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Old Nov 26, 2012, 11:54 AM   #1
MrXiro
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Advantage of Fusion over SSD+HDD separately

I have the 2012 Mac Mini and installed a 256gb Crucial M4 and still have the stock 1tb drive attached inside as well.

I currently have my OS on the SSD and all my iTunes music on the 1TB. My iTunes movies are kept on an external HDD (I'm hitting 800gb in movies)

Been reading a lot about the DIY Fusion drives, wondering if it's actually worth my while to do it or if it's just a high risk task of crashing out the drives and losing all my data one day?

Anyone successfully created a Fusion and is perfectly happy about it?
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 12:02 PM   #2
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I'm wondering this too as I'm debating what Mac Mini to purchase.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 12:04 PM   #3
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There are threads on how to create your own. Search for "DIY fusion" and you'll find it.

As for if it's worth it or not… Not in my case. There's been some discussion on the topic and some will tell you it's amazing, I just don't like it. I do understand though it being so useful for the most part of users out there.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 12:07 PM   #4
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I think the concept of Fusion Drive is superior.

If I have a HDD and SDD based system I really don't want to have to symlink some directories. I want the OS to handle intelligently putting the data that benefits most on SSD and leave the large data that doesn't require SSD on the HDD.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 12:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasx View Post
There are threads on how to create your own. Search for "DIY fusion" and you'll find it.

As for if it's worth it or not… Not in my case. There's been some discussion on the topic and some will tell you it's amazing, I just don't like it. I do understand though it being so useful for the most part of users out there.
What do you dislike about it?

I'm more worried about data loss than anything. Not that I don't back up my computer but I'd rather not have to deal with the hassle just to end up with 2 crashed drives.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 12:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MrXiro View Post
What do you dislike about it?

I'm more worried about data loss than anything. Not that I don't back up my computer but I'd rather not have to deal with the hassle just to end up with 2 crashed drives.
Well, a couple of simple examples.

1. Imagine you end this 25GB project. You save it knowing you're gonna be working on it in lets say 3 months and you don't want to just store it. The OS will probably store it in the HDD then therefore you'll have lower speeds when working on it again until the OS realizes you want it in the SSD again and puts it there.

2. I have several virtual machines which I use not too often but a couple of them. If I ran one I haven't used for some time on a Fusion Drive, it'd boot much slower than if I had it stored in an SSD on purpose.

I could add other more subjective reasons, but I don't think they're relevant here.

Again, this is personal. Not for me. I prefer a separate regular HDD and put in it what I want to store there. I don't want the OS to choose for me.
But, as I stated, I do understand it being perfect for the most.

EDIT: It's not its performance what doesn't convince me if that's what you're worried about.

EDIT 2: As for data loss… they haven't been out there too much yet. No one can really tell its failure rate.
(It's assumable though that it'll have a slightly higher failure rate than a single SSD or HDD, as this FD has both therefore if one fails, the whole disk fails)
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 12:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dasx View Post
Well, a couple of simple examples.

1. Imagine you end this 25GB project. You save it knowing you're gonna be working on it in lets say 3 months and you don't want to just store it. The OS will probably store it in the HDD then therefore you'll have lower speeds when working on it again until the OS realizes you want it in the SSD again and puts it there.

2. I have several virtual machines which I use not too often but a couple of them. If I ran one I haven't used for some time on a Fusion Drive, it'd boot much slower than if I had it stored in an SSD on purpose.

I could add other more subjective reasons, but I don't think they're relevant here.

Again, this is personal. Not for me. I prefer a separate regular HDD and put in it what I want to store there. I don't want the OS to choose for me.
But, as I stated, I do understand it being perfect for the most.

EDIT: It's not its performance what doesn't convince me if that's what you're worried about.

EDIT 2: As for data loss… they haven't been out there too much yet. No one can really tell its failure rate.
(It's assumable though that it'll have a slightly higher failure rate than a single SSD or HDD, as this FD has both therefore if one fails, the whole disk fails)
Cool thanks for the info. I'll probably just leave it off. I don't see a reason for me to do it either. If I'm working on a video project it'll be off of an external Firewire drive and I could actually fit all my music, OS and Apps on the SSD right now anyway but would rather keep the music off the main SSD for any future installs.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 01:23 PM   #8
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OS X really expects you to have one drive. That's why it doesn't like having applications live on separate drives, doesn't want you to move critical folders, etc. It supports more than that, but from it's own standpoint, it's not ideal. Fusion Drive fits in with how OS X expects your computer to look.

The main drawback is that there is increased risk of hardware failure. You have two potential sources for something to go wrong. If you're going to use Fusion Drive, you MUST backup regularly. As many people don't do this, even when they know they should, this could be considered a major drawback.

