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Old September 17, 2011, 11:40 AM
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Post Post File server build options with varying capacity drives

Hi forumers,

I need some help deciding what to do with a whole bunch of hard drives sitting around. I have 500GB, 640GB, 750GB, and 1TB hard drives sitting around, about 12 in total.

I want to make use of them for a low cost if possible and have a fallback if a drive fails.

Currently this is my build that I want to turn into a file server:

Core 2 Duo e8500
4GB Mushkin DDR2
Gigabyte EP45-DS3R (just 6 sata ports)
Enermax 620w PSU
Coolermaster 690 case

What I want to add (currently):
NCIX.com - Buy Supermicro Black 3X5.25 to 5X3.5IN SATA Drive Bay Converter Hot-Swap Mobile Rack W/ 92MM Fan - SuperMicro - CSE-M35T-1B - in Canada
Another 2x5.25" hot swap bay for 3 HDDs - $60 (total 8 hotswap bays, and another 5 in the case)
Raid card - something that isn't very expensive (like under $250)
Windows home server 2011, add in a drive extender clone like DataCore DriveHarmony or DriveBender or this.

I know there are options like Solaris based ZFS pools, but that seems quite steep to learn. Also having an easy admin interface and sharing with WHS 2011 seems nice (as well as automated backups).

Thanks in advance for any help :D
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Old September 17, 2011, 12:16 PM
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I've never heard of this Drive Bender software but it seems rather interesting. I think I may have to give it a shot when I do an upgrade to my storage here in the next few months.
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Old September 17, 2011, 06:25 PM
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What do you think about FlexRaid? FlexRAID Wiki FlexRAID Storage Pooling
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Old September 17, 2011, 10:17 PM
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For small arrays (8 or less), the Perc6i is probably the best bang for the buck available. You can wrangle one with a BBU for ~<150$ CAD.
It may be a little old, but it's still capable of fully-saturating 8 mechanical drives.

There are of course much better forming and up-to-date controllers, but you'll need to fork out significantly more (as in a non-1 integer multiple of the cost of a Perc6).
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