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'[EE]:: Adding many hard drives to a system'
2008\02\08@054852 by Apptech

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flavicon
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I want to add numerous SATA drives to a LAN.
8 would do, more would be good. This is by definition a
"server" requirement but lacks most of the rigour associated
with the term. Aspects such as backup, mirroring etc need
not be addressed here.

"All that is required" is to be able to read and, less
often, write files at "an acceptable speed". ie not stupidly
slower than if on a typical PC. Application is mainly access
to photos. Files are typically in the 1 MB-3MB range but
there MAY be a  Quantum leap for new files to 10MB+ each.
(RAW rather than JPG).

Drives are typically 300 GB range but newer one will be 500
MB and maybe 1 TB soon. Optimum $/GB is about at 500 GB
point. . (2TB are on the market but too dear yet)

Longer term this will probably become a more orderly
arrangement of fewer larger drives.

QUESTION:

Best cheap way to do this?

Two obvious ways are

1     Several multi SIDE cards in 1 PC. Say 2 x or 3x  - 4
drive cards.

2     Add USBS front ends to drives.

Option 2 is less certain and dearer.
Option 1 is liable to create more PSU hassles.

Any other good options?

Does anyone to an SIDE tower at a price that costs notably
less per slot than the HDD that goes in it?
Anything of seen that takes NxSIDE makes the disk cost a
minor part of the exercise.





       Russell


Just for information:    If using RAW at 10 MB+/photo. If eg
a wedding takes 3000 photos all up that's 30 GB for one
event. Requirements grow apace. Taking less photos may help
:-). (Wedding can be pre-photos, hair stylists, bride
preparing, limo to wedding, outside, wedding, outside again,
guest greeting, formal groups, bridal group photos,
reception and dancing till late, Numbers add up.

As this is NOT my 'day job' there aren't too many of these,
but enough to need something better than at present.

1st recent China visit produced ~ 9000 photos.
2nd produced ~ 3000.

I don't want to go to RAW format but it seems it might be a
good idea, alas.





2008\02\08@061821 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Any other good options?

I would be very tempted to set up an old(er) PC with as many drives in it as
you want for the total desired capacity, and set them up as a raid array, to
mitigate against failure. Then have the one large drive shared for access
across the LAN.

A side effect of doing things this way is you could set up, at a later date,
another raid array to appear as a second drive for extra capacity, or to
mirror that array as further failure mitigation, with this being invisible
to the users, apart from downtime while being set up.

2008\02\08@070116 by Apptech

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> I would be very tempted to set up an old(er) PC with as
> many drives in it as
> you want for the total desired capacity, and set them up
> as a raid array, to
> mitigate against failure. Then have the one large drive
> shared for access
> across the LAN.

As I said, backup not part of this consideration.
What I tend to do is to fill a say 300 GB drive with photos
while manually mirroring master files to another drive.
When that is full the backup gets taken offline and the
working copy is not written to. If the online copy fails the
backup may be available :-).

When working on photos I make variants and derivatives of
the originals. Some are worth saving in their own right and
some are losable. By maintiaing a manual backup system I
have freedom to decide what goes onto the backup disk. For
example I keep a copy of the masters on both. I derive a JPG
85 level compression of these and use them for making CD etc
for on screen viewing. The quality is far better than neeed
for screen viewing but for printing I would generally use
the master. Even the JPG-85 is far better than what most
people expect. The difference is a factor of about 3;1 in
storage over the out of camera files. I usually shoot in
"Fine" mode out of standard, fine, extra fine. I go to Extra
Fine for portraits and high detail shots BUT the difference
is usually almost impossible to see. RAW offers advantages
but a big jump in memory size. I usually carry 12+ GB of
memory cards which is OK for Fine mode but not for RAW. I
saw a 24 GB CF card advertised yesterday, at 333X write. A
48GB is coming. Price wasn't mentioned :-).

> A side effect of doing things this way is you could set
> up, at a later date,
> another raid array to appear as a second drive for extra
> capacity, or to
> mirror that array as further failure mitigation, with this
> being invisible
> to the users, apart from downtime while being set up.

Indeed.
NTFS can apparently meld multiple drives under the same
drive letter - even non RAID-hardware connected independent
drives apparently. I haven't tried this and don't know the
details of how it works.



