I have two home PC's, both with identical RAID controllers and both running different flavors of Linux. I was looking for suggestions for a shared array, maybe some sort of external RAID enclosure that is hooked up to both computers. I know I can share the disk over ethernet, but I've seen disk arrays for clusters that will plug in to two computers. I would like to build something similar, but I don't want to spend thousands on a pre-built solution. There may be a better forum for this, since it's a server hardware solution and not very linux specific.
by far the easiest thing you can do is share over ethernet.. it will give you ALOT less issues..
just get gigabit ethernet
The problem with that is I'm wanting to use this for the system drives (including swap memory), not just for sharing some data folders (which I'm already doing). If the computer hosting the drives goes down (even just a reboot), both computers will likely crash, since their swap memory suddenly disappears.
If I built a server other than my workstation/server, the only spare I have motherboard for a NAS is a PIII. If I use that motherboard and both computers are trying to access data at once, I'd be splitting the PCI bus 4 ways (two data streams off the hard drive and two data streams onto the network) and getting a max throughput of 33MB/s.
For something like this, buying parts and building a server seems almost foolish without paying the extra for dual gigabit networking, but that puts me out at least $250 (cheap, reliable server motherboard; cpu; very reliable power supply and bootable gigabit NIC for wife's computer) and will probably idle around 150 watts (~1315kWh/yr). It would make a rather nice NAS/firewall/router once it's set up, but for that kind of money I'd prefer not to be maintaining two networked boot setups, block device shares and tracking down an ethernet w/ boot rom.
I'd also feel bad having a higher-end system than my wife runs just sitting there hosting some disks. Since I'm using this for all my system and swap data, won't the networking layer add noticible cpu overhead on an older system?
I guess I'm looking for advice on the feasability and expense of a low-end home SAN, if anybody might have experience building them and suggestions. So far, I have 2 PCI-X SCSI raid controllers, some DDR1 memory, and an old tower case. I could rig something with iSCSI and spend about $200 for a nice power supply, extra gigabit ethernet for older computer, cpu and motheroboard that supports dual gigabit networking and PCI-X.
Does anybody know if my boot drives could be part of the SAN, or how much this would slow down a 1.3GHz PIII based Celeron? Would ethernet add a noticible delay in access time on a high-end system? Also, suggestions for cheaply cooling 15k drives would be welcome.