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I'm looking to buy somewhere around 10TB of physical storage for personal use. Ideally it would come in the form of a single HDD array or network storage. I don't have any experience with RAID, but it looks like a RAID 1 setup would give me the redundancy that I want. I found an HDD enclosure on Newegg that looks like it might work for me. What are some of my other options for managing this much storage (with redundancy in case of disk failure)?

edit 1: By suggestion, I will be looking for a RAID 5 solution rather than RAID 1. It will give me the redundancy that I need using less drives.

I feel that I should clear up exactly what I'm looking for:

  • 8+TB of storage space (preferably in one array)
  • Redundancy in case of disk failure
  • Used for backups and long-term (regularly accessed) storage
  • Low(ish) price: This is for personal use, so I'd rather not pay for any extra features.
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closed as off-topic by DragonLord, DavidPostill, fixer1234, mdpc, Mokubai Jan 24 at 14:52

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  • "Questions seeking for hardware shopping recommendations are off-topic because they are often relevant only to the question author at the time the question was asked and tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead of asking what to buy, try asking how to find out what suits your needs." – DragonLord, DavidPostill, fixer1234, mdpc, Mokubai
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1  
Have you considered cloud services such as Amazon S3 – good option IMHO if you mainly need reliable storage and don't mind accessing it over network. Whatever you do, don't get something like what I got: superuser.com/questions/108596/…; RAID1 doesn't keep you warm when something else breaks and it's difficult to even access the disks. –  Jonik Feb 18 '10 at 17:43
    
Online storage is out of the question for me. My internet wouldn't be fast enough to pull down the data as fast as I'd need it, and I can't guarantee that I'll have internet access when I need the data. Thanks for the tips on Maxtor Shared Storage, but I wasn't even considering any solutions where I don't have full control and access to the disks. –  sgtFloyd Feb 18 '10 at 18:07
    
An NAS—essentially a networked storage server—is precisely what you need. –  DragonLord Jan 24 at 1:41

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You need a NAS. Check the QNAP ones, the ones with 6 or 8 disk bays should do the trick for you.

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RAID1 requires twice the capacity. You'd better go with RAID5: 5 x 2 Tb disks + 1 x 1 Tb for parity check.

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Thanks for the suggestion on RAID 5. It certainly fits my needs better than RAID 1. The QNAP servers do what I'm looking for, but they come with many more features than I need (along with a higher price tag). –  sgtFloyd Feb 18 '10 at 18:27
    
Accepting this answer since it's the closes to what I'm looking for, even though the price if out of my range at the moment. –  sgtFloyd Mar 4 '10 at 15:17

You're looking for a DroboPro, made by Data Robotics Inc. It uses BeyondRAID, a RAID implementation.

DroboPro

The DroboPro accepts up to 8 SATA hard disks for up to 16TB of storage at the time of this writing.

The DroboPro has three interface options:

iSCSI (utilizes Gigabit Ethernet)
FireWire 800
Hi-Speed USB 2.0

The DroboPro can be rack mounted, but it fits nicely on a desk, as it measures 12.17" x 5.46" x 14.1".

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How about a barebone server with 5 HDD's and then putting some FreeNAS/-BSD and ZFS on top of that? Don't know how that'll cope with this setup, since the 5th HDD isn't included in the built in RAID 5 of the device. Seems the price jumps quite a bit after you want more than 4 HDD in a single array. The built in snapshot's are nice with ZFS also, of course. This is what I've been appreciating the most after some small scale experiments.

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Granted this will only go to 8Gb, but I have a friend that has been using two of them for almost a year with speed approaching that of his internal SCSI drives. I thought he said it supported RAID. Though he uses his for storage and backup so uses JBOD. External SATA enclosure.

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(I assume you mean 8TB, not Gb) This is the same idea as the Rosewill enclosure I posted in my original post, only it holds one less drive and costs $100 more. Using an array like that for backup and not implementing a redundant RAID seems risky, since you would lose all you data if just one of the drives died. –  sgtFloyd Feb 18 '10 at 18:11
    
Oops, yes TB and while it does do RAID that isn't what he needs because of the individual situation (long term safety and max space following the "RAID is not backup" paradigm). My main point was just to reinforce the general concept similar to what you found. More of a "you are on the right track already", not realizing from the initial post that it also dealt with which RAID to pick, sorry. –  Dennis Feb 19 '10 at 13:57
    
And I just remembered, re the price, he really wanted the swappable front access for fast drive switching since he fills and switches drives every few days. –  Dennis Feb 19 '10 at 14:42
    
He switches drives every few days? With a JBOD configuration he'd have to swap out all the drives every few days. Or does he have each one recognised as a singular drive and swap each one out. I'm not sure i understand your last comment. –  Joe Taylor Feb 23 '10 at 14:20
    
Sorry for the confusion, I was using the JBOD definition in the sense of completely independent disks and not the concatenation or span definition en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-RAID_drive_architectures. The original question was what are my options, I just meant to backup up the SATA enclosure as a good option, and offer a "hey I've seen it done and it's great" encouragement. The questioner said my option was more expensive and I just pointed out that it had a particular option that made it well worth the price in the context it was used. Heavy production, mirroring, removal to off-site. –  Dennis Feb 24 '10 at 13:36

I have a Thecus N7700 and I've been quite happy with it. It's 7-bay, and I currently have it running with 4 2 TB drives in RAID-5, which give me 6 TB usable space.

It supports all the buzzwords: iSCSI, Gig-E, Link Aggregation, RAID Migration, sharing external USB drives and printers, Status LCD etc... It also supports a boatload of raid options and filesystems (I'm using XFS, personally).

Probably the biggest advantage is that it's only $900. You're not going to do much better than that for a dedicated NAS. Also, if you like to hack on linux, you can add modules to give you SSH access (It's runs busybox).

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