The question of whether or not one can mix 7,200rpm hard drives with 5,400rpm (5,900rpm or other speed) “green” drives in RAID is one that I get asked constantly. My general advice is to not do it. While testing the Supermicro X8SI6-F and Supermicro X8SIL-F with a LSI 9211-8i (essentially making the setups very similar) I ran some Windows ATTO benchmarks which is a pretty decent benchmark for testing best case throughput.
The Big WHS was originally supposed to house approximately 30TB of storage when the plans were first detailed on an Excel spreadsheet BOM in December 2009. This was a big upgrade to my first DIY Windows Home Server box that had well under 20TB. About five months later, the storage capacity has crested 60TB, with further room to expand. The Big WHS now spans two 4U Norco cases (using a total of 8U of rackspace and another 4U chassis is in the works) has over 60TB of storage, and requires well over a dozen ports on the gigabit switch.
Just as a quick update to those who are following this build. Some adjustments have been made ove the past week.
First, I finally decided that 32 ports from two Adaptec 31605’s would first off be slightly less than I had wanted. I realized that while the initial build would hold 19-20 1.5TB drives, 6x 2TB drives, and 4x 1TB drives, odds are that I would want to add another 6-7 2TB drives in the next six months if for no other reason just to spread the storage a bit more.
Just as an update. I installed the second Adaptec 31605 today, filling all 16 ports with 8x WD Greens, 6x Hitachi 2TB, and 2x Hitachi 1TB drives. There is an additional 1.5TB Seagate 7200.11 being used as an OS drive. That’s 27.5TiB raw capacity.
Here’s a view of all the drives currently in The Big WHS. Note, I may have killed yet another WD Green. A single SMART error so I’m making quadruple sure that something isn’t wrong.