Computers & Electronics

NAS, DAS , PC or something else for PCH storage?

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  • Aug 30th, 2009 2:48 pm
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Jul 30, 2001
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Norwood

NAS, DAS , PC or something else for PCH storage?

Computer Acronyms can drive the best of us nuts! :)

I have a tonne of DVD's and I am getting to the point I no longer wish to have them on display in my entertainment room ( they simply take up too much space ). Instead of just having my top 300 DVDs stored on my 1.5TB internal drive, in my Popcorn Hour, I would like to expand things so that 1000+ DVD are stored digitally on hard drives.

To facilitate this, I need to have essentially an array of hard drives. The popular Dlink NAS isn't adequate as it only holds 2 hard drives.

I'd like to have the option to load in up to 8 drives, of various sizes now, but eventually all 1TB to 2TB drives.

I found a DAS by Edge10 called the DAS801t , however this looks to be European. Its eSATA and has 8 bays in it. The Popcorn hour may have an issue with at unless I can get a USB2 to eSATA converter.

Image

I'm not sure NAS' come in multi-bay sizes that are priced for residential use. If their are some, then by all means, please point me in that direction.

The other option is just getting another computer ( or use one of my existing extra PCs ) and maybe change cases / power supplies , add an extra SATA controller card and then run all the drives in it.

As you can see, I know just enough to have some idea's on what to consider, but don't know enough to decide what options are practical.

I think one of my hurdles is the Popcorn Hour not mounting multiple drives. Maybe this has a work-around now, as I haven't reach the NMT forums for a while, but if it doesn't, then I would have to set-up my indexes of movies on EACH drive and not have one nice master. Although, maybe if you can make all the physical drives act as 1 giant logical drive, it might work.

The more I think about this , the more I get confused. I should get back to my original question.. what is the most economical/practical way to run numerous drives to be access by devices like the Popcorn Hour, WDTV, etc?

Thanks for reading this far :)

Spinbot
13 replies
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Aug 25, 2006
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How about a large case and self build a WHS machine? It can be used as your file server and even backup all PC's on the LAN.
Member
Nov 5, 2003
361 posts
2 upvotes
I went with a Windows Home Server computer(AMD 780G motherboard w/onboard video ,4850E dual core cpu & 4 X 1GB ram (had it sitting around) currently have 1 X 250GB drive as system drive,2 X 1 TB,and 1 X 1.5 TB drives) networked with all the computers in the house and the Popcornhour.Have YAMJ on the WHS for the software for the PCH,this seems to work fine,as like you stated the PCH and YAMJ will only mount one drive.So with WHS all of the drives except a 20GB partition for "C" drive all remaining drives added to the computer are "D" unless you specify otherwise.I am very happy with this set-up for the PCH,plus it has the added benefit of backing up the computers on the network (had to use this once,thanks to son!) and all computers have access to the videos,music,and photos that are on the WHS.
There are other options like a nas for the pch,but I had computer parts on hand and was able to purchase others off RFD used.Once the 2TB drives come down in price I'll replace the 1TB drives :D Also you might want to try UnRaid this is a thread on RFD http://www.redflagdeals.com/forums/show ... ght=unraid
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May 22, 2005
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Thornhill
I use PCH + TP-Link USB wireless-n stick to connect to my DNS-323, so far works great!
[OP]
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Norwood
"WHS" .. that's another acronym I had not heard of :)

I am running YAMJ currently. I haven't looked at it in about 3 months, so hopefully they've improved it some as it sure did take a lot of work figuring it out and then implementing it ( the price you pay for a pretty graphical interface ) :)

The WHS....how much processing power does it need (if you have any idea)?

I have an old Dell $299 special ( 2.4Ghz Celeron , 1GB Ram, Windows XP ). Would that have enough "umph"? :)

I'd like to start moving my network over to Gigabit ( which would eventually mean replacing my PCH with the C-200 when it hits Canada ), so I could toss a Gigabit network adapter in the PC.

I have a variety of hard drives ( 1.5TB in the PCH, 1TB, 750GB, 320GB ), however I am not even sure the case has 4 drive bays. I could remove the guts from the case and put into a different case (if their is something not as fugly as full size tower cases that can hold 8 drives). I'm trying to make sure I have room for growth.

I'm adverse to spending some money, I just want to spend it wisely :) My Home Theatre/Computer setup has taken me years to build and its in a constant state of upgrade.

