[mythtv-users] OT: help selecting drives for server

Nasa nasa01 at comcast.net
Tue May 19 01:18:41 UTC 2009

----- "Brian Wood" <beww at beww.org> wrote:

> On Monday 18 May 2009 11:00:46 Nasa wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> > I'm sure questions like this come up all the time -- so I was
> hoping
> > someone could give me some advise on this...
> >
> > I have a server that has a hardware raid card (I already had it, so
> plz no
> > flaming on hardware vs software raid) which has 8 SATA ports.  I
> presently
> > have 2 RAID-5 arrays setup for a total of 2.8T of space.  I have
> managed to
> > come close to filling up the space and am looking to upgrade.  One
> array is
> > made up of 3 drives (2x750GB, 1x1TB) and the other is made up of 4
> 500GB
> > drives.  I would like to keep the number of times I have to rebuild
> this to
> > as few as possible and the fewer the drives the better.
> >
> > I would like to use drives larger than 1TB, however, the 2TB drives
> are
> > pretty pricey right now.  I'm not sure I trust the Seagate 1.5TB
> drives
> > (any one have comments on them?) and WD says it's desktop edition
> drives
> > are not appropriate for RAIDs (they suggest the Raid Editions for
> more
> > $$$).  And I don't really now much about the Hitachi drives...
> >
> > So I was hoping someone out there has some suggestions on which way
> to
> > go...
> I'd be curious as to why WD doesn't suggest using the cheaper drives
> for RAID 
> systems, other than the obvious fact that most RAID systems are used
> in 
> enterprise systems where the user can afford to pay more.
WD says they use different error process depending if the drive is for home use
or for a raid array.

> Hitachi has a lot of adherents these days, but I still remember the
> problems 
> back when that division belonged to IBM.
> I'd also stay away from the Seagate 1.5s, the problems are supposedly
> solved, 
> but it's hard to know how long a vendor has had them on the shelf, and
> I'd 
> rather not fool with having to update firmware. When I buy a drive I
> figure 
> it ought to be ready to go, not be a test platform for beta firmware.

> Most Myth users do not spin enough drives to have statistically valid
> data, 
> unless they do so at work.
> I'd really consider H/W vs. S/W raid, what do you plan to do if your 
> controller fails? Most H/W RAID cards I've seen require identical
> drives, I'm 
> curious about your 750/750/1000 array, are you throwing away 250GB of
> the 
> large drive?
Yes, I am presently throwing away 250G....
> Does your H/W RAID controller allow different-sized drives? Does it
> use 
> partitions and not entire drives? Is it a PCI-X interface? What sort
> of card 
> is it? A 32-bit card could have problems with 8 drives at once, most
> non-RAID 
> 8-port cards are either PCI-X or PCIExpress for that reason.

It's a HighPoint Technologies, RocketRaid 2320
> I just went through the H/W vs. S/W RAID issue, and I wound up using
> an 8-port 
> PCI-X card (SuperMicro AOC-SAT2-MV8, only $99) and software RAID, even
> though 
> I had hardware RAID controllers.
> The real question is why are you using RAID? LVM or storage groups
> allow 
> on-the-fly expansion. RAID is NOT a substitute for regular backups, as
> many 
> folks have discovered to their loss.

I'm using the box as my media server....  RAID provides for the best uptime
solution (or so I think....)

> Actually this question does not come up all that often, the best
> solution 
> depends a lot of what your individual requirements are, what other
> tasks the 
> array might be doing, what you have on hand and what you can get
> cheaply, so 
> the best answer really depends on the individual user's particular
> situation.
> The only thing I can say for sure is that no matter what you do, there
> will be 
> a better and cheaper answer 6 months from now.
Your So Right.  Thanks for the reply!

> -- 
> beww
> beww at beww.org
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