Help me choosing a DAS for my backups and media storage :-)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by iRock1, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. iRock1 macrumors 6502a

    iRock1

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    #1
    Hi there.

    I need a DAS with at least 4 slots. I intend to connect it to my iMac and use it for backups and media storage, and then access those contents via Internet with something like OwnCloud.

    Please consider that since my iMac is from 2009, I need the DAS to have FireWire 800 (USB 2.0 is not an alternative since it's slow as ****).

    Some options that I've found so far are the Drobo Mini and others made by LaCie.

    I kind of liked the Drobo mini. The good thing is that I don't have to deal with complex RAID setups and it's very silent and compact (a highly desired feature), but the problem is that it works with 2.5" disks (right now limited to 2 TB, expensive and kind of difficult to find) and that supports only USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt.

    On the other hand, I'm not willing to expend thousands of dollars on a LaCie case.

    So right now I'm open to your suggestions. :)
     
  2. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    #2
  3. iRock1, Mar 12, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014

    iRock1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iRock1

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    Apr 23, 2011
    #4
    Help me choosing a DAS for my backups and media storage :)

    First of all, thanks both for your contribution.





    Not thousands, but still kind of expensive. Obviously that's because it includes the hard disks, but I already have half of them (sorry for not pointing that out before).





    Not to be too picky, but I don't know any of those brands. Do you happen to have one of them? If so, what's your experience?



    The only one that I know is OWC, which seems to be a very popular hardware store in the US. I watched a few reviews on YouTube and though I liked it, some people claim that it can get very loud (which I'm trying to avoid). Anyway, I'm not sure about how much of the loudness depends on the DAS and how much on the disks. (I'm planning to buy WD Caviar Green, btw).



    Now, this is kind of offtopic, but truth is I'm not too sure about how RAID works. Do the available options depend on what the hardware allows, or is it up to me setting up whatever I want via software?



    Thanks!
     
  4. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #5
    Here's a recent posting of my config: http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=18878530&postcount=138 I prefer two enclosures for additional redundancy. One fails at least the other (prime or backup capability) is still operating until I recover the failed device.
     
  5. iRock1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iRock1

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    #6
    Nice setup, but I think it makes sense only because you have several computers connected.
     
  6. iRock1, Mar 24, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014

    iRock1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iRock1

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    #7
    Help me choosing a DAS for my backups and media storage :)

    While I'm still researching and figuring out how to construct this media storage/backup system, I need to buy some extra drives ASAP, specially since the two 1 TB disks that I already have are old and probably reaching their limit (that media is currently stored NOWHERE ELSE).

    Two quick questions regarding hard disks:

    1) Do the silent operation and low power consumption reside on the DAS side or the actual drives? Both? How would the balance be?

    2) As I said before, silent operation is a must. Would you agree on me buying these WD Caviar Green 2 or 3 TB? (Amazon Reference.) As I have mentioned before, this thing would be accessible 24/7, so some rough treat is expected. ;)

    EDIT: Maybe WD Red line is the way to go, since those drives are oriented to NAS. What are the real advantages?
     
  7. ColdCase, Mar 24, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #8
    As a general rule of thumb:

    NAS drives are designed for low power low heat generation, but also the high temperatures you may see within a NAS enclosure. They typically have a 3-5 year warranty. They typically run at less than 5000 rpm so may be quieter.

    RAID enclosure drives are designed more for performance and also the high temperatures found in RAID enclosures. They are more money and typically run more than 7000 rpm.They also typically have a 3-5 year warranty.

    Enterprise drives are fast and typically loud as they typically spin more than 10,000 rpm

    Desktop drives are designed for the computer or nearby, are typically quieter, less money because warranties are 1 or 2 years.

    You may find the quietest drives in the 2.5 inch (or portable) size as these typically are designed for laptops and no one likes a noisy laptop. Modern name brand 2.5 drives are near silent.. but may not offer more than 1.5 TB per disk.

    There are exceptions to the rule of thumb, of course.
     
  8. iRock1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iRock1

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    Apr 23, 2011
    #9

    I totally discard using 2.5" drives for my system, since their capacity is too limited and I find them to be less reliable.

    Now, I've using WD Caviar Green disks for a few years and I like how silent they operate — those spin at 5400 rpm (and I'm ok with their performance). Would a Caviar Black, for instance, spinning at 7200 rpm make a huge difference in terms of noise?

    What about the WD Red that I mentioned before? Those incorporate TLER, and while I don't totally understand the practical effects of that in a domestic RAID — though I've read something — it might be useful actually, wouldn't it?

    Oh, by the way, please people. I encourage you to give me more ideas and options to complete this project ASAP.
     
  9. ColdCase, Mar 30, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #10
    If you are going to put those drives in a RAID box, make sure the RAID vendor approves the drive. I think many RAIDS have issues with so called green drives because they like to spin down and sleep. In other words, not all drives are compatible with all RAIDs.
     
