Hello out there,
I just cannot get my head around this and would be grateful for some input!
My intention: to build a NAS (@home) which does the following:
- provide me with my data anywhere and with any protocol I want
- provide data security (this is actually most important to me)
My system so far:
- Via Epia SN (which has a VT8251 Southbridge, thus a raid controller onboard of which I do not know if it is one of the dreaded fake raid controler)
- 4x1TB hdd
- FreeBSD based OS (FreeNas) for now
- OS installed on a separate drive (CF card) - no need to boot from raid
The system is up and running, I just cannot decide on what to do with my hdds
Have the onboard raid controller create a raid5 and let the OS use the thus created "raid drive". This would be the obvious choice, if it weren't for this one major disadvantage: I did the following: I set up the system in this way and removed a drive. No data loss, system working fine, BUT the raid bios setup does not include a "rebuild" feature. These features are part of Via's "v-raid" driver, which is not available for FreeBSD. Thus, plugging the drive back in will not regenerate the raid. I would have to copy everything off the raid, delete and then recreate the raid and copy everything back on it...not very convenient. Also, what happens when the board goes done?
Software raid. Let the onboard controller not do anything. Have the OS use all four hdds to create a software raid5. Now, performance-wise, there seems to be debate whether this is a real disadvantage over "cheap" raid controllers (right?). Within this option, I'd have all the raid operations available. But, what happens in the case of a mainboard or OS-disk failure? Will a newly installed OS be able to recognize the raid?
Get a dedicated hardware raid controller. Well, I do want data security and a decent performance, but I am not running any public service. Given the price of my system so far (600€) spending another 300€ on a raid controller would be rather heavy. But then again, if that's my only option to data security, that's what I'd have to do.
Well, again, I would be grateful for any input! Thanks!