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Old Jan 29, 2013, 07:56 PM   #1
cosmicjoke
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External RAID Enclosure

Hey all, just got a '12 Mini that I'll be using headless as a server and was looking for ideas on an external raid enclosure, ideally supporting USB 3.0...

From my limited research, I haven't came up with many options, but saw this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16816111149

looks kindah cheap and sketchy, heh...

do you guys know what I want? cost doesn't matter, but would rather stay inside the little compatibility bubble of usb or ethernet as opposed to thunderbolt...


edit: bummer i didn't get a response, really wanted to nail down an order.... gonna order a lian li, the build quality of the enclosure looks a little nicer at the least

Last edited by cosmicjoke; Jan 30, 2013 at 01:22 AM.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 05:34 PM   #2
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Check the Mercury Elite Pro enclosures at Other World Computing at macsales.com. They aren't the cheapest but they are among the best. The single-drive enclosures are fanless; I don't know about the RAID enclosures.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 05:39 PM   #3
SandboxGeneral
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Another vote for looking at RAID arrays from OWC. I recently bought one to house my iTunes library.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 05:51 PM   #4
zedsdead
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Www.drobo.com

Big fan of drobo. Now that I got the new iMac I will be upgrading to a 5D soon. Easy to use and reliable.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 05:54 PM   #5
Giuly
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Drobo Mini/Drobo 5D, Pegasus R4/Pegasus R6 or LaCie 5big Thunderbolt (which is available with USB 3.0 and one drive less as the 4big).
Thumb resize.Thumb resize.Thumb resize.Thumb resize.

If you're looking for an SSD RAID, the Pegasus J4 (which it isn't hot-swappable, though).
Thumb resize.

If those are too large, the LaCie 2big Thunderbolt (also available with USB 3.0).
Thumb resize.

Why exactly does it have to be USB 3.0? If you're upgrading your Mac Mini, the new one will have Thunderbolt anyways - or you skip the whole DAS thing and get a Gigabit Ethernet NAS such as the Synology DS413J.
Thumb resize.

Last edited by Giuly; Jan 31, 2013 at 06:10 PM.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 06:01 PM   #6
designs216
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My first foray into enclosures was the ReadyNAS duo. I figured if it didn't suit me, at least I hadn't invested a ton of cash.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 06:05 PM   #7
Mike Valmike
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If those are too large, the LaCie 2big Thunderbolt (also available with USB 3.0).
Thumb resize.
The above is what I bought, in the 6TB (2 x 3TB Seagate) configuration. So far it has performed... basically better than any computer storage hardware I've ever owned before. I'm not kidding. I would recommend it without fear.

If someone doesn't need TB speed and USB3 is sufficient, just go to Costco and buy a USB3 4TB external for $139. It's commodity equipment. Just keep a backup.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 09:48 PM   #8
cosmicjoke
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Well, I don't mind thunderbolt as long as there's an alternative. Basically I jumped on board with early adoption of two Thunderbolt Displays to use daisy chained with my macbook pro and inevitably found myself frustrated with some of their limitations and nuances... Don't want to debate it with you guys, lol, but I'm warming up the the looks of that drobo since it provides both thunderbolt AND usb 3.0... thanks for the recommendations!
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 10:01 PM   #9
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Check the Mercury Elite Pro enclosures at Other World Computing at macsales.com. They aren't the cheapest but they are among the best. The single-drive enclosures are fanless; I don't know about the RAID enclosures.

The quad mercury elite would be perfect, just no usb 3.0... does have firewire 800 at least...

----------

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Another vote for looking at RAID arrays from OWC. I recently bought one to house my iTunes library.
i wish they offered a 4 bay, good price, seems nice
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 10:51 PM   #10
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The quad mercury elite would be perfect, just no usb 3.0... does have firewire 800 at least...

----------



i wish they offered a 4 bay, good price, seems nice
owc does have a 4 bay but no t-bolt or usb3


http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-.../RAID/Desktop/

this was nice at one time. but it is out of date. I have a pegasus r6 a few lacie lbd's and a seagate stae.. the pegasus and the lacie are realy nice. so far not a fan of the 3 different usb3 case I used.


the pegasus r6 with the march 2012 firmware allows hot swap it allows 3tg and 4tb hdds. it is truly good gear
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 10:55 PM   #11
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owc does have a 4 bay but no t-bolt or usb3


http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-.../RAID/Desktop/

this was nice at one time. but it is out of date. I have a pegasus r6 a few lacie lbd's and a seagate stae.. the pegasus and the lacie are realy nice. so far not a fan of the 3 different usb3 case I used.


the pegasus r6 with the march 2012 firmware allows hot swap it allows 3tg and 4tb hdds. it is truly good gear
heh that's what i just said though.. the first response was to the mercury elite 4 bay, i wish it had usb 3.0... the second response was to the guardian maximus the other dude linked, i wish it had 4 bays
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 11:32 PM   #12
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heh that's what i just said though.. the first response was to the mercury elite 4 bay, i wish it had usb 3.0... the second response was to the guardian maximus the other dude linked, i wish it had 4 bays
yeah read it wrong.

I do have to say the usb3 I have tested have not done too well. I am going to test them after 10.8.3 drops to hope for improvement.

The lacie t-bolt gear and the pegasus r6 are so f''f stable they are like running internal drives. If a usb3 can do that well It would be nice.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 08:45 AM   #13
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A big deciding factor would be what data you're going to be storing on the array.

If you're using it to serve uncompressed 4K video then you'll want the fastest solution you can find. If however it's going to be for iTunes speed isn't really an issue.

The Drobo is nice because it grows with you. Start with 3 x 2TB and slowly work towards 5 x 4TB. You don't need to worry about matched drive sizes eg 2 x 3TB + 3 x 2TB etc...

