any advice on setting up raid and Nas?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iOrbit, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. iOrbit macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2012
    hey again,

    i have a late 2011 MacBook Pro 15 inch base model.

    i want to have the speed and power of 2 ssd's in raid 0 with the optical bay/data doubler, and maintain all my media on a external storage device with access over NAS.

    i have some questions.

    preferably from people with experience, or simply have knowledge from others who have.

    if you're reading this and you think you have an answer or opinion on one or more of these questions, i ask you - please share :)

    1. Generally, excluding the possibility of a SSD drive failing by just being a bad drive, is Raid 0 risky and unreliable? i am aware naturally that if one sad drive fails, then all data is lost. but what i would like to know is if Raid 0, as a configuration (the blocks and the stripes) increases risk of failure in some other way? (non technical?) am i risking unreliable data saving/writing??

    2. is the OWC data doubler, a 6gb interface? i tried to google this but i couldn't find the answer. according to my system information, my optical drive bay interface is 6gb data (the same as the hdd interface). so i'm concerned that the data doubler might be slower than this like some other optical bays. which would kill the point to do raid 0 for me if it can't perform faster than a single ssd drive.

    3. can anyone tell me what i might be in for by trying NAS? i want to literally keep all photos, videos, and music on this device. that includes making iTunes access its library over wifi, iMovie accessing video files, etc. is this a bad idea? is there a 'consumer' price model that can do this well? i basically want my laptop to be free of data storage generally, and just be used for applications and installations.

    4. does anyone have a solution for how to access Discss/CD ROM etc on the macbook pro? you see, i don't mind having to plug in an external cd/dvd drive here and there when installing software, or watching a movie. but i'm thinking that when it comes to playing Games, that need disc, i would rather be able to move. is there any such solution that is the same as apples 'remote disc' ?? i would ilke to be able to play Command & Conquer General's remotely over wifi without carrying a external disc drive :D

    lastly, 5. will Time Machine backup a raid 0 setup like a normal hdd? i want time machine to backup my data to make sure i have a backup of what got incase i did suffer a failure or data loss.

    thanks for reading.

    i hope to buy 16gb of ram when i can in the future, but at the moment i'm just so happy that SSD drives are dropping down in price, to much more affordable ranges.
  2. throAU, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I'm an newish enterprise storage nerd so i've been dealing with RAID a lot lately...

    it all comes down to stats. if a drive has X chance of failure, and you have 2 of them to fail, then you are twice as likely to see a failure. given that 1 failure kills all your data, then you are twice as likely to lose all your data. However, unless you have critical failure - your reads/writes will still be just as reliable while it is working properly... if that's what you're asking? people run RAID0 to get speed - the 2x failure probability is the price of entry, and is not avoidable unless you mirror the raid set with another pair of drives... (i.e., you stripe your RAID0 across 2 RAID1 mirrors - 4 drives in the machine in total)

    the mbp 2011 15" optibay is only 3gb/sec to my knowledge. ymmv, but i wouldn't count on it.

    A NAS is the way to go with SSD in my opinion. If you're a little technical, i'd get some pc hardware together with a couple of drives and try FreeNAS. There are 4 drive bay NAS machines out there but they are overpriced. FreeNAS will do the job and be more expandable using regular pc hardware.

    Time machine will back up your RAID 0 just like a normal drive.

    RAID 0 is only "risky" to lose all your data if you don't have regular backups. It is still inconvenient when it fails though. And they will fail, without warning, eventually. Probably when it is most inconvenient :D

    now, my question to you is this: do you already use SSD (i.e., are you aware of how much faster they are)? Because RAID0 of them is total overkill imho unless you're doing some super hard core IO. And I don't mean home use stuff or gaming. I mean real hard core scientific work or similar.

    Couple the "good enough" non-raid performance with the still fairly high and (more importantly) warning-less failure nature of SSD (no clicking, just FAIL... no work anymore), i wouldn't set up a RAID0 of them myself. The reliability hit just isn't worth the performance increase (they're already FAST!) unless you're REALLY pushing a NEED for very fast IO. You need to be sure that the speed increase will save you more time than you'll waste restoring from backup when it breaks. And it will break.

