External RAID enclosure recommendation?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Lord Blackadder, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #1
    I had an HDD failure today and it pushed me over the edge. :eek:

    I've started shopping and reading reviews on RAID enclosures...any recommendations?

    I'm looking for a two bay enclosure for RAID 1. FireWire + USB would be ideal, but in order to keep costs down I may just go with USB. Cost IS an issue unfortunately. I'm looking for something at the cheaper end of the spectrum.

    Also, is there any complete off-the-shelf unit anyone thinks would be a good buy?

    Thanks to all in advance!
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    This is not helpful. What exactly is your budget?
     
  3. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #3
    RAID and USB are two words I dont usually put together.

    Realize that any 2 bay enclosure will have a fan, or 2. I have never seen a *good* 2 bay enclosure that was less than $100.

    Maybe a semi OK USB one for $80.

    2 single drives -- one backing up to the other -- is likely just as efficient.

    Just use something like Carbon Copy Cloner and have it set to backup every hour.

    A couple of these would be fine: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Seagate...8983772&ref=10&loc=Sunday Ad&id=1218004429317

    These are nice RAID cases, but you gott a pay http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/1394/USB/EliteAL/MirrorRAID/
     
  4. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #4
    Well, I don't want to sound vague, but I just began shopping today so I'm still very much a newbie with regard to what's out there.

    I am hoping to keep the total cost below $300, and want 500GB of storage minimum, 1TB or more preferred.

    Thanks for the response. Yes, I understand that USB is less than ideal. I am hoping to use Firewire primarily, I suppose eSATA is also a possibility but FireWire seems fine based on what I've read so far....

    I am considering this also; the main argument I have against this is that I am planning to use the enclosure with a laptop and it will be traveling so the fewer boxes and cords the better.

    Those OWC RAID setups look nice, but I'm not sure I can afford one in the size I want.
     
  5. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #5
    People may say this and that about LaCie or Seagate or Hitachi or:

    ** place name of case maker/HDD manufacturer here **

    Long story short, give the LaCie 2big Quadra a try since it's a two bay enclosure that you can switch RAID configs on. You can mirror them or use them in RAID 0 as a back up disk.

    If you wanted you could splurge a little more and get that 2TB model for $400 which would give you two 1TB HDDs.

    I have one and many other LaCie drives, seagates, western digitals, G-Techs with Hitachi's and an after market Seagate lappy drive and most of them never gave any issues or arrived DOA.

    Just wanted to say that before the "_________" manufacturer sucks!!!111!!! and I'll never buy "__________" manufacturer ever again flame wars start.
     
  6. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #6
    Just to be clear, RAID and backup should not be confused as having at all similar functions. RAID 1 or RAID 5 should be used solely as a means of preventing downtime, not as additional backup. If you had a hdd failure, were you able to restore from backup? If not, you need to focus on improving your backup method. If so, everything worked as planned. Drives DO fail, after all - that's one of the main reasons we back things up! :)
     
  7. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

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    #7
    Here is the unit I have. Dual 3.5 hard drives, eSata only. Only 60 dollars US from OWC. link

    It works well and back ups are blazing fast. They also have a USB only version for 10 bucks less I think.

    It is a bare enclosure, so you can add your own drives as you see fit.
     
  8. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #8
    Great post Digital Skunk, thanks!

    I agree on the brand loyalty - I think pretty much every brand makes a decent drive in terms of basic quality/relaibility, all else being equal.

    I've had good luck with Hitachi drives. The last two drives I've bought after the Hitachis have both failed prematurely; one was a Seagate and one was a Western Digital. But I'm not particularly loyal to the Hitachis, I think it's all coincidence.

    I do. My recent backup habits have been inadequate. But I do want to prevent downtime as well. I am not a digital media professional or anything like that, so I suppose it's not absolutely necessary, which is why I am also considering just two drives with backup software.
     
  9. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #9
    Ok, well now is a great time to change that. It would be my recommendation that you get something that is network capable. This would mean that you can place it anywhere on your network, and it would always be on, constantly ready to back up your computers automatically. This is much preferred to having to back up manually, and even better, allows you to physically place the drive elsewhere in the house, preferably on a separate circuit. There are a variety of NAS drives available now that are Time Machine compatible, or, if you happen to be using an Airport Extreme, you can connect any usb drive to that, and get the same result.
     
  10. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #10
    Wish I knew that before answering your post.

    Which MB/MBP do you have?

    I would still go with 2 drives, but make one a FW portable drive.

    No power necessary with FW, plug in and go.

    When you get back from where ever it is you go to, hook up a normal USB drive (like the one I linked to earlier) and have your portable drive do the backup to it.

    Even if you had gigs of new data the backup still wouldnt take more than a few minutes.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/EliteALmini/eSATA_FW800_FW400_USB
     
  11. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #11
    Agreed. If having a copy with you when you travel is a priority, you really need two drives - one that stays at home and one that comes with you. Carrying your only backup with you isn't really much of a backup.
     
  12. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #12
    Good point, sorry I wasn't more detailed.

    The situation is thus: My primary work machine was a 15" PowerBook G4. The screen on that died a month ago for the third time, so I'm getting a 13" MBP to replace it... I shifted all my data to my PowerMac G4 and used a 500GB SATA drive as a backup for my other internal drives, two 250GB SATA.

    The backup drive is the one that failed, but I was moving things around a bit so I still lost some data.

    Anyway, I am going to be needing a lot of mobility for a new job I'm taking, and the desktop is being left behind (it's ancient anyway), but I don't have my replacement laptop yet. I need something I can use with the desktop initially and then switch permanently to the MBP. Firewire would work best for this.

    I see the logic behind the two drives though. It will be cheaper than RAID too.
     
  13. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #13
    Depending on how much data you are looking to back up, you should also consider the option of an online backup. This has a number of benefits - primarily that you have an additional backup off-site in case of fire, flood, theft, etc. Secondly, when you are traveling, if you have internet access, you'd have access to your files, and could even be backed up on a daily basis while traveling. I'd say this should supplement your two drive backup, but it's a reliable, inexpensive way of adding an additional layer of security.

    Well regarded online backup systems include Carbonite, Mozy, Crashplan, and Jungledisk. (obviously there are many more as well)
     
  14. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    #14
  15. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #15
    Thanks again for the tips....the failed drive is working intermittently this morning. For the moment, I'm going to rush out and buy a 1TB HDD I saw on sale at Microcenter yesterday so I can back up the data.
     
  16. NiMiK macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I've been using the Galaxy enclosure for over 2 years and haven't had a problems. Has both firewire 400 and 800 + USB. Not sure what the complaints are with the newegg reviews but it's been working great so far. Never had any problems. I'm sure you can find it cheaper elsewhere though.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817716068
     
  17. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #17
    Well, I bought a WD Caviar Black 1TB and am using Carbon Copy Cloner to get the data off the failing drive...it seems to be working at the moment (fingers crossed).

    This still leaves me room to decide what I want to go with ultimately for a storage/backup solution. Thanks for all the comments, I'm going to keep shopping around; it there seems an abundance of options.
     
  18. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    #18
    If you have an old computer laying around, especially one that is extremely low power (like an old laptop or minitower or something), you could set up a fileserver. If you're only backing up a couple times a week, you wouldn't need to leave it running all the time, and the plus to a server over a single drive is that, though slower hardware, you can actually access your files if your main machine dies (provided you included a gui and installed your apps on your server; I went the lazy route and just put full OSX on mine)...
     

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