Get a case with a lot of drive bays
Purchase a cheap (but reliable) Mobo/Proc/RAM system (with lots of PCIe ports)
Install FreeNAS on a CF card
Purchase a RAID card (say this one) and hook up a bunch of drives
So when I was looking into this, I started looking at options like staggered spin-up and other reliability features, and e-mailed Highpoint to make sure the drives would play nice.
Here's what I got back:
"WD drives no longer support Staggered Drive Spinup.
In fact, some of their disks are reported to have serious problems with this option - if enabled, the disks will no longer be detected by non-RAID controllers.
Unfortunately, the disks do not actually support the setting, so it cannot be disabled.
This issue is not unique to our products.
NCQ should still function normally, but we would recommend contacting WD for more information."
To me, this is a little disturbing. WD drives don't supported Staggered Spinup, and there's no way to run in a "protected" mode?
For now this is a non-issue for me, as we've learned that we're not going to need the D2D2T strategy for the time being. If we re-visit this, we may need to look into how this shakes down.
SheldonS mentioned today in #citrt that he thought there was a firmware update that fixes this, but I would think that the Highpoint people would know about it.
Have you had any experiences with staggered spinup and Western Digital (or other drives)?