I'm in my late 30's and live on my own right now, so I don't have to argue with a wife/girlfriend about why she thinks I should buy a new washing machine instead of some electronic gizmo :)
Mongo wrote:
Aug 28th, 2009 1:11 am
I went with a Windows Home Server computer(AMD 780G motherboard w/onboard video ,4850E dual core cpu & 4 X 1GB ram (had it sitting around) currently have 1 X 250GB drive as system drive,2 X 1 TB,and 1 X 1.5 TB drives) networked with all the computers in the house and the Popcornhour.Have YAMJ on the WHS for the software for the PCH,this seems to work fine,as like you stated the PCH and YAMJ will only mount one drive.So with WHS all of the drives except a 20GB partition for "C" drive all remaining drives added to the computer are "D" unless you specify otherwise.I am very happy with this set-up for the PCH,plus it has the added benefit of backing up the computers on the network (had to use this once,thanks to son!) and all computers have access to the videos,music,and photos that are on the WHS.
There are other options like a nas for the pch,but I had computer parts on hand and was able to purchase others off RFD used.Once the 2TB drives come down in price I'll replace the 1TB drives :D Also you might want to try UnRaid this is a thread on RFD http://www.redflagdeals.com/forums/show ... ght=unraid
Member
Nov 5, 2003
361 posts
2 upvotes
I'm sure that the Dell comp you have would be sufficient for WHS,I would just be concerned about having enough sata ports etc.YAMJ is a bit of a pain to set-up there is a GUI for it now that helps with the initial set-up,still I had to post questions on the nmt forum for guidance.As for gigabit,my network is gigabit but the PCH A-110 is 10/100 even still there is no stuttering,I'd definately go hardwired (if you can) rather than wireless for streaming hd content to the PCH.As for the WHS box stuff it out of sight somewhere,mines going into a closet WHS is meant to be run headless (no monitor) with access over the network.Just make sure that the case has lots of expansion for harddrives.If you are interested in WHS try this link:
http://www.wegotserved.com/ and foray into the forums,lots of user experience there!!

spinbot wrote:
Aug 28th, 2009 7:36 am
"WHS" .. that's another acronym I had not heard of :)

I am running YAMJ currently. I haven't looked at it in about 3 months, so hopefully they've improved it some as it sure did take a lot of work figuring it out and then implementing it ( the price you pay for a pretty graphical interface ) :)

The WHS....how much processing power does it need (if you have any idea)?

I have an old Dell $299 special ( 2.4Ghz Celeron , 1GB Ram, Windows XP ). Would that have enough "umph"? :)

I'd like to start moving my network over to Gigabit ( which would eventually mean replacing my PCH with the C-200 when it hits Canada ), so I could toss a Gigabit network adapter in the PC.

I have a variety of hard drives ( 1.5TB in the PCH, 1TB, 750GB, 320GB ), however I am not even sure the case has 4 drive bays. I could remove the guts from the case and put into a different case (if their is something not as fugly as full size tower cases that can hold 8 drives). I'm trying to make sure I have room for growth.

I'm adverse to spending some money, I just want to spend it wisely :) My Home Theatre/Computer setup has taken me years to build and its in a constant state of upgrade.

I'm in my late 30's and live on my own right now, so I don't have to argue with a wife/girlfriend about why she thinks I should buy a new washing machine instead of some electronic gizmo :)
[OP]
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Jul 30, 2001
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Norwood
Thanks guys.... I now have days of reading to do ! :)

Apparently I have a lot more options that I first thought.

With my quick scanning of things, I have at least found a case that can hold 12 hard drives ( which is perfect ).

DirectCanada sells the case and the optical drive-bay converters (turns 3 optical bays into 4 hard drive bays and it includes a fan in each housing ).

Here is what I found:

Image
$74.75

Image
$22.43

I'm not sure my Dell Motherboard has SATA connectors in it, so assuming it doesn't, i will need 2 of these 4 Port SATA cards:

Image
$31.99US

The power supply the one guy bought must be a real beast as its:

Image
$179.14

The P/S would cost more than everything combined that I mentioned before it. I can see its attraction as it has the following receptacles:
1 x 24-pin ATX Motherboard
1 x 4-pin ATX12V Motherboard
1 x 8-pin EPS12V Motherboard
2 x 6-pin PCI-E
2 x 8-pin PCI-E
8 x 4-pin Peripheral Device
1 x 4-pin Floppy Drive
8 x Serial ATA

Is their an alternate power supply that would safely do the job, but cheaper? If more receptacles are needed, couldn't you get a few cables like this for a couple dollars:
Image

Just getting the hardware together seems like 50% of the battle :)


One quick (well, maybe not quick) question on the software. If you already have data on the drives you want to put into the "array", is that a problem? By that, I mean to configure the array initially, do all the drives need to be formatted to say EXT2 instead of NTFS?

