best MULTI-bay external raid for mac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by garyleecn, May 7, 2015.

  1. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2014
    hey guys, do you have any recommendation on external raids?
    I'm using a mac as my "NAS like" server, storing all my videos, photos and stuff. since it's just a file server with one single gigabyte output, speed isn't my top priority. and my drobo 5D will be running out of space soon, and I'm not planning to add larger hard drives into drobo (they have a 16tb single volume limited, if you exceeds that, drives will be split into two volumes, which would be a pain to efficiently use all spaces).

    so here's my 'ideal' enclosure
    1. at least 6+ bays (since drobo is already 5 bays, 6 bays won't make much difference)
    2. has to be stable (i haven't used any iscsi drives yet, but since they are connected via ethernet? can they be mounted/accessed as stable as DAS?)
    3. has raid function, HW or SW raid doesn't matter. since OS X only has raid 1 or 0 build in, it will be either too risky or waste too much spaces.
    4. MUST has future upgradability, just say like drobo, i don't have to insert all drives now, i can put more drives later, and i won't have to destroy all data to do that. (mix capacity raid support is definitely a huge plus)

    i guess that's a lot to ask, but i really don't want to spend 4k or 5k on just a raid system (otherwise i can just go buy a dedicate NAS and connect to mac, it will be slower and less reliable, but a lot cheaper)
    i've tried some cheap $100-200 8bay enclosures from amazon, and they worked, just work, but not well. one major defect is the hard drive in the enclosure never spin down, and there's no way to set up an upgradable raid 5 from it..
  2. ColdCase, May 7, 2015
    Last edited: May 7, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Buy two four bay OWC Thunderbays and daisy change them. Use softRAID or you can do RAID 10 with the Mac OS.

    Areca makes a solid 6bay:

    Their 8 bays are also solid well performers.

    Drives are so inexpensive now that you will spend more money on RAID hardware than an extra 6TB drive, so why worry about space efficiency?

    The LaCie Big Fives work well but don't come diskless

    Using eight 6TB drives mounted in two thunderbay enclosures with MAC OS RAID0 gets you a 48TB single volume for $2700, what more would one want? :) Oh you need backup, buy another set and use CCC to backup the primary. Thats over $5k but what the heck. What would it cost you to set up a hardware Raid5 or 10 box that provides a 48TB volume? And then how do you intend to back it up?

    But what do you mean by risk? Downtime or data loss? With todays inexpensive drives, todays RAID doesn't really help you with either. Performance maybe but rebuilding a large RAID5 is days. Simple RAID 10 is another story, however.... but then it wastes inexpensive drive capacity....

    Just saying to think about looking outside the box and you may find a much easier and cost effective solution :)
  3. garyleecn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2014

    big problem for softRAID is it doesn't support expansion. I will have to insert all drives today, or i will have to loose all data when i insert a new drive. so I either have to pay a premium for space I only need tomorrow, or i will have to loose all data.
    mac's raid 10 is to 'expansive'.
    by that i'm not saying I'm worried about the cost of drives too much, but it's 'rack space'. I'm loosing HALF of my capacity for redundancy i don't really need.

    but maybe i just buy two or three drobos, and put them in JBOD in OS X? i think OS X supports live expansion for JOBD? i just drag more drives into JOBD and the space just increases?
  4. Ifti macrumors 68010

    Dec 14, 2010
    I use a Lacie drive - 5Big ThunderBolt 2.

    Its expandable since its tHunderbolt and supports daisy chaining.

    Here is a thread on it - scroll down toward sthe bottom to read my thoughts and for a video review...
  5. garyleecn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2014
    it's 5 bays, so no difference from drobo (which also has two TB ports), except drobo has one bay for redundancy.
    and it's not ''expandable'', because it's just daisy chaining... just like you don't call a usb hub an expansion..
  6. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    LaCie 6TB 2Big Thunderbolt (RAID 0) for storage. LaCie 6TB Thunderbolt d2 for Time Machine.
  7. Ifti macrumors 68010

    Dec 14, 2010
    Although 5 bays, its a LOT different to a Drobo.
    I had the Drobo 5D for a while and personally I thought it was much inferior to the Lacie. The Lacie is a lot faster, works a lot better with the MAC (you don't have the silly Drobo app to check on drive capacity etc, OS X simple reports it as any other external drive, etc) and feels a better built unit all round. Better still, its easily expandable and comes with larger disks to start with....all in one single volume.....

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