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Want to purchase new HDDs with the future in mind RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have four USB HDDs attached to my custom-built WHS. These drives have only a USB port on them. I'd like to add some additional drives, but am not sure whether to go with the same kind of drives or whether to spend more money and go with drives that also have firewire and/or eSATA interfaces.

     

    Other than reading that eSATA is much faster than USB, I can't say that I know much about eSATA.

     

    I don't believe my server hardware (a Dell Dimension 8250--about five years old but working fine with WHS otherwise) has an eSATA interface; however, I've been thinking about replacing that server with an HP MediaSmart server--which *does* have an eSATA interface. I'd like to buy drives that won't end up being ineffective if I go with the MediaSmart server. What do you recommend?

     

    Two side questions:

    1. The number of USB drives that can be added to my custom built WHS is presumably limited only by the number of available USB ports--unless an external USB hub is used. Has anyone had good success using an external USB hub with WHS?

    2. Since the HP MediaSmart server has only one eSATA port, does that mean that it is limited to only one eSATA drive?

    Friday, February 29, 2008 6:34 AM

All replies

  • Is there no space in the Dell?  I would look to move them into the computer personally.

     

    Friday, February 29, 2008 10:49 AM
  • Thanks, Jimbo!. The Dell has two HDD bays and they are currently filled with a 120GB drive (containing both the 20GB C: drive and the ~100GB DATA drive) and a 200GB drive.

     

    I've added three external USB drives--two 500GB and one 750GB. I'm considering purchasing two 1TB USB drives; the model with only a USB interface is on sale right now. Would it be wiser to spend the extra dough to buy drives with an eSATA interface? (Hence my question about whether the MediaSmart server can support more than one (external--is it redundant to say that?) eSATA drive.)

     

    I've considered replacing one/both of my internal drives, but the thought of doing so (especially the C: drive) is intimidating and overwhelming. It's my understanding, too, that this motherboard supports only PATA drives--which only go up to about 500GB, isn't that so? That would seem to limit me to adding external USB drives...or moving to different hardware; i.e., a MediaSmart server

    Friday, February 29, 2008 2:41 PM
  • Hello,

     

    So you have some money to spend ?

     

    Forget the mediasmart, get yourself an HP Proliant ML110 with 4x 750GB or 1TB Western Digital RE2s, all SATA.  Have read here, this will be your cheapest route too, since you can re-use your OEM version of WHS:

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2882563&SiteID=50

     

    Hang on to one of the USB drives and use it to back-up the server when the power-pack comes out (eventually, lol) - and stick the rest on ebay and get a few quid towards the new box.

     

    Hope that helps!

    Friday, February 29, 2008 3:33 PM
  • Don't forget also, that if you use USB drives, the data throughput will be limited by the number of USB Controllers on the motherboard. The ideal would be one drive to one controller, so if you went the external hub route, you will seriously limit the throughput.

     

    Colin

    Friday, February 29, 2008 6:29 PM
  • Jimbo!:

     

    Well, I wasn't necessarily looking to replace my PC with a server (either a MediaSmart, a Proliant, or even a Dell entry-level server) at this time.  I'm simply wondering what is the best route to take regarding the purchasing of new external drives at this time.

     

    In the other thread you listed, what did you think of Ken's comment that WHS isn't really designed for "enterprise-class drives"; instead, that it is designed for "desktop drives"? Aren't Proliant drives considerably more expensive than standard SATA drives and/or external (USB or SATA) drives?

    Saturday, March 1, 2008 1:57 PM
  •  ColinWH wrote:

    Don't forget also, that if you use USB drives, the data throughput will be limited by the number of USB Controllers on the motherboard. The ideal would be one drive to one controller, so if you went the external hub route, you will seriously limit the throughput.

    Thanks for that, Colin. To date, even with three external USB drives, I haven't found performance and/or throughput to be much of a problem. OTOH, perhaps I will notice an issue if I add more USB drives and when I use my WHS more as a media server than I am currently doing. Currently, I use my PC to listen to music and to watch videos that are stored on my WHS; I'd like to do something similar with my Xbox 360, too.

