Another TB RAID Box Option

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by fastlanephil, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #1
    I spotted this Data Tale Smart TB 4-drive RAID box option that you can purchase empty for about $650. You can use your SATA and SSD drives. It does JBOD also.

    Here's a video review.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWZC6iWYc9M
     
  2. JavaTheHut macrumors 6502

    JavaTheHut

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    #2
    They are off to the right start "TB cable included" :D
     
  3. barmann macrumors 6502

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    Germany
    #3
    So all 4 drives show up in finder and disk utility individually ?
     
  4. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

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  5. barmann macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Rule of thumb :

    - If JBOD is not explained in detail, there is no JBOD .

    - If there is a GUI mentioned, and there is no JBOD, and it's not a well established brand , brace yourself .

    ;)
     
  6. fastlanephil, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013

    fastlanephil thread starter macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

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    Nov 17, 2007
    #6
    Then someone should contact them and get a difinitive answer to any questions about the functionality of the JBOD mode.

    Also, I don't se anything about OS compatibility. It might be Windows only.

    You barmann? He,he.
     
  7. tamvly macrumors 6502a

    tamvly

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    Nov 11, 2007
    #7
    Am I the only person who thinks that an empty box and a TB cable for $640 is a bit steep? Actually, let me change that to ridiculous.
     
  8. slughead, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013

    slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

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    Apr 28, 2004
    #8
    It is outrageous. You can build an eSATA array which holds 4 drives for $173 with controller (20Gbit/s):

    - PCIe eSATA III Card - $100
    - PC Case & PSU - $55
    - Cables - $18 (2x this, 4x this)

    Want 15 drives (16 if you have duct tape)? How about $852? This is 64Gbit/s and therefore is 3x the possible bandwidth as TB 2. It is compatible with any PCIe 2.0 Mac Pro. (edit: updated based on this article)

    - PCIe SAS/eSATA controller - $480
    - PC case - $65
    - Backplanes $250 (3x$84)
    - PSU - $17
    - Cables - $40


    You could also use these instead, if you wanted to buy a smaller case and house 16 SSDs (if in a RAID-0, this could rip to shreds anything a nMP can do).
     
  9. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #9
    Yup, I agree... Absurd price! But this is a good sign actually! Prior to this unit the cheapest 4-drive TB enclosure was nearly twice this price. So we're at about half of the tech intro prices already! Very soon a box will come along that's about half this price as well and from there probably half once again. So we're on our way. What, another 12 to 18 months before they're $150 a pop?



     
  10. Puckman macrumors 6502

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    Yorba Linda, CA
    #10
    Never occured to me to do something like this. Hmmmmm....Very intrigued. I like the idea of an array of SSDs sitting in a powered external "shell".
     
  11. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #12
    Yep. And with 4 of these: http://www.teac.eu/de/sata-usb3-adapter.html at $25ea you can skip the $500 SATA card and use the $140 HighPoint 4-port USB3 card for a cheaper setup of about the same speed. :) You'll need 4 USB3 cables instead of 4 SATA cables of course tho.
     
  12. Puckman macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Even better, as I'm interested in a USB 3 setup (possibly a software OS X RAID combination thereof). I think you're on to something.
     
  13. slughead, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013

    slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

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  14. slughead, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013

    slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

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    #15
    Oh I see what you did there, you compared the card I used for my 16 drive example and to the 4 port USB PCIe card and USB bridgeboard.... okay. Thanks for stacking the deck, you just compared an enterprise-level SAS controller capable of 64Gbps to a bunch of USB3.0 toys instead of the obvious eSATA example I offered. Let's examine this both ways:

    In order to get a 16 drive RAID over USB you would have to... oh wait you can't, USB3.0 is only 5GBps per port. So unless you don't care about bandwidth, that would require you to have FOUR of those USB3.0 PCIe cards to get your 16 USB 3.0 ports, run them JBOD, and use Software RAID in OS X. Even then, you'd be throttling them to 5Gbps per drive from SATA III's possible 6GBps. What an insanely idiotic setup; why, WHY would you do that?! By the way, total cost? $400 for the 16 bridgeboards and $560 for the four USB cards for a total of $960. Oh, and you haven't even found a case or power supply to put them in, also good luck finding a motherboard with that many PCIe slots. So does that $470 SAS PCIe card look so expensive now?

    You should've compared your $140 4 port USB card PLUS $25 per drive for the bridgeboard to a $100 4 port eSATA card with greater throughput (4 x eSATA III = 24Gbit/s Vs only 4x USB3 = 20Gbit/s). Also there no bridgeboard required with eSATA, so therefore it is cheaper with less latency. Then you can tell me why you're using latency-prone, bottleneck-creating bridgeboards in a setup and paying $140 more for it ($40 more for the PCIe card plus $100 for four USB Bridgeboards).

    Your setup is bad, and you should feel bad!

    USB3 is not a replacement for SATA any more than Thunderbolt is a replacement for PCIe. Slower, requires more equipment, more expensive, period.
     