The main advantage is that this is the most efficient use of a small SSD possible. You are likely to be a poor judge of what files you read more often than others. And since Fusion Drive works at the block level, it can optimize by having a file spread across both drives to speed access without needing to fill the SSD with the entire file (almost like using the SSD as a buffer of sorts). You're unlikely to achieve the same performance benefit you could get with Fusion Drive on your own, unless your SSD isn't even full.

I should point out that I have a Drobo connected via FireWire 800 that I store all my downloaded software (that hasn't been installed), Movies, TV Shows, and music on. My iTunes library stays on my main drive (Fusion), but the actual media I have configured to live on a different drive. But this is because I have way more media than I could keep on even the largest of laptop drives.

Last edited by SuperRob; Nov 26, 2012 at 01:38 PM.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MrXiro View Post
Cool thanks for the info. I'll probably just leave it off. I don't see a reason for me to do it either. If I'm working on a video project it'll be off of an external Firewire drive and I could actually fit all my music, OS and Apps on the SSD right now anyway but would rather keep the music off the main SSD for any future installs.
I also have a FW drive always connected to my Mini where I store files I don't intend to use for a long period of time. (Or movies, music and other stuff that doesn't need high reading speeds for playback).

Helps me keep much more free space in my SSD so I can just have there what I know I want to use at top speed.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 01:32 PM   #10
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I'm more worried about data loss than anything. Not that I don't back up my computer but I'd rather not have to deal with the hassle just to end up with 2 crashed drives.
Both CCC and SuperDuper are looking into adding Fusion backup capability. Should know more in around a month. I hope they can do it (and at this point they both think it's do-able) because I'd love to make a Fusion drive for my Mac. As a side note; I heard that one reason why Apple removed 10.8.2 was because on some computers Disk Utility was creating Fusion drives, and of course Apple wants to sell them not give them away
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 03:46 PM   #11
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I'm glad someone started this thread. I am expecting my mini tomorrow along with my 240GB SSD I ordered separately. I was planning on running them separately until I saw that I could make them a fusion drive. I work with IT and have dealt slightly with enterprise storage that auto tiers. I know that systems like that are TOTALLY different, made from the ground up to do this (complex software along with loads of cache, redundant drives, and onsite support to replace failed components quickly). The smarter part of me says to keep things separate, but the tech / guy who wants to get his moneys worth (fusion without paying for fusion) wants to join them together. I have about 12 hours to decide...
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:09 PM   #12
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A couple of days ago I did a diy fusion drive on my 2012 mac mini. (128gbyte Samsung 830 + 1TB drive. Pretty easy to do if you follow the instructions laid out here and around the web. I think it is great. The risk of data loss does't bother me because I back up my stuff using Time Machine. The good think about it is you can give it a try and if you don't like it you can break it into two separate drives again and restore your data. I have 650gbytes of data on my machine so that 128gbyte drive is full - that 4 gbyte buffer. I have trim installed. Speeds are 300 writes and 400 reads more or less.

When i make by install disk CCC put 35 gbytes of data on it. So that is OSX + Apps + user account data.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:21 AM   #13
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"Been reading a lot about the DIY Fusion drives, wondering if it's actually worth my while to do it or if it's just a high risk task of crashing out the drives and losing all my data one day?"

Since the fusion drive technology was introduced, I've seen little discussion about this. I think it could pose significant problems down the line.

Anyone who uses computers knows that "drives fail". Hard drives are almost destined to fail due to their internal construction with moving platters. Solid-state drives fail as well. So it's reasonable to assume that at some point, a number of fusion drive owners are going to experience some sort of drive failure, either a failure of the hardware or perhaps some kind of directory corruption.

Let's say you have a fusion drive that (up to this point) has been running without problems, and suddenly the hard drive portion of your fusion drive fails.

What next?

Of course, because of fusion, the drive won't mount.

Can the "fusion" be "broken" to "separate" the core volume back into two separate volumes? Even if that can be done, the entire fusion drive (as a "whole") may be unmountable, how will the user "get at it" with Disk Utility, the Terminal, or other software?

Even if the SSD portion can successfully be separated from the HDD portion (which is broken), how might one use data recovery software to access the HDD portion? Will that even be possible?

All kinds of questions yet about fusion, in my mind. Folks are ready to leap into fusion without thinking much about the future.

I sense that without a complete and bootable backup of the fusion drive, meaningful "recovery" in the event of a crash or failure may not be possible. Of course, I keep bootable backups, but the vast majority of users don't. We could see a rash of "fusion failures" something like we see "Time Machine failures" today -- that is, instances where folks have a drive failure, try to restore from Time Machine, and find they can't access their TM backups, etc.

Final thoughts:
The "fusion" concept is Apple's take on "RAID for dummies". Makes multiple-drive management +simple+! That is, until you have a failure, in which things can get VERY complicated very quickly.

