IP Storage


Senior Member
An interesting announcement:


Involves IP based expandable storage using 2 drive enclosures. Doesn't support RAID 5, but supports RAID 10 with some variations with linked enclosures that allow multiple non-adjacent drives to fail.

Looks like each enclosure will cost around $115.

Considering you would not need a high end SATA RAID card (or equivalent) it looks to be a little cheaper than the enclosure + SATA RAID card solution as:

Old scenario:

Enclosure - $120
RAID Card - $250
Total = $370

New Scenario:
Enclosure $115 * 2 = $230
RAID Card - $50 (this is assuming you don't already have SATA ports open)
Total = $280 (assuming you buy it all at once, you can buy an enclosure at a time)

It appears the greater security comes from more drives, I'm curious to see how this does. It is very interesting as it is scalable in a fashion that is not (as) and you can continue to expand. It also seems that if you have multiple servers (I'm sure noone here has that...) you can chain storage off those machines but tie them together.
At work we have multiple Dell "Power Vaults" which include RAID5 arrays and a "dumbed down" operating system. We then "duplicate" these arrays over multiple power vaults (on our network).

I don't know all the details, but it seems to work fine.
No doubt, you are in another class though (I think the lowest end power vaults go for around $1500 and thats with about $120 GB of storage) and another level of wallet.

I found this interesting due to it's low cost and apparent data protection as well. Considering many here have large at home storage capacities and a hefty apetite for this, it might be a good setup for expandable storage for home media centers.

There were some other posts on external enclosures recently that I was referring to that Micah had started. This particular option allowed low cost, over time expansion as needed.
Oh yea, I knew they were not in the same catagory for home use, just mentioning the disk duplication technique for what that was worth.
Ahh, I understand, I hadn't caught that. Thanks, thats good to know. I'm curious to read the reviews/results on this once its out a little bit.

Looks like it could help solve long term storage plans (without the corporate price)...
Mike said:
New Scenario:
Enclosure $115 * 2 = $230
RAID Card - $50 (this is assuming you don't already have SATA ports open)
Total = $280
I am confused, why are RAID & SATA mention here? The NetGear web site says this is for Parallel ATA only (interior connection) and it has an external network connection.
I am a little lost as well, but the product does look interesting, would be useful as it would let me remove more heat/noise from my livingroom HTPC.
What, no gigabit?

I'm confused too, though. You just toss two drives in the thing, plug it into your network and give it an IP, right?

I really wish they'd make some of the consumer-level NAS devices with gigabit connections instad of just 10/100. It'd probably only add a couple of buck to the total cost.

Here's a detailed description of the device:
Main Features

• With Storage Central you can add the capacity you need to store

• share and back up your valuable digital content—-music

• games

• photos

• videos

• and office documents

Sharable, Expandable, Fail-Safe storage accessible by all PCs on your network

Plug in up to 2 IDE drives of any size and create a central storage space for all your music, video, photos, games, and files that is accessible by all the PCs on your network as a simple letter drive. You can start with as little as 40GB and continually upgrade 800GB or more. Never worry about losing your most valuable files with advanced, automatic backup features. Keep your personal files private from other network users if desired. You can even link multiple Storage Central units together for additional storage capacity.

The NETGEAR Storage Central features True SAN technology by Zetera, with features previously available only to
business-class users.

• Add one or two IDE drives and create your own storage network for music, photos, videos and data
• Share your valuable files or keep them private with password protection
• Protect and duplicate your valuable files, automatically
• Increase your storage capacity by adding more SC101s and larger IDE drives
• Supports IDE drives from 80GB to 800GB or more (drive not included)
• Capacity can be doubled or tripled by adding a 2nd or 3rd Storage Central
• Works with IDE drives, a.k.a. Parallel-ATA or Ultra-ATA drives (Note: Serial-ATA drives NOT supported)

Package Contents:
- Storage Central SC101
- 12V, 5A power adapter, localized to country of sale
- Ethernet cable
- Installation Guide
- Resource CD
- SmartSync Pro Backup Software CD
-Warranty/Support information card
I wonder if the "capacity can be doubled...." statement means that you can have mirroring accross multiple devices - in other words, three of these things still get seen as 1 drive by your PC's. I wonder if each device is connected to the network independantly, or if one is connected, and the others "dasiy chained"?
Sorry, I thought there was another model using SATA, but I think I'm thinking of the other enclosures.

There is a whitepaper on the site that seems to say that it shares with the next drive, so they even go so far as to say that it may be better than RAID5 in larger chains of these devices as you can have any non-sequential drives fail.
It's a very poor substitute for RAID-5. This particular box, by itself, is really just a mirror.

RAID-10 is basically a re-marketing of RAID-1, in that all it really does is mirror (it should be called RAID-01). The striping is a mechanism to allow more than 2 drives in the array, and even an odd number of drives (a good thing). But the box itself only accommodates two drives.

With more than two drives, the cost per megabyte is poor compared to RAID-5. That is because, no matter how many drives you add, HALF your storage goes toward redundancy. With RAID-5, only one drive's worth of storage goes toward redundancy.

As an example, using quantity 6 of 300GB drives:
RAID-5 usable capacity would be 1,500GB.
RAID-10 usable capacity would be 900GB.
Two drives worth of storage is lost to redundancy.

The bottom line: It's good value if you just need to mirror. If you want more than two drives, it's more cost-effective to invest in RAID-5 hardware.
rocco said:
As an example, using quantity 6 of 300GB drives:
RAID-5 usable capacity would be 1,500GB.
RAID-10 usable capacity would be 900GB.
Two drives worth of storage is lost to redundancy.
Wouldn't that last line be "three"... 3 used & 3 mirrors?
Actually, I should have said "Two drives lost to redundant redundancy". :(

RAID-5 would have used 1 drive for redundancy, RAID-01 used 3.

The difference in usable capacity was 600GB, or two drives worth.
Excellent point, I went and reread through the whitepaper. RAID 10 is only an example they give, I guess I was under the impression that the connected units worked together, and thus could theoretically provide similar functionality of RAID 5 across drives, without the cost of direct mirroring.

They talk about how they multicast the writes to the units across all units and have them understand what to do within the units, but in reading it again, and looking at the diagramed example, it doesn't look like they took it that far. Plus in thinking that through, they would have to add in an additional layer to safeguard the current blocks being written if they are being sent out over the wire (until they are confirmed to be 'saved').

The RAID 10 example should have slapped some sense into me. All that talk of low-end disruption got me riled up I suppose :(

Not bad if you don't care about data protection I suppose, and need tons of data storage.

The whitepaper is here if you didn't catch it:

Multiple devices can be linked together to create a larger virtual drive with designated individual private, hidden or shareable drive volumes.

This sounds to me like its what MS will do with multiple drives. It makes one large drive, but no redundancy.
The Netgear box is interesting, but except for the mirroring it looks like "just another NAS box" to me. It's close enough to something like the Linksys NSLU2 (which I've been playing with).

The thing that I don't like about it is (according the the tomsnetworking site) that it requires installing software on every PC that will access it. And, that software only works with Windows 2000 or XP. This means that it couldn't be used to serve music to my Audreys (which look to a networked drive) or work with things like Audiotrons or Macs. I think that could be a pretty significant drawback for some people (though probably not for most).

And, it looks an awful lot like a toaster.