2010 MP Internal & External RAID advice

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by JohnHa, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. JohnHa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    #1
    Hi,

    I've got a refurb 8-core 2.4 on the way (w00t!) and would like some advice on a good RAID setup for it. I've read through a bunch of threads, but my head is spinning a bit...

    I'm coming off a windows machine that has 6 internal drives (raid1 for the first two drives and then raid10 for the next four).

    So I thought it would be good to have all 4 drives in the MP in a RAID10 configuration. I have about 8 1.5TB SATAII drives that I want to use.

    It seems the Areca RAID cards are the ones to get, but I'm not sure which one is most appropriate for me. Could someone recommend the most appropriate for my MP and drives? And should I consider getting a more expensive one that can handle SAS if I want to upgrade the drives in the future?

    Also, even if I achieve the 4x 1.5TB in RAID10, I know I will want an external solution as well. Maybe a 6x RAID10 solution would be great.

    What I'm unsure of is:

    1. Which 6x RAID10 box to get? I would like something that is quiet and provides easy access to the drives.

    2. How would this external box connect to the MP? Could it connect to a very expensive internal RAID card and let that single card handle both the internal and external drives?

    3. What interface is best to connect the external RAID box to the MP - I've heard of SAS and eSATA, and although I'm pretty sure these are both faster than FW800, I'm trying to understand the pros/cons and costs.


    And a side question: I've read on some threads of people using the optical drive slot for another hard drive. My MP is configured with one optical drive only. So can I install another hard drive in the second optical drive slot and have a 5x 1.5TB RAID10 array?


    Lots of questions, I know. Thank you kindly in advance.

    -John
     
  2. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
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    Howell, New Jersey
    #2
    you can't have a 5 drive raid10 must be even amount of drives.

    4 6 8 10 etc.
     
  3. JohnHa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    #3
    Ah right, sorry my brain is a bit soft after staring at this for so long.
     
  4. JohnHa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    #4
    Also, I'm getting conflicting information. When I called Apple they told me that the software raid cannot do RAID10 across the 4 drives. But I've read on this forum that that is possible. Could someone confirm or refute this? Thx.
     
  5. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
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    Howell, New Jersey
    #5
    you can do raid10 in a 2010 mac pro with 4 hdds and software raid. in osx disc utility. you need a fifth drive to be the osx to set it up . so if you put the stock 1tb drive in the optical drive and 4 drives in the four bays you can do it.
     
  6. JohnHa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    #6
    Ah, that's great news - thank you kindly for the clarification.

    Would you happen to know if I need to modify the optical drive slot to accomodate the hard drive? Thanks again!
     
  7. JohnHa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    #7
    Sorry, that was a dumb question. I would need a 3.5" to 5.25" adapter to make my drive fit.

    But what if I took out the optical drive - I hardly use optical drives these days.

    Does anyone know if I could then put in 2 more hard drives where the optical bays are and boot the Mac from those drives? Ideally I would make those a RAID1 partition.

    Thank you!
     
  8. NoManIsland macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    #8
    MaxUpgrades has a mounting solution for putting two to four 3.5" HDDs into the optical bays. Here is an example of two HDDs and one optical. OWC also makes a multi-mount solution, which comes in many flavours and combinations of 3.5" and 2.5" drives.
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #9
    Yes you can. :)

    You can easily place the optical disk in a USB enclosure and use it when needed (boots multiple OS's, which is why I like USB for this). It's also fast enough for optical media, so the compromise is just additional clutter on your work area when you use it.
     
  10. JohnHa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    #10
    Nice. That's a nice solution, but I'll have to wait and see when I get the machine though. Because if I have two 3.5" hard drives and the optical drive in there, I'm not sure which connections I'm using. I'm assuming that in that area there are 2 sata connectors, of which the optical drive is using one. So if I use both sata connectors for the two additional hard drives, what do I connect to the optical drive?
     
  11. JohnHa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    #11
    Ah, I just got off the phone with the MaxConnect guy. He says the MaxConnect ships with a PCIe SATA controller. So I could have 6 hard drives directly connected to the Mac. And the other two controlled by the 2-channel 6.0 Gb/s PCIe card that comes in the kit.

    Now I just need to find a nice optical drive enclosure and I think I have my internal drives all sorted out.
     
  12. JohnHa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    #13
    Yeah actually I think I am going to go that route with 8 drives inside. I ordered a slim LaCie USB DVD burner with lightscribe I found on ebay to act as my optical drive when I need one. I'm psyched! Thank you.
     
  13. mulo, Feb 3, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011

    mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    #14
    ah snap, you are quick.
    i removed it again because its is for 2.5" drives.
    but i still think you can do it with 3.5" drives, the dimensions are there to allow it.
     
  14. JohnHa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    #15
    Ah, you must have put up the link that has four 2.5" drives in place of one optical drive.

    Well, let's hope it works out and I can get eight 3.5" spinning drives in there. I the meantime, does anyone need a spare optical drive? ;)
     
  15. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    #16
    well if you don't want it? :p

    ye usually i'd have a bit more time to look around, but you were quick! ;) - big fan of the edit button :p
    this is what you found?
    http://www.maxupgrades.com/istore/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_id=187
     
  16. JohnHa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    #17
    Yup that's the one. Specifically Part Number SZ-MP2091OPT02.

    Looks like it will allow for 8 big spinners total and you can boot from them. So now I just have to figure out if software raid can handle something like this:

    For the two sata connectors originally for optical drives, a boot disk in RAID1.

    And then for the two sata connectors controlled by the PCIe card, maybe a RAID0 scratch disk or something like that.

    And then for the four original hard drives, a RAID10. (I'm hoping I can do this piece especially. I'll just have to try and see because the advice and documentation I'm reading conflicts with each other.)
     
  17. JohnHa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    #18
    I just wanted to followup and say that the MaxConnect I got is OK...

    The aluminum hardware and SATA/power connectors allowed me to remove my optical drive and install 4 more SATA hard drives. So now I have 8 drives spinning and all is well.

    But the 2-channel 6Gb/s SATA controller card that came with the kit is a piece of junk. I had a RAID0 scratch disk running off that card and my MP would freeze all the time. I would find myself booting from DVD and running Disk Utility verify/repair a couple times per day.

    So I pulled the SATA card and everything is stable. Now I need to find a good SATA controller card that won't kill my Mac like that junky one.

    Ideally I'd like a card that has 2 internal channels and 2 external eSATA channels, all running at 3Gb/s. Could someone recommend a good one that won't cost an arm and a leg?

    I found this one, but it seems kind of old. It's the RocketRaid 2642:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Highpoint Technologies/RRAID2642/

    Is there a better one that I'm perhaps overlooking?

    Thanks all!

    -John
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #19
    I'd recommend avoiding Highpoint all together.

    Unfortunately, I don't recall any internal port 6.0Gb/s SATA cards (eSATA only that I recall). If you don't need 6.0Gb/s, you could take a look at the Sonnet E4i (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet Technology/TSATAIIE4I/).
     

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