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HW Raid 5 or Drobo?


ADDandy
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Hey everyone,

I am currently trying to decide if i should pay for a drobo, or purchase a raid5 controller card.

Right now i have 4x SG 1TB 32Mb drives (i updated the firmware, no worries). They are just being used as drives in my server. I want to get some redundant because i just had a HDD failure scare and would have lost all of my photography.

The server is used as: Media hosting server (mediatomb, samba, ftp?), Backup server (rsync, Apeture, TimeMachine, CVS/SVN/GIT), also a linux sandbox for random projects.

Here is my current setup.

ASUS P5QL

Intel 2.24 core 2 duo

4Gb Corsair DDR2 800

9600gt

500w PSU

4x Seagate 1tb 32MB

Ubuntu 9.04

Raid 5:

Pro:

Faster(?)

Full Disk Encryption?

can expand beyond 4 drives

Con:

slower rebuild time

more overhead(?)

Drobo

Pro:

Portable (i can remove it and attach it to a separate pc)

Easier to set up.

Con:

Linux support is in beta

Only has firewire 800

Anything with (?) is something i am not 100% on.

I am looking for suggestions for a RAID 5 card, my budget is ~ 350$.

Thanks!

-ADDAndy

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But most raid5 cards cost the same if not more then a drobo?

However, the raid card that costs as much if not more than a drobo will be faster. If I remember correctly, the drobo is actually just software raid, personally right now I use software raid. Its fast enough for what I need it for so no real complaints however raid implemented in hardware is alot faster. I notice the cpu choking when I put a load on vm's and run files to the samba shares.

In other words you will be happier with a hardware card. For suggestsions, I would look at adaptec, or promise, I have never had a real problem with either, most complaints Ive seen are for windows setups. Many people seem to like 3ware, but there quite expensive...

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I faced this problem recently.

I resolved to use the onboard controller because it costs nothing (already have it). The processor and RAM are already out of date (AM2 9950 and 4GB DDR2) it's basically a new computer next time I upgrade anyway. So by that time it's probably going to be also necessary to increase the storage space. Presently have 4 1TB drive in RAID5. Come computer upgrade time and no doughy 4 2TB drives will cost the same (if not less) as 4 1TB drives do now. Since I spend way too much on computers (for gaming), I can pretty much justify the cost of lots of drives. Even if I don't want to buy more space I can always use the old computer as a pseudo file server for a time (I know, electricity costs).

Even with a hardware controller you are going to face the difficulty of upgrading storage space with in the RAID, does make it more portable though. Able to easily move the RAID from one computer to another. With the use of the motherboards onboard card to move the RAID to another computer you either need to use the same motherboard or find a motherboard with the same RAID controller/chipset.

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I faced this problem recently.

I resolved to use the onboard controller because it costs nothing (already have it). The processor and RAM are already out of date (AM2 9950 and 4GB DDR2) it's basically a new computer next time I upgrade anyway. So by that time it's probably going to be also necessary to increase the storage space. Presently have 4 1TB drive in RAID5. Come computer upgrade time and no doughy 4 2TB drives will cost the same (if not less) as 4 1TB drives do now. Since I spend way too much on computers (for gaming), I can pretty much justify the cost of lots of drives. Even if I don't want to buy more space I can always use the old computer as a pseudo file server for a time (I know, electricity costs).

Even with a hardware controller you are going to face the difficulty of upgrading storage space with in the RAID, does make it more portable though. Able to easily move the RAID from one computer to another. With the use of the motherboards onboard card to move the RAID to another computer you either need to use the same motherboard or find a motherboard with the same RAID controller/chipset.

This is why i want to have a HW raid controller card or drobo, because the HW card does the raid so i can migrate to a new PC

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