  15. fastlanephil thread starter macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

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    Nov 17, 2007
    #16
    I'm now looking at the RS-M2 SMART 2-Bay Thunderbolt™ RAID System for $217.

    It's just a 2 drive FW800 box but it will do me for a while.

    This is an option for my 2011 iMac if the new Mac Pro is too pricey. I'll also need a Mac Mini with the Fusion drive for a sample library slave and an OWC SSD installed in the iMac.
     
  16. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #17
    ??

    Thunderbolt boxes have no other interfaces.
     
  17. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #18
    Neither one of which will directly hook to the new Mac Pro or anything else in the Mac line up. More than a bit of Apples-to-Oranges if subsystems are not filling the same constraints.

    The TB box doesn't enclose gobs of empty space. The box is cheaper because aimed at a different market with a different volume.

    There are 4 bay NAS boxes from lots of vendors that top $300. Sub $200 is something different.
     
  18. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

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    #19
  19. Tesselator, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #20
    Hehe, yes, I feel soooo bad. :D

    Both ways have their advantages and if a user needs an enterprise-level SAS controller capable of 64Gbps then the $600 card is superior. As far as why I selected the $140 HighPoint USB3 card is because it has a dedicated controller for each of it's 4 ports - and it supports SuperSpeed on each. I haven't seen a cheaper Mac compatible "PC Card" that has that. The best I've seen is 2-ports per controller.

    Sure if you're buying the very fastest SSD drives to populate your JBOD or RAID then you will see a little clipping in benchmark utilities over the USB3 setup. SATA3 tops out at 2.4GB/s (probably 2.2 GB/s in reality) and the USB setup tops out at 2GB/s (probably 1.8 GB/s in the real world). But both of those "real world" speeds are mostly only achievable in benchmark utilities - a fact most people never stop to consider.

    Even the most aggressive video editing software with the fastest CPUs with the most cores will almost never use those (2.2 ~ 1.8 GB/s) respective bandwidths - closer to half that is about right. If we could consider only those times during access I guess the breakdown would look something like:

    80% of the time: Under 300 MB/s
    18% of the time: Under 600 MB/s
    1.5% of the time: Under 1 GB/s
    0.499% of the time: Under 1.5 GB/s
    0.001% of the time: Under 2 GB/s (The USB3 setup will be slower here)

    Interface and connection latency would be important if we were timing boot speeds or massive database I/O but for video, photography, or really any other kind of content creation it's not very consequential.

    When you also consider that the user might be using rotational media then there becomes absolutely no differences between the two configurations. And if you take into account diversity where the user might wish to use two or three individual 4-drive RAID boxes leaving the other USB3 ports for memory card readers, audio interfaces, 1080p monitors, 2G ethernet interfaces, USB2/3 hubs, TV tuners, Video recorders, and so on, then there's a little extra advantage in the USB3 setup.

    Right, Even that youtube guys TB box was only doing just slightly over single connection USB3 speeds and when he went to RAID10 it was WELL under! Someone should tell him: If you're going to use RAID10 like that then you can skip the expensive TB enclosure and just use USB3 for the same identical performance. ;)
     
  20. VirtualRain, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013

    VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Vancouver, BC
    #21
    The most affordable TB enclosure I've seen to date is the WD My Book Raptor Duo which combines a pair of 1TB WD Raptors in a TB enclosure for $580. Given the drives sell for $220 each, that means the enclosure is about $140 (and it includes a cable) making it comparable with USB3 enclosures.

    One could use this as is or sell the drives, and load it with a pair of SSDs instead. But for SSDs, the Promise J4 looks good.

    If you need more than two drives maybe multiple WD My Book enclosures make the most sense.

    WD's other My Book TB offerings are also decently priced but the value of two 7200RPM drives in a TB enclosure is questionable. But at $680 for 8TB you're only paying a couple hundred for the enclosure (the Hitachi 4TB drives are $229 each)... And if you got two, I suppose you could do a RAID0 of both RAID0 arrays for some good STRs across 16TB.
     
  21. slughead, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013

    slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

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    #22
    I understand, you don't need the bandwidth most of the time. However, eSATA is still cheaper if you don't mind throttling the bandwidth.

    You can get a port multiplier with 5 ports for $65. Compare that to $25 per hard drive using USB bridge boards. You can even get one with a USB port for $100.

    A typical 4 port eSATA card ($100) can run four of these things--for a total of 20 drives.
     
  22. tamvly macrumors 6502a

    tamvly

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    Nov 11, 2007
    #23
    After some thought I believe that Tesselator may be right.

    If the Data Tale Smart TB 4-drive RAID performs as advertised (JBOD + various RAID types) and prices fall as competition increases, the TB enclosure market may just enable the new MP for lots of folks.

    What's a good price point? I think $150 to $200 would work for me sans drives.
     
  23. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #24
    Forget it. A good quad-interface 1-bay enclosure has always been 100+, and 2-bay around 200.
     
  24. tamvly macrumors 6502a

    tamvly

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    Nov 11, 2007
    #25
    I said this is what works for me. Feel free to disagree for your own sake.
     

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