On Question 1) Does a "port" on a SATA controller/card mean the same as a "channel"?
Based on the comments above where some have discovered that a port might not be equivalent to a channel. These questions come to mind:
1a) If I have a NAS with more ports than I have on my motherboard, what is the most effective way, especially considering throughput, to connect them all. Assume a 4 SATA enclosure and a motherboard with only 3 SATA ports (probably 4 ports w/ the 4th plugged into the CD/DVD write/reader. Can I put in an additional SATA card, say a 4, 8 or 16 ports and will it work with the ports on the motherboard? (MY OS is Debian Linux not windows.)
1b) Throughput, Since Sata III can work at 6GBps (for others: Sata I, II and III are 150MB, 300Mb and 6GBps respectively) is throughput a problem? How does it degrade? (ie. WiFi bandwidth cuts almost in half with each additional WiFi user, what is the degradation with each additional Sata hard disk? Perhaps with SATA III at 6GBps, Sata multipliers are not an issue for X number of Sata disk drives.
2) There are homemade SANs with more hard disks than any home user will ever need, the link here uses custom Linux software to work with up to 45 Sata Drives (67 TBs) for only $117,000, which is dirt cheap for SANs (http://blog.backblaze.com/2009/09/01/petabytes-on-a-budget-how-to-build-cheap-cloud-storage/).
2a) Here is the 5 bay bare bones case for only $29.99 from Newegg that I plan to use, I purchased two of them, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816111045)
I would love to have some suggestions for the following (Brand + Name and price if known)
SATA III Adapter Card?
A good source / reference on the SATA and Power cables needed to hook up SATA drives to either a montherboard and/or SATA III interface adapter.
A good source / reference on how others have configured multiple processor boards, multiple SATA cards, multiple SATA drives in Linux turning it into a NAS that is price acceptable for home use? I noticed that the link for the Petabytes on a budget
used 45 SATA drives with 9 motherboards, 4 SATA PCIe cards (1 Adapter card w/ 4 SATA ports and 3 Adapters with 2 SATA ports each). I know the company used their own custom Debian Linux setup to get it all to work, however the placement of the SATA cards away from all the mother boards has me scratching my head as to how they got it all to work together (HTTPS + JFS)...so a site with a HowTo to point me in the right direction would be excellent. Anyone?
For others, here is an excellent discussion on SATA and SANS, full disclosure, the blog poster works for Oracle, so expect and Oracle bias, however his discussion of SATA and RAID specifically is spot on and well worth the read. He echos what others here say about being sure you want RAID and which RAID you use, also beware of hardware RAID for specific configurations, here is the URL
I sincerely hope the URLs provided will help others understand this much better and hope someone will be kind enough to point me in the right direction for my own customer home SANs on a budget. Hey with a case for less than $30, I feel like I have a shot and doing it.