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Description of what I am doing

The Fractal Design 804 NODE case supports a total of 10 storage drives. (8 3.5 inch disk drives in one half of the case, which is divided into 2 sections, and 2 solid state drives at various other points inside the case.*)

*Note depending on PSU length etc I think it may be possible to fit more than this, however for my purposes, a 10 drive configuration is what I am aiming for.

My objective is to build a datacenter to backup my data. My aim is to have 8 sata 6GB/s hard disks, all operating in RAID1 as pairs. ie; 4 lots of X terabyte storage units. The reason for this is to run a "rolling-raid" backup.

Explanation:

  • One writes backup data to the first RAID 1 pair.
  • The next backup is written to the second RAID 1 pair.
  • Then the third, then the fourth.
  • Since we have run out of storage medium to write to, the next backup is written to the first RAID 1 pair. The old data can either be over-written, or one can create subfolders with the date, and just keep writing until the disk is full.
  • If the disk becomes full, delete older backups.

This seems like a fairly safe, and manual way of creating backup data. RAID 1 protects us against a disk crash, and the rolling raid means if we do something stupid and delete all our data on one physical storage unit then there are 3 other recent backups to minimize damage. (I have done this before when copying data from an external disk to a local disk, and running rm -r when forgetting which working directory I am in... Sometimes it just happens when you make a human error.)

Since these are "backups" in the sense that all the data is copied from another location (primary), then even if we wreck the most recent backup then we should be able to recreate it from the primary anyway.

So I have sort of diverged here with this discussion, but hopefully it is now clear what I am trying to do. This could be done with a 3-way rolling raid rather than 4, but I would prefer 4 as it allows flexibility in future configuration.

The final 2 drives are to be used for operating systems. Technically I only need 1, but my guess is motherboards will ship with 10 sata connections not 9. Also 9 would suggest one cannot have RAID 1 configurations.

Question

The NODE 804 only supports micro-atx motherboards. Are there any micro-atx motherboards which have 10 sata connections? Even better: Are there any micro-atx motherboards with 10 sata 6GB/s connections? Better still, are there any which allow for 4x RAID 1 configurations, where the RAID 1 is composed of 2 physical disks?

If not I guess I can run a software RAID, although this will be slower. Also note that I don't want to install additional RAID 1 expansion cards (pci-e etc) as these may require drivers and I intend to run Linux.

  • You do realize that linux distributions support a lot of raid controllers right? In fact that would be a great question for the Linux/Unix stack. Also, about drivers and linux...This is not really a huge deal, as driver packages for linux are added more and more often by manufacturers. – NZKshatriya Oct 30 '16 at 15:30
  • Note that unless you get a dedicated RAID card, you'll be using software RAID -- the only question is whether the software doing the work is in the kernel, or in the drivers. I'm not aware of any mainboard that supports true hardware RAID, as opposed to hardware-assisted RAID where most of the work is done by the drivers. In any situation, speed won't be a problem: computers have been fast enough to do software RAID 1 for decades. – Mark Nov 1 '16 at 20:26
  • Oh.....and rm -r or -rf when forgetting which directory you are in, or which file you have used tab to autocomplete in command line.........Yeah......not fun when building a LinuxFromScratch project for a Unix 2 course....have had to restart.......a few times this semester – NZKshatriya Nov 28 '16 at 8:48
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As far as boards with 10x SATA III 6GBps, I would go with this board:

EVGA X99 Micro2

Reasoning:

  1. Built in m.2 support, ideal for an OS drive, leaving all SATA devices open for other uses.
  2. DDR4 as opposed to older DDR3
  3. i7 support
  4. 3 year warranty should issues with the board arise.
| improve this answer | |
  • Looks good but only 4 DRAM slots?? – user3728501 Oct 30 '16 at 16:54
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    from what is listed on newegg using the search options of micro atx, and 10x SATA 6Gbps, the max ram support that I can find is 64GB. Also, I am not sure about the desired raid support. This may actually require RAID controller cards to achieve the desired effect. As far as I can tell, if you want to max out SATA ports as well as ram, you will need to go to full ATX, something like this Asrock X99 – NZKshatriya Oct 31 '16 at 1:10

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