       Russell

2008\02\08@070437 by Lee Jones

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> I want to add numerous SATA drives to a LAN.
> 8 would do, more would be good. This is by definition a
> "server" requirement but lacks most of the rigour associated
> with the term. Aspects such as backup, mirroring etc need
> not be addressed here.

Look at port multiplexing of eSATA with controller card and
drive enclosure both needing to support it.  Ballpark cost
is Sonnet Tempto 4-port eSATA controller card (about US$280
for either PCI-X or PCI-Express) plus Stardom ST6600 5-bay
eSATA enclosure with port multiplier (US$400) each.

Four of the enclosures plus a controller card will support
20 SATA disk drives for under US$100 per drive.  Plus an old
Mac, BSD, Linux system to provide the network interface.

Sonnet even makes a PC34 2-port eSATA controller card for
newer laptops with a port multiplier.  Combined with two of
the 5-bay enclosures, you can hang 10 fast SATA drives off
of a laptop.

Starting points for browsing...
controller cards:
   eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet%20Technology/TSATAIIX4P/
   http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet%20Technology/TSATAIIE4P/

5-bay enclosure:
   http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Stardom/ST66005SS2/


> "All that is required" is to be able to read and, less
> often, write files at "an acceptable speed". ie not stupidly
> slower than if on a typical PC. Application is mainly access
> to photos. Files are typically in the 1 MB-3MB range but
> there MAY be a Quantum leap for new files to 10MB+ each.
> (RAW rather than JPG).

Using Gigabit Ethernet for you LAN helps here.


> Drives are typically 300 GB range but newer one will be 500 MB
> and maybe 1 TB soon. Optimum $/GB is about at 500 GB point. .
> (2TB are on the market but too dear yet)

If you buy then when on sale, the 750GB is a pretty good price
point right now.  1TB drives are getting really close though.
I personally have been using Seagate drives.


> Does anyone to an SIDE tower at a price that costs notably
> less per slot than the HDD that goes in it?

Above slot cost is roughly half of the cost of the drive.
Enclosures that include port multipliers tend to be costly.


> Just for information: If using RAW at 10 MB+/photo. If eg a
> wedding takes 3000 photos all up that's 30 GB for one event.
> Requirements grow apace.

Yep.  And no reasonable cost strategy to migrate them to stable,
trust-worthy long term storage -- like tape (30 year archive).
Quantum's leading edge DLT drives have the capacity & speed with
drive price being high but media price being a bit too steep.

> I don't want to go to RAW format but it seems it might be a
> good idea, alas.

RAW lets you extract a better image.  But the post-processing
puts quite a damper on your workflow.  If you address that with
RAW + JPEG (i.e. save in both formats), then the storage
requirements increase even more.

And it can even be an issue during the shoot -- camera's memory
buffer fills up during long bursts of high speed action, e.g.
aircraft, theatre events, etc.

                                               Lee Jones

2008\02\08@071535 by Rikard Bosnjakovic
picon face
Slightly off-topic, but I couldn't resist:
http://bos.hack.org/start/drivecase.jpg

:-)


--
- Rikard - http://bos.hack.org/cv/

2008\02\08@073136 by Jake Anderson

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Your probably best off getting something like this
http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA/rr2340.htm

16x SATA card in PCI-E 8x
~$600 AUS which works out at around $40 per drive

An motherboard with an onboard gbit ethernet attached to the northbridge
would be your other requirement really
Beefy Power supply might also be in order although once running you
should be ok, A high quality 600W should do you.

I'd suggest running linux on the thing to get the flexibility you want
with regards drive sizing and moving around.
You will probably want RAID just because disk failure becomes more
likley with more drives.
Use software raid especially where performance isn't an issue otherwise
if the controller card fries and you can't get another your hosed.

I'd suggest blocks of 4 drives or so if thats comfy for you.
RAID 4x 500gb drives in raid 5 for 1.5TB of storage with LVM sitting on
top of that.
In around a year or so when 1TB drives are in the sweet spot stick 4 of
them in and up your storage to 4TB in total. Expand your partition with
LVM and just keep adding stuff.
Every year you add 4 drives. In 4 years you toss the first batch of
drives you had which will be pretty much End Of Life by then and replace
them with the 40 bazillion gb drives that will be floating about then.

