Some quick questions: Raid 5 controller & setup in 2008 or 2009 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mbgt72, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. mbgt72, Aug 9, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012

    mbgt72 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    #1
    Hey guys, I just have some quick questions and would really appreciate the insight.

    In the past I was running a hackintosh system as my main computer. Then I bought a unibody MBP and turned the tower into WHS for media. Well I've gotten fedup with WHS and I have ordered a 2009 2.66 quad core and move everything over to that and will install Mountain Lion Server.

    With that said my game plan is to install a Raid Controller card in the MP and hook up 5x2TB (or 6x2TB if possible to have 7 drives in MP, which I don't think it is without removing optical drive) drives in RAID 5 to have 8GB of space. I was going to use 3 of the sleds and then double stack the other two drives in the unused optical bay so that I'd have my 5x2TB drives and one OS drive.


    General summary of plan:
    1)Guy 2008 2.8 8-core or 2009 2.66 4-core MP
    2)Install hardware raid controller card to run raid 5 for limited redundancy
    3)Install ML Server
    4)install 5x2TB drives in Raid 5 with 6th drive for OS - Wanting to keep the optical drive for now
    (will most likely use the "ProCaddy for the "5th & 6th" drives - unless other suggestions)



    So, Questions:

    1)
    What Raid Controller Card would you recommend for 5 Sata drives in Raid 5? I don't care about having the absolute newest or best, but would rather have a budget buy that is good performance.


    2)
    Once the card is installed in the PCI slot, how do you connect it to the Sata Connectors since the Mac Pro uses the sleds with the power on the board as it connects? I wasn't sure if there was a preferred extension etc.


    3)
    Anything else I should know or look for would be greatly appreciated.


    Thank you very much for your time and assistance.
     
  2. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #2
    I used to run a RAID5 setup at home. Now I've come to consider RAID5 as really not suitable for home use. Expanding the array is a giant pain. If the computer or the card dies, it's a giant pain. All the disks are spinning all the time, so you'll pay for electricity and noise and heat. Moving to 3TB or 4TB drives is a pain then the old 2TB drives are useless.

    Just how often will you actually be needing media off the disks? Sleep is always tricky to set up with RAID5.

    Have you considered something like FreeNAS or UnRaid? I looked at them, and found UnRaid much more user friendly. I'm currently setting up a repurposed Dell as an UnRaid server, and am finding it very easygoing so far.

    UnRaid:
    - Can use disks of various sizes
    - Each disk (apart from the parity drive) can be taken out and the files accessed on any PC
    - Only spins up the drive with the files you need, or the disk (+parity) you are writing to
    - no expensive RAID5 controller needed
     
  3. mbgt72 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I had looked into those when I was first building the Windows Home Server (WHS). They all have their pro's & con's, but I agree they offer some great cheap solutions to use old drives etc. Once WHS was setup I was really very happy with it as a great all in one solution.

    When I built the WHS, I was very happy with it. But when I recently tried to transfer it over to the computer that was once the hackintosh (due to much great cpu/graphics/etc) is when I remembered all the headaches of setting up WHS as it is built off of server 2008.


    The reason I really wanted to go with a Mac Pro was for ease and simplicity of integration. I wanted to use the server as a time machine backup for my MBP, and then also be able to stream movie/music through aTV and my MBP. I'm just tired of the hackintosh route, and then the windows/mac battle of compatibility. Plus the MP would be great for converting videos in my media etc.


    Through my research, I read that highpoint offers compatibility for the RR2722 & RR2721, but tonymacx86 just installed the highpoint RR 2720 in his hackintosh as mac offers native support for the entire line. At a cost of $160, I was thinking of just buying as a possibly solution for what I wanted.
     

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