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Old Nov 15, 2012, 03:54 AM   #1
ody
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JBOD enclosure with USB 3.0

I would like to add more storage to my 2012 mac mini (running Mountain Lion 10.8).

I need a 4-bay enclosure supporting JBOD and having USB 3.0 connection (mac mini does not have eSATA and Thunderbolt is unnecessary and still commands a premium). RAID is also a bit too overrated for home use especially since I will be taking regular backups and the data is not critical.

I live in the UK so after a lot of searching I decided to stay away from all the cheap as chips brands such as Raidsonic, Sharkoon, etc
I have heard and read numerous stories about failures: Icybox, Sharkoon, Sans Digital, Fantec, Rosewill, Mediasonic, Raidsonic, Raidon blah blah blah

I am after an enclosure which is made of aluminium and is virtually SILENT (i.e. has temperature regulated fans).

The only companies I found in the UK that can supply empty enclosures that look serious are:

1. http://www.rentaraid.co.uk/stardom-s...onnectors.html

2. http://www.aimtec.co.uk/addonics-onl...ta-usb3-0.html

product info here: http://www.addonics.com/products/rtm4r5eu3.php

Please help. Does anyone have experience with these products under Mac OS X and if so are they quiet? Speed is not an issue for me only stability and noise. This thing has to run on standby 24/7 so no dodgy power supplies, and heat issues etc)

I do not want to buy off the shelf products (g-tech, WD, Buffalo, LACIE, Caldigit) because they are expensive and restrictive. And they do not come empty which means I do not have control over the hard drive quantity and type.

I am planning on using Western Digital RED drives in them at 3TB. I will start off with one and then add another.

I will use one usb connection and mount 4 volumes in the operating system. 1. Time Machine backup
2. Movies
3. Music
4. Copy of most of the movie folder

I have no experience with a MAC or Time Machine - I just bought my first one.

I do not want to go NAS for the simplicity of direct storage (itunes, iphoto, ieverything etc)

I would like people with actual experience of these products to comment on reliability and noise (this machine will sit next to the Mac Mini in the living room so it has to be almost as quiet as the mini).


I hope I described my situation accurately and I am hoping that someone will say buy the Stardom because it looks reliable etc or someone will say Addonics are very good for the price and despite the screws for the HDDS it runs quiet once set up.

Please share your experiences.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 08:30 PM   #2
FireWire2
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I dont know how would you get it but your solution is very low cost...

Get a LOW COST eSATA with port multiplier 4 or 5 drives

then get this USB3.0 to eSATA adapter
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...&condition=new

I use that in my 2012 RetMB... Perfect transfer rate hoover about 85~100MB/sec.

Note: If you dont want the drives goes to sleep. Get this app.
http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/311...drive-spinning

Every drives are ready at ANY time
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 04:40 AM   #3
thunderdell
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Just a word of warning: 4 drives won't be silent, even if the enclosure is.
(unless you opt for SSDs, of course).

Personally I wouldn't want to have 4 spindles whirring next to my desk, don't underestimate how the noise adds up. Also keep in mind drives get louder with age; after a year an initially silent 'green' drive will be very audible.

Are you sure about your decision against a NAS?
There really is no difference in simplicity, they show up as a drive in finder just as your USB-enclosure would. The main advantage would be that you can stash it somewhere far away from the desk, so the noise is less of an issue.

Last edited by thunderdell; Nov 16, 2012 at 04:53 AM.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 10:35 AM   #4
ody
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderdell View Post
Just a word of warning: 4 drives won't be silent, even if the enclosure is.
(unless you opt for SSDs, of course).

Personally I wouldn't want to have 4 spindles whirring next to my desk, don't underestimate how the noise adds up. Also keep in mind drives get louder with age; after a year an initially silent 'green' drive will be very audible.

Are you sure about your decision against a NAS?
There really is no difference in simplicity, they show up as a drive in finder just as your USB-enclosure would. The main advantage would be that you can stash it somewhere far away from the desk, so the noise is less of an issue.
Thanks for the input guys

I was all up for getting a NAS but I have invested too much in the Mac mini which does everything for me:
1. iTunes server
2. Plex DLNA

The NAS appeals to me tremendously but I hear all this stories about iTunes not playing ball with remotely stored files etc.

Having said that I know that many use it without problems. I was going to buy a D-Link Sharecenter DNS-345 because it is low cost and I only need to read data from the Mac mini so I do not need bells and whistles in terms of features.

It's the D-Link or Synology DS413J (230 vs 265 pounds respectively).

Once again Firewire2 and thunderdell thank you

The noise would be easier to manage with a NAS that can at least sit in the corner of the room and is better designed for 24x7 operation rather than crazily fast access speeds for video editing etc.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 11:12 AM   #5
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I have used these 4 bay and 8 bay enclosures:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817576009
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817576012

Used both when I had a Mac Mini a while back for an iTunes server and other related items. I actually have the 8-bay still that I want to get rid of.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 05:15 PM   #6
ibarnett
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I have the "Stardom SohoTank ST5610-4S-SB3" you linked to.
Quiet not! Doesn't worry me as I only fire it up to back up drives.
However I still like it, performs better with the Stardom eSata card than with USB3, I found.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 10:56 PM   #7
Apple Doc
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Do these JBOD enclosures only support mounting as separate volumes, or do they support concatenation as well?

