Hi, I'm planning to build a file server (Linux NFS) and would be interested in some advice from anyone who has done so recently.
It needs to hold 6 disks (RAID5), cost as little as possible and consume little power.
I was thinking to get a Pineview Atom based mobo with 4 SATA ports (a good overview is here: http://www.linuxtech.net/features/intel_atom_pineview_motherboards_overview.html ) add a Promise PCI dual SATA card I have already in my spares box and get a suitable case and PSU.
My main doubt is the PSU, how many Watts are required and which one is most efficient?

Hi, I'm planning to build a file server (Linux NFS) and would be interested in some advice from anyone who has done so recently.
It needs to hold 6 disks (RAID5), cost as little as possible and consume little power.
I was thinking to get a Pineview Atom based mobo with 4 SATA ports (a good overview is here: http://www.linuxtech.net/features/intel_atom_pineview_motherboards_overview.html ) add a Promise PCI dual SATA card I have already in my spares box and get a suitable case and PSU.
My main doubt is the PSU, how many Watts are required and which one is most efficient?

If you want decent performance, RAID5 (in hardware for OS independence) and the ability to connect multiple drives, I'd recommend (strongly, with arm twisting!!) that you utilize a SAS controller, not a SATA controller. A decent SAS controller can be had on eBay for under $150, will connect to SATA or SAS drives, and - using a SAS Expander backplane, will allow expansion to between 32 and 256 drives. SAS is backward compatible with SATA, so a SAS controller can mix/match SAS and SATA drives. SAS drives will provide higher speed, but SATA are more affordable and available in higher capacities. Some Intel 6-bay SAS backplanes were recently on eBay for $50 - these can be daisy-chained to create larger drive arrays, up to the limit of drives supported by your controller.

I picked up a 16-bay chassis with SAS expander, a 64b mobo, HP SAS controller (P800 - $300) and 12 750G drives for a 7TB RAID-6 array on eBay for under $1000. I installed OpenFiler and configured it as an iSCSI SAN. Granted, the $1000 price may be high, but when compared to the $6000 alternative for our SAN choice, it was a bargain. Adaptec 4508 is a good option for an inexpensive solution. You can use it directly, and then upgrade to a SAS backplane if you ever need more disk.

The point is - (having stumbled down this road ahd having the bruises to prove it) - SATA controllers, especially those built-in to most MOBOs, will be problematic at best when creating a reliable RAID storage solution.

Glenn