For all those that are following my RAID antics, yes, the RAID is now fixed properly and not giving me any weirdness in /proc/mdstat. All is well. It was indeed the b0rked raidtab file that caused the bad things to happen.
In other news, I’m running into some other weirdness. I can write to the RAID from my OSX box at about 30MB/s which is probably about as fast as that drive can read. So that’s no big deal. But when I read from the RAID I’m only getting 15MB/sec. I know that my single drives in the Mac can write faster than that. This is with FTP, so not part of my samba weirdness. I’m beginning to suspect the drivers for my Ethernet card, or some similar strangeness in the kernel. I updated to the latest 2.4 kernel last night, which is an odd athlon-199 version. But I haven’t had time to test it out yet. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I’ve done some investigation on building a 2.1TB server with SATA, and it looks like you can do it fairly cheap. With a decent case, you can easily do it for less than $2700. This includes hot swap drive cages for 10 drives. Obviously the main expense here is $1890 for the 250gb SATA drives, but in a couple of months, they are going to be significantly cheaper than this.
It’s getting to the point where you can store massive amounts of data for pretty cheap. Now it would be really nice to see archival storage come down in price as well. What I would like to see is an optical solution that holds around 50gb and has a 100 year shelf life. TDK just announced a new 28GB disk, which is getting there, and wouldn’t be too bad of a solution, but it looks like they are going to be crazy expensive.