OK.. I lied, one other question... does the software also let you add External drives ( ESATA or USB2.0)?

Back to my first comment, I know I have a lot of reading to do , but just thought I might ask a few questions.

I'm not adverse to putting in the hours to get everything setup initiailly, however I do want a system that isn't too difficult to maintain after. Also having the WHS link to my PCH would make for an amazing Home Theatre / PC integrated setup. I like my gadgets/toys ( PCH, WDTV, SlingBox, PS3, XBOX360, RPTV, HD-DVD, etc ) :)

Thanks
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Nov 18, 2007
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Valleywood
FYI, there is a D-Link DNS-343, the bigger brother of the 323. It may be fairly stealth and fly under the girlfriend's radar, but 4 bays is all you will get for about $450 (not exactly cheap).
Member
Nov 5, 2003
361 posts
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All drives added to the WHS will be formated to NTFS so don't add any that have data on them now!!As for the powersupply I think that is overkill,I am presently using a Corsair 400 watt ps($40 after rebate when I purchased),it's quiet and I believe 80+ for energy rating.The motherboard that I have also has a esata port
which I guess could come in handy,you could also add a external usb drive.Remember this is supposed to be a low power device that would operate 24/7 with mininum noise(this has to be a bring for me).Have fun picking out you're components and setting it up whichever route you decide to go!





spinbot wrote:
Aug 28th, 2009 10:32 pm
Thanks guys.... I now have days of reading to do ! :)

Apparently I have a lot more options that I first thought.

With my quick scanning of things, I have at least found a case that can hold 12 hard drives ( which is perfect ).

DirectCanada sells the case and the optical drive-bay converters (turns 3 optical bays into 4 hard drive bays and it includes a fan in each housing ).

Here is what I found:

Image
$74.75

Image
$22.43

I'm not sure my Dell Motherboard has SATA connectors in it, so assuming it doesn't, i will need 2 of these 4 Port SATA cards:

Image
$31.99US

The power supply the one guy bought must be a real beast as its:

Image
$179.14

The P/S would cost more than everything combined that I mentioned before it. I can see its attraction as it has the following receptacles:
1 x 24-pin ATX Motherboard
1 x 4-pin ATX12V Motherboard
1 x 8-pin EPS12V Motherboard
2 x 6-pin PCI-E
2 x 8-pin PCI-E
8 x 4-pin Peripheral Device
1 x 4-pin Floppy Drive
8 x Serial ATA

Is their an alternate power supply that would safely do the job, but cheaper? If more receptacles are needed, couldn't you get a few cables like this for a couple dollars:
Image

Just getting the hardware together seems like 50% of the battle :)


One quick (well, maybe not quick) question on the software. If you already have data on the drives you want to put into the "array", is that a problem? By that, I mean to configure the array initially, do all the drives need to be formatted to say EXT2 instead of NTFS?

OK.. I lied, one other question... does the software also let you add External drives ( ESATA or USB2.0)?

Back to my first comment, I know I have a lot of reading to do , but just thought I might ask a few questions.

I'm not adverse to putting in the hours to get everything setup initiailly, however I do want a system that isn't too difficult to maintain after. Also having the WHS link to my PCH would make for an amazing Home Theatre / PC integrated setup. I like my gadgets/toys ( PCH, WDTV, SlingBox, PS3, XBOX360, RPTV, HD-DVD, etc ) :)

Thanks
[OP]
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Jul 30, 2001
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Norwood
fastlayne wrote:
Aug 28th, 2009 11:42 pm
FYI, there is a D-Link DNS-343, the bigger brother of the 323. It may be fairly stealth and fly under the girlfriend's radar, but 4 bays is all you will get for about $450 (not exactly cheap).
A pre-packaged NAS would be the easiest route but even the big brother Dlink (4-bay) will soon become too small.
Mongo wrote:
Aug 29th, 2009 1:11 am
All drives added to the WHS will be formated to NTFS so don't add any that have data on them now!!As for the powersupply I think that is overkill,I am presently using a Corsair 400 watt ps($40 after rebate when I purchased),it's quiet and I believe 80+ for energy rating.The motherboard that I have also has a esata port
which I guess could come in handy,you could also add a external usb drive.Remember this is supposed to be a low power device that would operate 24/7 with mininum noise(this has to be a bring for me).Have fun picking out you're components and setting it up whichever route you decide to go!
All drives will be formatted.... that part... I don't like. I guess I could load 2 drives in ( that can be formatted ), let the WHS take one for parity and the second for data ( making sure I load the 2 largest drives I have ). Then I could move data across from my main PC over to the WHS data drive. Then I could pull that drive out of my PC and put it into the WHS (where it would be formatted ), then repeat that process until all the drives are in.

