Well, my mom will soon be retiring her (very) old PC for a brand new one, which means I’ll probably be getting the old one to play around with (come to think of it, I think it WAS mine before). Anyway, it’s only a 650MHz, and Windows isn’t very fun with it, so I’m going to do what I usually do in this situation - convert it to a Linux box! Only this time, I want it to actually do something practical, so I’m going to set it up RAID style and let it act as a storage server. Networking isn’t something new to me at all, and I’ve actually set up Samba on *nix before, so that part should be…well as easy as it gets.
What I want to know is how should I customize it. I’m not looking to spend TOO much, but some money is okay. I’m not looking for it to neccesarily be speedy, or even stable, really, just something to keep me occupied while setting it up, and happy while running it, but here’s the things I’m wondering about:
Software or hardware level RAID? Pro’s and con’s of each? Which is easier to configure.
The machine only has 128MBs of ram, and I’m thinking that’s probably not nearly enough. Should I go ahead and upgrade to 256? Or even 512? How big of a performance boost would there be if I did?
Obviously if I go hardware level RAID, I’m going to have to get a new controller. Should I get EIDE, SCSI, or SATA? Will I have problems with compatibility if I do SATA (it being an older board…this newfangled SATA thing is confusing to me!).
One thing about RAID that’s always confused me - do the drives have to be the same size? If I have two drives of a differing size, how is that going to affect the array (if it differs for each level of RAID, please explain).
That’s about all the questions I have about it for right now, but if you can think of anything just add it on, I’m sure I’ll appreciate it. And don’t be afraid to get too technical, I’m pretty saavy, just never fussed around with RAID before.