A Lament for Firewire RAID

So, with the advent of sub $200 250gb Hard drives, I have decided that it is time for the Terrabyte RAID. But here’s the issue. Finding a hardware RAID 5 case that includes room for 5-8 devices and is firewire 800 is nigh upon impossible. The closest I have come is a 3 bay device which rings in at almost $1k. Anyone out there know if such a beast exists? I know such a configuration would give speed up to something like a fiberchannel device, but I’m not all that concerned about speed since it’s more about archivability than speed of access.

In this same vein, why are there no ata hardware raid 5 cards out there for mac? 3ware makes some great cards, industry standard even. But they don’t have mac drivers. They do make Linux drivers, so they couldn’t be too hard to make for the mac. My suspicion is that because the most expandable case currently for any revaltively recent mac will only allow 4 drives, they figure very few people will actually use them in a mac.

Personally, my wishlist is this: a firewire 800 RAID 5 controller that supports 4 independent channels and can be mounted in a standard drive case. Ideally 2 of these controllers would be paired for up to 8 devices. I would pay somewhere in the range of $300 for each controller, and mount them in a case of my choosing. Being able to build my own solution would be a big plus. I don’t mind paying 1k for a hot swappable RAID 5 case. But it better be able to support 8 devices for that cost. Any more than that, and you’re approaching the cost of a linux box with a 3ware or promise card and gigabit ethernet. Which may just be the way to go. I would be very interested in doing a cost comparison between a straight hardware RAID case, and a PC set up to do the same job.