Building a RAID-based SAMBA fileserver
When I built my latest PC, I designed it to be fast, stable, and reliable. Since it's windows-based and only has lightweight RAID capabilities, I don't have confidence in keeping all my user data on the box. I prefer a standalone file server for that, one that's large and secure.
This server, nicknamed Liebherr, is going to sit in an unairconditioned, unused bathroom adjacent to my study. Its samba fileserver will talk to my desktop and my laptop through gigabit ethernet.
I targetted my desktop to be usable for three years. I'm going to make a stretch and target Liebherr to last five. I think it's possible. After all, it just serves files. If it serves files fast enough today, that speed ought to be at least satisfactory five years from now. The only thing likely to change is that I need more space. I should be able to add space to the system either by swapping out drives or by adding larger drives.
I want to select high quality components that are less likely to deterioriate. Then I want them kept in the best condition, which means good power conditioning with battery backup and surge suppression, as well as plenty of quenching cooling. I also don't want overkill power consumption from a needlessly powerful VGA or CPU.
I want a serious RAID that I can trust fully. This means no software raid systems and no motherboard-based raid systems. It needs to be a standalone raid card with a good modern RAID featureset.
To really sleep well, an encrypted copy of the mirror sitting on a geographically separated machine would be nice.... for example, a copy of my data, PGP-encrypted, sitting on a machine in Seattle?
The OS of the machine needs to meet several criteria
* Secure from hacking attacks. I want to get it to a secure configuration and then it's locked-down, and without MS-style weekly patch updates.
* Excellent drivers and compatibility with the hardware. There's nothing that makes me more insane than hardware/os issues.
* Ease of maintenance and management. I don't want to babysit this box too much. I want it to mostly take care of itself.
Those were the parameters... now how do I implement it?
The first draft idea is to combine:
* a known stable pc build
* a known stable linux OS
* a well-made hardware raid card (3ware?)
* a linux-friendly battery backup system
into my machine, Liebherr East.
My friend in will build roughly the same monster in Seattle, Liebherr West.
Then we'll glue together some colocated mirroring using PGP and rsync.
Any suggestions, resources on good ways to implement a system like this?