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Author Topic: Sheeva with eSata HUB - Will it work?  (Read 2125 times)

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« on: August 02, 2010, 06:38:26 PM »

Hey everyone,

For some time now, I've been wanting to build/buy a NAS. Only "problem" is, I already have about 5TB of USB storage dangling from my laptop, that I don't want to throw away. Then I came across the Sheeva plug. So that problem's solved, I can plug in my USB HUB to the plug, connect my USB drives to it, and I've got a SAN.
BUT... the Sheeva plug has a 1Gbps ethernet NIC, so it'd really be a waste not to use the bandwidth when buying new drives.
So I was planning on using the USB disks as "archival storage" for old/non-speed-sensitive data and adding some new drives for fast access using the eSATA port on the Sheeva eSata plug. However, I dislike having just one disk containing all my data; I'd rather have a RAID 1 or 5 array.
Then I came across this product:

A 5 port eSata HUB. The product page says it's transparent to the OS, but whether it'll work depends on the upstream sata controller (the sheeva's esata port/controller). So, my question to you... will this (or another product like this hub) work with the sheeva plug?
And while I'm at it, is it a good idea to build all this:
- eSata Sheeva (http://www.newit.co.uk/shop/proddetail.php?prod=eSataSheevaPlug)
- 10 port USB HUB with: 4 * 1TB 3.5" USB HDD + 1 * 2TB 3.5" USB HDD  (probably gonna configure it as RAID 5 or JBOD for non-sensitive data)
- eSata HUB (http://www.cooldrives.com/sahub5muussi.html)
  with: - Initially: 2 * 2TB eSata HDD (in RAID 1 config)
           - Later on expanded to: 3 - 5 * 2TB eSata HDD (in RAID 5 config)

I'm even thinking about playing around with ILM/automated tiered storage, but that's something for the future. First I'd just like to know whether this hardware/OS setup is gonna work. Any ideas?



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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010, 05:37:22 AM »

Linux and at least the Guruplug Server Plus support port multipliers, so I think the eSATA Sheeva will probably as well. Unfortunately there is very few documentation about this and Linux needs to support the chipset of the Port Multiplier and I was not able to find a list which chipsets are supported with which kernel version.

I bought a RAID1 enclusure with a Sil5744 chip hoping it would work and in fact it does. http://plugcomputer.org/plugforum/index.php?topic=1738.0 indicates that the SiI3726 of your eSATA hub is supported although the post does not say if it's attached to a Sheeva or Guruplug.

One other thing: If you want to do software RAID5 with a plug you should be aware that RAID5 is computing intensive, so performance might not be that stellar. A RAID5 enclosure should help, but is of course more expensive than just a port multiplier.

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