Western Digital Bought Hitachi Global Storage

Now there are only two major players in the storage market Western Digital & Seagate. Western Digital purchases Hitachi Global Storage for $4.3 Billion. I for one purchase a lot of internal hard drives for my storage needs and I have specific drives that I always get. Usually I always get Western Digital because they have quite drives and an excellent warranty & return policy. I don’t often get hard drives from Seagate because they seem to develop issues over time but surprisingly they have the best external hard drives from my experience, much better then WD. Now Hitachi tackles enterprise level hard drives and some of their drives work very well with storage solutions but they do have an annoying warranty service but I’m hoping with this buyout Western Digital processes will apply to Hitachi. This time around I have purchased the 3TB Drives from Hitachi and looking forward to seeing them in action.

Link: MSWHS

Windows Home Server! Different Versions

WHSsm

I have been talking about Windows Home Server for some time since I have been using it since the original version. At first it seemed like a pet project from Microsoft thats on the side and has a cult following, seeing that a lot of people really do love it they have developed it forward and its only getting better. You can use it in different forms, in simple hardware setups to complex 20+ TB Storage as I have. Some people use it to control other machines throughout the house, to control the lighting system throughout the house, streaming movies and music to every location.

Now this is the best comparison I have seen yet of all the possible versions, for a prosumer WHS Vail is your best bet which is coming out in the next few months, I’m hoping at the end of the year at the latest. The Original WHS was based on Windows Server 2003 and has its limitations, and now with WHS Vail those limitations have been passed since its based on Windows Server 2008. Aurora is the more business oriented version with features that Admin want but its not Windows Server 2008, not that much. I can’t wait for Vail, I’m honestly waiting for it since I’m facing a few hiccups with my current setup since I have advanced it so much, as soon as its officially out I’m installing it and moving the data all around.

Link: HomeServerLand

WHS @ 30+ Terabytes

This is one of the most complex Windows Home Server systems that we have built yet, and it drove us nuts. We started this project out in June of 2009 and didn’t finish it until March of 2010. We have reinstalled this system probably 4 times to have a clean install, its sensitive to install any Windows Home Server Ad-Ins once its working. We wanted the ultimate WHS Storage with the large capacity all in one unit, it would take a certain hardware setup to achieve this and thats what we aimed for. We suffered set backs, my system at one point just had a black screen, we switched out the motherboard, and nothing, we switched graphics cards, still nothing, changed the ram, and at the end it turned out to be a faulty power supply. Luckily my friend and myself were building the same system together so we just kept on testing as we went along, we got busy towards the end of 2009 but this was one difficult machine to get fully stable. I slowly kept gathering more and more 2 TB Hard Drives, we started off with 10 x 2 TB Drives and I just kept ordering a few when I saw a deal for them. Now that the system is operational it fantastic, we are doing some stress testing, its looking good with transfer speeds of 78 to 90 MB/s over the network which is the fast I have seen.

HW Configuration:

  • Norco 4220 Case
  • ASUS P3S WS
  • Intel Quad Core Q8200 2.33 Ghz
  • OCZ Vertex 120 GB SSD (Main HD)
  • G Skill 4 GB
  • 2 x Sata SAS Controllers (To Control 20 HDs)
  • ATI Radeon 7500

With the Sata SAS controllers we could use the extremely effecient and powerful SF8087 connectors to connect to each one of those back planes. Each back plane held 5 drives with 4 back planes for a total of 20 drives. Overall I installed 17 out of the 20 drives with e Western Digital 2 TB Drives to get it up to 30 + TB, and I have a little bit more room to go, I think I can get it to 36 TB with the last few drives. Going overboard with the storage is understatement in my case, but it has been a long and arduous trip with this machine but with a clean install and the right setup its very solid.

Now with Windows Home Server running on Windows Server 2003 it has taken a lot of steps forward Power Pack 3 and all the patches. Now I have two WHS servers running, one is extremely solid and this new one, planning on running one as back up to the other so I have two complete back solutions for the other. Now I’m just waiting for Windows to release Vail which Windows Home Server built on Windows Server 2008 which is a huge step forward. When that is out I’m going to just format and reinstall one of the systems and test it out.


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Storage – 2TB Madness


At some point I think we have gone overboard with the amount of space we are consuming, but the best part is space keeps getting cheaper. There is about 24 TB sitting on the table destined for two servers, for K’s & myself monstrous server that we are building. This time its a server with a 20 HD slot WHS so it can be maxed out 40 TB and my current solution is running with 22.1 TB, so the numbers keep jumping up. The only large storage I trust is Western Digital Caviar’s, the Green are great for lower power consumption and lower heat, heat is very important because it affects the life of the hard drive and with that many in the same proximity that is a lot of heat.


