Best 16TB SSD external storage for Mac? Drobo 8D?

Black Diesel

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
182
28
Hello,

Does anyone have suggestions for a 16TB SSD external storage solution for Mac? It looks like Drobo released the 8D which houses 8 SSD drives and has two Thunderbolt 3 ports. This thing is huge for the desk, so I'm wondering if anyone knows if I could install (5) SSD drives in the drobo 5D3 and get the same read/write performance of the 8D?

Would drives like the Samsung EVO 4TB SSD mounted inside 3.5" converters give me the same performance as buying the drobo 8D and installing the Samsungs SSD drives in the 8D? If yes, the 5D3 is a much cheaper/smaller solution.

I'm a newb when it comes to this type of stuff, so I think the drobo is the easiest solution for me. I believe as long as I backup the drobo files I will be good to go in case of a drobo crash.

Let me know if anyone has any experience with these.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,118
4,191
The Peninsula
Hello,

Does anyone have suggestions for a 16TB SSD external storage solution for Mac? It looks like Drobo released the 8D which houses 8 SSD drives and has two Thunderbolt 3 ports. This thing is huge for the desk, so I'm wondering if anyone knows if I could install (5) SSD drives in the drobo 5D3 and get the same read/write performance of the 8D?

Would drives like the Samsung EVO 4TB SSD mounted inside 3.5" converters give me the same performance as buying the drobo 8D and installing the Samsungs SSD drives in the 8D? If yes, the 5D3 is a much cheaper/smaller solution.

I'm a newb when it comes to this type of stuff, so I think the drobo is the easiest solution for me. I believe as long as I backup the drobo files I will be good to go in case of a drobo crash.

Let me know if anyone has any experience with these.
Is this mission critical stuff, where you need parity protection to survive SSD failures?

Compared to mechanical spinners, the failure rates for SSDs - while not zero - are very low.

For myself, I would go with a RAID-0 SSD setup if I needed the capacity+performance - and mirror the SSD array to spinners at whatever frequency is necessary.

I was an early Drobo user - and had some bad experiences. If I want a consumer external array today - QNAP is my choice - especially the 10GbE models with terabytes of SSD cache fronting the spinners.
 
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mcnallym

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2008
713
220
Drobo depends upon what looking for

Ease of Use and reliable, easy to expand = Good
Performance = look elsewhere

Had an original Drobo Pro 8 bay that fed my Mac mini 2009 via fw800. Unit failed twice replaced under drobocare NO data loss. Simply installed drives from failed unit same order in the new unit and worked fine, no need to restore from backup.
replaced with Drobo 5c ( USB only NOT the TB version ) and mm 2018.

my use is media storage of iTunes library which doesn't need to be fast, so wd red spinners fine.

If putting in SSD then would look elsewhere as performance not where aimed at, not that the Drobo is a bad range, just not performance.
 

Black Diesel

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
182
28
Drobo depends upon what looking for

Ease of Use and reliable, easy to expand = Good
Performance = look elsewhere

Had an original Drobo Pro 8 bay that fed my Mac mini 2009 via fw800. Unit failed twice replaced under drobocare NO data loss. Simply installed drives from failed unit same order in the new unit and worked fine, no need to restore from backup.
replaced with Drobo 5c ( USB only NOT the TB version ) and mm 2018.

my use is media storage of iTunes library which doesn't need to be fast, so wd red spinners fine.

If putting in SSD then would look elsewhere as performance not where aimed at, not that the Drobo is a bad range, just not performance.
Got it. So are there any other user friendly options like drobo that I can stack with SSD drives? I see the G Tech drive is $7500, but I'm not looking to spend that much.

One of the machines will be a new iMac that will be used for video editing. I'm wondering if a drobo 5D3 would be fast enough to edit 4K. If it is, I might consider that for one of the machines.
 

shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
1,741
1,313
I wouldn't touch Drobo with a barge pole. Even with SSD the performance was terrible and they are quite noisy. Promise Pegasus arrays are good.

Firstly why do you need SSD? What is your workload? Unless you are running a few VM's or have lots of random I/O SSD might not help you for data disks. SSD is great for the OS drive, but not always the best option for your data.

If you want a cost-effective and easy to manage solution that will give you lots of flexibility then look at a QNAP NAS. Why QNAP, because they have TB3 ports where other NAS (Synology, etc) only have ethernet. Most of their new models also support storage tiering in that they move data between SSD and HDD depending on how its been used, in a similar way to a big fusion drive. They also support RAID and can group several disks together for better performance and to add a level of redundancy. You could start with say 4 x 4TB HDD + 2 x 1TB SDD and see how it performs, then add more SSD's if you need to later. It will be a lot cheaper than having an entirely SSD based solution. I have a similar setup (5 x 4TB HDD + 4 x 1TB SSD) and it flies - easy get just under 2GB/s over 10GigE using 2 ports. I originally used the 4 x 1TB SSD's but outgrew them and decided to repurpose them into a NAS with the HDD's. Can't say I've noticed any drop in performance from a pure SSD environment for my workload, but I now have over 15TB of fast storage available that I can easily expand if I need to. I'm doing this on a PC, but it will work just as well on a Mac, probably even faster over TB3.