     

    So what do *you* recommend in the way of drives?

     

    Also, can anyone comment on what they consider to be both the technical limit and the practical limit as to the number of external USB and/or external SATA drives that can/should be used with WHS?

    Saturday, March 1, 2008 2:02 PM
  • FYI, here is WD's technical brief on TLER. Their recommendation is to not use these drives in non-RAID environments. This has not changed with the introduction of the RE2 drives.
    Saturday, March 1, 2008 2:31 PM
    Moderator
  • Personally, if I were to be going for external hard drives, I would, if possible, install a PCI, (PCI-e, if you have it,) card with eSATA ports.That way, if you have a card which is port multiplier aware, each external SATA port will recognise up to 5 hard drives and wouldn't be too limited on throughput. Trying that on one of my servers allowed two HD video streams from the same external hard drive to be served with no problems at all.

    The types of actual drives really does depend on what your priorities are; for example, you may well have a priority of saving power, so the WD GreenPower drives might be suitable etc.

     

    Colin

     

    Saturday, March 1, 2008 5:55 PM
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    FYI, here is WD's technical brief on TLER. Their recommendation is to not use these drives in non-RAID environments. This has not changed with the introduction of the RE2 drives.

    Thanks for the information, Ken.

     

    I'm interested in your recommendation. Would adding more USB drives be a bad idea? Should I go with eSATA drives? Something else?

    Saturday, March 1, 2008 6:41 PM
  • I would go with eSATA over USB. Theoretical performance is several times greater, and real world performance is at least 2x-3x. USB is just not a very good bus for mass storage devices. The only reason it's so heavily used is because everything else has been expensive or obscure until recently.
    Saturday, March 1, 2008 8:41 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    I would go with eSATA over USB. Theoretical performance is several times greater, and real world performance is at least 2x-3x. USB is just not a very good bus for mass storage devices. The only reason it's so heavily used is because everything else has been expensive or obscure until recently.

    Thanks. I'll think seriously about spending the extra money to go with external drives that have both a USB interface *and* an eSATA interface.

     

    Pity; I was just at my local Circuit City and they have new 1TB WD MyBook Essential Edition drives for $220, but they are USB only.

     

    My current server hardware doesn't have any eSATA ports. Do you have a recommendation for an eSATA PCI card? A company called Sonnet used to sell an 8-port PCI card, but it appears that it's no longer available.

    Saturday, March 1, 2008 9:19 PM
  • Hi Ken,

     

    I just don't understand the logic in this argument!

     

    Desktop drives are technically inferior, have shorter life expectancy, and are designed to be used at a 30% duty cycle.  As a result they are manufactured to wider tolerances and are more prone to degredation in performance due to viabration, which can occur when operating multiple drives in the same chasis.

     

    The only advantage is that in the instance that the device encounters a massive surface defect, it will struggle to correct it for potentially many minutes - usually failing anyway in my experience.  I can't ever recall seeing a noticable hard-drive access pause that hasn't resulted in loss of data.

     

    The TLER (or ERC or CCTL depending on who we're talking about) drives are purpose built for a 100% duty cycle and have a guaranteed 5 year life.  These devices also continually operate a backgroup surface scan as well so the sector reallocation will happen long before the OS sees it assuming the machine is on all the time but not always busy, which is very likely for a WHS.

     

    TLER can also be disabled using WD's downloadable WDTLER tool.

     

    Out of interest, can you clarify how Drive Extender handles bad sectors when file replication is enabled?

    Saturday, March 1, 2008 10:09 PM
  • To the OP - I would seriously try to avoid using any type of external disk at all costs.  By doing so the server will be dependent on the external unit power supply, and of course the physical connection.  Just knocking the cable out will obvioulsy move the drive off-line.

