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Mac Mini with RBOD


req7777
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Hi everyone

 

I finally decided to retire my good old EX470 running WHS 2003 ;-(

It's been quite helpful gear I have to say...

 

There are many drawbacks of using such an old computer in 2016 – speed, power consumption etc

However, what worries me most is that it might suddenly stop working and I don't even have the installation disks anymore, so recovery might be hard...

 

I've been using it as a personal cloud, for all my backups, data/media center, even FTP server and PHP/MySQL web server.

BTW, I even built a quite nice custom case for it if anyone cares: http://mattr.co.uk/meet-aretha/

 

 

I was thinking of replacing the old Mediasmart with a Mac mini that I also own.

 

The main problem is how do I create some kind of drive array with the disks I already have attached to my Mediasmart?

Mac mini has 4 x USB 3 and Thunderbolt ports but I wasn't able to find any SATA hub for either of those, nor any RAID card.

Only (low cost) option I can think of is a bunch of SATA to USB3 adapters... 

 

Any good ideas guys?

 

Thanks

Edited by req7777
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Hi everyone

 

I finally decided to retire my good old EX470 running WHS 2003 ;-(

It's been quite helpful gear I have to say...

 

There are many drawbacks of using such an old computer in 2016 – speed, power consumption etc

However, what worries me most is that it might suddenly stop working and I don't even have the installation disks anymore, so recovery might be hard...

 

I've been using it as a personal cloud, for all my backups, data/media center, even FTP server and PHP/MySQL web server.

BTW, I even built a quite nice custom case for it if anyone cares: http://mattr.co.uk/meet-aretha/

 

 

I was thinking of replacing the old Mediasmart with a Mac mini that I also own.

 

The main problem is how do I create some kind of drive array with the disks I already have attached to my Mediasmart?

Mac mini has 4 x USB 3 and Thunderbolt ports but I wasn't able to find any SATA hub for either of those, nor any RAID card.

Only (low cost) option I can think of is a bunch of SATA to USB3 adapters... 

 

Any good ideas guys?

 

Thanks

Have a look at this, I have one and it works great. It only supports SATA 1 and 2 so no SATA 3 if you can live with that. Whats nice about this box is you don't need a port multiplier or RAID card you can set the RAID level threw dip switches.

http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/ex-503/

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Nice one! thanks

SATA II is fine, I think you wouldn't get much benefits from SATA III anyway due to USBs 5Gb/s limit

a bit over my budget tho...   :wacko:

 

Possibly more of a DIY solution... such as recycling the old Mediasmart somehow?  ;)

Edited by req7777
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I have little over 4TB of data at the moment, don't think that it'll grow significantly in near future...

I was thinking about getting another 2TB 3.5'' since they are reasonably priced, so that would make it 6TB in total.

Edited by req7777
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This a topic close at heart. 

 

The Lian Li is a good option. 

There is also the Supermicro ITX-S8 (mini-ITX board, 8x 3.5" hot swappable HDD bays, 1-2 2.5" HDD/SSD bays internally) 

There is also the Silverstone DS380.  It doesn't look as nice (fantastic still), has 8x 3.5" hot swappable HDD bays, 4x 2.5" HDD/SSD bays internally, Mini-ITX. 

Additionally, there is the U-NAS NSC-800.  A lot harder to source.  Sadly...

There is also the Supermicro "mini servers" (Paul loves them, check out TinkerTry website) 

 

These are all great enclosures for this sort of thing. 

 

 

 

The main problem is how do I create some kind of drive array with the disks I already have attached to my Mediasmart?

 

 

 

If you go with Windows, the easy answer is "StableBit DrivePool".  It's disk pooling software inspired by WHS' Drive Extender technology. 

"They" have a guide on how to convert from WHSv1 to the software (which is pretty simple). 

It is paid software... and I'm quite biased here. 

(check my signature) 

 

 

If you don't want to use Windows, then it gets more complicated.

 

 

Also, I would HIGHLY recommend against USB for long term storage. it's just not a good idea.  And USB to SATA adapters are even worse IMO. 

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He' not being biased. StableBit DrivePool is super awesome. Use in on WHS 2011 and Windows 10. Great piece of software. 

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He' not being biased. StableBit DrivePool is super awesome. Use in on WHS 2011 and Windows 10. Great piece of software. 

 

I'm still biased though.  :)

 

But yes, I was recommending it before working there, because the software is fantastic. :)

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This a topic close at heart. 

 

The Lian Li is a good option. 

There is also the Supermicro ITX-S8 (mini-ITX board, 8x 3.5" hot swappable HDD bays, 1-2 2.5" HDD/SSD bays internally) 

There is also the Silverstone DS380.  It doesn't look as nice (fantastic still), has 8x 3.5" hot swappable HDD bays, 4x 2.5" HDD/SSD bays internally, Mini-ITX. 

Additionally, there is the U-NAS NSC-800.  A lot harder to source.  Sadly...

There is also the Supermicro "mini servers" (Paul loves them, check out TinkerTry website) 

 

These are all great enclosures for this sort of thing. 

 

 

 

 

 

If you go with Windows, the easy answer is "StableBit DrivePool".  It's disk pooling software inspired by WHS' Drive Extender technology. 

"They" have a guide on how to convert from WHSv1 to the software (which is pretty simple). 

It is paid software... and I'm quite biased here. 

(check my signature) 

 

 

If you don't want to use Windows, then it gets more complicated.

 

 

Also, I would HIGHLY recommend against USB for long term storage. it's just not a good idea.  And USB to SATA adapters are even worse IMO. 

 

 

 

Could you elaborate more on why USB 3 is a bad solution?

Would Thunderbolt be any better?

---

 

I like Lian Li very much, and StableBit DrivePool's replacement for drive extender seems like something I've been after for a long, long time as well. Thanks for the links.

If I was starting from scratch today I'd probably try to go for Lian Li or equivalent plus some low cost Linux based PC (or if that wouldn't work Windows PC).

 

I should probably mention that earlier, but I am looking for a low cost solution, reusing gear I already have which consists of:

   • a soundproof, kids-proof ;-), pets-proof etc, retro-looking enclosure – see attached images

   • HP Mediasmart's  enclosure with 4 drive bays, PSU and fans

   • Mac Mini with Mac OSX

   • optionally GoodSync – I own one Mac and one PC licenses so I could use it as a software for mirroring/backups – I would have to split my drive pool which I am ok with.

 

Regarding other software I don't really need much. I am using PLEX for media and will probably go for MAMP as a web server. It would be also nice if I could find some software for remote file sharing, similar to dropbox but with only few users.

 

So moving on, and probably giving up on hardware RAID...

Creating drive pools looks easy right out of a box in OS X:  https://youtu.be/dougISKs2vQ

 

 

Essentially I am only missing some kind of 'OEM version' of the  Lian Li or equivalent - whiteout the case, just the interface.

Hope it makes sense.

 

Thanks for your replies and ideas.

 

 

 

IMG_8936-300x225.jpgdevelopement1-700x393@2x1-700x393.jpg

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