Advice, replacing Drobo Budget £3000

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by OmarM, May 7, 2008.

  1. OmarM macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #1
    Hello People,

    So the current place I am staying is kind of warm, well warm enough for my Drobo storage system to shut off due to overheating, even pointing a really good fan at it made no difference. It just does not like anything remotely warm :-|

    So I have decided to do two things, first to buy the NAS Drobo add-on and stick the Drobo somewhere colder, my current house is pre-cabled with CAT6.

    Now on the main thing, I have set myself an initial budget of £3000 but I will up it to £3500 is it worth the extra outlay. I am looking for a 4Tb system with a RAID system that actually works. Connection would be via USB or anything else apart from fiber...(got my money ready for g-tech with 4Gb FC when I get my mac pro later this year).

    So few things, company must be based in UK...er...that's it.

    I initially looked at the Netgear Ready NAS box but I need something with a decent active cooling system. Ah...most importantly...must be MAC and Win friendly :)

    I made my own PCs, etc so I can easily make things work together buy just and case and doing it all manually...ah...finally most important thing...must have four bays or more...4Tb kind of gives it away but just wanted to be clear on that.

    Thank you very much for ur help :)

    .OM.
     
  2. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #2
    For that much you could build your own kick ass NAS.

    It really is not that hard to do if you don't mind doing a little research to figure out exactly what you need. If your only going to be using this as a NAS then i would suggest doing some reading on unRaid. It is what i will be using to build my NAS. Some of key things to look for if your going to use unRaid is compatibility with the parts (especially motherboard, and raid card if you decide to get one).
     
  3. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #3
    For your own sake, ditch the idea about using USB.

    Needless to say, it will be less than optimal.
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    I can build you somthing really nice for that price:

    Active Cooling
    Mac and Windows friendly
    Support with 8 drives, additional drives can be added
    Raid 0, Raid 1, Raid 5, Raid 6
    Gigabit Ethernet
    Hot swappable SATA drive for off site backup
     
  5. OmarM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Consultant...no offence but if I was going to build one I'd do it myself...I've built phase cool systems from scratch and servers...doubt this would be harder :-| but thank u very much for the offer.

    I really prefer the off shelf stuff right unless the performance is going to be that damn good.

    My friend works for telecomms company, ft employee and he told me after I posted the msg that he could get me at least 30% of anything in the apple store, just tell him what I wanted and he'd order it over the companies intranet...he bought his Mac Pro like that with np.

    I really dont want to build a little tower like a PC, want something like a Drobo type...a box...plug in ur HDDs and that's it.

    I really need simplicity at the moment but if there are articles on how good DIY version then I'd totally consider it.

    Thank u everyone so far...please keep the comments coming, plan to place an order for something this weekend :-|
     
  6. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #6
    The problem with most off the shelf NAS boxes is that the network performance SUCKS. Since you say the house you are in is wired i would look for something that is networked via Ethernet. With the proper configuration and setup you can have a box that is as easy to use, add hard drives too, and manage as a Drobo or off the shelf unit.

    I am leaving work right now, but when i get home i will outline the piece parts that you would need to build a decent NAS. It will usually come in under $500 not including HD's
     
  7. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #8
    OK, first i will point you to this thread on AVS forum that talks about building a HD HTPC and a media server to go with it.

    you can read through this lengthy thread also to get an idea on a how to do a high end server. If you sign up on avs forum and just do a search in the HTPC section you will find many threads on the subject.

    As for something i just put together really quickly (using links from newegg.com for ease):

    Case:
    Linkworld 50201-8801F+P50. A nice case that comes with a power supply and can be used to store a lot of HD's. Might need some modifications on the back of the case to get stuff to work but i think it should be worth it. You can always pick a different case also, but i figured i would add one for completeness sake.

    Motherboard:
    ABIT AB9 Pro. The main reason for this board is the 9 SATA ports. Keeps you from having to buy SATA PCI cards for a while.

    Processor:
    Intel Pentium E2160 Allendale
    . Nice dual core processor that will work great in a server, and it is very overclockable.

    Ram:
    SUPER TALENT 2GB . Cheap ram that will work for this job.

    Adapters:
    Rosewill 6" Molex 4pin Male to Two 15pin SATA. Going to need these to convert the molex power connectors to SATA ones, an this way you get 2 for one.

