[Nottingham] Big biiig problem regarding IDE-RAID

Robert Davies nottingham at mailman.lug.org.uk
Tue Jul 15 15:29:00 2003


On Tuesday 15 Jul 2003 14:24, Graeme Fowler wrote:
> On Tue, 15 Jul 2003, Rob Andrews wrote:

> This is in an effort to stop using stupidly expensive (read: 3000 quid
> plus) systems where sub-1000 quid systems will do. Without giving too much
> away to the LUG as a whole, with disk sizes growing and prices falling,
> large capacity IDE drives have just become a far more attractive
> proposition.

There's some nice-ish IDE RAID enclosures with SCSI interfaces, with serial 
ATA coming hot swap IDE is going to be made simpler, so costs should fall yet 
more.  I would be very tempted to look into using 2 IDE enclosures with 
striped disks run off seperate SCSI cards.  That way you have complete I/O 
redundancy, can use simple software mirroring, and let the IDE enclosure 
worry about the striping, rather than access the area as a JBOD.

What you're thinking of is very very doable with software RAID.  I looked into 
it a few years back, though at time the 240GB plus capacity the project  
required wasn't feasible.  Working it out with quality components a RAID 
Network File server using ECC DDRAM ... something similar to system I've 
recently put together  :

MSI K7D Master LAN                                 116
Crucial PC2100 DDR ECC Reg 512MB    61
AMD Athlon MP2000+                                 76  (allows SMP upg.)
Decent Cooler                                               12
Basic AGP card                                             25
IDE ATA-100 Controller (no frills)                 30
Case + P/S                                                   100
Round ATA-133 cables 4 @ 2.75                11
IDE Disks 7,200 80GB  4 @  68                 272
D-Link 4 port NIC                                          145

Total  ex VAT                                                848

Not bad for 160 GB capacity RAID-10 storage and 5 ethernet ports  :)
Of course if ECC not necessary, then you can save another 75 or so, using an 
Nforce2 with onboard graphics, possibly another 100 using std single port 
NICs and filling more PCI slots.

What you loose though is hot swap and other high availability features, but 2 
of those still comes out a lot cheaper than the trad hardware based 
solutions.

Rob