     

    Saturday, March 1, 2008 10:20 PM
  • Jimbo, if you pick up the phone and call Western Digital, and you're lucky (so you get a tech who can actually answer a question), you will learn that TLER cannot be turned off, as far as WD is concerned. That a tool exists that can change the parameters under which TLER operates is pretty much immaterial. WD does not rate it's drives with TLER enabled from the factory (it's RE and RE2 drives, in other words) for use in non-RAID environments.

    And you will not find a link to the WDTLER tool on the Western Digital site. It's not a supported tool, as you could (once again) learn with a phone call to their tech support. (They do send it out, but you have to make a case for needing it, and they will typically warn you that it's unsupported.)

    As for how Windows Home Server handles errors, it doesn't. It lets the drive do it. A drive with TLER (or equivalent) enabled will return an error within a few seconds, even if a few more seconds would have allowed it to recover from the error and return the correct data. A drive without TLER tries for up to a couple of minutes before it gives up.

    You are welcome to risk your own data on unsupported hacks to your drive firmware. I think you do a disservice to others when you recommend that sort of procedure to someone who will just take your word for it, just on the basis of "well, it worked for me so far".

    Sunday, March 2, 2008 1:52 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ken

     

    Can we clarify that point - that DE will use a second shadow copy only if the first copy is entirely missing; it won't use a second copy if the drive storing the first copy returns a read-error status?  That seems a bit of a flaw to me.

     

    Re extended retries potentially covering a couple of minutes - be honest, have you ever experienced such a scenario resulting in a successful transfer of data?  In any case, the network client would have time-out long before then.  How would WHS/DE manage that scenario - returning some form of wait to the client?

     

    I've personally exerienced many hard drive failures over the years of different natures, as I'm sure most of 'enthusiasts' on here have, but I have never known a drive undertake an extended error recovery procedure that wasn't dead (or as-good-as).

     

    Anyway, this conversation is rather pointless - we both have fundamentally different opinions on the matter!

     

    I would appreciate it though if you could refrain from making rather personal remarks like the above.

     

    Thanks,

    Jimbo.

    Sunday, March 2, 2008 8:25 AM
  • Windows Home Server relies on the standard Windows error-recovery techniques. If at some point an error comes back from the drive controller, it is my understanding that it will go to the second file shadow (on a different drive). But that's not documented, and it's hard to recreate that issue without a much larger testbench than I have.

    Your point about failing drives is well taken. I agree that a drive that goes into extended error recovery is likely on it's last legs. One would hope that such an event would trigger a health warning in the WHS console. Smile In my experience (I have such a drive, which I intentionally installed in a server during the beta period) it does so. But realize that not every drive will report any sort of useful error... For example, the Google study a year or so ago showed that only a minority of drives that were about to fail reported any useful SMART parameters.
    Sunday, March 2, 2008 2:16 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the interesting information, guys.

     

    One of the things about WHS that appealed to me initially--as a novice consumer--was that I could install it on my aging PC hardware and that I could expand its storage simply by plugging in additional USB drives. I've already added three USB drives and have been mostly satisifed and impressed with the results. Now I'm contemplating adding more drive space.

     

    After a review of this thread, it still seems that the easiest route for me to take is to add more USB drives. Sure, I could replace the PC with a MediaSmart or ProLiant--and I may very well do that in time--but I'd likely re-use these USB drives with those servers, too. True, I'm not happy about the external power supply requirements; but I tend to keep all of this hardware in an isolated spot, connected to a UPS.

     

    I could spend a little more on drives that have both USB and eSATA interfaces; until I have server hardware that has eSATA interfaces on it, however, I'd still be using just the USB interface.

     

    From a cost and simplicity perspective, I may just go with two WD 1TB MyBook Essential Edition drives, at $220 each.

     

    Please tell me if this is an absolutely wrong choice...or just not the best choice. 

     

    Again, thanks for your help and for your expert advice.

