Jump to content

Building a SAN


Sparky
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guys,

I want to build a low-cost SAN. Basically, a load of disks that can be connected via a LAN card.

Is this possible? I can do this via USB, but want a proper LAN connection to the box.

My motherboard has run out of SATA headers and I need some serious storage without costing the earth.

Any pointers?

beerchug.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends if you want to go and get new drives and create a SAN or go out and get a NAS.

I have just got myself a Buffalo Linkstation.. they start at 120Gb and go up to 300Gb. You can also add another 300Gb via USB if you need to.

Also I have uploaded a new firmware and installed a Twonky server on it. It runs Linux behind the scenes. Now I can have all my music on the drive, and pictures / videos etc. avaliable without the PC being switched on.

It was fairly easy to do and its great for some cheap extra online storage.. the ability to serve music etc. to wireless media players is a great bonus. 169144-ok.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I looked at that but it was way more than I need, plus the internals are almost exactly the same. The forums gave them a bit of a panning as they are Gigabit interface but they can't cope with that speed of data arriving.

Its a half way house to a proper SAN really and none too cheap either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being pedantic you are after a NAS not a SAN. Network attached storage is accessed over a network and uses IP. iSCSI is the newest technolgy for this kind of access. A SAN is usually fibre attached.

Otherwise the recommendations on Buffalo are could but you may also want to have a look at the SC101 from Netgear. Depends what you want to do with your SAN/NAS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your right Frodo..

I was going to go for the Netgear but read a lot or reports about cooling issues as it has no fan. The case acts as the heatsink. Plus the design of it doesn't allow it to become a media server as it doesn't run Linux or anything similar.

I only need a bit of extra strorage so I managed to pick up 120Gb for only £99 on Amazon. Its no £136 for the same thing so I picked up a bargain. It can have another USB drive attach for less that £90 with 250Gb if I need to expand which will do me just fine.

Laptop, PC and all MP3s / pictures are all backed up on a seperate device as well as being regularly being backed up. 169144-ok.gif

You only loose data once to learn the lesson.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have recently bought one of these. NAS . I had a spare 200gb hdd lying around so it seemed ideal.

I pre read the manual off synology web site(weird thing to) and it was nearly plug and play.

I have been streaming DVD from it over a wireless network and saving files at the same time.

You can install an app on each PC so that selected files/folders are replicated onto it all the time. Old versions are also maintained.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The heating issues with the SC101 I believe have been ironed out as the disks now spin down after around 15 minutes. This means it runs a lot cooler. The SC101 is more akin to SAN technology then NAS, but then it is very cheap.

I sync my documents and other folders to the SC101 from my laptop and it works great. Also have a shared volume accessable to all computers which is great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I realised I'd used the wrong term but it was too late - the post was in! I am indeed after a NAS.

Some good points there guys. Ideally, what I wanted to do, was to buy a case, and just add extra disks as I needed them. I'm looking to have 6x300GB disks, attached to the network. The idea of just having hard disks connected through some form of connector to the network was ideal.

I'll have a look at those products/links you've given me so far. Any home/DIY methods are welcome too 169144-ok.gif

Edited to add: after having a look at some products, I am not really worried about paying for "extras" such as FTP/HTTP servers as the software I'm writing will control all that functionality. It's mainly a method of getting lots of disk space on a network.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[ QUOTE ]

Depends what you want to do with your SAN/NAS

[/ QUOTE ]

Simply a file store. It will hold music, video, software, backups from other machines etc.

Files will be streamed off from them (audio/video etc) but it will not be expected to be serving files 24/7. For the best part of a day, it will be sat idle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have an Iomega NAS 100d - 250 GB about 330 UKP works well (comes with OK backup software too) & can also be used wirelessly only problem is it doesn't really work with a domain (you have to search for it then you just add to network places so no big deal really)

HtH

Martin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[ QUOTE ]

Why do you need so much space Sparky ? That is a hell of a lot of pron your are storing. EEK2.GIFpengy.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

Isn't it just. grin.gif

It's for video work mainly. sekret.gif

Storing my MP3 collection and software packages I've written, websites I've developed for clients etc.. I'm currently using 500GB of storage in 1 PC, but the motherboard has now run out of SATA headers and I want to increase it.

I suspect I could just throw in an 8-channel SATA controller card. Would that work, or would I have problems with that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its a simple if maybe not the most elegent solution.

If the data is important I would make sure that its all back up away from your PC at the very least. I would invest in a good backup drive and give a copy of the data to relatives or something. If you loose that lot you won't be happy and it can and does happen.

If you want a real NAS then it will cost you at least £1k The Netgear mentioned above is a good solution and just put two very large disks into it. Or a 400Gb Buffalo and a large USB drive on top. It all depends on do you want the drive to sit next to your or in another room, do you want it to be just for backup or very fast to access.

Your not talking about a small amount of data really so the solutions might not be so cheap. smirk.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nope not cheap at all.

Maybe a halfway house could be to get a Buffalo 400gb Linkstation approx £400 and add the largest USB drive to it you can will give you 800+Gb on line. Plus if you flash the firmware on the Buffalo you with have media streaming without the PC being on... nice little power saving as it only uses a few watts and is very quiet.

I have a Netgear MP101 connecting into all my MP3s... its serving out 5000 tracks without problems at the moment. No reason it couldn't do a lot more as well as pictures etc.

I feel the credit card is going to get a hammering either way. shocked.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with USB drives, or external drives is that you end up paying for the host electronics each time I add a drive. The PC with an 8 port serial ATA host controller, is probably cheaper in the long run, and would allow me to deploy code to the system to control backups etc.

Either way, you're right... my credit card is about to get hammered EEK2.GIF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep... the solutioning I mentioned above would have worked hanging 1 NAS off the network the 400gb Linkstation and attaching a USB drive to that. I didn't mean attach it to your PC. Maybe then you could get some data off and install the largest drives you can in your existing machine ?

I got the Buffalo for £99 of Amazon its only 120Gb but I only wanted to store pics and MP3s on it to serve them out to the media station. With the Twonky server installed it does a great job. If I need more space I can add another 250Gb for £85 ... not enough space for your needs but more than enough for me.

Let us know what final solution you go for others might be looking to do similar. 169144-ok.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you have to have the PC up or does the Twonky server work on the NAs ?

I have a Soundbridge & am using Windows Media Connect but this necessitates having a PC so if I could serve it via a NAS (without a PC serving) this would be great

Cheers

Martin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The twonky server runs on the NAS, my PC is switched off. You basically update the firmware on the Buffalo Linkstation and it allows Telnet access to the Linus OS that already sits on the drive controling everything. It still works in exactly the same way as before you will notice no difference.

But follow the instructions relating to the Buffalo drive and hey presto no PC needs to be turned on. Have found it much better than Windows Media Connect.. hasn't dropped once and it also give me internet radio via it as well.. its very clever.

Twonky Media player. Have a look at any forums everyone raves about this.. its only £10. It will cataloge my 5000 tracks in less than a minute on the NAS !! If I use my Netgear server it takes 20/30 minutes. EEK2.GIF

Info on how to get firmware to allow telnet.

It might look complicated but if you follow the instructions on both its not hard. 169144-ok.gif

Let me know if you go ahead and I can help out if needed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...