Hi all, I am trying to figure out how to build my own DAS. I say DAS instead of NAS, because I already have a Mac mini server that acts as a file server, but my storage situation there is messy. Currently attached to my Mac mini server: - WD MyBook Thunderbolt Duo (2 x 3TB disks, JBOD) - WD MyBook FW 800 3TB disk - 2 x 1 TB USB2.0 disks Currently, the first 3TB disk in the WD Thunderbolt Duo is my media drive. The data there is replicated by Carbon Copy Cloner (a rsync front-end) to the second 3TB disk, and also to the FW800 disk, which gives me two complete copies of my media. I'm rapidly filling up the 3TB disk, so I want to upgrade to something more spacious. I'm paranoid about data loss, so I want to upgrade to something that will give me at least 1 full backup of my data. I'm interested in a RAID5 or RAID6 setup, but duplicated. My thoughts were: 2 x RAID5 setups - Being RAID5, if one disk fails in the array then the array can be repaired. In the off-chance that the RAID5 array fails completely, then I'd have a whole backup of the array in a second RAID5 array. 2 x RAID6 setups - The same logic as above, but with the dual disk redundancy that gives me an extra layer of security, which decreases the chance that I'd ever have to actually depend upon the second RAID6 setup. I want about 12 TB of storage. (Note: I am aware of things like CrashPlan, but they only allow you to seed a single 1TB drive, and my internet service caps at 220 GB / month, which means it'd take me literally years of utilizing all my bandwitch to upload multiple terrabytes of media.) I've read lots of wonderfully written articles about setting up these types of file servers with a Linux box. However, I'm interested in taking a different approach. I already own a wonderful Mac mini that is fast, and it has a Thunderbolt port. My hope is to build a pair of DAS that can be built into a rack mounted case, and connected directly to the Mac mini via a Thunderbolt port accessory. With that, I thought of two different ways I could add lots of storage: 1. Lacie eSATA Hub - http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10574 - It uses the Thunderbolt port to allow two eSATA connections to your Mac. It does *not* support port multiplication. I don't know enough about eSATA, etc, to know what this is exactly capable of. I believe that the only way to have multiple disks present themselves to the eSATA hub as a single disk is if they are in a RAID. So my belief was that I could simply buy a case, put in X number of disks, and utilize a RAID card to allow them to present themselves as a single eSATA drive. However, I can't imagine how this would work because I would believe that a RAID card would need to be connected to a motherboard, or somehow else powered, and that seems like it could get very difficult very quickly. Furthermore, the case would need a power supply for the disks, and I can't imagine that the power supply would work without a motherboard. ? I have seen pre-built solutions, for example, this one from OWC: ( http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/RAID/Rack_Mount/FireWire_USB3_eSATA_1U ) It has a built in port multiplier, eSATA, and 12TB is $1200. And in essence, this is what I'm looking to build, a self-contained RAID storage device that presents itself as a single eSATA device. But this device is cheap, and that worries me. A comparable solution is offered from SonnetTech ( http://store1.sonnettech.com/product_info.php?cPath=100_120&products_id=376 ), and is $2000. With that pre-built device, I could get 2 x 12TB units for $2400, plus the Lacie eSATA hub for $200, totalling $2600 for 24TB of rack-mounted storage. Can it be done cheaper? 2. My other thought utilizes a Thunderbolt accessory from SonnetTech. They make something called the Echo Express PCIe Expansion Chassis, which allows you to use PCIe cards in a small box that is connected to your computer via Thunderbolt. ( http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echoexpresschassis.html ) This is more expensive than the Lacie hub, at $600 or $800 for 1 or 2 slots, respectively. With this device, I could add a RAID card (expensive?) or a card with multiple eSATA ports. My thought was that I could buy a rackmount server case, put the disks in, and wire them to the RAID controller card, and I'd actually just leave this SonnetTech box in the server chassis (with no motherboard, seems like there'd be a lot of room), and then it would be a single Thunderbolt cable running from the Mac mini to the rackmount chassis, and that would give me all the storage space I need. This still doesn't alleviate the problem of the hard disks needing a power supply. - Does anything like either of my two ideas seem feasible? Basically I'm looking to build a couple of rack mounted chassises that can be hooked up via either RAID or eSATA to a Thunderbolt accessory.