    Sunday, March 2, 2008 7:28 PM
  • Hello again, sure if you're happy with the external route - it is certainly a selling point of the software, then the WD drives are probably top-tier.  Ken will be better placed to answer your query.

     

    Ken - thanks for that.  Agreed it would be hard to test, not least because loading the 'near bust' drive up with enough data to do some proper testing would probably kill it completely anyway.  I wonder if anyone does an interface adapter that will simulate failure conditions?  Probably cost a fortune even if there is such a thing.

     

    Thanks Gents,

    James.

    Sunday, March 2, 2008 9:02 PM
  • To the OP, cgwaters ... about the feasibility of using USB drives as added storage -

     

    I'd echo the general point made by ColinWH's earlier -

     

     ColinWH wrote:
    Don't forget also, that if you use USB drives, the data throughput will be limited by the number of USB Controllers on the motherboard. The ideal would be one drive to one controller, so if you went the external hub route, you will seriously limit the throughput.Colin

     

    But I'd say it a bit stronger than my namesake said it.  I would not use or recommend USB drives for routine use as storage on a server - even though Microsoft's notes say - multiple times - that it's a good(ish) idea.  It's not a good technical idea.  IMO it's a marketing ploy, aimed at technically un-aware folks with so-far low (or zero) server expectations, and is intended to boost the appeal of WHS in a particular market.  From my server installation / support / consultancy background, it's downright bewildering that Microsoft tout USB as a viable choice, except for temporary use.  (Just think of all those Adaptec, Seagate, Microsoft-server and other designer-hours spent streamlining hard disk caching algorithms, removing data-flow bottlenecks on disk sub-systems, scrutinising performance counters and enhancing IDE to EIDE hardware etc., over many years, and join me in scratching your head about why USB could ever be proposed for on-line storage on a box with a label of "server"!)

     

    The USB (and FireWire) interfaces were designed and intended as external interfaces, and they simply can't move data fast enough for any real, technically credible server to operate properly (by which I mean, moving data around the drives in various background modes, while simultaneously letting you (and it's assumed other PCs on your network) write and read data to and from multiple shares ...).

     

    I'd stick with eSATA. The eSATA interface is purpose-designed as a fast and reliable external interface.  Leave USB-drives where they belong, as temporary and handy peripherals.  I would not add USB drives to the shared WHS pool. Ever. To me that's like inviting trouble along to your party and would IMO just stack performance grumbles on top of existing corruption-worry doubts.

     

    Yes, (to the OP), you could, as Jimbo replied earlier, by all means go with those big USB drives, but I would drop any expectations of serious "server" type performance from your WHS box.  You'd be throttling it.  I welcome evidence to the contrary from anyone and everyone.

     

    (For the record, I don't dislike USB, and I'm a big fan of FireWire ... but they simply have their place ... )

     

    And - as ColinWH says above - don't use USB hubs with your drives on the WHS box. Microsoft explicitly recommend against hubs in this case.

     

    [Steps off soap box]

     

    Colin P.

    Monday, March 3, 2008 4:59 AM

  • I reviewed my requirements for Hard Drives in the future and decided that the current case I was using was not appropriate for my expansion of storage. I had 3 500GB drives and an old 150GB HD.

    I decided that and external standing case would be the best solution for my expansion.

    I seached for a solution and decided that if I was to start utilizing the WHS for media such as DVD and music in addition to backup and work, I would have to think outside of the box (pun intended).

    I purchased a AMS Venus T5 stand alone hard drive enclosure that provided space for 5 hot swap SATAII drives with its own cooling and power supply (85w). It even had a PCI-X card  that linked 1 eSATA cable to the case from my existing enclosure. That same card installed into my server allows for a 2nd case to be added through a 2nd cable. Everything that I required was in the box.

    The card was immediately installed without even having to use the driver cd provided. I moved 2 of the 500GB drives into the case and I plan on adding 3 more Terrabyte drives when I require it. In addition I like the idea that I can expand another case using what I have now.

    WHS picked up all the drives without any work on my part. An excellent solution.

