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Old 03-23-2013, 02:16 AM   #1
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Sata controllers - are they good?

I'm looking at options for increasing the number of Sata devices that I can connect to my mobo.

Currently 6 sata ports.

Now I have 6 sata disks that I want to connect, and a Sata optical device. Currently the DVD player is disconnected.

Is a controller card the way to go - they seem to be PCI-express. Not sure if you loose out on speed using that...
 
Old 03-23-2013, 03:07 AM   #2
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Hey man,

They work like a charm. Just make sure you have plenty of connectors from your PSU. You can get adapters if your short.

If your short on case space, you could pick up something like this. I've got one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...N82E16816132029

-AJ
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterS
Is a controller card the way to go - they seem to be PCI-express. Not sure if you loose out on speed using that...

There is no alternative to PCIe. The big question here is bandwidth. Many PCIe SATA Controller are PCIe 1x. They will only provide a very limited bandwidth. Ok enough if you just need a lot of space for backups that are done sequentially, but if you need fast random access to multiple drives simultanously, or even true RAID capabilities, they are no match. You will have to go with one of the much more expensive 4 PCIe 4x cards.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:32 PM   #4
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I would very, very seriously consider a mix of upgrading your drives and buying a NAS.

As Srek said controllers are more likely to disappoint than not unless you are ready to fork out a considerable amount of cash.

Unless you are dealing with RAID10 SSDs (in which case I can imagine you couldn't get much space going even with 6 disks ), upgrading your storage and a good quality Synology NAS for offlining will be better value for money, not to mention data security.

Food for thought.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:20 AM   #5
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The synology devices are nice, but they're a bit overkill for simple file storage. If you were planning on getting a home server anyway then theyre great, you can set huge files downloading overnight and turn off all your computers, hook up printers, extra drives, webcams, run it as a webserver etc. But either way, with a NAS drive consider you will be limited to about 40-50 megs a sec over a gigabit network, a locally attached usb3, fw800 or thunderbolt drive will be much quicker.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imashination
The synology devices are nice, but they're a bit overkill for simple file storage. If you were planning on getting a home server anyway then theyre great, you can set huge files downloading overnight and turn off all your computers, hook up printers, extra drives, webcams, run it as a webserver etc. But either way, with a NAS drive consider you will be limited to about 40-50 megs a sec over a gigabit network, a locally attached usb3, fw800 or thunderbolt drive will be much quicker.

If all you want is dump files on it, then yeah, they might be overkill, but given how much you get out of one and how much power it saves you I think one is well worth it if someone is willing to shell out for a controller with a decent interface/chipset and disks by the half dozen or more.

Speed wise though, in practice and not in some benchmark, I get 70-90+MB out of my 213+ on gigabit ethernet, and the drive attached externally ( to back up selected NAS directories) peaks at drive performance (80-114MBps).

A USB 3.0 drive attached to my workstation doesn't do any better than my 213+, the drives and controller will usually bottleneck sooner than a half decently configured network that's not used for anything else.

The latter thing being very surprising since reviews had made me expect the eSATA interface to be half broken and not capable of exceeding 75, turns out it isn't (or some release of the OS after those fixed it).
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:09 AM   #7
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Sorry for the delayed response - had a few other things that I had to deal with.

The NAS looks like a sweet solution - especially as I do have a home network - which currently needs both PCs on to have access to all files.

I think a 4 bay would provide more scope for adding capactity. Can you simply add an additional disk as and when required?

I already have a spare 2TB and 1.5TB HDD that could go in it initially and would be enough capacity to back up everything up at this stage but my collection of RAW photos is growing fast as I shoot high res HDR panoramas.

And out of interest what specific NASs are people using?
 
Old 04-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #8
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4 bay is an excellent midrange, and you can start with however many disks you want, 3 or 4 get you RAID 6 which is fairly good.
I strongly recommend buying Synology and never look back, QNap as a fallback, but Syn's software is by far superior to anything else, and capable to run many softwares and serve as a functional server for many things (version control, webserving, p2p downloads, upnp mediacasting etc.).
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:41 PM   #9
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Are you familiar with the DS413 model?

http://umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=2

This is cheaper than the DS412+ model which is meant to be faster.

edit: Would it be a good idea to stick a 250GB SSD in the NAS to use as my shared 'Fast Files' network drive in addition to my larger HDDs?

edit again: I'm wondering whether in order for me to utilize the benefits of having one of these - I'm essentially removing my backup system. I think having the network storage would be sweet but I can't see how I could incorporate a backup solution into that setup without needing additional external drives... Any thoughts on that?

Last edited by MisterS : 04-12-2013 at 11:35 PM.
 
