As mentioned in my previous post I built myself a 2TB storage array.
Grabbed my old AMD 6000+ pc that was lying around, with 2GB of pretty sweet high speed RAM, threw in the spare 8600GT that was in the cupboard. For the drives I took 3 of the 750GB drives out of my desktop and bought two more.
So the box has 5 x 750gb drives in it configured in RAID 5. It gives me about 1.9TB after formating it to EXT3.
I had originally wanted to setup it up with XFS, but the original Fedora installation I tried failed miserably. Both Fedora 9 and 10 didn’t work all that well. Even tried Centos at one point, but got stuck with some hardware problems. Basically CentOS 5 doesn’t detect the Jmicron based SATA controller I put in it. Eventually went with Ubuntu 8.10. Decided to use ext3 as Ubuntu doesn’t seem to have great support for XFS. My main for trying the XFS route, is it’s very easy to expand an XFS filesystem, if you make use of LVM. Far easier than EXT3. In the future i may want to increase the size of the array. EXT3 can be a pain in that regard, having had to expand a EXT3 2TB partition to 3TB before. I’ve also connected the VGA port to my HDTV, which I use as the screen. This lets me play movies off it, which is great.
So it doubles up as a very simple media pc and my storage system. It’s also shared via NFS and samba, so my windows and linux pc’s can access.
My reasoning behind it was, I was forever plagued with issues accessing my files. When I was in Ubuntu, if was a pain to access files under Windows and vice versa. But storing everything in one place and sharing it via Samba and NFS helps.
It also lets my brother dump any movies, series or games he has on there, so we keep what we have in sync.
Finally it makes a great backup. If I loose my drives, my brother has pretty much got everything I have and if his drives fail, he’s got it copied on my raid array. I’ve also found taking the extra drives out my desktop PC has helped reduce the heat and noise it was producing, which is great.
The only issue I’ve found with the storage array is cooling. 5 drives tend to heat it up a bit. I’ve put a couple extra fans in to help. I’ve also enabled the CPU throttling on the box, so when it’s not busy it only runs at 1ghz. Saves electricity and pumps out less heat.
I think I need to get hold of a better case, as the one it is in at the moment is a bit small.
Thought it was a good project to post about though