Or more likley give the whole system to charity after copying its entire
content onto the latest generation of USB thumb drive.

Apptech wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\02\08@073509 by Jake Anderson

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Rikard Bosnjakovic wrote:
> Slightly off-topic, but I couldn't resist:
> http://bos.hack.org/start/drivecase.jpg
>
> :-)
>
>
>  
Yeah but after you have done that you couldn't carry all your porn
anywhere to show it off with that thing. It'd be too heavy.

2008\02\08@075109 by Jake Anderson

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> Indeed.
> NTFS can apparently meld multiple drives under the same
> drive letter - even non RAID-hardware connected independent
> drives apparently. I haven't tried this and don't know the
> details of how it works.
>
>
>
>         Russell
>
>  

NTFS supports softlinking (undocumented largley) where you can basically
make a directory on disk C come from a directory on disk G say.

co c:\program files\games == g:\games_main
or something along those lines. You need 3rd party tools to do it.
BEWARE DELETING STUFF THAT HAS BEEN SOFTLINKED. Mostly it doesn't work
like you would expect.
You can also format bare partitions and mount them into the file system
(somewhat like linux) so the drive is mounted into c:\fotos
You have to do all this stuff through logical disk manager.

If you upgrade your disks (non boot though I think) to dynamic volumes
then i believe you can get "just a bunch of disks" storage increase mode.

You might think about making a virtual machine and giving it a bunch of
blank ide disks to play with until you get the hang of what you want to do.

Your other option if you are doing things in batches as it sounds like
you are is do it more like a jukebox.
Get something that supports external SATA. Get a new drive for each
project (the small ones are really quite cheap). Then see if you can get
one of the foam boxes that they ship drives in bulk in. Hold like 30
hard drives in a nice styrofoam box each in their own little compartment.
Write info on the drives on the side in grease pencil or something like
that with a date on them.
Wipe the data over a certain age if you want to use it again.

Stuff thats important to you, keep it on a RAID 5 storage system somewhere.
Keep in mind that you don't need to keep RAID storage online either. I
have some data in a RAID5 array (3x 320gb drives) that i keep in a
closet until i need something off it ;->


2008\02\08@080129 by Rolf

face picon face
Hi Russell

I have been looking at storage as well recently. I am a linux guy and
have been for more than a decade now .... and I have always had a linux
server with multi disks, etc. I have 162 Gig of photographs and it grows
at about 40 gig a year, or, in the next few months if I get the D300,
about 100Gig a year. Along with other data, I have some stringent backup
requirements too, and I have 200GB of data that I consider to be
irreplaceable and have multiple backups of.

My current disks are filling up, and I am in need of an expansion. With
4 disks in the system already I will need to either replace disks, or
add external storage. External devices are good for backup strategy, so,
I have had a look around...... and, I like the look of the Western
Digital "My Book World"

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=279

This is a terabyte which will effectively, when used in a mirrored
format, is 500GB. The price point for the system is very attractive at
about CAD$350 for me in Canada...

http://www.costco.ca/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=10305314

or for a 2TB version.... at $550....

http://www.costco.ca/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=10305569

It is linked in via Gigabit Ethernet which I have running throughout the
house. Further, it has a USB expansion port so that you can connect a
USB device and use that to back up the main device....

My major reservation with it is that it is Western Digital, and I have a
bad history with them. I find that hard-disks often break soon after
their warranty expires... and WD have a 3yr warranty, whereas Seagate
have a 5yr.... I decided a while ago to buy Seagate disks only, and I
have yet to be disappointed (too much).

So, for not much more than the cost of the actual storage, you can
easily expand your storage capacity with one of these devices. As I say,
for me it is perhaps a better idea than gutting and refitting my linux
server.

Just another thing to consider.

Rolf

Apptech wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\02\08@083331 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
> NTFS can apparently meld multiple drives under the same
> drive letter - even non RAID-hardware connected independent
> drives apparently. I haven't tried this and don't know the
> details of how it works.
>

yes it is quite easily done in the Disk Manager. Instead of a raid type
arrangement where a sector on each drive gets written in order, the drives
become 'in series', so the first drive is 0 to 80GB, say, the next drive
might be the 80-100GB part of capacity, and so on. It allows you to add
non-equivalent sized drives together to make one large one.

