I almost titled this thread "What RAID setup should I use" but before posting, I thought better of it. I don't even know if I want a RAID setup! I sure don't want the hassle of managing one!
I have a server in my home. It's not rack mounted or anything, just a PC mid tower running Windows 7 64 bit. It can fit 4 hard drives inside easily but once installed they're a real pain to swap in and out. I'm looking for a better storage solution than having a bunch of totally independent odd disks shoved into this machine that all tend to fail randomly and are a pain to replace and keep backed up.
~6TB+ Capacity on one logical drive
High performance (streaming HD video to multiple clients)
Minimal maintenance (preferably stuff that can be done automatically or at least live)
Data security not tied to a single specific piece of hardware (that includes the host PC, the storage enclosure, whatever)
Here's what I envision as the ideal solution to my problem:
Some kind of box full of hard drives that connects to my server via eSATA. The box is relatively dumb, just power and wires. The box could be replaced at any point in the future. The eSATA port on the box connects a really well-supported, standard, RAID card in my server.
I fill the box with 2TB hard drives and put them into a RAID configuration. This controller card could be easily be moved to a new PC or replaced in the future. This card handles all RAID control, including rebuilding disks and shit. If a drive fails, the server gets a notification and I just slide out the dead drive and slide in a new one form a package. That's it, no additional intervention is required.
At regular intervals, the server backs up the RAID to a couple rarely used, high capacity internal drives.
I don't want to, in 5 years, have the RAID controller card die and suddenly I can't find another. Or buy a slightly different card and my elaborate RAID setup is dead in the water because the last card was working some kind of incompatible RAID voodoo. I want everything to be standard, hassle-free, and as futureproofed as makes sense. Obviously when it comes times to change drive technology or upgrade capacity, I'll need to rebuild from scratch, possibly with a new enclosure or card, but I want the basic setup to remain the same.
The two big points are: A.) never lose data due to hardware failure and B.) make hardware failure hassle-free when possible. I envision a RAID setup because that's all I really know. But if there's some kind of new hotness I don't know about, I'd love to hear it. Maybe there's a way to make all my dreams come true in software. Maybe there's a premade hardware thing that does it all for me and it guaranteed to stick around for at least a decade.
I am willing to throw money at this problem. I don't want to spend more than $2000, but if really great solutions that will last years and years bump into that limit, I still would love to hear about them. What would you guys advise?
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