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Old 09-26-2013, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,208 posts, read 18,572,827 times
Reputation: 8067

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I'm not sure what the best options are for external storage systems these days. I could go with one of the big names (Dell, HP, etc) and spend a small fortune, but I know that there must be some cheaper options that are both reliable and fast.

What I need it to do:
  • Hardware RAID 1 and/or 5. (No fakeraid!)
  • Rack mount (1-2U [I could go to 4 if the price was right - like REALLY right])
  • Be able to partition part of it for use as a Windows system drive and part for use with Linux via NFS.
  • eSATA connection for the Windows machine
  • Network connection for the rest of the machines

What I don't need is a bazillion drives. Our storage needs aren't that massive, and five drives would be more than plenty. I'd like to keep it to three for RAID 5, or five if I have to use separate arrays for Windows & Linux (3 drives for Windows/RAID 5 and 2 drives for Linux/mirror). So in that case, it would naturally have to support multiple arrays. Also, RAID 5 isn't a necessity - mirroring would be ok for the Win box, too.

I've also never messed with eSATA, much less as a system drive. I've done external SCSI RAID boxes as system drives on Windows and Solaris, but not eSATA. Is the performance going to be there for a Windows server that primarily does file serving duty? Will Windows see it just as it sees an internal drive?

I'm looking for specific product suggestions. If you have experience with any of the offerings in this genre, please chime in. Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:25 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,897,371 times
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This is a pretty good write-up: A beginner’s guide to advanced storage | The Wirecutter
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:42 PM
 
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I use Netgear ReadyNAS. They only have 1 rack mount model to my knowledge. They don't have eSATA but they do have iSCSI connections that work with Windows (You can have more than one iSCSI connection).

I'm curious to know why you would use eSATA for Windows on a network connected device. It seems like an odd use-case to me.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,208 posts, read 18,572,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
I'm curious to know why you would use eSATA for Windows on a network connected device. It seems like an odd use-case to me.
I was looking to kill two birds with one storage device. I wanted something that would function as the only storage device for the Win server, so it would have to work as fast and reliably as an internal drive, but I also wanted something networked that I could use for NFS.

I think I'm going to go the easy route, though. I'm configuring a system right now on a site I've bought a couple of web servers from. I picked a system with two hot swappable drive bays, so that will solve the Windows problem, and for Linux, I'll just keep using the slow, old NAS I'm currently using (DLink DNS-321).
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:39 PM
 
24,497 posts, read 36,152,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagger View Post
I was looking to kill two birds with one storage device. I wanted something that would function as the only storage device for the Win server, so it would have to work as fast and reliably as an internal drive, but I also wanted something networked that I could use for NFS.
You can do that with iSCSI. It's seen as an internal drive to the Windows machine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by swagger View Post

I think I'm going to go the easy route, though. I'm configuring a system right now on a site I've bought a couple of web servers from. I picked a system with two hot swappable drive bays, so that will solve the Windows problem, and for Linux, I'll just keep using the slow, old NAS I'm currently using (DLink DNS-321).
Cool.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,208 posts, read 18,572,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
You can do that with iSCSI. It's seen as an internal drive to the Windows machine.
That's what I thought eSATA was supposed to do, but I never really looked into it.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:20 PM
 
24,497 posts, read 36,152,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagger View Post
That's what I thought eSATA was supposed to do, but I never really looked into it.
eSATA is external SATA. It's technologically identical to SATA but it requires a physical eSATA connection from the storage device to the Windows computer. iSCSI is SCSI/IP so you can use your network (which ideally would be gigabit) and don't need an additional connection. iSCSI is generally used in datacenters for servers. eSATA is intended for consumer use but never really took off.

Last edited by NJBest; 09-27-2013 at 12:25 AM.. Reason: fixed typo
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,208 posts, read 18,572,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
eSATA is external SATA. It's technologically identical to SATA but it requires a physical eSATA connection from the storage device to the Windows computer. iSCSI is SCSI/IP so you can use your network (which ideally would bit gigabit) and don't need an additional connection. iSCSI is generally used in datacenters for servers. eSATA is intended for consumer use but never really took off.
Whoa. You get out of the biz for a few years and look at what happens...

I might look at iSCSI. Thanks for the direction.


Sent from my SCH-R530C using Tapatalk 2
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:29 AM
 
24,497 posts, read 36,152,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagger View Post
Whoa. You get out of the biz for a few years and look at what happens...

I might look at iSCSI. Thanks for the direction.


Sent from my SCH-R530C using Tapatalk 2
Sure. Let is know what you end up with.

I've been using iSCSI since 2007 and have poweredge servers running Windows booting off of it. I originally had a Linux file server but upgraded to the Netgear ReadyNAS (I think in 2009). There might be better ways now so it will be interesting to see what others chime in with.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,369,075 times
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I use a QNAP TS 509 Pro. Has a good interface screen to rebuild the array when one drive goes down. But getting reliable drives is a problem. One drive went bad and I put a new one in but another drive kept crashing the array rebuild. So I had to replace two bad drives.

QNAP, Inc. - Network Attached Storage (NAS) - Products - Products - Storage
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