In this thread I've got most valuable tips regarding the home RAID solution options as well as their pros and cons:

RAID for home use

I've figured out for myself a few important points (the question will follow):

  1. Software RAID (in mirroring mode) would serve better then hardware RAID, so that a controller will never go away and I will be able to empower hard drives from different vendors.

  2. Since RAID is not backup, I will be able to afford another hard drive for a backup (as almost a bulletproof solution, geographical backup might be applied at any stage via proper service providers).

So, considering I will have one (simple) computer that will be solely dedicated to the issues above (and maybe some FTP etc, but that's a very side issue to me), here are my questions:

  1. Any kind of preferred motherboard vendors please? (I know that the answers might be very subjective)

  2. Any specific HD vendors that are considered more reliable that the others please? (subjective answers are welcomed as well, still there might be guidelines such as 5400 rpm disks are generally more reliable then 7200 etc).

  3. Any kind of preferred software RAID (OS/Linux flavor) or there is only one driver for Linux distributions that makes all the job? The software solution might be freeware as well as commercial software (as long as the price is affordable).

  4. Any kind of preferred software Backup (cron job - will it be enough?) as well as incremental backup (very optional, still worth to consider). Again, free/commercial software recommendations will be welcomed.

  5. (and most important question): any objections or significant drawbacks to the solution I've came up with? Any other related tips that worth to know, please?

  • 1
    ASUS, Samsung, mdadm, rsync... for data you cannot replace like family photos I would suggest you also use cloud storage like jungledisk. – Riguez May 18 '11 at 18:18
  • Sounds like a buying advise being requested. – Dave M May 18 '11 at 18:22
  • @Dave: Only vendor-related (if appropriate) request had been made. Mostly to understand if any vendor can make it or only a group of vendors and I need to look in the small letters in the motherboard/HD description. If something should be clarified - just tell. If anything is not appropriate - I'll fix it. Thanks. – BreakPhreak May 18 '11 at 18:29

1) @Linker3000's suggestion in the previous thread is where I would point you at if you're looking at Homebrew solutions. That HP ProLiant Miniserver is energy efficient, powerful, and with 4 drives internal plus eSATA and USB, you will have plenty of storage.

2) Hard drives have normalized for me at least, in recent years. I've had everybody's disks fail, but I have had incredible luck (knock on wood) with Samsung for the most recent batch in my file server. I have two 750s that are due to be replaced this fall with a single 2TB drive.

3) Ubuntu Server has been a staple of my home network for 5 years now. Its stable, sees frequent updates, and isn't a nightmare to manage.

4) My daily cron job backup in one line:

rsync -rvogtb --delete --backup-dir=/media/disk0/backup /media/disk0/storage/ pollux:/media/disk0/storage/ >> /var/log/rsynctopollux.log

5) I use a homebrew file server with a cacophony of drives, and have been very happy with the solution. I'm looking heavily at prebuilt NASes purely to simplify things even more and make for less maintenance and management, plus I can't build boxes that are as small, energy efficient, quiet, and reliable as they are. My only hurdle now is isolating all the OTHER things that box does and trying to find a NAS solution with an embedded OS that will give me similar functionality.

  • Thanks again! I've looked at Drobo AND Proliant prices in Israel (I live here) - they are kinda twice more expensive then a simple Linux computer with 3 2Tb drives (2 for RAID and one for backup). So I think I'll get any kind of motherboard with Ubuntu (thanks), software RAID and a backup (rsync can do incremental backup as well if I remember well). I'll consider Samsung drives probably, packed in a small and probably relatively silent box. – BreakPhreak May 18 '11 at 19:30

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