    I'd do this instead: pop a single, decently fast SSD in the main bay and a big 2.5" 5400 or 7200 rpm drive in the optibay. Forget RAID, because the optibay is only 3gb anyway and will slow the other drive down by RAIDing them. And you don't need it - they're already fast!

    A single good SSD is still VERY fast. You can keep bulk data on the spinning disk, so it is always with you. Still back up with time machine of course.
  3. iOrbit thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2012
    thanks so much for taking the time to write a really informing reply.

    1. yeah thats what i was asking, so it will be just as reliable? thats pretty good then :D

    2. the macbook pros apparently, originally were only sata III? on the hdd bay, but the disc bay was SATA II. according to an article, apple 'secretly' changes this on new models (later 2011 models) and both interfaces are apparently sata III, i checked system information to 'confirm' it to what the article said.:


    Article Link Here

    FreeNAS sounds great, the only problem is, (yes i can build a computer, iv only built one once before though) it sounds like it would be a large computer, which i don't really have the space for, and i don't really want to keep a tower desktop computer on all the time, running up a bill. its a shame the Nas bay's are overpriced. have you tried running iTunes/imovie or something similar, over NAS where all content is accessed over wifi? is there much lag at all if so??

    its Great that time machine will back this up. what i have with my current time machine backup is a 1tb drive with 1 500gb partition for time machine (my internal hdd is a seagate hybrid drive, moments xt, 4gb flash storage i think) and one part ion where i will manually back up my files (as i'm not that familiar with time machine backups, or drive cloning, i prefer the idea that the system is installed freshly, if that makes sense? as i have no idea how clone backups work.)

    i haven't used an SSD before, i'm aware of the overkill, i certainly don't need overkill in terms of what i do on the machine (the most computing power i do is iMovie editing/exporting, which i hope to use final cut ins tea someday, and photoshop, which with my space art, eats up the ram very easily, as i am working on images are are probably around 10'000 pixels.)

    i love the overkill. the 16gb of ram is relevant for me because I'm on 8GB now and lion still eats that up quite easily, lion's memory management is a sore spot for me on ma os. i want to be able to come back to my photoshop projects without having to close, save, and re open later, but instead just keep it running at all times like artists tend to do when they work on several projects and come back to them later after a break. with multiple desktops, iMovie, Photoshop, and keeping lots of tabs in safari open, mail/contacts/calendar/iPhoto, i just want to be free, and have the ultimate convenience i can get.

    i really hope i can get a NAS based system going because i want to be able to keep as much data as i freely can, and not have it hog on my system.

    i think you are right though, i may not need the raid, it could be worth trying first, 1 sad + 1 normal hdd so that has isn't a need.


    i really don't intend to right a 'sad' hdd. auto spell check can be a curse as much as a blessing here.
  4. throAU, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Put it this way.

    i'm running a 12" PC laptop (HP elitebook 2560 with i5-2540m) at work with single 256gb SSD and 8gb of RAM.

    I use it for virtualization with VMware (multiple instances of Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 running on it at once), managing a vSphere cluster with VI client, running Outlook, IE with 30-40 tabs open, Lync, Outlook, Word, a bunch of crummy Java management tools, etc. All at the same time.

    Whatever I throw at it, it is still snappy. if i need to reboot, it is back to the Windows login screen before I can get up from my desk for a coffee. If i need to copy data onto or off of the machine, I am limited by the external hard drive speed or network bandwidth. Disk access on the machine itself is near enough to instant...

    Rather than RAID, i reckon you'd just be better off spending the money on a single, bigger/faster/better quality SSD and keeping your mechanical drive in the machine as well. Even if all it contains is a second copy of OS X for usage when the SSD craps out and/or a copy of your critical data.

    if you're running lion, stop bothering to watch the "free" vs" "inactive" memory chart. its all cache and will be discarded if required. just keep an eye on page-outs. if there aren't any, things are all good.

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