Can I link 2 drives without RAID?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by DarkHeraldMage, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. DarkHeraldMage macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #1
    Morning all!

    Just bought a TB drive last night to replace an internal 500 GB drive. I'm going to be pulling the 500 gig tonight and was wondering if there's a way for me to combine it with a 500 gig external I already have to make another TB drive. Is this possible without RAID? I already intend to pull the other one out of it's enclosure and buy two new ones so they'll be more aesthetically pleasing, but am hoping there's an even better solution. Anyone?

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. LouisBlack macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Balham, London
    #2
    You can buy external enclosure's that have space for 2 drives. They use an inbuilt RAID controller.

    I don't think there is any way to 'link' two hard drives in any other way than RAID.
     
  3. donmei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    #3
    an external enclosure for 2 drives may or may NOT have a built in raid controller.

    You basically have 3 choices.

    1) It is a single enclosure but is seen as the 2 disks it really is. ex: D: and E: or whatever you want to call them.

    The next 2 options require an enclosure with some kind of Raid Controller.

    2) JBODS (Just a bunch of disks). In this case you get the full capacity of 1 tb, but it looks like a single large logical disk.

    3) RAID 1, or Mirroring. Your stuff is written to both drives simultaniously. Your real capacity is 1/2 the gross capacity.

    Do you want redundancy? If so, get a Raid system.
    I strongly suggest you do not ever configure a system as jbods. In a jbods scenario, if 1 of the 2 drives fails, you have lost all your data on BOTH drives. so you are twice as likely to lose data as if you just keep the drives separate. And you lose all the data rather than just 1/2 of it.

    With all of that said. If you do not have a decent backup plan now. I suggest you forget about the NAS and just buy 2 firewire 800 or USB enclosures. (they are ridiculously cheap) Put 1 drive in each and alternate your backups.

    The key for any REAL backup is that it is NOT NOT NOT online. I feel sorry for all the fools who use nas for backup. When a power surge takes out their PCs and Macs, it will also take out their online backup system. And then there are viruses. The kind that wipe out all your disks, including the NAS ones you are attached to.

    Backup is offline, period. Use them for backup if you dont have anything at this point.

    Don

    p.s. for those who are smugly thinking that their pc is on a surge strip or ups, I have a question. Is EVERY networked device so protected? Evry PC? Every Mac? Every router, switch, cable modem?

    Is there a surge protector on your phone line coming into the house?? I've seen PCs taken out via a surge over the ethernet cable. Do yourself a favor. Unplug your backup systems.

    Here is what I do. I use a NAS system for backup, but it is offline other than when i am backing up. It resides inside a 1100lb firesafe. the ethernet and power cables come out of the safe to a wall outlet with power and an rj45 jack to my switch. When I do a backup, I plug in the NAS. When i am done, I unplug power and ethernet. The unit is electrically isolated and physically protected against theft or fire. I may sound like a bit of a wacko. But if I think about how long it took to rip all those CDs and all the pictures I've taken over the last 6 or so years. It is pretty reasonable.
     
  4. DarkHeraldMage thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #4
    I'll have to look. The only problem I truly foresee is that both drives are PATA and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find any external enclosures that aren't SATA. Grrr. :p
     
  5. DarkHeraldMage thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #5
    I agree wholeheartedly with this and appreciate the insight. The current 500 is occasionally plugged in for backups, then disconnected and packed away. Problem is, now I have a TB drive for my media, which makes it difficult to effectively back up to two 500 GB drives. Would prefer the JBODS option in this sense since it's only a backup, not a primary drive. The chances of it failing at the same time I lose the original data source are infinitesimal, so I'm not too terribly worried about that chance.
     
  6. donmei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    #6
    Agreed, buy an enclosure that can support jbods. Get a gigabit switch. The small ones are cheap.

    Plug all your local devices into the gig switch and then plug the gig switch into a switched port on your router.

    All local traffic will be gig ethernet, and internet traffic will go through the 100 mb port on the router.

    Do everything you can to maximize speed. The NAS I back up to is a WD worldbook. it is slow. when I do a full backup, it can take days.

    I should have spent a bit more for something with more speed.

    Don
    p.s. if you are a doit yourself kindof guy, look into freenas. its a linux OS for nas devices. you can run it on an old pc.
     
  7. DarkHeraldMage thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #7
    Thanks. I'll have to look into it. I've look at dual enclosures online today and have yet to find one less than $88 and I just am not willing to spend that much for an empty case. I'd rather figure out another backup solution and do it the inconvenient way. lol
     
  8. donmei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    #8
    Hey, if you need cheap, then cheap it is. It will just be slower. No biggie.

    Don
     
  9. Trip.Tucker Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #9
    D: ? E: ? ...those are Windows block device naming conventions. This is a Mac site.
     
  10. DarkHeraldMage thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #10
    Yeah, I'm not worried about speed to much, especially since it will be connected to my computer and not the router. And it will only be connected for backups, not daily use, so I don't mind leaving it running overnight or while I'm at work. Speed isn't a huge issue at this point, but as usual, cost is. :p Thanks for all your input.
     
  11. donmei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    #11
    It sounds like you are on the right track.

    I want to correct something I wrote above that is incorrect.

    A JBODS disk CAN stand alone. The raid control virtualizes the multiple physical drives into 1 drive. But if one drive in a jbods drive array dies, only the data stored on that disk is lost.

    What I was mistaking it with is Raid 0. Raid 0 stripes the data over multiple drives for better performace. But there is no parity checkbit. So if one drive dies, the entire array is cratered.

    Fanboy Trip - As I've said many times, I'm new to mac but have about 15 yrs in it. This is a general it question. So go away. And for what its worth, the terms C: D: etc were around long before windows (CP/M anyone?), although they exist mainly in MS products today. Next time I'll be sure to use fanboy approved unix mountpoint vernacular while referencing some obscure Linux distro.

    Don
     

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