    Although I grit my teeth becasue there is no 64 bit connector (2 computers running 64 bit) and I would like to move some applications to the server but holding off until the corruption issue is resolved, I have a positive take on where a Home server can go in the future. That is why I rethought the HD future situation as inidcated in this post. I can see long term the benefit of large storage moving from the PC's in the house to the WHS and on that basis I did what I did 2 weeks ago and am ready to expand with more storage when it is appropriate.
    Monday, March 3, 2008 5:12 PM
  •  CSPea wrote:

    ...I would not use or recommend USB drives for routine use as storage on a server - even though Microsoft's notes say - multiple times - that it's a good(ish) idea.  It's not a good technical idea.  IMO it's a marketing ploy, aimed at technically un-aware folks with so-far low (or zero) server expectations, and is intended to boost the appeal of WHS in a particular market...

     

    The USB (and FireWire) interfaces were designed and intended as external interfaces, and they simply can't move data fast enough for any real, technically credible server to operate properly (by which I mean, moving data around the drives in various background modes, while simultaneously letting you (and it's assumed other PCs on your network) write and read data to and from multiple shares ...).

     

    I'd stick with eSATA. The eSATA interface is purpose-designed as a fast and reliable external interface.  Leave USB-drives where they belong, as temporary and handy peripherals.  I would not add USB drives to the shared WHS pool. Ever. To me that's like inviting trouble along to your party and would IMO just stack performance grumbles on top of existing corruption-worry doubts.

     

    Yes, (to the OP), you could, as Jimbo replied earlier, by all means go with those big USB drives, but I would drop any expectations of serious "server" type performance from your WHS box.  You'd be throttling it.  I welcome evidence to the contrary from anyone and everyone....

    Thanks for your comments, Colin. You've raised enough concerns in my mind to question the USB route (again). May I ask what kind of eSATA configuration you have for your WHS?

    Monday, March 3, 2008 6:50 PM
  •  Valzic wrote:

    ...I purchased a AMS Venus T5 stand alone hard drive enclosure that provided space for 5 hot swap SATAII drives with its own cooling and power supply (85w). It even had a PCI-X card  that linked 1 eSATA cable to the case from my existing enclosure. That same card installed into my server allows for a 2nd case to be added through a 2nd cable. Everything that I required was in the box.

    The card was immediately installed without even having to use the driver cd provided. I moved 2 of the 500GB drives into the case and I plan on adding 3 more Terrabyte drives when I require it. In addition I like the idea that I can expand another case using what I have now.

    WHS picked up all the drives without any work on my part. An excellent solution.

    Although I grit my teeth becasue there is no 64 bit connector (2 computers running 64 bit) and I would like to move some applications to the server but holding off until the corruption issue is resolved, I have a positive take on where a Home server can go in the future. That is why I rethought the HD future situation as inidcated in this post. I can see long term the benefit of large storage moving from the PC's in the house to the WHS and on that basis I did what I did 2 weeks ago and am ready to expand with more storage when it is appropriate.

    Thanks, Valzic! Very interesting post. I appreciate hearing about the solution you came up with.

     

    May I ask where you purchased your drive enclosure (i.e., the AMS Venus T5) and where you would purchase the drives? Looks like NewEgg is the least expensive vendor (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817332017). Also, what kind of server hardware you are using? I'm unconvinced that my Dell Dimension 8250 would detect...nor perhaps even work with...the controller card (PCI-E Sil3132 2-Port SATA II Host Controller Card, according to one vendor-- http://www.unityelectronics.com/product-product_id/4330).

     

    All: Are there any known problems or incompatibilities using eSATA drives in such a configuration with WHS? From re-reading the posts in this thread, it's apparent that the drives in such an enclosure wouldn't need to be--nor may even be compatible with--RAID.

    Monday, March 3, 2008 7:05 PM
  • Now if you're considering ditching the dell, we're back to the give-away priced Proliant ML110 again

    Monday, March 3, 2008 7:33 PM

  • CGWATERS,

    My setup is very inexpensive.