What I have now is 3 data drives (750GB, 500GB, 320GB) on my PC that I would want to remove from it and put into the WHS. I have a 4th drive not in use(1TB) and a 5th drive in my PCH(1.5TB) and I would like get 2 or 3 other 1TB or 1.5TB (depending on the price at the time)

Price isn't the final deciding factor in what to get. I want expandability and the WHS really seems to be the way to go over a typical pre-packed NAS.

In reference to the power supply being an "over-kill". With a case, like I pointed out above, if you really made use of the 12 drive bays you would need a tonne of power connectors. My knowledge of electrical current is limited (keep that in mind), so if I got a power supply that had 4 sata power connectors ( which I believe my Antec case has and might be standard ) it would not be sufficient for the Coolmaster case as it can house 12 drives. Is their any major downfall to splitting one connector into 3 connectors (the real live equivalent to adding a power bar)? I'm thinking as long as you have the wattage to handle the load, it doesn't matter how many plugs you turn the one into.


UnRaid Pro Key is $120US ... not cheap software.
Member
Nov 5, 2003
361 posts
2 upvotes
From what I've read drives typically use 20-30 watts @ spinup then approx 5-12 watts idle and load.I would recommend a quality powersupply like Corsair (great warranty and customer service).


spinbot wrote:
Aug 29th, 2009 8:56 am
A pre-packaged NAS would be the easiest route but even the big brother Dlink (4-bay) will soon become too small.



All drives will be formatted.... that part... I don't like. I guess I could load 2 drives in ( that can be formatted ), let the WHS take one for parity and the second for data ( making sure I load the 2 largest drives I have ). Then I could move data across from my main PC over to the WHS data drive. Then I could pull that drive out of my PC and put it into the WHS (where it would be formatted ), then repeat that process until all the drives are in.

What I have now is 3 data drives (750GB, 500GB, 320GB) on my PC that I would want to remove from it and put into the WHS. I have a 4th drive not in use(1TB) and a 5th drive in my PCH(1.5TB) and I would like get 2 or 3 other 1TB or 1.5TB (depending on the price at the time)

Price isn't the final deciding factor in what to get. I want expandability and the WHS really seems to be the way to go over a typical pre-packed NAS.

In reference to the power supply being an "over-kill". With a case, like I pointed out above, if you really made use of the 12 drive bays you would need a tonne of power connectors. My knowledge of electrical current is limited (keep that in mind), so if I got a power supply that had 4 sata power connectors ( which I believe my Antec case has and might be standard ) it would not be sufficient for the Coolmaster case as it can house 12 drives. Is their any major downfall to splitting one connector into 3 connectors (the real live equivalent to adding a power bar)? I'm thinking as long as you have the wattage to handle the load, it doesn't matter how many plugs you turn the one into.


UnRaid Pro Key is $120US ... not cheap software.
Sr. Member
Dec 25, 2006
659 posts
17 upvotes
Woodstock, NB
bcbgboy13 wrote:
Aug 28th, 2009 1:44 pm
I will second the unRAID as in here
or below
I also agree unRAID is excellent

i recently build a 20bay build around a norco 4020 case
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Norwood
WolfDV wrote:
Aug 30th, 2009 1:29 pm
I also agree unRAID is excellent

i recently build a 20bay build around a norco 4020 case

That's one big case.. rack mount too. I think the Coolmaster one I pointed out ( that someone else pointed out ) is at least one good option, having 12 bays to use.

Their seems to be 2 opposite opinions on unRAID. One is VERY positive and the other is saying "their are free alternatives that do the same job". If unRAID wasn't so pricy for the Pro version ( i think that's what it was called.. for 5+ drives ), they would likely sell to more home users, but... I guess we aren't really their target market right now or they think their product is so good , people will pay over $100 for it.

I can't say I know which boat I am in right now. I like it, but the price is my hold-up.
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