Router Charts

Router Charts

Router Ranker

Router Ranker

Router Chooser

Router Chooser

NAS Charts

NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

NAS Ranker

More Tools

More Tools

NAS How To

Introduction

RAID ("Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks"), especially RAID level 5, is particularly compelling to geeks, even wannabe geeks like me. What's not to love? You lose one disk, throw in another and your data rocks on! This is the RAID 5 dream. RAID 5 reality, however, is not so compelling. In fact, many people who know they should be using RAID 5 systems do not or cannot use the technology.

The purpose of this article is to build an inexpensive RAID 5 Network Attached Storage (NAS) system. I'll then compare the home-built system to off-the-shelf products to see how they compare in terms of performance. If we cut enough cost and produce enough value, we might convert some of the RAID 5 procrastinating masses into RAID 5 users.

For this project, I chose a RAID card from LSI Logic's MegaRAID family of RAID 5 adapters. I found the MegaRAID family based on a Tom's Hardware review (Cheap and Reliable RAID 5 Storage Compared) of the SATA 4 port adapter; I have been using these adapters since late 2004. After building my first RAID 5 system on the MegaRAID SATA 4, I noticed on the 'net that the older IDE/ATA generation of MegaRAID cards was available on eBay at a fraction of the price of the SATA card. (At the time of this writing, I can buy an ATA card for $80 on eBay, while the LSI MegaRAID SATA card on froogle.google.com is $260.)

Those of you who are very frugal may wonder why I'm not using a software RAID 5 solution. Well, I tried to use software RAID 5 and even bought the O'Reilly book Managing RAID on Linux in order to learn how. Recovery is the single most important aspect of RAID 5 to be sure you understand before implementing RAID 5. But even with the O'Reilly book, I could not figure out how I would recover from a drive failure, step by step. So instead, it's a hardware RAID 5 solution for me.

After using hardware-based RAID for two years, I've successfully recovered from drive failures, but just as importantly, I've learned that hardware RAID gives you a degree of freedom in designing your NAS. A hardware RAID card insulates you from operating systems and their issues. Since I use a well-supported hardware RAID card, I have installed Windows 2003, freenas, Ubuntu, ClarkConnect, and SUSE, on the same hardware, without having to learn each operating system's setup for RAID and how to perform RAID recovery.

More NAS

Featured Sponsors

Top Performing Routers

AC3200
AC2350
AC1900
AC1750
AC1200

Top Performing NASes

NoRAID
RAID1
RAID5

Over In The Forums

When I go to router.asus.com on my macbook pro it automatically opens my router without asking for a user name or password. Is there a way to disable ...
After actually sitting down with my adjacent neighbors, and working out a channel plan... things were good... New AP shows up, and it's "hot" - my gu...
Approx. 1 month old. Latest f/w loaded. Used less than a month on temporary network set up. Cool running(temperature) very stable router. Original box...
Hi team, with a not great experience of the R8000 I sent it back and swapped with the Ac87u to replace an 86u. Whilst it is for the most part better,...
Hi I have a private internet access membership, and a Netgear R7000 router. I was wondering if its possible to set up my PIA VPN so only certain IPs ...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3