    An inxpensive AMD board and AMD CPU totaling 100 dollars.

    ASUS M2A-VM mATX AMD 690G with 2GB of cheap ddr2 memory
    AMD AThalon 64 x2 3800+ EE processor

    ALl it requires on the mother board is a 1x PCI-X slot which I had. (ALso that card can be pludgged into any spare 1x, 4x, 8x and 16x PCI-e slots) This is the area that has to be checked on the Dell.

    If it is pluggable in, and there are drivers for Server 2003, I can't see why the Dell can't support. It has RAID drivers but I never installed. The WHS just sees them as SCII drives even though there are SATA-II drives (Western Digital 500GB drives).

    It was unbelievably easy to setup. I plugged in card and booted, WHS found and installed its own drivers. I took 2 drives out of my case (I took them out of the pool temporarily) and had my teenager install the drives in the hot swap cases. It was real slick.

    Turned on case and WHS say 2 drives available to be put into pool which I then put in. I am now just watching for sales of 1Tb drives to get more.  I really was impressed and the case is real small and its cute and it has lights. I would not hesitate to getting another one when this one gets full.

    What I loved is that there is one cable between the server and the T5 and has a spot for a second one. If I ever decided that WHS was not for me (not likely), I can see that this case could be used on my main computer also.




    Monday, March 3, 2008 7:48 PM
  • CGWATERS,

    I looked up your Dell Dimension 8250 and it looks like it only have PCI slots. The controller card in the VENUS T5 requires a PCI-X slot which that motherboard does not have. I suspect that is becasue the controller card multiplexes the eSATA for 5 drives and you need the bandwidth which the old PCI slots don't have.

    On the machine it looks like you would need to get a standard eSATA solution which uses a PCI slot.

    I had decided to dump my older PC's like what you have and get an inexpensive server built knowing that I could get a real cheap one since WHS does not require much.
    Monday, March 3, 2008 8:14 PM
  •  Jimbo! wrote:

    Now if you're considering ditching the dell, we're back to the give-away priced Proliant ML110 again

    Ha, Jimbo! I thought of that, too. Costs just a bit more than a MediaSmart, as you said.

     

    The prices for the ML110 on HP's site are high. In fact, the prices on this side of the pond for the same hardware you listed in your other thread seem to be much higher over here. (I don't think it would be practical to have eBuyer.com ship one to this side of the pond.) I saw a few comparable server options on Dell.com--but again, for substantially more money.

     

     Valzic wrote:

    My setup is very inexpensive....

    I looked up your Dell Dimension 8250 and it looks like it only have PCI slots....it looks like you would need to get a standard eSATA solution which uses a PCI slot....I had decided to dump my older PC's like what you have and get an inexpensive server built knowing that I could get a real cheap one since WHS does not require much.

     

    Thanks for the details, Valzic...and for researching my 8250. I'm not aware of an eSATA solution which uses a PCI slot; are you? That being the case (no pun intended), it might be best to simply replace my 8250 with newer hardware, after all! What do you recommend for "an inexpensive server"?

    Monday, March 3, 2008 8:34 PM
  • CGWATERS,


    There are a couple of eSATA PCI controllers at newegg. Not the same as used in the Venus T5 in that it does not multiplex 5 Hard drives through 1 cable.

    Sorry, when I said inexpensive WHS server, I was referring to a custom built one I put together my self. That's not everyone's cup of tea as I see you are looking at pre-built servers.

    The thing about pre-built servers is that the ones you are looking at have a good number of hard drive spaces but NOT a lot. I can see myself getting 3 more drives bringing the total to 6 drives. Maybe more. Buying something that will handle some unknow number of hard drives is tough. Who knows hard drives may get to 2tb and more and you don't need as many then.

    The solution that worked for me allows me to incrementally add hard drives and hot swap cases depending on my needs. It may be I add 2 more 1 TB drives and start replacing with larger.

