror as your storage, and the last pair, mirrored to each other, use as your OS. This would give you a 252GB storage that is redundant and your OS,146GB, would be redundant as well. You could even go as far as doing a RAID 5 Mirrored, 2 set of 3 HDDs stripped and mirrored, but where would you put your OS and only give you 252GBs. I am also going to guess that you would want to have a hard RAID as opposed to a soft RAID? With a server, you would probably have a hardware RAID and not a software RAID. Just a note, always keep your OS separate from your data.

  4. paulc
    October 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    You could also get an inexpensive sata NAS. Or use the 6x146gb in a raid 0 for 815GB and then back it up to an inexpensive USB/NAS device for redundancy.

  5. Mike
    October 26, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    The best I can do is a 300GB Cheetah (ST3300655LC) but they are way too expensive!

    Any chance of switching interface? You can get an SATA Raid Controller and 2x1TB HDDs for the same money one Cheetah will cost you!

    Does your server has an external U320 connector? Third option would be to get an external storage e.g. a Promise VTrak M210p (8xSATA II internal) or some Infortrend with SCSI and connect it to the server through U320 ~ but then again, it's an economical question :)

    Depending on your operating system and knowledge you can always go for any iSCSI Storage. It even works with only one Ethernet Port on your sever ~ although I recommend separating storage access and server access (file services) using different ports.

    • Mike
      October 26, 2010 at 9:16 pm

      Wanted to add that Infortrend offers great products, service&support (we have 3 of them in use)! They also preconfigure RAID if you want to so all you have to do is plugin the drive bays and connect it to power and server/network.

      The reason I wasn't specific like with the VTrak is that the portfolio is way bigger :)

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