SATA Raid Controller for Massive HDD?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by tosehee, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. tosehee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    #1
    Hi. I am using the first generation Mac Pro, and I wanted to ask some questions related to SATA HDD and The Raid configuration.

    I currently have 4 HDDs in the internal bay and 2 external in the enclosure using the USB2 connection. The performance is not that great, and I am sick of adding more HDDs through USB2 which offers really slow performance.

    I was thinking of building a dedicated NFS File Server using Linux, but before I did that, I wanted to ask if there are solutions out there within Apple Mac Pro without going through this route.

    I currently have 6 and probably need to buy 3 more in very short time period. also, all of my HDDs are 750g.

    Simply put, I am wondering if there are like 16 or 24 port SATA Raid Controller that I can buy for MacPro. Since the MacPro can't house all of them inside, I need to use external enclosures for some of these HDDs, connected through eSATA or whatever means possible without jeopardizing the performance. I am also interested in Raid 5 setup, so, that support in raid card is mandatory.

    Thanks for reading and really appreciate any thoughts and guidelines.

    Regards.
     
  2. BigJimSlade macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    #2
    Well, I have 5 x 500GBs in an external box connected to a CalDigit 4 port port-multiplying eSATA card. That quite happily manages 220MB/sec using software RAID0. If you want RAID5, just use 8 drives.

    You say you want fast, but *how fast* do you want, and why? ;) You can double what I've got by adding more drives on another port, but unless you're editing multiple streams of 10 bit uncompressed 1080p video or something like that, the extra $$ outlay won't be worth it.
     
  3. tosehee thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    #3
    220MB is more than fast enough for me, but I really want Raid 5 for data integrity reason. Raid 1 is too expensive for me, and raid 5 is the middle ground for me.

    Can you provide the link for Caldigit and the external enclosure for your setup?

    Thanks.
     
  4. BigJimSlade macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    #4
    For cases, I'm based in the UK, so I used these guys: http://www.span.com/catalog/spanstor_system.php?products_id=16231&x=47&y=9

    If you're in the US, I'd look at MacGurus: http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/satakits.php (I found them first, then looked for an equivalent UK supplier.)

    MacGurus have the CalDigit card, as well as several others. If you don't need the eSATA bus maxed out, then the CalDigit is probably overkill (they are a bit faster than some cards when pushed, but you pay for it) - any 2 port card that does 300MB/s would be fine.
     
  5. tosehee thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    #5
    Thanks. Very much appreciated.
     
  6. offshoresa65s macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    #6
    Hi

    An alternative to Calldigit is one of these:www.amug.org/amug-web/html/amug/reviews/articles/firmtek/5pm/

    You can also see some reviews of eSATA setups at:www.barefeats.com

    I use just one of these 5 Bay enclosures, waiting for my budget to give me the opportunity of to buy another one. My current set up is RAID 0

    From the above review I went with the HighPoint Rocket Raid 2314 so that I can later set up a RAID 5. The RAID capability is dependent on the card you choose to go with.

    For example, Firmtek's PCIe card doesn't allow anything other than RAID 0 or 1 (mirrored drive setup), for Mac's the only other alternate card is an ARECA and that also has a review on the AMUG site.

    The best advice is to research thoroughly what system you go with. I found that certain sites are sponsered by by certain manufacturers.

    I put in 5 x WD 500GB 'AAKKS drives for a total of 2.3TB RAID Array. One of the WD HDD failed in the first week. Its replacement is fine so far.

    With Card, Enclosure and HDD's, it worked out to be about $0.30 / GB

    Anyway, I found deciding how to build a RAID array really interesting and satisfying.

    Good luck

    O
     
  7. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #7
    You are aware that Raid5 writes blow, right?
     
  8. Rick Here macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #8
    NAS storage

    Have you checked out FREENAS.org. This works for me really well. Easy setup and can run from a USB flash drive, so all HDDs are for storage. It will support RAID cards as well or SW RAID.
    This is much cheaper than the Apple HW RAID card.
     

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