I'm not sure how the OWC and Pegasus unit handle this? If you have once specced with 4 x 2TB can you work through and swap them out for 3TB?
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:25 PM   #14
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I suggest contacting OWC to find out if they plan on introducing a RAID enclosure with USB 3.0 and/or ThunderBolt. OWC has been upgrading its enclosures to USB 3.0 and I would expect the RAID enclosures to be upgraded sooner than later...

As far as Drobo goes... I seem to recall reading lots of complaints regarding Drobo reliability. If I was seriously considering going with Drobo I would do a Startpage search to see how reliable they are.

LaCie? Not for me... I bought one and it went right back to Apple. It was very noisy and vibrated a lot. I've also read myriad complaints about LaCie reliability.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 02:39 PM   #15
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If I was seriously considering going with Drobo I would do a Startpage search to see how reliable they are.
I've got the 2nd gen 4 bay Drobo and it's been running fine now for a few years. I originally purchased it as scalable primary storage, but it was woefully slow so I've switched to a model with normal external drives either single drive or dual drive RAID 0 and each has a backup volume on the Drobo. Each night Carbon Copy Cloner copies the primary volumes to the Drobo.

As my storage grows requirements grow I can add drives to the Drobo to match.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 02:50 PM   #16
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A big deciding factor would be what data you're going to be storing on the array.

If you're using it to serve uncompressed 4K video then you'll want the fastest solution you can find. If however it's going to be for iTunes speed isn't really an issue.

The Drobo is nice because it grows with you. Start with 3 x 2TB and slowly work towards 5 x 4TB. You don't need to worry about matched drive sizes eg 2 x 3TB + 3 x 2TB etc...

I'm not sure how the OWC and Pegasus unit handle this? If you have once specced with 4 x 2TB can you work through and swap them out for 3TB?
Well, the drobo looks nice, I have to do my homework though on exactly how much control you get with the redundancy with this "beyond raid" technology. If you have 3 capacity drives and 2 for redundancy and it's all designed to "just work" as the diagram states, well I'm not so sure about that. A whole drive worth of data potentially goes unaccounted for.... FWIW I already have four 2tb drives.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 11:59 PM   #17
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Well, the drobo looks nice, I have to do my homework though on exactly how much control you get with the redundancy with this "beyond raid" technology. If you have 3 capacity drives and 2 for redundancy and it's all designed to "just work" as the diagram states, well I'm not so sure about that. A whole drive worth of data potentially goes unaccounted for.... FWIW I already have four 2tb drives.
Don't buy Drobo.. Just don't. It's slow.. unreliable.. very poor value for the money. Get a dual-drive USB3 enclosure, or a couple of external USB3 4TB drives - WD MyBook drives are great.
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 05:52 PM   #18
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The above is what I bought, in the 6TB (2 x 3TB Seagate) configuration. So far it has performed... basically better than any computer storage hardware I've ever owned before. I'm not kidding. I would recommend it without fear.

If someone doesn't need TB speed and USB3 is sufficient, just go to Costco and buy a USB3 4TB external for $139. It's commodity equipment. Just keep a backup.
Looking at this. from your experience how noisy is the LaCie for a desktop setup with new iMac. Somebody stated it was very noises and vibrating.

Thanks
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 06:28 PM   #19
Mike Valmike
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Looking at this. from your experience how noisy is the LaCie for a desktop setup with new iMac. Somebody stated it was very noises and vibrating.

Thanks
Tough to say. It's noisier than a Mac Mini but considerably quieter than basically any desktop PC. Basically if the question is "Can you hear it?" the answer is Yes, you can. I don't find it especially obtrusive, but I understand that a noise level that I find negligible, another person might not tolerate. If you are working with audio, you might have a genuine functional issue, and I don't want to give you a bum steer on that.

For mainstream use, I would suspect the noise level is inconsequential to most. If you are going to deploy it behind the iMac, it may dampen the noise a bit more still, in terms of how much radiates out to the rest of the room.

Vibration levels haven't been noticeable. I mean, you can tell if you palm the thing while it's accessing, but otherwise...
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 09:06 PM   #20
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I run the NewerTech GMAX Dual enclosure I bought from OWC in RAID1 mode. It comes preconfigured as Mirror, but there are jumers inside to conifg it as RAID1 Stripe. I run two Segate Barracuda 4TBs inside (so 8TB). I get 215Mb/s read and write in USB3.0 and the same in eSata through a Lacie Thunderbolt to eSata adapter.

The only thing is I have heard some of the models don't have the jumpers and only have Mirror as the option so you may wish to confirm this with OWC before you pruchase before you go ahead.

I also have the OWC Mercury Elite Dual Pro some of the posters talk about that runs the same speed as the GMAX in eSata but obviously only has USB2.0

IP
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 03:24 AM   #21
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Tough to say. It's noisier than a Mac Mini but considerably quieter than basically any desktop PC. Basically if the question is "Can you hear it?" the answer is Yes, you can. I don't find it especially obtrusive, but I understand that a noise level that I find negligible, another person might not tolerate. If you are working with audio, you might have a genuine functional issue, and I don't want to give you a bum steer on that.

For mainstream use, I would suspect the noise level is inconsequential to most. If you are going to deploy it behind the iMac, it may dampen the noise a bit more still, in terms of how much radiates out to the rest of the room.

Vibration levels haven't been noticeable. I mean, you can tell if you palm the thing while it's accessing, but otherwise...
Many thanks this is extremely helpful and balanced as will need to order via web and without seeing.
Main use will be as backp with Time Machine and Carbon Copy so I hope in between the LaCie will spin down and be even quieter
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