External RAID Enclosure

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by cosmicjoke, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. cosmicjoke, Jan 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    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/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816111149

    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
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #2
    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.
     
  3. Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    #3
    Another vote for looking at RAID arrays from OWC. I recently bought one to house my iTunes library.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #4
    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.
     
  5. Giuly, Jan 31, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013

    macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #5
    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).
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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

    If those are too large, the LaCie 2big Thunderbolt (also available with USB 3.0).
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    designs216

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Down the rabbit hole
    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Location:
    Chandler, Arizona
    #7
    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.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    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!
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9

    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
     
  10. macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #10
    owc does have a 4 bay but no t-bolt or usb3


    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/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
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    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 :)
     
  12. macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #13
    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?
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #15
    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.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    #18
    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
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Location:
    Chandler, Arizona
    #19
    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...
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    #20
    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
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    #21
    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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