Music Storage fileserver (Revsion 2)

A little over 3 months ago I had issues with my OpenSolaris RAID-Z array which resulted in he loss of most of my beloved music collection. Since then i decided to do things a bit differently.

Requirements for the new solution:

  1. Must be stored on hot-swap, single drive acceptable failure storage of some sort.
  2. Around 7TB of space iniially needed. Should be expandable if possible (even if it just means swapping out current drives for larger ones).
  3. As I no longer have a stable home, this should be able to be collocated and accessed remotely.

Storage Array

Having always had a small interest in the drobo project, and having the opportunity to pick up a Drobo-S 5-Bay array for less than half price on craigslist, I decided to give it a shot.

Setup was very easy, took only a matter of minutes to get the drives initializing in a redundant array (where one of the 5 can safely fail).

All 5 drives show up as one logical drive within windows (the appear as one hard disk), and i’ve things connected via FireWire 400 (I know 800 is available on the Drobo but its not on my machine at the moment, i don’t believe this to be te primary bottlekneck though. I have single disk USB enclosures that operate faster).

*note* The drobo software will autoload with whatever user first logs onto the computer, so if running in a shared environment (like when running in a terminal services session remotely), if you login and cannot launch drobo dashboard, its likely because its already running under anoter login.

UPDATE: After over 3 months of running, I’ve found this drobo to be extremely slow. Doing anything with my collection takes hours to days while the storage slowly reads and writes.

 

Software

For now i’m playing with Subsonic ( http://www.subsonic.org ). It’s a free, multi-user music server that is compatible with web browsers, and most cell phones. So now I can login from my living room, or a hotel room, or on my blackberry and listen to my whole collection (even in flac quality), from anywhere.

This also solves the cross platform player issues. Now everything is always the same, no matter what computer i’m on.