This is topic I am very curious about (expansion of drive pool and raid in the home) -- so I want to bring up a couple of other things. BTW great post LiquidCrystalMeth for only 3rd one on the board, and nice nick as well
I fail to understand the requirement for spending boat loads of money on parity/redundancy in the home setup to be honest. For example I am well over 1.8GB worth of music and video.. Not really a large collection, but its starting to expand now that I have a bit more breathing room. Then again I keep the files small vs large 8GB rips of movies, etc. So your talking quite a few (just looked over 3.1k video files and 3.5k music)
Here's the thing - would it suck if it all was lost, ok sure.. But they are not critical files, every single one of them can be replaced. Be it rerip or just download, etc. Now my "critical" (home videos/pictures) files are redundant as well as backed up all over the place on different media, different locations, online as well.
As to the vast majority of my storage requirements - its just videos and music that I could replace no problem. So why spend extra money on redundancy and or parity on such data?
My thought process here is I have my drives in a pool, so even if one fails only the data on that drive is lost - not the whole array. So would only have to rerip/replace those files - if I desired to do so. Quite possible those videos have already been watched and not really all that important that I have a live online copy.
It's cool to have your video's online and such to watch with a flick of a button - but come on, how many times do you watch the same video. Its more as show piece when friends come over, etc. Hey you want to watch X? - Click here you go, oh remember that south park episode from season 3 - click there you go. That sort of thing.
But if those files were lost - not really that big of deal. Now don't get me wrong, I would love to throw some parity in there. Have been looking at unraid, and almost went that route when my server died. But then going the esxi route to allow me easy VMs to play with along with storage for a cheaper budget won out in the race for my dollars.
Now I do have smart monitoring of my data drives (drive scanner from same people that make drivepool) And it emails me if there is any issues with the drives that might point to failure. So if that were the case I could replace with new drive before actual failure and not have to worry about redo of my video/music/etc that might of been lost.
So I guess my real question is - what sort of media do you have on your storage, and why does it warrant redundancy/parity to help prevent loss of access to data in hardware failure. Keep in mind that raid is not a backup!! So you can't say you don't want to loose critical files.. Because you wouldn't - all critical files would be backed up anyway! So what your saying is loss of access until replacement/recovery of the files only.
In a company setup, this is a major issue! If loss of access to the WORK files were lost for even a day or so you could be talking large loss of revenue with workers having nothing to do
So you prevent that with raid! So drive fails you just pop in another and no time loss in access to files. But this really doesn't scale to the home imho.
And no not talking about striping or raid 0 -- this I do believe has some merit in the home, if looking for performance or just playing, etc.
So are you running raid in the home because you have money to burn, or this is your hobby and what you want to spend your dollars on. Or are you really worried about loss of access to some files that can be replaced with just some effort. The creation of the raid, can also mean loss of MORE data that has to be replaced if bad luck and you loose 2 drives. If your just pooling them - only the % of files stored on those disks would have to be replaced.
Which is part of the reason I think unraid makes a lot of sense. You can get way more bang for your buck while still having parity vs typical raid 5 be it hardware or software setup. Best of both worlds kind of solution.
Your opinions and thoughts on this are most welcome - kind of a tangent to the original thread. But hey its still on point in helping the OP make a decision on how to best store his files. Should he expand his current setup with raid5 or go a different route? etc.
"Where can I pick p a copy of 2k8r2 essentials storage server? "
It's not really sold in stores.. Are you an OEM? I work in the field, so I have lots and lots of OEM contacts plus my own oem system builders lic
Plus full access to MS downloads directly with enterprise agreement. Normally you get it with an appliance, lots of places to get it with an appliance. So if you buy an appliance you will get it - then depends if come pre installed or if you get media to install yourself, etc.
There are a few places on the web to buy just the software, quick google found this
I have never dealt with that company, so please don't me linking to it as recommendation of it.