Posted by Thomas Mon, 31 Jan 2005 22:01:35 +0000

This is a little scatterbrained, but for what it’s worth, here it is…

Well, if you read my last post, then you should know that I am in somewhat of a data crunch. If only I had been paying better (read any) attention to Mr. keystonelogic on Ebay. If I had, I might have been able to pick up an entire Fibre Channel array, including 10 36.4 IBM drives for anywhere between $195 and $255, plus shipping. THAT IS A STEAL! Although there is a Mr. retreadbdp that is selling a very similar product, but his start at $275.

Anyway, I meant to try and do a decent cost and feasibilty analysis of possible data storage solutions for myself. I figured that this would be a decent medium through which to do this…

Now, if I were to seriously get into video editing, which is why I need the extra storage, then I would also wind up getting another powerful machine just to do Premiere and Photoshop on. With this in mind, I then need to have data sharing between machines. This can be accomplished several ways:

  1. Firewire
  2. Fibre Channel
  3. Samba over TCP/IP

Firewire and Fibre Channel would be the most appropriate, since they speak directly to the hardware, instead of an intermediary of a host as would occur with the use of Samba, or NFS for that matter. Plus both Firewire and Fibre Channel have their own media over which to transmit data, whereas Samba would be over Ethernet (GigE, I would presume).

The speed of 1394a is 400Mb/s; the speed of 1394b is 800Mb/s; the speed of FC is 1.0625Gb/s (100MB/s); the speed of GigE is 1Gb/s, obviously…

Any Fibre Channel enclosure that I would buy would not only have hot-swap capability for the drives, but also redundant power supplies and dual communication loops to each and every drive.

We will assume that RAID will be done in software, rendering all of the disks as simply JBOD.

Internal SATA would be cheapest, but does not scale, because adding another drive requires adding another controller.

Fibre Channel requires smaller individual drives due to cost. After 36GB drives, the prices increase dramatically above what I consider to be acceptable, or $0.50 per GB.

Apparently it would cost $299 + $49 to get a SATA to 1394b enclosure from these guys. Then you still have to get the drive, which costs approx. $180, and that assumes that you could buy one 360GB SATA drive. That’s $528, and it’s not that scalable. You can’t buy a 360GB drive to get up to our supposed goal of a 360GB array. You could buy two drives to get to that 360GB goal, but then you eat up your scalability, as you can’t remove a drive that already has data on it. So, if you buy a 300GB drive for $189, and you leave room for the other future drive, then you just spent $537. And I’m not even sure that you really needed to buy that extra $49 SATA drive tray! I would like to go with SATA for their speed and hot swap capability, but I’m not exactly sure in this case how it would truly be that beneficial. Sure, if there were one encloure with, say, only 5 drive bays, as SATA drives are much cheaper in larger drive sizes than FC, and

  1. Hot Swap Drives
  2. Redundant Power
  3. Scalability
  4. Price

AMD Athlon 64 2800+: $109.00
EPoX “EP-8KDA3+”: $110.50
Corsair 512MBx2 DDR PC-3200: $133.50
Seagate 7200.8 400GB 7200RPM SATA NCQ: $369.99 * 5 = $1,849.95
Thermaltake SILENT BOOST A1838: $28.99

Grand Total: $2,231.94
Price per GB: $1.12
2TB and a screaming, 64bit machine: $Priceless

AMD Athlon 64 2800+: $109.00
EPoX “EP-8KDA3+”: $110.50
Corsair 512MBx2 DDR PC-3200: $133.50
Seagate 7200.8 200GB 7200RPM SATA NCQ: $135.00 * 5 = $675.00
Thermaltake SILENT BOOST A1838: $28.99

Grand Total: $1056.99
Price per GB: $1.06
1TB and a screaming, 64bit machine: $Priceless

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