2.5" RAID Enclosures

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by haravikk, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Okay so I'm still looking at what I'd need in order to make a new Mac Pro work out, and one thing I need to look at of course is drive enclosures for extra storage. Now I have some existing drives a 3.5" RAID enclosure is a must and I think I've settled on a few possibilities.

    But one thing I was thinking is that an enclosure for 2.5" drives could be a lot neater in terms of size, and 2.5" drives are after all more capable than ever with several good options, including hybrid drives with built in Flash. That said raw speed isn't a huge issue as I'd probably just use it to build a Fusion drive with the pro's internal flash storage.

    Anyway, I've been having a hard time finding many RAID capable enclosures intended for 2.5" drives so I thought I'd ask if anyone knows of any good ones? I've found plenty of 3.5" enclosures that can take 2.5" drives, but those don't save any space, what I'm looking for are any products that are specifically designed to take 2.5" drives in order to reduce size/increase capacity compared to 3.5" offerings. Are there any, or is it just a market where no-one cares about size?
  2. maflynn, Oct 22, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013

    maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I have a drobo mini and I like that very much. There's also the Pegasus J4

    See this thread for the discussion between the two

    Here's a cnet first look of the J4. It doesn't support RAID 5 and it appears its only using OSX software RAID implementation, not sure if that matters to you.
  3. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
  4. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    And watch for refurb pricing of LaCie's Little Big Disk with Thunderbolt at their online shop or MacMall. Some interesting low pricing seen in the past and seems like they move very fast after being posted.

    There are HDD and SSD versions.
  5. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    That's not a problem as I've had no particular issues with AppleRAID performance and would only be striping to help with loading big files, I'll be using it as part of a Fusion Drive setup as well. This is actually how I'm currently setup and get great performance from it, only difference being instead of internal SATA the capacity drives will be external.

    Both of those devices look great, though I wonder how much of a premium Thunderbolt is still adding to them? Are there any cheaper USB3 only offerings? 5gbps is probably enough for four platter hard-drives, which is what I'm likely to use; of course more speed is always great for future, but then I could always make do with a second enclosure instead if the price is right.

    I do like Synology NAS devices, but I should have said I'm really looking for a direct enclosure; I've never found AFP or SMB performance to be particularly good, and iSCSI support on OS X is pretty crap. Plus the drives wouldn't be able to be combined via AppleRAID/CoreStorage unless I've missed a feature of the device?
  6. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Drobo Mini? It's a TB-connected DAS and has possibility to take advantage of additional mSATA SSD accelerator.
  7. joeatmapphoto macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2013
    Celebration, Florida
    Depending on how much trouble you want to go through this article suggests you can exceed 500GBytes/sec with 4TB of cheap 2.5" drives for less than $400: http://pietrzyk.us/usb-3-0-hub-raid-study/
    Not very pretty, but makes a good point.
  8. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Heh, yeah I've seen that done, but that's pretty much the arrangement I've got right now with my 3.5" drives that I'm looking to replace ;)

    Since posting this thread I've opted for a self-build RAID. Basically I just bought a cheap case with 9x 5.25" bays that I can install back-planes and RAID controllers into. For now I'm just adding capacity for up to 10 3.5" drives, but I have 3 spare 5.25" bays which means I can add back-planes for 2.5" drives (4 or 6 per bay depending upon height).

    Should meet my storage requirements for… well I'm not sure I'll ever need to upgrade again to be honest, just might need to replace a part from time to time :)

    It's all going to be USB3 for the time being, but I'll switch to Thunderbolt as soon as controllers are available for sane prices.

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