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Google Space Expansion

GoogleStorage

When Gmail first came out we only had 100MB or 500MB with our emails, and sometimes you had to pay exuberant amounts for the upgrades. Google has spoiled us with their Gmail Services, I remember when it was launched years ago when they said you would never have to delete anything ever again, they were the first with 1 GB and just kept going up exponentially for a while and then they got to about 7 GB and still more then everyone else with the easiest email system to handle and most intuitive. Now they have really gone over the top and providing paid storage for huge amount of storage for a very low amount. Storage availability from Gmail has become so large that people have written lots of tools & scripts to make use it for online storage or back up, and now because of these numbers more scripts & tools will be developed. I wouldn’t mind paying $100 per year for 400 GB of storage, that’s a lot that can be stored or shared online.

Storage Upgrades:

  • 20 GB ($5.00 USD per year)
  • 80 GB ($20.00 USD per year)
  • 200 GB ($50.00 USD per year)
  • 400 GB ($100.00 USD per year)
  • 1 TB ($256.00 USD per year)
  • 2 TB ($512.00 USD per year)
  • 4 TB ($1,024.00 USD per year)
  • 8 TB ($2,048.00 USD per year)
  • 16 TB ($4,096.00 USD per year)

Link: Lifehacker

WHS Hazmat Upgrade II (11.14 TB to 13.87 TB)

I did something a while back with my Hazmat WHS a while back when I was building it that I forgot about it. I knew the backplane wasn’t full, I just assumed it had all but one slot empty, I plugged in one hard drive and it didn’t show up so I assumed I left the SATA connection empty inside the server which was the case. When I went to plug it in, I found out that I had another slot in the backplane open so out of 5 only 3 were being used and only 3 were connected. I plugged the two but I still had one slot empty. And at the same time I have received the replacement drive for the 2TB which worked perfectly, I was surprised Amazon dispatched it so quickly. The only extra cost I had was spending a couple of KD sending the damaged hard drive back to the states.

After adding the hard drive in the WHS console to the collective of the server I managed to bump it from 11.14 TB to 13.87 TB and still a lot of room for expansion. Now all I need is to get the port multiplier and a few other parts to continue my expansion.

Western Digital My Book Mirror

I am a fan of Western Digital Hard Drives, but a fan of their External Drives. I keep hearing stories of their failure, but even though I have had a 500 GB WD External with no issues. Now they have came out with the My Book Mirror.

My Book Mirror is a dual-drive unit with Raid 1 for redundancy or Raid 0 for performance. You can get the 1TB model for $290 or the 2TB model for $550. If you run them in Raid 1 mode then the storage space is halfed, not Raid 1 with 2TB worth of space. The only bad part is that is USB only, but a really good feature is that the drives are replacable and there are no fans on this unit because the hard drive has low power consumption and so requires little cooling.

This is a good solution for people looking Raid back up in their setup. Drive space keeps getting cheaper and cheaper.

Link: Crave

Megalopolis Executive

I was looking for a good motorcycle back pack and their a few in mind. It would have to be extremely durable and can carry any weight comfortable on my back. After a little research I’m surprised to find this back pack to be ideal for my needs, and an added bonus to be a certified CE back protector, meaning if you fall it will not only protect the items in the back pack but your pack as well.

Price: 199 Euros

Link: Boblbe-e

Corsair 32GB Ultra Rugged Flash Survivor USB Drive

If you are looking for a heavy duty flash drive then this is the way to go. This isn’t your run of the mill flash drive, its made from CNC-milled anodized aircraft-grade aluminum. The case can survive in conditions that most gadgets would probably be destroyed by. It can even survive up to 200 meteres under water when the case is sealed. This is one Corsair’s unique flash drives, at 32 GB it can transfer at a data rate of 17-18 MB/s which is pretty good for a flash drive, but it takes some time to fill up the 32GB.

The Corsair Flash Survivor comes with the TrueCrypt software which can encrypt and decrypt any file on the flash, and it is a free piece of software that anyone can use. Overall this is a great high quality flash drive, but for all the positive parts about this flash drive it is a bit pricey, but for some people its worth it, I won’t say I don’t like the idea of a rugged flash drive.

Price: $200

Link: OhGizmo

The Sanctuary

This is probably one of the best products for a tech junkie, I have a ton of wires all over the place just to charge all the gadgets. A storage solution which solves your everyday need. You can place 99% of all your gadgets in one are with your keys and wallet while it gets charged, you don’t have to have so many wires for all your gadgets. This can work in the kitchen, bedroom, desk or anywhere you want to organize. It works with 120 or 220 volts, and with that one unit it can provide power to all the items below. This really would solve a lot of my problems, the only thing is that I would want it a little bigger, that would really be cool.

Brands Supported: Apple, Audiovox, Belkin, Benq, Blackberry, Creative, Dell, Dopod, Garmin, Grundig, Helio, HP, HTC, I-Mate, Jabra, Krome, Kyocera, LG, Logitech, Mio, Motorola, Netgear, Nokia, O2, Palm , Qtek, Samsung, Sanyo, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Tomtom, Toshiba, Ubiquio

Price: $130
Link: BlueLounge