2008\02\08@092106 by Apptech

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> yes it is quite easily done in the Disk Manager. Instead
> of a raid type
> arrangement where a sector on each drive gets written in
> order, the drives
> become 'in series', so the first drive is 0 to 80GB, say,
> the next drive
> might be the 80-100GB part of capacity, and so on. It
> allows you to add
> non-equivalent sized drives together to make one large
> one.

Sounds good - but it would mean that swapping out parts of
the 'array' as required became hard to very very hard and
you'd have to backup the unit as a whole as you would not
easily be aware of exactly where given data resided. (At
present I can say that a given event etc is on drive Q:
which is the 500 GB over there and if I want it backed up
then I ... . As explained before, I run manual backup
overview as photos get lots of duplicates made during
editing etc and some subsets are losable without too much
(or any) pain and I don't want to replicate all the sub sub
sub sets.



   Russell




2008\02\08@092108 by Apptech

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That's about what I had in mind :-)


> Slightly off-topic, but I couldn't resist:
> http://bos.hack.org/start/drivecase.jpg

2008\02\08@093744 by Apptech

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> Your probably best off getting something like this
> http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA/rr2340.htm
>
> 16x SATA card in PCI-E 8x
> ~$600 AUS which works out at around $40 per drive

Looks good, but I wonder why you can't do something similar
for rather less.

I understand that, while SIDE is usually run 1 drive per
cable to the controller that you can actually logically
operate up to 16 (maybe 15?) from a single SIDE port. I
understand (quite possibly incorrectly) that it's little
more than cabling involved. Sounds unlikely, but ... .

Obviously the above would have serious data bandwidth
implications if using the drives for uncorrelated data
access. from many sources. If its mainly photos and a single
user then that's  not an major problem except perhaps if
transferring files within the array - not usually what I do.




       Russell


2008\02\08@094432 by Rolf

face picon face
In reply to my own mail, it appears that the WD "My Book" World edition
is a poor performer in the speed department....

You will need to investigate further.

Rolf

Rolf wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\02\08@095013 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>> yes it is quite easily done in the Disk Manager. Instead
>> of a raid type arrangement ...
>
>Sounds good - but it would mean that swapping out parts of
>the 'array' as required became hard to very very hard and
>you'd have to backup the unit as a whole as you would not
>easily be aware of exactly where given data resided. (At
>present I can say that a given event etc is on drive Q:
>which is the 500 GB over there and if I want it backed up
>then I ... . As explained before, I run manual backup
>overview as photos get lots of duplicates made during
>editing etc and some subsets are losable without too much
>(or any) pain and I don't want to replicate all the sub sub
>sub sets.

Yes, handy for knocking up a larger drive from 'bits' you have handy, but
having a raid array of identical drives is much nicer from the failure point
of view - replace failed drive & rebuild array, where the other requires
full backup to have been done before failure, and then do a full restore.

2008\02\08@111913 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Feb 8, 2008, at 2:48 AM, Apptech wrote:

> 2     Add USBS front ends to drives.
>
> Option 1 is liable to create more PSU hassles.

I've been thinking for a while that the cheap way to add lots of  
drives is to get those "universal" USB adaptors (
http://www.pcmicrostore.com/PartDetail.aspx?q=p:10504271;c:100075), throw  
away the power supplies, and mount drives, adaptors, and USB hub(s)  
inside a (cheap) PC tower case, using the tower power supply to power  
everything.  Tower cases are MUCH cheaper than drive cases, and you'd  
end up with a box that had one power cord, one USB-B incoming socket,  
and a lot of drives.  You could also add drive trays to make some  
swappable drives.  Cheap cases tend to only have about 4 bays, but  
without a motherboard to worry about there should be plenty of room  
for ad-hoc mounting arrangements...

BillW

2008\02\08@131531 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
What is SIDE?

There is IDE, SATA, and SCSI.

IDE: Two drives per port, Master, Slave
SATA: One drive per port
SCSI: 16 drives per port, depending on the particulars of the SCSI
port connected

The only piece of information you haven't given us is size or number
of ports you want to start off with, and maximum ports you want to
deal with at any given time.