    Your situation is different. Your existing hardware has a limitation that cannot be overcome in that it cannot use PCI-E cards which seem to becoming then norm. I think any of the solutions suggested would work and my solution is something that can be reveiwed when you run out of space to put hard drives. These new machines all probably have PCI-E slots.

    The only thing I would make sure is that the processor is 64 bit, the MediaSMart is and I am not sure of the proliant. My understanding is that at some point in future, the WHS software will be migrated from Server 2003 to Server 2008 64 bit. I read that somewhere here.

    Good luck in your build.

    Monday, March 3, 2008 10:02 PM
  • All good stuff - do bear in mind that more hard disks by definition means less reliability.  Might be better to periodically replace several disks with a bigger one, rather than keep just adding to them.

     

    Monday, March 3, 2008 10:25 PM
  •  Jimbo! wrote:
    All good stuff - do bear in mind that more hard disks by definition means less reliability.  Might be better to periodically replace several disks with a bigger one, rather than keep just adding to them.

     



    I agree.

    I have a bunch of 150-200GB drives (4) that I originally wanted to add to my WHS. They are now on a shelf in my basement now and will probably be thrown out. When the 500GB drives hit 89.99 on sale I bought 4 (1 donated to my sons new computer).

    I have 3 slots available in my AMS Venus T5 and will fill them with 1 TB drives minimally and I fully expect to replace the 500GB long term.

    In terms of reliability, the addition of the hot swap nature of my case allows me to monitor and replace defective drives without downtime (supposedly). A much better and more server like feature.
    Monday, March 3, 2008 11:03 PM
  •  cgwaters wrote:
     CSPea wrote:

    [snip]The eSATA interface is purpose-designed as a fast and reliable external interface [....].

     

    [snip] May I ask what kind of eSATA configuration you have for your WHS?

     

     

    Ah! Sorry cgwaters if I gave the impression that I'm actually using eSATA myself. I'm not - yet.  And I might not do so in the near future at all.

     

    As Jimbo proposes - using fewer but progressively larger drives will be my favoured scheme for at least the next year, and I'll opt to keep mine all internal for now.  I've got one spare internal SATA connector (of four total), so - when my next upgrade time arrives (and those digital images keep arriving by the GB!) I aim to add a fourth drive, probably 1TB, and switch out the smallest 320GB.  And so on and so on until I reach max WHS capacity, or I spot some attractive alternative (iSCSI rings all my nerdy bells! but isn't going anywhere fast, in Marketing terms).

     

    Or, better still - because I'm an optimist and a JungleDisk + Amazon S3 user, I can hope that the cost+bandwidth equations for over-the-wire storage will tilt in our favour.

     

    But the good news so far (for me) is that I've been able to build this WHS box at very low cost, using good but otherwise redundant parts (HDDs excepted), and I'll keep watching as WHS matures and as hard drives grow, etc..

     

    Colin P.

     

    P.S. Microsoft's involvement in iSCSI (like that of many other companies) seems to have paused around 2003 or 2004.

     

    Tuesday, March 4, 2008 5:32 AM
  • > (iSCSI rings all my nerdy bells! but isn't going anywhere fast, in Marketing terms).

     

    You might be interested to look at SAS controllers - some can take SAS or SATA disks interchangeably.

    Tuesday, March 4, 2008 7:36 AM
  •  cgwaters wrote:

    Pity; I was just at my local Circuit City and they have new 1TB WD MyBook Essential Edition drives for $220, but they are USB only.

    Does anyone know what drive is actually in there?

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 4:36 AM
  •  Jeshimon wrote:
     cgwaters wrote:

    Pity; I was just at my local Circuit City and they have new 1TB WD MyBook Essential Edition drives for $220, but they are USB only.

    Does anyone know what drive is actually in there?

    I checked on WD Site, they don't say what drive is in there, but they do say it has only a 1 year warranty, that made me lose all interest.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 5:01 AM