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Rethinking My Computer Setup
RobWalker Wrote:You would want to check that expansion is possible with the RAID controller you have.

Many motherboards that come with RAID controllers onboard using the Intel ICH chipset, and this doesn't support RAID expansion.

I recently went round this loop and decided to go with RAID5 anyway. I figure by the time I'm ready to expand my array (currently 3x750GB drives) it will be relatively cheap to provide the 1.5GB of temporary storage to copy the data to and then reconstruct the array.

I agree, Rob was more clear and concise than I was.

I am using both the JMicron and Intel controllers for my arrays (RAID1 off the JMicron and RAID5 on the Intel).

I'll have to check my documentation at home but I believe the Intel controller I have did support expansion. I'll double check. Since I used 4 drives in my RAID5 I used up all the SATAII connectors and have nothing to use to expand anyway so 'expansion' was a low priority item for me.

Even if it didn't you should be able to replace drives one at a time using larger drives and effectively 'grow' the array. I've neither tried this nor know if it actually works.

jmwhopper Wrote:Would it make any difference to keep the RAID5 on a separate server PC or would it be quite happy attached to a media PC with a standalone HDD for the OS?

Like I said, I have a RAID1 (on the JMicron chipset) which contains my OS and programs. The RAID5 (on the Intel chipset) contains all the data. I have both of these installed in my primary box (case is a ThermalTake Armor Jr).

This case is PERFECT for this application and there's even room for additional drives. Matter of fact, I do have a ThermalTake Armor (larger size than the Jr.) available. Both are the same basic design just the larger case was too tall for my cabinet.
Researching the options I've come across the Netgear ReadyNAS NV.

It's a NAS, with gigabit ethernet which allows 4 SATA II drives to be installed. But the best thing is a technology call X-RAID which allows you to add additional HDD's or increase the size of the HDD's allowing future proofing of the array without having to restore it from scratch using backups. Increasing the size of a single disk is only useful when all the disks are that size, but if the prices of +1tb discs are affordable in the near future then I can start adding these without having to rebuild the entire array.

I figure on getting this with 2x 1TB samsung spinpoint drives initially which will give me 1tb storage and the other 1tb for redundancy. Then I can add one or two more drives in the future to give up to 3TB storage like a RAID5 config (or larger drives when the are available and affordable).

What transfer speed is needed to stream HD movies smoothly? This NAS goes to about 30mb/sec on their test machine.

So, anyone got one of these or researched it as well?

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