Quite frankly, I'd use a low end machine and cheap USB adaptors - each
USB adaptor is going to cost less than $40, it's _very_ scalable, and
it's hot-swappable with extreme ease.  If you want to add more than 4
drives to such a system, use or design a shelving unit and figure out
cable management - that's the main drawback to doing USB.

If you want really cheap, then build your own system.  Many new
motherboards have 4-6 SATA ports and 1 IDE port (2 drives) onboard, so
those should get you started with up to 8 drives and no extra cards.

I haven't tried it yet, but Windows Home Server has the ability to
manage all the drives on the system as one single large volume which,
I understand, you can add drives to with impunity and the volume will
automagically grow.  I don't know how removing a drive (or a drive
failure) affects it - it may give you the option to implement a
software raid, or to move data off a drive you slate for removal, or
none of the above.  But it's something to look into, as it manages a
lot of what you're going to want to do automatically, and will do so
with USB/sata/ide/etc drives.

Also, look around your local used computer parts shop.  They should
have PCI IDE cards at a dime a dozen, and older systems with windows
XP or 2k on them.  These older systems will be perfectly fine for your
use, and this may be the cheapest possible method.  See if they have
full tower cases available, and load up a system with PCI IDE cards
and IDE hard drives.

Let us know how it goes and what you decide, sounds interesting.

-Adam

On 2/8/08, Apptech <spam_OUTapptechTakeThisOuTspamparadise.net.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\02\08@153632 by Herbert Graf

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On Fri, 2008-02-08 at 23:48 +1300, Apptech wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Well, the big question is how will you be accessing the files? If many
users will be accessing them I would drop the USB idea. USB IMHO is not
the best for "multiplexed" sort of access. I've seen quite poor
performance from USB connected drives when multiple processes are trying
to access the volume.

I would go with option one. SATA PCI cards are dirt cheap, around $25
here. Most have 5 ports, so only two cards will fulfill your
requirements.

Power isn't much of an issue either, if you get a really beefy PSU (say
650W) you'll probably be OK. If it still bugs you, get a second PSU just
for the drives.

RAID is an option, but it looks like you just want tons of storage, and
since backup isn't an issue I don't see the need to complicate matters.

TTYL

2008\02\08@160039 by Alex Harford

face picon face
On Feb 8, 2008 2:48 AM, Apptech <.....apptechKILLspamspam@spam@paradise.net.nz> wrote:
> I want to add numerous SATA drives to a LAN.
> 8 would do, more would be good. This is by definition a
> "server" requirement but lacks most of the rigour associated
> with the term. Aspects such as backup, mirroring etc need
> not be addressed here.

If you need an OS to run it, you might want to look into:
http://www.openfiler.com/

It supports LVM so you can grow your available space, without worrying
different partitions.  It does snapshots for backup as well.  I'm not
running OpenFilter right now but eventually I think I will have to, as
the megapixel rating on my wife's camera continually increases.
Currently it's just a nightly backup to a USB drive.

Alex

2008\02\09@170156 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Alan B. Pearce wrote:

>>> yes it is quite easily done in the Disk Manager. Instead of a raid type
>>> arrangement ...
>>
>> Sounds good - but it would mean that swapping out parts of the 'array'
>> as required became hard to very very hard

I think it's impossible, basically. AFAIK you need a backup of the whole
set, and rebuild from scratch. I wouldn't recommend this.

> Yes, handy for knocking up a larger drive from 'bits' you have handy, but
> having a raid array of identical drives is much nicer from the failure
> point of view - replace failed drive & rebuild array, where the other
> requires full backup to have been done before failure, and then do a
> full restore.

How and whether this works depends on the RAID type. The other problem with
RAID arrays is that the controllers are not compatible in the sense that
you could swap your controller for another brand/model and expect to have
access to your data. If you want hardware RAID, you need to have backup
controllers. And better buy a brand where you can assume that you can get
one in the (unlikely but possible) case that your backup controller turns
out to be defective after your main controller broke...

Gerhard

2008\02\09@174324 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Feb 9, 2008, at 2:01 PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> The other problem with RAID arrays is that the controllers are not  
> compatible in the sense that you could swap your controller for  
> another brand/model and expect to have access to your data. If you  
> want hardware RAID, you need to have backup controllers.