I'm looking into the best way to backup my home Mac iTunes server. Currently, my iTunes library spans two external USB2 HDDs for a total of 5TBs, and with the exception of the music is NOT backed up. It is largely made up of DVD rips of our extensive media collection, along with some purchased iTunes movies and TV shows.

I'd want things backed up first-and-foremost, with the ability to concatenate the disks so my iTunes library is on one disk as a convenience. If I could have 8TB for iTunes and 8TB for backup, I'd feel pretty secure in my setup. If that 8TB was one "disk" that would be even better.

I started out thinking of a NAS, but the problem there is it's redundancy and not a true backup unless I have additional storage like a second NAS. And I can't justify the cost of such a huge setup versus just a few USB3 HDDs. A 4-bay JBOD enclosure for $125 might be worth it if I could concatenate the disks and they would be reliable.

Anyone have any experience with that?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 09:09 PM   #8
joeblough
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beware

i think that most of the USB 3.0 4-bay enclosures contain a jmicron chip which is just not compatible with OSX. it appears to work fine for a while, but when the disks sleep/wake, they throw errors. if you are running an apple software raid, the raid will enter a degraded state. i just got done testing the cineraid 4-bay enclosure against 10.8.2 and it definitely does not work. the abovementioned mediasonic enclosures probably use the same jmicron chip.

this may or may not be disk-manufacturer dependent. i found that i had problems both with seagate and hitachi disks, but western digital drives seemed to work okay. i don't have 4 WD drives so i can't prove that the enclosure is completely compatible with WD drives.

and if you want to do esata, you need an adapter that's capable of port multiplication, or you will only be able to see one disk in the enclosure.

as sad as it sounds, we're probably better off using NAS devices with osx. those definitely work.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 10:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblough View Post
if you are running an apple software raid
Yeah, software RAIDs are dangerous, because they are not insulated from the OS (power management/file system).
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 08:18 PM   #10
joeblough
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Originally Posted by Mr. Retrofire View Post
Yeah, software RAIDs are dangerous, because they are not insulated from the OS (power management/file system).
fair enough, but i've never had a problem with linux MD raids in like 6 years of deployment across multiple generations of disks.

apple's raid is likely to be kind of half-baked compared to an open source solution...
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 08:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by joeblough View Post
fair enough, but i've never had a problem with linux MD raids in like 6 years of deployment across multiple generations of disks. apple's raid is likely to be kind of half-baked compared to an open source solution...
Yeah, i mean Mac/Disk Utility-based RAIDs, not Linux. :-)
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 04:47 PM   #12
deang001
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How about an EX-503 from Lian Li?

http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product...2&ss_index=115

They look very well made and most stuff from Lian Li is pretty silent.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 06:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deang001 View Post
How about an EX-503 from Lian Li?

http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product...2&ss_index=115

They look very well made and most stuff from Lian Li is pretty silent.
You can make ANY thing silent, but at the cost of components getting hotter by lower the fan RPM or even disconnect fan...

Here are so far the only solution for JBOD MAC OS 10.6.x; 10.7.x and 10.8.x that works:

USB3.0/USB2.0 host:
Using this USB3.0 to eSATA adapter from AMAZON for under $30.00 stick it to ANY eSATA port Multiplier box

FireWire800/400 host
Using this FireWire bridge support Port Multiplier
Connect ANY Port Multiplier BOX to this brigde. You may need SATA to eSATA cable for this solution...

Both solutions require no drivers or software installed

Last edited by FireWire2; Feb 1, 2013 at 02:15 PM.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 04:26 PM   #14
Aetles
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Originally Posted by FireWire2 View Post
FireWire800/400 host
Using this FireWire bridge support Port Multiplier
Connect ANY Port Multiplier BOX to this brigde. You may need SATA to eSATA cable for this solution...
That's interesting. I have an old Mac mini with FW400, so that bridge and and a box would be a great solution for a JBOD setup I think, although not as elegant as a complete box.

And, just to be clear, this one is a Port Multiplier BOX, right?
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 01:45 PM   #15
FireWire2
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Originally Posted by Aetles View Post
That's interesting. I have an old Mac mini with FW400, so that bridge and and a box would be a great solution for a JBOD setup I think, although not as elegant as a complete box.

And, just to be clear, this one is a Port Multiplier BOX, right?
Yeap!

I believe the FW bridge is a BUS powered so there is no external needed
You need eSATA to SATA
http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-Shiel...ref=pd_sim_e_4
and of course the Firewire bridge supports Port Multiplier

Now you have FireWire and USB2.0 can see up to five HDD.
Pretty cool, i think
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