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Author Topic: NAS devices
-ct-
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 209

Icon 5 posted September 15, 2003 23:02      Profile for -ct-   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
ok, so how do i go about creating my own?

sure, i can grab a board, some scsi controllers, a load of drives and load an OS

but that's too much "stuff"

i wanna box with a half or dozen drives and an ethernet (gigabit) port, nothing more is needed

i know commercial boxen have web-based interfaces for configuration, and that's fine, but they also have embedded OS and other pricey hardware bits i don't wanna spend $$ on

i wanna make it CHEAP - that's the keyword here

i figure serialATA if possible, or just standard 7200rpm 8mb cache drives will suit

ideas?

--------------------
Things are always darkest... just before you pull your head out of your butt, void where prohibited, keep away from flame, surcharge(s) may apply.

www.harddriveHELL.com and demoniclemon.com

Posts: 1906 | From: nowhere, man | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Tut-an-Geek

SuperFan!
Member # 1234

Icon 1 posted September 16, 2003 19:03      Profile for Tut-an-Geek   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Look for some small embeded linux solutions, and boot it off of somethign simple like a compact flash card
Posts: 3764 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
quantumfluff
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 450

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Icon 1 posted September 17, 2003 07:41      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You can't do a "half or dozen" drives on the cheap.
No mobo supports that many IDE drives, so you would have to go SCSI or find some bizarre disk controller - and that brings the price up.

Posts: 2902 | From: 5 to 15 meters above sea level | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted September 17, 2003 09:16      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm interested in trying out these external USB 2.0/Firewire HD controllers/interfaces, that let you turn a regular 3.5" HD into a USB 2.0 or Firewire drive. I'm mostly interested in using this for large data backup. If you made a minitower of these, with an appropriate interface (and extra ports [preferably on the computer, not through a hub]), you could probably put these on a small Linux box. Mini-ITX could be an interesting route to take - I want to set up such a machine for the hell of it some day. I coud see a lot of fun coming out of such a project [Smile] .
Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jfw
Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 1923

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Icon 1 posted September 17, 2003 09:50      Profile for jfw     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
PCI cards that will handle 4 drives can be gotten for under $90; if your focus is on speed rather than capacity, you'll want to only put one drive on an IDE cable (rather than two), but you still can fully populate the drive slots in a typical tower and still have PCI slots left over on most motherboards. (If you insist on serial ATA, I don't know offhand how much those controllers cost.)

The idea of using firewire-to-ATA converters in a tower is an interesting one (I assume you're thinking of taking a PC tower case, removing the motherboard, putting a firewire jack on the outside, and then filling the case with as many disks and converters as can be powered). Note that you may have power supply issues if you put many more disks in a PC tower than are normally found in one: power supplies tend to make a lot of assumptions about the ratios of current drawn on +3V processor feed versus +5 or +12 disk lines, and disks tend to have very high current draw for very short periods of time when they seek (and somewhat high when they spin up). A power supply which is engineered to handle no more than two disks seeking at once may do odd things if you manage to get six seeking all at once (and what's worse, it will be a nearly unreproducible problem that shows up only under heavy load, leading you to tear your hair out trying to figure it out). (Hmm, I wonder if the firewire disk protocol handles detach/reattach; maybe simultaneous seeks aren't an issue.)

If you use individual external drive cabinets for each disk (or pair of disks; I have a cute little two-disk external box) and simply stack them, you'll avoid power supply issues (of course, then you're paying extra for multiple power supplies and extra sheet metal).

Posts: 20 | From: Boxboro Massachusetts | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted September 17, 2003 12:19      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, these converters usually include an external power supply (read: transformer blocks) that takes care of the power. I was not actually suggesting a tower PC case necessarily, but something smaller. It might be a nice way to do it, but it would be less appliance-like [Wink] . Something with rails for mounting the HD would be nice, but I also think duct taping the whole mess together with some kind of spacers in between would be equally good [Smile] . I didn't suggest the PCI card stuff as I was pointing to the Mini-ITX style design, but otherwise, that's a great way to do it. Now I just need to resist attempting such a project myself, otherwise I could find myself spending money on stuff I don't truly need.
Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
-ct-
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 209

Icon 5 posted September 17, 2003 14:17      Profile for -ct-   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
i guess a 8 or 12 port usb hub, and the same # of usb external drive bays - gutted for the electronics only - and still all dozen drives and hub and cables in a mid-tower box could be a way to go, but then how to just "stick it" on the LAN?


all i really want is a box of 6 to 12 drives and an ethernet port
mini-itx ok, but power becomes a problem, they rarely come with anything more than 120w

scsi, probably not - $$ is an issue
serialATA, possible, but $$ again
standard ATA 133, cheap - can be done

pci ata sounds good, but not hot-swappable if a drive fails, and this will need to be some sort of RAID array, probably RAID10 though RAID1 and RAID0+1 are options, but if a drive fails that'll really suck (can be done with ata cards, scsi cards not totally neccessary)

quote:

If you use individual external drive cabinets for each disk (or pair of disks; I have a cute little two-disk external box) and simply stack them, you'll avoid power supply issues (of course, then you're paying extra for multiple power supplies and extra sheet metal).

exactly, too much "stuff", and it's still not on the network, they still need to be connected to a computer

"PCI cards that will ..."
right, still need a full pc to stick 'em in

--------------------
Things are always darkest... just before you pull your head out of your butt, void where prohibited, keep away from flame, surcharge(s) may apply.

www.harddriveHELL.com and demoniclemon.com

Posts: 1906 | From: nowhere, man | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
csk

Member # 1941

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Icon 1 posted September 17, 2003 17:40      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm not an expert in this field by any measure, but after doing some reading, an SATA based solution might be the go. You can get a six channel SATA based controller and drive enclosures for about $1000AU (so approx $500US or a bit more). Of course, you then need a serious case and power supply, and some drives to go with it.

Unfortunately, there's probably no cheap way to do this, particularly if you really want >= 6 drives. What are you needing to store that's going to take 6 drives or more, considering that you'd probably be looking at something like 160Gb drives if buying them now.

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
csk

Member # 1941

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Icon 1 posted September 24, 2003 16:21      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sorry to resurrect this one from the dead, but just found this link on slashdot. Basically, he combined 6 200Gb drives into a single tower, and hacked together some firewire controllers to control it.
Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
littlefish
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted September 24, 2003 16:24      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey, I just came to post that link. If I remember, I'll go look at it tomorrow. At the moment, their server is slashdotted.
Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
littlefish
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted September 25, 2003 03:38      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Their server is still kaput, but the article is being mirrored here
Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tut-an-Geek

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Icon 1 posted September 25, 2003 03:50      Profile for Tut-an-Geek   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You may just end up buying a SNAP! appliance...
Posts: 3764 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
-ct-
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 209

Icon 1 posted September 25, 2003 21:43      Profile for -ct-   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
good idea about that in the link - but it still requires a computer to connect to

i considered a SNAP! and other NAS devices, but again, cost is the major issue here

--------------------
Things are always darkest... just before you pull your head out of your butt, void where prohibited, keep away from flame, surcharge(s) may apply.

www.harddriveHELL.com and demoniclemon.com

Posts: 1906 | From: nowhere, man | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
-ct-
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 209

Icon 9 posted October 10, 2003 10:26      Profile for -ct-   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
any other ideas?

--------------------
Things are always darkest... just before you pull your head out of your butt, void where prohibited, keep away from flame, surcharge(s) may apply.

www.harddriveHELL.com and demoniclemon.com

Posts: 1906 | From: nowhere, man | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged


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