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Old June 20, 2012, 06:44 AM
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Default Home Server, RAID card recommendations[SOLVED]

I want to convert my current system into a home server. In order to do that I need RAID card so I can setup a RAID 5 array. Long story short can anyone recommend a RAID card (about 4 ports atleast) that you or typically used in a home server?
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Old June 20, 2012, 08:09 AM
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You don't have a motherboard that supports RAID, or not willing to do software RAID?
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Old June 20, 2012, 08:14 AM
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IF you were to use a software raid, such as I do myself, I'd recommend Drive Bender. You can have it act as must raids, I only have might set up as a balanced Raid 0, however you could easily enable the redundancy to turn it into a Raid 5
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Old June 20, 2012, 08:18 AM
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I have a Dell PERC5i card obtained from fleabay. It's dated now, however it's a SAS/SATAII card that lets you connect up to 8 drives. It does the trick for me running a RAID1 and a RAID5 array at once.

This card is an LSI card in disguise and for that reason it's much cheaper then the rest of the family. IBM/Dell/HP rebrand certain cards for themselves and are fairly cheap when pulled from servers and sold on the used market.

LSI SAS 2208 RAID Controller Information and Listing | ServeTheHome - Intel Xeon AMD Opteron RAID Controller Reviews

This may help in regards to current RAID cards.
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Last edited by misterd; June 20, 2012 at 08:25 AM.
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Old June 20, 2012, 08:51 AM
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I believe Drive Bender is only duplication and pooling drives (I guess closer to RAID 1). I dont think there is any parity (RAID 5). For software RAID 5 I think you'd need something like unraid or flex raid.
For hardware RAID you may be able to find some cheaper used server grade hardware like the 5i or 6i but many of them dont support drives over 2 TB, not sure if that will be an issue for you. I've been using flexraid and WHS 2011 myself, its not as fast as a hardware solution but I only store media on it.
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Old June 20, 2012, 09:32 AM
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I ran flex raid, the problem with it, or at least the versions I used was that whenever the system rebooted or was turned off/on the shared network drive would no longer be shared. So you'd have to log into your server and share it again, quite the hassle.

I could have sworn you could have down some kind of Raid 5, or it could just be raid 10, I can check and report back.
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Old June 20, 2012, 01:38 PM
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I only started using flexraid when it came out of Beta, a couple months ago I believe. I havent had any permissions problems like that but its fairly new software I'd expect some bugs. Another option is Windows 8, I thought about waiting for that but didnt want to wait any longer. It has something called "Storage Spaces" I think its sort of a software RAID 5 striped.

I would take a hard look and make sure hardware RAID is what you want. You have to be fairly particular about the drives you use (usually means $$$) and the controller and possibly battery ($$$)
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Old June 20, 2012, 03:01 PM
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You could use MD and LVM2 on Linux with the motherboard's SATA ports like I do, or you could install a storage OS like Illumos, OpenNAS, plain FreeBSD, etc.

You can put the storage OS into a virtual machine using ESXi or Xen so that it's easy to run other virtual servers on the same box.
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Old June 20, 2012, 05:56 PM
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LSI/3Ware. Some of the Adaptec's are decent too. It depends on the features you want. Software RAID is nice because it's transportable between hardware though it does make greater resource demands on the main system.
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Old June 20, 2012, 06:46 PM
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Thanks guys, I didn't really tell you what I was going to use it for, my bad. I did consider software raid but I want to try out a dedicated raid card to do all the work. Power here in Aus is expensive, I was thinking if I had to rebuild my array (in case one drive died) its might take hours or maybe a day. From what I have heard (please correct me if I am wrong) a raid card will do the work faster. Also I will use the array more for Auto backup because I now have to manage 4 laptops and 2 computers, which I don't want to do individually.

Do anyone think running a raid backup using a raid card to manage the drive is good Idea?

If so what card should I buy for this purpose?
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