[TriLUG] Storage, more Storage and even More Storage

Don Jerman djerman at pobox.com
Thu Apr 3 12:27:41 EDT 2008

On 4/2/08, Thomas V Thomas <thomasvt at gmail.com> wrote:
> Linksys NSLU2 may be an option and can support upto 2 USB drives.  Or you
> can install "unslung" on the NSLU2 which is a custom distribution for the
> NSLU2 and get more out of it (attach USB hub, media server, web server, etc)
> .
I've burned a couple of USB drives out trying this - apparently most
enclosures aren't designed for always-on operation (I guess I need to
figure out how to put them to sleep and wake them).

A 1-TB drive in a USB enclosure would be the fast way to move data
between systems, though. No tying up the network required, and
everything supports a VFAT-formatted disk.  But I suspect what you
want is a repository for the home LAN, and that's why I think this
isn't suitable.

For my Mythtv I bought WD SE16's at 500G because that was the sweet
$/GB price - and the WD drives were tested quieter than the Seagates.
For at-home use anything with a warranty is fine.  I use 3 as a raid-5
(actually it's partitioned into 2 raid-5s, one for data and one for OS
just to avoid disk-full on the OS drive) for 1TB total storage.

SATA is optional, since you can do this with 2 or 3 IDE drives, but
SATA offers the chance to buy more than 4 ports, and it will give you
more throughput on internal moves.  Speaking of which, compare prices
for a new mobo and that SATA controller - there are some very cheap
micro-atx mobos that will support as low as a pentium 4 D and still
provide 4xSATAII, with cheap graphics builtin (good enough for a file
server). Depending on how many ports you want an upgrade might be
cheaper than a card, particularly if your processor and RAM are
already compatible.

Of course, planning for lots of future expansion may not matter.  Next
time you upgrade your file server you might be buying a petabyte.  You
laugh, but I was tossing 40G drives because they're too small to
justify taking up the bay...I spent more for 8GB in 1994 than I did
for 1TB in 2007.

(...and in my day we had to walk 8 mile uphill through the snow both
ways to get to Radio Shack, where we would buy transistors to build
our own logic gates...)

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