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This software (TAHOE-LAFS) allows you to setup an FTP server that will encrypt and split your data, putting it redundantly on a bunch of remote servers. It is highly customizable so that you can adjust the amount of redundancy that you need and that you can easily add additional severs as nodes to the pool of space available.

I'm looking for something very similar, but instead of servers being nodes, I want normal hard drives to be the nodes. In other words, I want a software RAID (even if it is behind an FTP server) that will allow me to add more drives, adjust the redundancy, etc... without having to rely on standard RAD10, RAID5, RAID6, etc...

The purpose of this system would be to allow me to build a cheap file server that I can expand over time. I want to be able to mix and match hard drive sizes and I do not want to buy a special card for it. I don't want to rely on the Windows software RAID.

Is there anything out there?

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4 Answers 4

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You can run more than one Tahoe node on a machine. If your server has five drives, run five Tahoe nodes on it, each configured to use one drive.

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Buy a DROBO (I don't own any of their stock, btw) and attach it via FireWire. Expandable up to 16 TB, any size drives in any combo. It will auto resize and it's got redundancy built in you can lose any single drive and not lose data.

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Yes, this is similar to what I want... but I want to roll my own. –  Jason Sep 15 '09 at 21:08
    
Unless it gives you competitive advantage to roll your own. I'd recommend not re-inventing the wheel. The DORBO will probably give you the best performance and reliability anyway. Just my opinion. Best of luck. –  Nate Sep 16 '09 at 16:36

You mentioned encryption so I would think that this is sensitive data. Be careful regarding FTP as it is an insecure method of file transfer: namely the authentication is in clear-text. You should also look into implementing a SCP or SFTP over SSH solution too.

One idea would be to setup Truecrypt for encryption on the host server.

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FreeNAS has software RAID, including Raid-Z.

OpenFiler also has software RAID, including Raid-5.

You can for example pick your 3 (or more) drives, make them array members and then join them together as a software raid volume.

Since these are NAS solutions, you can create various types of file shares and more.

Later you can add more drives to an array, or even create additional separate arrays and join them together to expand your volume.

It would be great if Tahoe-LAFS could be used as a volume in a FreeNAS!

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