[s-cars] NAC- need advice on photo workstation, RAID and some other ???s

Taka Mizutani t44tqtro at gmail.com
Sat Jun 10 15:34:10 EDT 2006

I'm asking here as well as on another forum because it seems as though there
are a lot
of people with a broad knowledge base here......

That said, I'm building a dedicated photo workstation for maximum
reliability and redundancy
so as to avert any potential data loss. However, I have to do this in a
reasonable budget, so
I can't afford to drop multi thousands on this setup.

I've decided that doing a multi-disk SATA RAID array will probably solve any
issues regarding
data loss at a rather reasonable cost. Anyone here have extensive experience
with RAID and
the latest technologies? I've got 3x WD 320GB SATA drives waiting for an
array, thinking about
picking up a fourth, if not a fifth drive (fifth would be a cold spare).

If I'm running 4-5 drives (4 or 5 in the RAID array, another for the OS and
apps- the array is solely for
data storage), will I need a larger power supply than the Antec Neopower 480
that's in there now?
I'm running an A64 3500+, 6600GT and two optical drives along with the 5

I've semi decided upon the Areca ARC-1220 controller for the RAID array-
it's PCI-Express x8, will
work in my ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe in a x16 slot, apparently has blazing
throughput compared to even
the 3Ware cards, way way faster than the Promise or Highpoint cards. It's a
stretch for the budget,
around $530 for the card alone, but if it's worth it, I'll spend the money
for reliability and throughput.
Any other options that will work on PCI-Express (I don't have PCI-X, lots of
options w/ a server MB)
that are the same price or cheaper that have better reliability, throughput
or else?

Any suggestions on a case that isn't super-expensive? I'm going to run
hot-swap drive cages for the drives,
probably the Supermicro cages that hold 4 drives in 3x 5.25" bays. I'll need
a big case with a ton of
5.25" bays to accomplish this task- the CoolerMaster Stacker is one of the
cheapest cases I've found
that will accomodate having at least 8 bays (two drive cages and two optical
drives)- around $140.

I'm wondering if this is waaaay overkill, but having invested in a DSLR
system, I want maximum data
protection w/o major $$$$- a tape system will cost as much as the RAID and I
still need drives for storage


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