Best DAS system?

camhabib

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 29, 2008
137
53
Like many, over the years I've acquired quite the mass of photos, documents, etc, that I have stored over various volumes and drives. I would like to bring these all together in a single volume for ease of access and backup. I'm looking for a direct attached storage system, where multiple drives can be swapped in and out in a RAID configuration (something like a Drobo). I've almost pulled the trigger several times before on one but have always been a bit put off by the price and less than great reviews.

Any suggestions on a good enclosure that won't break the bank but doesn't skimp on quality either? Optimally 4-5 drive capacity would be perfect, and USB-C to connect to a 15"tMBP. Much appreciated.
 

BeatCrazy

macrumors 68020
Jul 20, 2011
2,085
913
Be careful with whatever you choose to understand that USB 3.0 (over either USB-A or USB-C) can often cause interference in the 2.4Ghz spectrum that can disrupt Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections. Frustrated the heck out of me, and ultimately led to me using a 2m ThunderBolt connection to a TB dock, positioned far away from my computer. Then I attached drive(s) to the dock.

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us...al-bus/usb3-frequency-interference-paper.html
 
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ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
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  • Are you thinking 3.5 inch HDDs, 2.5 inch HDDs, or 2.5 inch SSDs?
  • What total storage size would you estimate you need?
  • What is the budget?
  • Do you want hot-swappable trays along with an ability to purchase additional trays for spares?
  • What RAID level are you currently considering?
  • What read/write speeds are you gunning for?
  • Do you currently use any devices that depend on 2.4 GHz signals? (I agree with BeatCrazy regarding USB interference. This was such an issue for me, even with well-shielded cables, that it drove me to abandon USB 3 and go to a combination of ThunderBolt 2, eSATA 6.0, and USB 2.0.)
  • If you found a good unit that matched your other specs/price criteria, would you be (depending upon the speed you are looking for) be open to TB3, TB2, eSATA, or ethernet?
  • Do you think in the future you will also want NAS capability?


I've been having very good luck with AKiTiO, and am more satisfied with their products than I am ones from several other brands I have used. I was hesitant to invest the money in their products for a while (as they are priced higher than others), but now I regret not doing it earlier because I initially spent less money and got a lower quality product that did not last very long. Their Thunder3 line is still being released, but their Thunder2 line is outstanding.
 

camhabib

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 29, 2008
137
53
  • Are you thinking 3.5 inch HDDs, 2.5 inch HDDs, or 2.5 inch SSDs?
  • What total storage size would you estimate you need?
  • What is the budget?
  • Do you want hot-swappable trays along with an ability to purchase additional trays for spares?
  • What RAID level are you currently considering?
  • What read/write speeds are you gunning for?
  • Do you currently use any devices that depend on 2.4 GHz signals? (I agree with BeatCrazy regarding USB interference. This was such an issue for me, even with well-shielded cables, that it drove me to abandon USB 3 and go to a combination of ThunderBolt 2, eSATA 6.0, and USB 2.0.)
  • Do you think in the future you will also want NAS capability?

- 3.5" HDD
- Upwards of 8TB ideal (currently using about 3TB)
- Was hoping to stay around $500 for the enclosure
- Hot swap not mandatory but great for adding storage or switching out bad drive
- Thinking RAID 5 for a mix or increased storage and redundancy
- No concern over read / write speeds but faster the better
- No 2.4GHz
- No NAS needed in foreseeable future
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,155
With what you are looking for, I'm not sure if this will be helpful or not. But just in case...

I considered products from Mobius, AKiTiO, Terramaster, CalDigit (well, this one only for a second considering they charge $1700 and a ThunderBolt cord is sold separately...), and OWC, and I eventually chose the Thunder2 + software RAID. I've only used it for a short time, but, thus far, in my amateur opinion, the quality is exceptional.

I didn't know what to make of the Mobius at the time, but I've since used some of the Maker's other products for a while and am extremely happy. I have one of these for a hardware RAID1 (an ingenious design IMO), plus a USB-A enclosure and just got a USB-C enclosure, and all have been great. When I've had questions, the company has been extremely responsive and friendly. So while I can't speak to the quality of their RAID enclosures, I'd personally buy one myself based on prior experiences with the company.
 
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