Old 04-12-2013, 11:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterS
Are you familiar with the DS413 model?

http://umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=2

This is cheaper than the DS412+ model which is meant to be faster.

The plus models usually have a beefier CPU and RAM.
If, like me, you use it for uPnP media playing, run a python interpreter on it, plan to use it for webserving/repo etc. then it's well worth it.
If not, the transfer rate speed isn't massively different.

Quote:
edit: Would it be a good idea to stick a 250GB SSD in the NAS to use as my shared 'Fast Files' network drive in addition to my larger HDDs?

Nope, it'd be a pretty bad idea actually
Your bandwidth to a NAS will be limited by the network connection a lot sooner than the higher speed of an SSD drive can come into play.
Even striping I would argue is useless, since 1GB ethernet caps at around 120MBps after parity and negotiation, and most 7200rpm magnetic drives nowadays get very close to that read rate.
If you really want to cap both speed and safety with a 4bay nas you stripe and mirror (RAID10) 5400 rpm drives and you will have a cool (safer), quiet (all syn are super quiet anyway), reliable and fast storage that will cap the transfer rate.

Quote:
edit again: I'm wondering whether in order for me to utilize the benefits of having one of these - I'm essentially removing my backup system. I think having the network storage would be sweet but I can't see how I could incorporate a backup solution into that setup without needing additional external drives... Any thoughts on that?

A 4bay means you can run it in RAID6, that's a pretty solid storage solution for safety and you can hotswap substitutes. RAID10 if you deck it out right away (while possible with two drives I would recommend 4x5400 rpm 2 or 3TB).

I have a second tier of backup in the form of a cheaper drive on a SATA hotmount connected to the NAS, and the NAS is scheduled to backup important files to that every 24Hrs.
Synology's software is superior to anything else in the same price range and extremely easy to use for such things, which is why I recommend it in general as a brand.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:34 AM   #11
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I appreciate all your help on this, you've definately given me some food for thought - I think for the next few months I'll buy a simple external drive for backup and a basic controller so I can get the DVD drive running again.

Later though I'll go with the NAS when I can afford to upgrade to some larger capacity 3TB disks. I used the synology calculator and was looking at RAID 5 or 6 and with my current disks I was wasting a fair bit.

Have to grin and bare having to switch on both PCs for full network drive access for now but it's not the end of the world.

Thanks again.
 
Old 04-13-2013, 11:32 PM   #12
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I think I'm learning a lesson... the hard way. Trying to backup to en external USB3 disk and I'm certainly not winning.
 
Old 04-14-2013, 03:39 AM   #13
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If you don't need to back-up the entirety of what you do, and want to stay on the cheaper end of things, even a used 2bay 213+ with the disks in JBOD will be fine to be honest.

My suggestion of considering RAID6 (5 isn't even worth considering if 6 is available) stemmed from the fact you mentioned 4bays, but if you're penny pinched and are willing to run regular backups you can start with a 2bay, use whatever disks you have, and drop a cheap 3TB external USB3 drive attached to it for backup and be done with it for a while.

Resale value is excellent on syn NAS, and you get to use what you have, get your feet wet, set your backups up and all, and upgrade later.

Running local drives + RAID6 NAS backup + second tier bacup on an external drive is some pretty damn serious safety for a home environment. Nothing wrong with it, ever; safety I mean, but it's not necessary really if you have that second tier and you need to be budget conscious.
The removal of RAID6 or 10 from the picture also opens you up to cheaper NAS solutions.

I have a 213+ with two disks striped (mostly for the sake of it, there is very little perceivable difference from just JBODding them as they are 7.2k) and an external drive for second tier backup and am very happy with it.

What's the amount of storage you need anyway? And what percentage of it needs backing up?
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:03 AM   #14
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Currently I've only got about 3TB of data, but I'm setting myself up in a business sense.

I bought a 4TB external disk - but am struggling with the backup - drag drop works but Win backup had an I/O error and Retrospect is also giving me grief and after further investigation it appears that there a lot of of people having problem with WD and Seagate extermal drives using automated backups - something to do with the drive formatting apparently.

I really can't be bothered with the hastle, or lack of peace of mind in my backup solution. I've just broken my RAIDs and had it all working but whilst Retrospect said it had duplicated my main SSD I can't see a few of my so called duplicated folders on my external drive.

EDIT: Have you had any problem with backup to your Synology NAS? I've spent a large amount of my weekend messing around and trying to get my system sorted.

EDIT again: I just rebooted and ran retrospect for the third time and I can now see the duplicated files...

Last edited by MisterS : 04-14-2013 at 08:28 AM.
 
Old 04-14-2013, 08:03 AM   #15
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