If you're not bothered by multiple drive (or partition) management right now, I think the best course of action is to install an SSD and "keep it separate" from the HDD for a while. Let's wait and see how things thrash out when folks start having fusion drives go bad, and see what it takes to recover from such failures....
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
Since the fusion drive technology was introduced, I've seen little discussion about this. I think it could pose significant problems down the line.
There's been LOTS of discussion about this. The MTBF (mean time between failure) goes down as a result of having two drives involved. Fusion is a convenience / cost saving technology. You still need to have a backup strategy. If a component in the Fusion Drive fails, you can replace the component, rebuild the Fusion Drive, and restore your data. It's no different than having data on any one drive. You would still need to replace the drive, partition and format it, then restore the backup.

Fusion is not "RAID for dummies." Fusion allows you to use a small SSD in the most efficient way possible, while still having access to a large storage device. It shares almost nothing with RAID.

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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:11 AM   #15
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Data recovery is possible :
http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.c...-fusion-drive/

I think people messing around with TRIM on unsupported devices combined with the fusiondrive, could put your data at great risk.

http://hardwrk.com/blog/trim-and-mac-os-x/
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:36 AM   #16
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I think people messing around with TRIM on unsupported devices combined with the fusiondrive, could put your data at great risk.

http://hardwrk.com/blog/trim-and-mac-os-x/
Curious. This runs contrary to everything I've read, but it's worth keeping in mind. Thanks.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 11:07 AM   #17
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Let's say you have a fusion drive that (up to this point) has been running without problems, and suddenly the hard drive portion of your fusion drive fails.

What next?
The same could be said for any data storage, that's why God made backups. As soon as SuperDuper gives the green light for backing up a Fusion drive (hopefully within a month) I will make the switch There's no reason not to as it will be even safer than traditional drives.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 11:29 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Mac... nificent View Post
The same could be said for any data storage, that's why God made backups. As soon as SuperDuper gives the green light for backing up a Fusion drive (hopefully within a month) I will make the switch There's no reason not to as it will be even safer than traditional drives.
I don't think God made Backups... I'm betting it's some electrical engineer or computer technician. :P
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 11:31 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mac... nificent View Post
The same could be said for any data storage, that's why God made backups. As soon as SuperDuper gives the green light for backing up a Fusion drive (hopefully within a month) I will make the switch There's no reason not to as it will be even safer than traditional drives.
I think there is already a green light now....

http://www.shirt-pocket.com/forums/s...ead.php?t=6724
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 11:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
"Been reading a lot about the DIY Fusion drives, wondering if it's actually worth my while to do it or if it's just a high risk task of crashing out the drives and losing all my data one day?"

Since the fusion drive technology was introduced, I've seen little discussion about this. I think it could pose significant problems down the line.

Anyone who uses computers knows that "drives fail". Hard drives are almost destined to fail due to their internal construction with moving platters. Solid-state drives fail as well. So it's reasonable to assume that at some point, a number of fusion drive owners are going to experience some sort of drive failure, either a failure of the hardware or perhaps some kind of directory corruption.

Let's say you have a fusion drive that (up to this point) has been running without problems, and suddenly the hard drive portion of your fusion drive fails.

What next?

Of course, because of fusion, the drive won't mount.

Can the "fusion" be "broken" to "separate" the core volume back into two separate volumes? Even if that can be done, the entire fusion drive (as a "whole") may be unmountable, how will the user "get at it" with Disk Utility, the Terminal, or other software?

Even if the SSD portion can successfully be separated from the HDD portion (which is broken), how might one use data recovery software to access the HDD portion? Will that even be possible?

All kinds of questions yet about fusion, in my mind. Folks are ready to leap into fusion without thinking much about the future.

I sense that without a complete and bootable backup of the fusion drive, meaningful "recovery" in the event of a crash or failure may not be possible. Of course, I keep bootable backups, but the vast majority of users don't. We could see a rash of "fusion failures" something like we see "Time Machine failures" today -- that is, instances where folks have a drive failure, try to restore from Time Machine, and find they can't access their TM backups, etc.

Final thoughts:
The "fusion" concept is Apple's take on "RAID for dummies". Makes multiple-drive management +simple+! That is, until you have a failure, in which things can get VERY complicated very quickly.

If you're not bothered by multiple drive (or partition) management right now, I think the best course of action is to install an SSD and "keep it separate" from the HDD for a while. Let's wait and see how things thrash out when folks start having fusion drives go bad, and see what it takes to recover from such failures....
I guess I almost don't see the point of it using Fusion at least in my life... 256gb for an OS and apps is more than enough. I'm never going to have issues with speed of loading music or movies from the HDD anyway. I would never store any video content I am editing locally anyway, so why would I need 1.25tb of storage in a single partition even.
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