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You have answered my question, but I now have more detailed ones that I need answered.

In short, I need a server that is high on HDD capacity to record RTP streams from many IP cameras. I asked my first question here and now I have some more...

First I found that this motherboard: Intel Server Board S3420GPV is good for what I need. Also, Western Digital RE4 2TB seams to be a good option for HDD... Are they?

My questions:

  1. How many 2TB disks can I fit in this configuration, and which operating system I need to run that (system that can allocate all that HDD space)?
  2. How can expand to more? I just plug RAID controller and connect new disks to it?
  3. Now, if I can put 8 2TB disks in this, that would be great (more, even greater), what about the power unit? How do I calculate how many Wats I need to power my disks?
  4. What case would I use for this? Can I use a cheep one, or I must buy a special one to house all disks and server motherboard?
  5. What RAID should I use to maximize HDDs speed?

And that's all I guess...

All answers will be +1 for the effort. Thanx!

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closed as not constructive by Chris S Jan 20 '13 at 14:22

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted
  1. Any modern (server) OS can access this amount of storage. If you use raid controllers, you can connect as many disks as you can connect to the controllers you can plug into the mainboard. 50 disks is absolutely possible.
  2. Basically yes. If you use Linux, I would suggest using LVM to manage the storage space.
  3. See question 4
  4. If you buy a case from i.e. Supermicro with space for 16 or 24 HDs, the power supplies will be selected to handle that many disks. And yes, I would recommend this kind of case, because they are easy to maintain and setup and they have appropriate cooling (fans) for all the disks.
  5. I would opt for RAID6, which is fast enough with a hardware raid controller and offers excellent protection from disk failures (two disks can fail without data loss). But you need to check if you can sustain your required data rate in the case of drive failure and subsequent reconstruction, this can slow down things considerably.
    Because of this I would think about setting up at least two independent arrays with a speed reserve so you can shift some of the streams to the second array if the first will need reconstruction.
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Thanx for your answer and case recommendation! What do you think about putting WD RE4 2TB disks? Is it better to get 4 Velociraptors (10000 rpm) or 1 RE4 (7200 rpm), considering that RE4 is enterprise edition, and is made to be RAID arrayed and run non stop??? (I really dont know much about hardware, I'm a software engineer, and I am sorry if I ask something stupid. (: ) –  Cipi Sep 10 '10 at 7:47
    
ALSO: What if one disk fails, and I have 10 others that are working, do I need to turnoff the server so I can replace the faulty disk, or I can do it while the server is running?! I need this other option because server must stay up no meter what... –  Cipi Sep 10 '10 at 8:22
    
Definitely use RAID disks, they are designed to run all the time and their MTBF is much higher. Also, 10k RPM is a good thing because your access pattern will likely have a lot of semi-random access since you write many streams at once and the faster seek time will be a benefit with this. As a matter of fact, get as many disks as possible, and as I said earlier, set up two independent RAIDs, maybe with a shared spare disk. –  SvW Sep 10 '10 at 8:43
    
If you use a hardware raid controller and a case with hot swap drive bays, you can replace disks while the system is running. The RAID controller should then rebuild the array automatically. But beware: This takes a lot of time. Last time I had to replace a 2TB disk in an array, it was beyond 24h for reconstruction. –  SvW Sep 10 '10 at 8:46
    
Thanx man... :) –  Cipi Sep 10 '10 at 8:55

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