Is there such a thing as an external RAID cage?

filterxg

Senior member
Nov 2, 2004
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Basically I am looking to have about 1TB (so at least 4 hard drives), in a RAID1 array. They would be hooked up to a SFF, so obviously would have to go outside the case.

Doesn't matter the interface (SATA or PATA), though PATA is a slight preferance becuase of cheaper drives. The only thing that won't work is SCSI, much too expensive.

Thanks
 

Mark R

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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Yup - external RAID is readily available. You've got 2 options - SCSI or SATA. There's probably not a lot to choose between them.

Essentially, you just need a SATA card with external ports (external SATA connections have different connectors and use different cables to normal internal SATA). Some RAID boxes have a built in SATA port multiplier, so you just need a single SATA connection from the PC, others require a seperate connection for each drive.

Here's a cheap and cheerful SATA RAID box: link. It's ontl 4 bays though, so you may need to look for a higher end one.

You say you want 1TB in RAID 1 - That means 4x 500GB drives in RAID 10 - I'm not sure those are available yet. So you may need to get a bigger enclosure - maybe 8 way, or consider using RAID 5 instead of RAID 1 (this will mean getting a hardware RAID card - These are often quite big, so may not fit in a SFF).

Perhaps it would be best if you explained exactly what you intend to do, as what you are suggesting may not be the best option.



 

filterxg

Senior member
Nov 2, 2004
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Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Now that I know what I'm looking for I found quite a few, even some PATA ones. The price on all of them is prohibitive, especially for a home user. I may just give in a build a server off an old CPU, but I don't want the added power bills of having 2 computers always on.

What I had imagined was bascially an external hard drive enclosure that fit 4 hard drives. Ideally it would be connected by Firewire or USB connection, and would be capable of RAID0,1, and/or 5. It would probably have a software RAID, to keep price down.
 

Zepper

Elite Member
May 1, 2001
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Use something like the Enermax CS-10182 . Or the Silverstone Berserker case with a Coolermaster 4x3 box inside. That way you could have your system and RAID array all in one box. You'll need a stout PSU with hefty +12 Amps like the Sparkle FSP550-60PLG etc. for all those drives.
. Or if you really want to keep the SFF, use something like a Codegen 8000 or 9000 series box for your RAID array. Unfortunately you'll probably have to go SATA as SCSI would probably bust your budget to get anywhere near the space you seem to need (but SCSI is so much less clumsy for this type of application). Maintaining a large pr0n collection can get quite expensive $$$ ;) , can't it.?.

.bh.
 

beatle

Diamond Member
Apr 2, 2001
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Originally posted by: filterxg
I may just give in a build a server off an old CPU, but I don't want the added power bills of having 2 computers always on.

That's what I did. If you're just using it for storage, you don't even need a RAID controller. Windows will allow you to do RAID in software. It'll be slightly slower overall, but you won't notice the speed difference unless you have several people hammering the drives. I'm not sure if you can make a mirror of a mirrored set, but it might be worth looking into.

FWIW, you don't need a monster PSU to use several hard drives. The duallie in my sig has six hard drives and several other components. It runs on a very old (but stable!) 300w PSU.