It sounds like in the current situation, software raid would have  
adequate performance. (Hmm.  I'm thinking of putting some sort of  
redundant RAID array in my next desktop; are there any articles  
somewhere that talk about performance of HW vs SW raid for TYPICAL  
USAGE scenarios?  (I am not a file server.))

BillW

2008\02\10@110354 by Peter P.

picon face
Rikard Bosnjakovic <rikard.bosnjakovic <at> gmail.com> writes:
> Slightly off-topic, but I couldn't resist:
> http://bos.hack.org/start/drivecase.jpg

Please look into NAS (Network Attached Storage). Boxes in excess of 500GB are
available for this now and there is no theoretical limit to the number of units
you can eventually attach. Same for bulk-bought external drives (USB or
FireWire). Making a large disk array using commodity disks involves more than
putting the disks in a box and adding a huge psu because there are cooling and
power sequencing problems. In my experience more than about 6 drives per box
with commodity psu and interfaces means trouble sooner or later. Even so 4 500GB
external disks will take you to 2TB without any magic, and they are still hot
pluggable and independently replaceable/moveable. Just how much data do you
need? Maybe you need to look into tape storage? Just formatting or scanning that
kind of disk size will take ages with commodity tools (like anything included in
non-server operating systems). That may mean that running common tools such as
antivirus programs and indexing will be basically impossible on that system.
Servers use special purpose utility programs for a reason (and for $$$). I think
that just scaling a small box is a bad idea.

Peter P.


2008\02\11@034152 by Clint Sharp

picon face
In message <loom.20080210T155556-52spamKILLspampost.gmane.org>, Peter P.
<.....plpeter2006KILLspamspam.....yahoo.com> writes
>Rikard Bosnjakovic <rikard.bosnjakovic <at> gmail.com> writes:
>> Slightly off-topic, but I couldn't resist:
>> http://bos.hack.org/start/drivecase.jpg
>
>Please look into NAS (Network Attached Storage). Boxes in excess of 500GB are
>available for this now and there is no theoretical limit to the number of units
>you can eventually attach.
Anybody mentioned FreeNAS yet?
It's a FreeBSD based NAS which offers various RAID configuration
options, you can boot it from flash, CD or hard drive on an old-ish PC
(performance I suspect would take a hit if you tried to use anything
really old)

http://www.freenas.org

>
>Peter P.
>
>

--
Clint Sharp

2008\02\12@133341 by John Ferrell

face picon face
I am dealing with this issue in a very primitive manner.
I have about 1.2T of online disk.
The host system is my primary machine, XPPRO with only two physical drives
in the case on the machine power supply. The other disks are in individual
USB cases.

All backup is performed manually on a schedule. No encryption or compression
is used anywhere.
I believe all Hds (NTFS) are Seagate or Maxtor because of the user friendly
attitude of the disk utility.
The nature of the data is simply stuff I find interesting, Old music, books,
interesting web sites, etc.
The matters of keeping the dupe rate down and indexing the complex are
separate issues.
It is usually easier to add another drive than solve issues that come up.
Redundant or mislabeled data is has lead to most of the bloat.

John Ferrell    W8CCW
"Life is easier if you learn to plow
      around the stumps"
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2008\02\24@180827 by John La Rooy

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On Fri, Feb 8, 2008 at 9:48 PM, Apptech <EraseMEapptechspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTparadise.net.nz> wrote:

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storage.
They spin down on their own which is important for me from a
sound/heat/energy consumption pov
So I can stack them up and not need fans so long as I know my access pattern
is fairly light.

7s to spin up
0.7s to copy off a 10MB file
14s to copy off a 300MB file
spin down after 20mins or so of idle

I usually plonk avi's or whatever on them and then they sit there doing
nothing for ages. When I need to
get them off or burn to dvd the access speed has not been a problem.

In my experience, drives will always end up running very hot if you shove
them in a usb enclosure and
run them 24/7.

Don't forget to add up the costs for cabling/enclosures etc when you are
working out the best
bang for buck.

my first 500GB elements drive was AU$195. Now they are down to AU$155

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