Unraid fits the bill perfectly, I tried out Flexraid first, but things didn't go that smoothly, it's was then that i realized it was one guy behind it, and trusting 5TB of data to essentially beta software freaked me out.
The support forums are great to, the hero members are very helpful and don't belittle you for asking stupid questions, which I'm sure I've done many times
I now have it hidden away in a spare room and have it go into S3 sleep after 15min of the last disk spinning down and wake it using XBMC's WOL addon......priceless
Below are some answers to questions asked in some of the previous posts, the first two are some of the methods i used to get data onto my array, but are NOT necessarily the way that is recommend, but they worked for me.
' Wrote:I only have 1 extra drive so should i let unraid "install" this drive and then load up media from drive 2 on it then put drive 2 in and "install" and so on. At that point all my media is on the drives in unraid and Im left with 1 blank drive and I make that my parity correct?
Yes, you can do it this way, i needed to do it this way as i only had one empty drive. but it's recommended to start adding data to the array with the parity disk enabled.
' Wrote:whats the best way to transfer the files over? do i hook the drive up internally, externally or copy over the network?
Yes, you can mount a ntfs formated drive internally outside the array and use midnight commander to move files across to one of the unraid disks, but you can only use this method for ntfs and ext2 formatted disks, all my disks were ext4 Doh! so what i did was boot into ubuntu with a live cd, mount one of my unraid formated disks (ReiserFS) as well as my ext4 disk(s) and move data across, only problem i encountered was that some folders had there permissions changed and were hidden, easily changed with midnight commander, otherwise moving data across the network with the parity disk enabled is the best way.
' Wrote:I live in the UK and every parts list or recommendation I find seems to only be available in the US.
I don't think you'll have any problems finding suitable hardware in the UK, just make sure you do plenty of reading in the hardware section on the unraid forum, and post what you settle on in the forum so the experts can give it a once over before you spend your money, I get most of my hardware from scan.co.uk but there are plenty of others, like overclockers.co.uk, but if you've never built a PC from scratch it can be a bit daunting, you can always use an old desktop, then all you need to do is add the hard drives and plug in the unraid usb.
saying that it's not the best time to be buying HD's £137 for a 2TB