6-8 port NAS

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Transporteur, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi there,
    due to rising costs for electricity I would like to give up my old dual XEON storage server. It currently runs Server2003 and does nothing as serving my data in the network.
    It has a 8 drive Raid6 in it and consumes just too much power.

    I really would like to replace that thing with a current generation NAS system.

    Here are my requirements:
    -High performance via Gigabit Ethernet (around 100MB/s)
    -6-8 drive ports (3.5")
    -Dual Ethernet
    -iSCSI target
    -Raid6

    eSata would be nice, but it's not a must. Same applies for the option to create separate arrays within the same system. It does not have to work with Timemachine, but it should offer AFP.

    I had a quick look at the Thecus N7700, which is pretty fast, but I'm not sure how reliable that thing is as it is dramatically cheaper than comparable products from QNAP or Netgear.

    Any advice what to buy? My price limit is about 1000€ (~1500$) without drives of course.
     
  2. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #2
    how much total storage?

    a RAID 6? could you go with less drives and a RAID 5?
     
  3. Transporteur thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I don't know yet how much storage I need, but the more the better. Due to the extremely high prices of the 2TB RE drives, my first intention was to put some of my 500GB RE drives in the system and add another array of bigger disks when the prices of 2TB drives come down.
    That's why the system needs to support more than one array.

    Once the NAS is filled with identical drives (probably 2TB drives) I'd really like to set it up as a Raid6, therefore it should offer me as much drive bays as possible for that price. 6 is really the minimum, that would keep me 4 bays for storage, respectively 8TB in case of 2TB drives.
     
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #4
    Have a look at the new drobo pro. It meets and exceeds your needs.
     
  5. Transporteur thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I always wanted a Drobo because it's so simple to upgrade the array size, but it's a little too expensive for me.
    Sells for about 1300€ here in Europe. :(
     
  6. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island
  7. milton.sheaf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    #7
    If you actually are after high performance, find something that doesn't use ethernet and tcp/ip as an interconnect. That's probably the slowest and worst possible interconnect there is for bulk data transfer. Firewire 800 will perform way WAY better than Gigabit ethernet in every possible metric.
     
  8. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #8
    I second the readynas pro suggestion. No need to add on an ethernet module like the drobo, it's essentially as easy to grow the array as is the drobo, and it supports time machine and mac protocols very well.
     
  9. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    I would have suggested the DroboElite, but unless you are running FibreChannel, you won't be getting 100MB/s. What's your budget?

    And lose dual failure redundancy?
     
  10. Transporteur thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Firewire 800 levels off at about 70-80MB/s. Gigabit ethernet is capable of 125MB/s in theory, good NAS boxes make almost 115-120MB/s via iSCSI.

    Here is a test of the Thecus N7700 and the Netgear ReadyNas Pro. Both offer the performance I want.
    -> http://www.storagereviews.co.uk/?p=36


    The Netgear ReadyNas Pro is a really nice machine, but I would need the Business edition, which supports Netgears xRaid and iSCSI target mode.
    I could not find a ReadyNas Pro Business edition without hard drives yet. Is there a way to get that system without drives?


    @ alphaod
    Both the Drobo Elite and the Drobo Pro are too expensive for me. The Europe prices are pretty high for that things.
    My budget is about 1000€ (1500$).
     
  11. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #11
    If I recall, the readynas pro without drives is called the "pioneer edition."
     
  12. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #12
    You could build your own NAS and use lower energy parts. Since you require RAID 6 and at least 6 SATA ports you need a controller card which is rather pricey.

    I know these are U.S. prices but given how much cheaper they are to the ReadyNAS pro business edition it still seems a good deal and would likely translate to the same percentage savings in Europe.

    AZZA Solano 1000 Computer Case (lots of 3.5" drive bays and cooling fans)
    OCZ Z Series PSU 650W (80 Plus Silver certified, so great energy efficiency)
    2GB DDR2 RAM (You could likely get away with less but the price difference is negligible)
    Foxcon ELA LGA 775 Motherboard (3x PCI-e x16 for adding more RAID cards or Intel Lightpeak for quick network connections when it is released, also RAID 5 support for your interim array)
    Intel Celeron 430 CPU (only uses 35W and can likely drop slightly lower if you underclock it and drop the voltages, it is only a single core but that is plenty for a simple NAS)
    Areca ARC-1220 PCI-e x8 RAID Controller (RAID 6, 8 SATA II Ports, fast PCI-e x8 connection, 256MB ECC Memory onboard)

    For your OS you could just reuse your Windows Server 2003 license or use FreeNAS which on some searching should be compatible. Since you mention RAID 6 you may consider a higher end dual powersupply for greater redundancy. Though I imagine if you where that concerned you would stick with all server parts.

    One caveat on the RAID card is that for RAID 6 it states "if RAID 6 engine supported". Which I don't know if this means driver support for the Intel IOP333 processor the controller uses in which case you should be fine with Win Server 2003, though more investigating would be needed for FreeNAS.

    From further reading it seems that the Areca ARC-1210/1220/1230/1260 are advertised on the same fliers. Since the ARC-1210 does not support RAID 6 the statement likely is so that people do not get confused and think that the 1210 does support RAID 6. Though they could have been clearer by saying "ARC-1210 excluded for RAID 6 support". I would contact Areca to find out though. What seems to further support this position is that other companies use the same Intel IOP333 in their cards and do not mention the disclaimer.
     
  13. milton.sheaf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    #13
    LOL! Read the numbers again:

    Average Write Throughput : 65.5 MB/sec
    Average Read Throughput : 79.2 MB/sec

    You can forget about the peak numbers, it's the average numbers you want. Peak numbers are cache bursts. And both of those average numbers are easily attainable with Firewire 800. You will never ever see 125 MB/s sustained over ethernet. Period. And notice how they failed to mention any latency numbers? That's because latency of iSCSI really really sucks. It sucks so much, *no* database vendors (Oracle, etc.) will support running their database product on an iSCSI LUN. It has nothing to do with throughput - it's the latency that's so horrible.

    Heck, you won't even see 125 MB/s sustained over SATA I, since it uses 8/10b encoding which yields only 120 MB/s max theoretical.

    Look at something like this instead: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/RAID/Desktop/
     
  14. Transporteur thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    I really appreciate your input, but the average numbers for iSCSI are 86 and 97MB/s, which is more than FW800 can deliver.

    Anyway, I've got both FW800 Raid enclosures and eSata boxes directly attached to my MacPro, but I need a network storage, that's why I asked for a NAS.

    @velocityG4
    Thanks for the effort, but except for the processor, that machine is pretty much what I have right now and I really want to simplify my setup.
    Something that I can attach to my switch and I'm done.


    I just wrote a mail to Netgear about their ReadyNas, cause from what I've seen in several online stores, the Business Edition is not available without drives.
     
  15. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island
    #15
    On Ebay

    There are a few other sellers out there. I just checked eaegis, but they don't seem to sell them anymore???


    MNMSystems

    The Pro business editions don't come diskless by default, so you need to make sure your NOT getting the pioneer edition, since they disable a few things (iSCSI, ...). Also the warranty is 5 years on the pro business and only 3 on the pioneer edition.

    I see MNMSystems does pull the disks for you, but you might just get a better deal on a two disk system. You need to search around and weigh the costs.

    For instance, you can get the pro business edition w/ 3 500gb drives here

    notebooks for less for not much more than the bare drive unit costs. A good way to start without blowing up your budget. You can also swap them out with your old NAS and sell it.

    You should also check the disk compatibility on Netgears website and make sure the disks you had in mind will work.
     

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