External HDD - RAID - Hardware vs Software?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by blast87, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. blast87, Dec 31, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015

    blast87 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    #1
    I'm looking to buy a RAID 5 setup to work with my late 2015 iMac 27". I'm primarily using it for video editing. I am not sure between a hardware and software RAID that are about the same price. Does anyone know which one would work better? I am reading conflicting things when I search for it.

    I've narrowed it down to two enclosures. OWC ThunderBay 4 that is software RAID, and this unbranded G-Tech hardware RAID enclosure sold by OWC.

    Any recommendations which one is better? This is my first RAID purchase so I'm not experienced with either.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/MISC/0G033S2TB0GB/ (Which is this G-Tech without the HDD: http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-speed-studio)
    or
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TB2SRKIT0GB/
     
  2. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #2
    There are pros and cons to both RAID solutions, as I am sure others will post. However, I like the software RAID with ThunderBay enclosures so that my data is not held "hostage" by the RAID-hardware within the enclosure. If a hardware RAID enclosure fails, it usually requires the purchase of yet another enclosure of the same design in order to physically transfer the disks and recover the data on them.

    With a software RAID, any JBOD enclosure can be used to host the original disks drives for continued access to the data. I can even transfer the 4 drives into my cMacPro and continue to access the data in the RAID array.
     
  3. blast87 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    #3
    Ok thanks. I got attracted by the seemingly much cheaper price point for the hardware RAID. And the G-Tech. Seems like its a higher end product. But software RAID sounds much more flexible and I'll probably go with that.
     
  4. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #4
    Which piece of software are you planning on using for RAID 5?
     
  5. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #5
    I am using SoftRAID-5 (softraid.com), which has been on sale really cheap recently from OWC with the purchase of a ThunderBay enclosure or drive system. You can also purchase it direct from SoftRAID for use on other enclosures. It is working great for me so far (about 18 months) on a MacMini Server.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    Well hardware makers do certainly put their own proprietary spin on the hardware flavor, but even so, that doesn't really make you a hostage. I find the advantages of the hardware to be a benefit.

    The only downside I see with the proprietary RAID setups, is buggy implementation, though I've not run into any problems with my Drobo, which is probably the most proprietary
     
  7. blast87 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    #7
    Maflynn, what are the advantages to hardware RAID? Is it faster? More secure?
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    Its my belief its faster, and more robust. I've not researched it for a while since I've had my Drobo for a while, but it fits in with my philosophy in that a hardware solution trumps a software (hardware is faster
     
  9. dborod macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    #9
    Drobo is both a software and a hardware solution. You have to install their proprietary software in order to be able to access the data stored on their proprietary disc packs.
     

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