    Now, the extras:
    COOLER MASTER STB-3T4-E3-GP 4-in-3. These are not "hot swappable" but they will allow you to add more HD's in (in your case up to 12 using three of these).
    OR
    ICY DOCK MB455SPF-B Multi-Bay. These are considerable more expensive. They are more of a true backplane though and will allow you to fit 5 HD's in 3 DVD drive size slots. If it was me i would probably use these and just buy them as you need them. But it is up to you as to whether or not you consider the price verses easy of use.



    If you get everything outlined here with the CoolerMaster HD's racks the total is about $350
    If you get everything outlined here with the ICY Dock HD's racks the total is about $610.

    Obviously this is a big difference but i also assumed that you would buy all three ICY Dock racks at one time.

    As far as software and stuff goes i will leave that up to you as it can be a personal preference thing. like i said earlier i would look into unRaid as it is fairly easy to set up and get running and a drive can just be added to the computer when needed. Another good thing about unRaid is that drives of any size can be mixed and match, the only restriction being that the parity drive (if you choose to have one) must be at least as big as the biggest disc.

    Well, thats all I feel like typing for now. If you have any questions feel free to ask
     
  8. OmarM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #9
    Prostuff...thank u for the awesome post. Did some of my own digging around while at work. I think I will be going down the unRAID way after all :p

    So got my shopping parts together apart from case:

    Case: Looking for the right one and that can fit the PSU
    CPU: Most likely a Intel DC for around £100-140
    PSU: Enermax 1Kw PSU (enough to power it all)
    Mobo: ASUS most likely (Abit never liked me)
    RAM: 2 or 4GB Corsair DDR2
    HDDs: 10x 1Tb Samsung F1 SpinPoints
    Cooling: Thermalright 120 Extreme with 2x 120mm fans in Push/Pull
    NICs:
    1x KillerNic
    2x FiberChannel Controller @ 4Gbps each


    I am nowhere near spending my budget. Looking at this I might not need to.

    Ah well...case is the main sticking point I dont want something big but I need multiple 120mm fans inside the case via front/back and anywhere also HDDs must have 120mm fan dragging air past the HDDs, much like the coolermaster stacker does (the original 11 bays one is my fave case but its like HUGE).

    Thank u very much people for all the help so far.

    .OM.
     
  9. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #10
    Of note, if you go with unRaid it will not (at least with the current builds) recognize a DC processor or more then 1 GB of ram. This is not a huge concern as the file serving itself is not a very intensive task. Your better off to get a cheap DC and overclock it. And there is really no point in going with more then 2GB of ram. Also. Make sure you do your reading on unRaid as it has some limited compatibility, so just make sure everything works before you buy!!

    Good luck and ask if you have any questions
     
  10. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a

    ButtUglyJeff

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    #11
    Your Drobo will do well on eBay.....................

    Is there a reason you don't want to try a Droboshare?
     
  11. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #12
    I am sure he could probably do that but when what it really comes right down to it the Drobo is not nearly as expandable as a homebuilt NAS.

    The Drobo is EXTREMELY easy to use, but with a little research and time you can do almost the exact same thing with normal old computer parts. The main benefit of using normal parts is that you can expand the homebuilt NAS much more.
     
  12. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a

    ButtUglyJeff

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    #13
    I fully understand that, and I fully understand that other NAS solutions are definately faster, in terms of data movement speeds. But an investment has been already made in a Drobo and drives. It seems a little extreme to skip trying the NAS add on, and go right to a whole new setup.

    But, like I said, your Drobo will do well on eBay...............
     
  13. OmarM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #14
    Hello People,

    I am never going to sell my drobo...I love it too much. Its simply a heat thing. The thing is that I never buy the same again. Meaning once the drobo dies I wont get another one unless its a new model or something.

    As for the custNas thing. While unRAID is nice, I think I need an OS built do what I want, I am leaning towards Linux distro but then the drivers come into play sometimes. I think win2003 server, then I will the PC/NAS thing my domain controller, etc and use that as a central storage server.

    I am not going to be using any on-board RAID as I never trusted them, call it personal preference. If I get a mobo with 3x PCIe slots and at least 1x PCIe at 1x or 4x then I could stick in a 8600GT in 1st 16e, Fiber in the 2nd 16e and for the 3rd one a quad 1Gbps NIC and for the PCI an killer NIC card as I need the QOS features it offers. For case I going for a coolermaster most likely.

    I am going to spend tonight hammering out everything I need.

    One thing I wanted to ask people, where is a good on-line place to buy network gear like Fiber NICs, etc in the UK?

    Oh and pro...I love u soooooo much...that forum was / is awesome...ah...u are totally awesome :)
     

Share This Page