2008 Mac Pro HD options - RAID? TM?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by quatermass, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. quatermass macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2009
    I have a 2008 Mac Pro, with 4x1TB hard disks. Currently I have one for boot and applications, 1 for projects, that is, client work, 1 for media, such as animations, After Effects/Premier files, photos etc., and one for Time Machine. I've got Time Machine set to back up the various important library/prefs on the Boot disk, and the Projects folder. I take a backup of the rest of the important stuff about once a month, using two 500mb HD's which I rotate, storing one offsite, and backup the finished projects to DVD.

    I suspect that this may not be the smartest setup, and that some sort of RAID config may be better. My knowledge of the various flavours of RAID is very limited (read: none!) The reason is I just had the Projects HD fail, and while restoring everything wasn't terribly difficult, it made me think about other options. Would it be possible to keep the Boot disk as is, use 2 or three of the internal HD's for RAID, and use a 2TB external for TM? What's the size limit for the internals - I seem to recall it being 1TB but I could be wrong.

    Any advice/recommendations/personal experience would be greatly appreciated.

    Just for info - I do a lot of 3D work, illustrations, page layout, web design, animations and short CGI movies, the machine runs 24/7, and is usually rendering something. No hardware issues to date - the darn thing is built like a dreadnaught!
  2. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    I've had 2TB drives in slots 2,3 & 4 in a RAID0 and RAID5, and although you could put larger drives in, there are some issues if you try to RAID say, Green disks for example.

    If you want to stick with only using the internal slots, you could get two 2TB Caviar Blacks and make them RAID0 for 4TB of fast data, then get a 3TB disk for Time Machine. Should work ok until you start filling up that disk.

    I did Time Machine for a while, but then found I prefer manually backing up myself when needed, and keeping a clone on a separate drive as well. I have a Voyager Q that lets me attach bare drives with ease, so I keep boxes of bare drives around for my backups and clones. If you end up buying new drives, you'll have your old 1TB disks left over, and that would be a good thing to use them for, too.


    By the way, info on RAID levels:
    Standard RAID levels
    Nested RAID levels
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Given what the OP's described, I'd suggest keeping the primary data on a redundant level of RAID, not a stripe set (RAID 0), as the data must be restored from backups in the event of a failure with stripe sets.

    So for redundant levels, OS X can do levels 1 and 10 (software based RAID; other levels, 0 and JBOD <concatenation> are not redundant). Past that, a proper hardware RAID card would be needed, and the entire solution is pricey.

    Given the data types described, it could still be the right way to go however, as it would provide performance improvements as well.

    Can you tell us more about what you're doing (i.e. hobby or professional)?

    There's a ton of questions past this, but it's enough to get started (i.e. determine if software based RAID or hardware based RAID is the right way to go). ;)
  4. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    Well, I figured since he only backs up most data once a month, he probably doesn't need redundancy as much as speed, provided he used Time Machine to back up the project files hourly. That would make sense for an Adobe Premiere / AE user. I'm a bit more cautious, but I can afford to be. It wasn't long ago that I skated that thin ice of working on paid projects all day long, and only backed up at the end of the day, risking losing a day's work. He'd be better off than that with my suggestion. :D

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