External Storage Question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by twofones, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. twofones macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #1
    I'm looking to upgrade to 1TB of storage on my iMac (w/ redundancy, of course). As far as I see it there are three main options I have:

    1) Build a RAID. Would want a mirrored RAID 1 set up so I'd get 2 1TB drives and a standard enclosure (something like an ICY dock.)

    2) Get a Drobo w/ 2 1TB drives

    3) Buy a pre-fab drive that comes with RAID mirroring (the 2TB Western Digital and G-Tech come to mind.)

    I'm worried about the Drobo from a speed, noise, cost POV. Easiest would seem to be to just build one. But then my 750GB G-Tech drive has not yet let me down so thinking maybe get the 2TB. That said do I want stacks and stacks of drives on my desk when it's time to upgrade again in a year or do?

    Will be using this as my main media drive. System and apps off the internal but music, video, and images - all of which I edit and will stream through various apps - will all live here.

    Thoughts? Advice? Experience with any or all of the above?

    Thanks...
     
  2. change macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Who knows...
    #2
    I think you said it, the Drobo has hot swappable drives that can be upgraded when cheaper, faster, higher capacity drives come out. Though, if you can build your own, then swapping drives probably won't be a problem for you either. I think it comes down to convenience factors. If you don't mind some "wrenching," then you should build your own. The fact that i don't always have the time to mess around with the stuff means i buy, personally. I guess the whole Mac ease of use, "it just works" aspect makes me a bit lazy in that respect!
     
  3. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #3
    I posted this in another thread of mine about the drobo: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=464841

    Here is the snip about it....


    Drobo, I had it for three days, worked on it for the whole three days, spent 4-5 hours on the line with there tech support. The big issue I had was this. With the drobo, if your system goes to sleep the drobo goes into standby mode, not a problem. The problem happens when you wake the computer up, the drobo will not wake up. You will get a flashing green light at the bottom of the drobo. Once you get that you have to shut down the drobo, shut down your computer and restart them both. Only, the drobo will not restart. You will get the flashing green light again. What you then have to do is pull out your disks and rebuild the drives. Which in my case I lost data once, the other times it rebuilt itself with any issues, thank god this was only test data, but lost the data non the less.

    If you are like me and leave your computer on and put it into sleep mode this will kill the drobo. Tech support basically said, if you are going to be putting your computer into sleep mode then you need to put your drobo into standby mode, turn off your computer, then turn off your drobo then restart your computer to put it into sleep mode?!?!?! WTF. What is funny, I did this on the phone with tech support. I then started up the drobo just to make sure it would start up and it didn't. I had to rebuild all the drives. The lady on the phone didn't know what to do. I then called back again, they were closing by this time and had the exact same thing happen on the phone with a different tech. This doesn't seem to be as big an issue when using windows, but on the Mac side you will see lots of posts about this. I sent mine back after three days of dealing with this. I wasn't going to trust my data to something that might start back up.

    If you visit the drobo forums you will find many similar posts and concerns. The product it self, when it is running is great. I just did not want to have to hassle or worry about my data if my computer goes into sleep mode.

    I would check out the forums at drobo: http://www.drobospace.com/forum/0;jsessionid=6595C0E692156A2BAF9B237019D823CA

    Especially the Mac part of the forum. Some have had good luck, but then there are those who haven't had such good luck. You might want to also check out the Windows side also they to are having problems with the drobo. Don't get me wrong, it seems like a great product, but I don't think it is ready for prime time yet.
     
  4. twofones thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #4
    thanks

    woah. thanks rhett. that's pretty scary. and reflects my overall concern with the unit. very cool, and still very NEW.

    what about roll your own vs. a pre-existing unit? anyone like the Western Digital or G-Tech?
     
  5. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    G-tech. I have had great experiences with them, and will probably buy more, rather than experimenting with an unknown. One of the factors you may want to add to your consideration is the streaming ability of these drives. The G-tech handles several consecutive streams simultaneously, and for media editing, this is a must, imo. Throw in the vast options for drive sizes and configurations offered out of the box, (firewire 800 and SATA FTW), the aesthetics (they look like they were made by Apple), and the fact that you can move to the rack form factor for future upgrades, I think we have a winner. Good luck with your decision. :)
     
  6. cuestakid macrumors 68000

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    Jun 14, 2006
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    San Fran
    #6
  7. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #7
    I just purchased the following from newegg Venus t4S storage unit:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817332013

    I am setting up the raid settings now. Using two 300 gig and two 500 gig. I know it isn't the best HD configuration, but it was I have.

    Setting it up to have a raid 1, one for each of the pairs. As soon as I am done with the setup I will post back.

    I have two of the WD stand alone units 350 gig each, but I haven't used the new 1 tb stations that let you use raid.

    I looked at the G-Tech units, super nice, but out of my price range.

    Regarding the Drobo, don't get me wrong there are some on this forum who have been using it and love it. No problems, but it was one big problem for me. So I returned it.
     
  8. twofones thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #8
    I looked at that one too. Please do tell me how it is once you set up. (Btw your config may not be super-efficient but RAID 1 is the most reliable for safety in a failure and I'd do the same with those drives...)
     
  9. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #9
    twofones..

    Setup it up in about 20 minutes. Put the hard drives in and I was off and running. The software documentation and booklet that comes with it plain out suck. But it is pretty darn easy to setup. I have had zero issues with it. My system goes to sleep, the enclosure goes to sleep. I wake up my computer the drives wake up. There is a little lag time but it wakes up with no problems.

    I actually upgraded two of my drives so I now have 4 500gig drives in place.

    The user software is pretty straight forward to use and it is easy to setup the raid if you want a raid solution.
     

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