Like every other website on the planet, SmallNetBuilder uses cookies. Our cookies track login status, but we only allow admins to log in anyway, so those don't apply to you. Any other cookies you pick up during your visit come from advertisers, which we don't control.
If you continue to use the site, you agree to tolerate our use of cookies. Thank you!

Router Charts

Click for Router Charts

Router Ranker

Click for Router Ranker

NAS Charts

Click for NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

Click for NAS Ranker

More Tools

Click for More Tools

NAS How To

Introduction

RAID ("Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks"), especially RAID level 5, is particularly compelling to geeks, even wannabe geeks like me. What's not to love? You lose one disk, throw in another and your data rocks on! This is the RAID 5 dream. RAID 5 reality, however, is not so compelling. In fact, many people who know they should be using RAID 5 systems do not or cannot use the technology.

The purpose of this article is to build an inexpensive RAID 5 Network Attached Storage (NAS) system. I'll then compare the home-built system to off-the-shelf products to see how they compare in terms of performance. If we cut enough cost and produce enough value, we might convert some of the RAID 5 procrastinating masses into RAID 5 users.

For this project, I chose a RAID card from LSI Logic's MegaRAID family of RAID 5 adapters. I found the MegaRAID family based on a Tom's Hardware review (Cheap and Reliable RAID 5 Storage Compared) of the SATA 4 port adapter; I have been using these adapters since late 2004. After building my first RAID 5 system on the MegaRAID SATA 4, I noticed on the 'net that the older IDE/ATA generation of MegaRAID cards was available on eBay at a fraction of the price of the SATA card. (At the time of this writing, I can buy an ATA card for $80 on eBay, while the LSI MegaRAID SATA card on froogle.google.com is $260.)

Those of you who are very frugal may wonder why I'm not using a software RAID 5 solution. Well, I tried to use software RAID 5 and even bought the O'Reilly book Managing RAID on Linux in order to learn how. Recovery is the single most important aspect of RAID 5 to be sure you understand before implementing RAID 5. But even with the O'Reilly book, I could not figure out how I would recover from a drive failure, step by step. So instead, it's a hardware RAID 5 solution for me.

After using hardware-based RAID for two years, I've successfully recovered from drive failures, but just as importantly, I've learned that hardware RAID gives you a degree of freedom in designing your NAS. A hardware RAID card insulates you from operating systems and their issues. Since I use a well-supported hardware RAID card, I have installed Windows 2003, freenas, Ubuntu, ClarkConnect, and SUSE, on the same hardware, without having to learn each operating system's setup for RAID and how to perform RAID recovery.

More NAS

Wi-Fi System Tools
Check out the new Wi-Fi System Charts, Ranker and Finder!

Featured Sponsors



Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Over In The Forums

I have my RT-AC5300 (merlin powered) setup as my primary devices connected to my modem, I have used one of my RP-68U in a wired AP mode setup.The 5300...
HelloI am new to networking and I apologize in advance if this has been asked and I was too naive to know what to search for.I live in Japan and I hav...
Hi,I have an RT-AC68U with Merlin 384.5.The list of List of Clients is restricted to a few wired devices (not the complete list) and no devices for th...
Hi,I installed a NVR(Network Video Recorder), and I want to setup VPN for that.(I want to see it remotely and securely), and of course I want to setup...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3