  10. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #11
    The quietest drives are ones that are in another room. Is there an option to put this device on the end of a long link ?

    Drive noise is always an issue if you don't want to consider 2.5in versions. It used to be that Samsung made the quietest with Hitachi making the noisiest, but that was a few years ago. If access times aren't your highest priority then go with 5X00 rpm drives but avoid Green Drives for RAID (IMO).
     
  11. iRock1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iRock1

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    Apr 23, 2011
    #12
    Wow, now that's weird. I've read many cases where users actually do use Caviar Green drives for RAIDs, and not a problem.

    What's wrong with Caviar Green? When I decided to go 5400 rpm a few years ago I went with WD and I never had a problem. Actually, the disks are reaching maybe their 5th year – and they've been through even a MASSIVE earthquake with no problem at all (as far as I can tell). :D

    On a side note, sorry to insist so annoyingly on this, but I fail to understand the utility (in easy words) of WD Red drives and how recommendable they are for a DAS RAID instead of a NAS. Anyone please?
     
  12. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #13
    You need to understand the difference - the manufacturer approval is mandatory if you use a hardware RAID controller. For software-RAID (as is present in most cheap SOHO NAS boxes), you can go with Greens, no problem.
     
  13. iRock1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iRock1

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    #14

    So what should I be looking for in the specifications? That it supports that particular brand or 5400 drives?
     
  14. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #15
    In what specs, exactly?
    If you are looking at a RAID-controller (hardware-RAID), you should check the compatibility list of drives from the manufacturer.
    If you are looking at the software-RAID (in most cases just a Linux md-device driver), then most drives will do, because on the hardware side there is just a standard SATA controller connected to the drive.
    Nonetheless, the manufacturers of SOHO NAS boxes issue hardware compatibility lists as well, but I believe this is just to circle in their responsibility when answering support calls.
     
  15. iRock1, Apr 12, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014

    iRock1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iRock1

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    Apr 23, 2011
    #16
    Help me choosing a DAS for my backups and media storage :)

    A funny thing happened. I've spoken to one salesman from OWC, regarding which drives I should buy for their FireWire enclosures. Then he told me that while WD Caviar Black and Blue are supported, Caviar Greens aren't recommended because some mumbo-jumbo related to energy and sleeping capabilities.

    Now, the weird thing is that he went even further saying that WD Red aren't recommended neither, because they are basically a Caviar Green made for NAS—and supposedly they are not designed for RAIDs.

    Now I've been checking out the WD's website and it turns out that WD Red drives are specifically designed for NAS AND RAIDs, at least by what the company claims.

    Now I'm even more lost than before.

    EDIT: WD's website goes even further, saying that desktop drives (like Caviar Blacks) are not recommended for RAIDs, which is exactly the opposite of what the other guy said.
     
  16. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #17
    Well, I've tried BOTH WD Greens and Reds in RAID5 enclosures (The Elite Pro Qx2 from OWC) and they were less than spectacular. I got pretty ordinary speeds (under 100MB/sec).

    When I switched to HGST Deskstars (3TB) speeds improved enormously, sitting at around 200MB/sec. I get similar speeds via USB3 and eSATA.

    Also, I've used Toshiba 2TB hard drives in another Qx2 enclosure and got the same speeds (200MB/sec) from those in RAID5.
     
  17. hfg, Apr 13, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #18
    I am using WD "Reds" in the Elite Pro Qx2 from OWC (4 ea. 3TB drives) using RAID-5 with the following results:
     

    Attached Files:

  18. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #19
    Interesting, how old are these WD Reds? I had poor results with mine a year ago..
     
  19. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #20
    The WD Red drives and Elite Pro Qx2 were purchased last Nov 2013.

    I also have the previous model Qx2 with 3TB Seagate desktop drives and achieve similar results, so the perceived performance is similar to me. Any benefits to using the Red drives that is happening in the background hasn't been noticeable at the user level. Testing on both was done with eSATA interface.
     
  20. iRock1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iRock1

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    Apr 23, 2011
    #21

    I'm going with FW800, so I doubt I could get those speeds with Red drives.
     
  21. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #22
    Using a FireWire 800 interface will severely limit your speeds:
    (OWC Elite Pro Qx2 RAID-5 FireWire 800)
     

    Attached Files:

  22. iRock1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iRock1

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    Apr 23, 2011
    #23

    There must be something wrong there. I get writing speeds of 30 MB/s using WD Caviar Greens via USB 2.0.

    Anyway. I'm using an old iMac, so FW800 is my best bet.
     
  23. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #24
    You can get a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 60MB/sec with USB 2.0, and only 100MB/sec with FireWire 800. In real life, you aren't going to see those rates however, depending on the drives themselves. :)

    Of course, we enjoyed these "high speeds" for a long time until something better came along both in drive speeds and interface speeds.
     
  24. iRock1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iRock1

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    #25
    Help me choosing a DAS for my backups and media storage :)


    And what about those recommendations on not using desktop-class drives on a RAID?
     

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