[Geeks] Terabyte of storage now <$5000, plug and play

Stephen D. Williams sdw@lig.net
Tue, 21 Aug 2001 19:45:31 -0400


Yea, I have a couple of those controllers in servers.  I only have 18GB 
drives to use on them.  Fast, Wide LVD SCSI has made it at least 
possible to use.  The problem from my point of view is that storage size 
in SCSI versions has been lagging severely for no apparent reason. 
Furthermore, even with 33MB IDE (not the new fast stuff), in several 
performance tests I could find little difference between single-drive 
IDE and SCSI.  Firewire is not likely to beat SCSI in the 2-8 drive flat 
out transfer modes, but Firewire wins on ease of implementation, 
probably on cost, and scalability.  Because it's going to get the mass 
market that SCSI never really had, it's far less fussy and demanding (it 
seems) and there is a fairly cheap IDE->1394 conversion method, it's 
very attractive.

I tend, in my office/home network use, to need space and streaming more 
than database churning, expensive 18GB drives on expensive interfaces 
haven't worked out well.  Since I favor XML documents and extent/BTree 
filesystems over tossing everything into ugly relational engines, I see 
a lot of value in Firewire at the moment.

Of course I still want more speed, but using the current multiple-IDE 
method to compete with SCSI would work just as well, better in fact with 
Firewire.  Instead of one chain of 63 drives, 8 chains of 4 would 
scream.  You could even fit the connectors on the back of one 64bit PCI 
card.

sdw

dan gielan wrote:

> SDW,
> 
> Whatever happened to Ultra SCSI III - 160MB/sec?  That handily beats both
> IDE and Firewire.
> 
> The gap in cost between IDE and SCSI drives is dropping. Some time ago I
> bought some IBM 36GB UW SCSI (40MB/s) for < $200 each, now probably
> cheaper/bigger.
> 
> Dan.
> 
> "Stephen D. Williams" wrote:
> 
> 
>>Since I'm playing with digital video (Sony DV compatible Firewire output
>>camcorder, DV->Mpeg2, DVD authoring, DVD-R) and building a video/image
>>workstation, I thought I'd examine what's going on with hard drives.
>>Since I should now be able to go directly from DV/Firewire to Mpeg2
>>without dealing with raw files, I'm more likely to use large storage for
>>Lightwave3D rendered output images.
>>
>>CompUSA had a few 100GB Maxtor drives, sold immediately.  Maxtor also
>>sells some of their drives in a Firewire/1394 enclosure, which can be
>>purchased seperately for $100.
>>
>>Pricing on the 80GB in the Firewire enclosure, which was in stock there
>>and at Best Buy, is about $380.  According to Maxtor, you can use up to
>>63 of these and the Firewire throughput they claim is 50MB/sec. (vs.
>>40MB/sec. SCSI (SCSI 3 fast/narrow?)).
>>
>>That means 1 TB of storage can be added to any Firewire PC/laptop/Mac
>>for less than $5000.  In a stack connected with a single serial cable at
>>50MB/sec.  Linux appears to support Firewire well for storage also.
>>
>>Now what does that work out to in TiVo hours?  At approx. 1GB/hr.,
>>that's 1000 hours or 19 hours of video per week for an entire year.  For
>>a small investment, you could record a year of cable service and run a
>>whole cable system in a third world country with a delay.
>>
>>The full 63 drives, at 80GB, would run $24K and store over 5TB of data,
>>more than both all content and indexes at Lexis-Nexis 7 years ago.
>>Lexis' content includes the text of all laws, filings of nearly all
>>court cases in the US, Edgar, and nearly every major periodical in
>>print, including NY Times, all magazines, etc.  (I have no idea how
>>large their collection is now.)
>>
>>An obvious flaw of the Firewire/IDE enclosures, which were $100 retail
>>sans drive, is that they don't handle 2 or more IDE drives.  This makes
>>them more expensive than necessary for large clusters.
>>
>>One other cool item is the ATA/100 Promise card being sold by Maxtor
>>with their large drives.  Conveniently avoids annoying BIOS problems
>>(many lockup with new large drives) while also allowing 4 extra IDE
>>devices.  I haven't determined if more than one can be used, but with
>>just one extra you can create a fileserver with 8 IDE devices.
>>
>>sdw
>>--
>>sdw@lig.net  http://sdw.st
>>Stephen D. Williams
>>43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax
>>Dec2000
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-- 
sdw@lig.net  http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 
Dec2000