Help needed in choosing RAID setup

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by iangude, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. iangude macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    #1
    Hi

    Hoping some kind soul can give me some advice.

    Ideally, I would like to purchase a new Mac Pro, with a raid card and 4x2tb drives, to run in Raid 0, and to back up to an external NAS drive. All on Lion.

    However, I have an under-used early 2008 Mac Pro, that I am hoping can do the same job.

    Can someone give me some advice on what they would recommend in order for me to make this happen.

    I'm based in the UK, but not adverse to purchasing from my European or American friends.

    Thanks in advance

    Ian
     
  2. Honbe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    #2
    hi ian,

    i always thought the kingdom actualy IS in europe -:)

    anyway, why don't you just setup your four disks in raid0 using disk utility under lion? there is no need to purchase a raid card to achieve this.

    regards

    rani
     
  3. iangude thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #3
    Lol, yes we are...sort of !

    So under Lion, I can plug 4x2tb drives in, and run as an 8tb drive ? How fussy is is re the spec of the drives ?

    Thanks
    Ian
     
  4. Honbe macrumors regular

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    Aug 12, 2011
    #4
    yes, you can software raid0 your four drives for total of about 8tb capacity. should not be picky re disk spec. as it is software raid. please make sure you have proper backup in place.

    i am sure @nanofrog may jump in and give you real expert advise.
     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #5
    Two things you need to be aware of ... ;)
    1. You do not need a hardware RAID controller to create a 0/1/10 array under OS X. Disk Utility will allow you to do this with the existing hardware.
    2. If you do decide you want a hardware RAID controller for some reason, such as running a parity based level, then avoid the Apple RAID Pro at all costs, as it's a pile of crap.
    Any consumer grade drive will work (or enterprise models for that matter, but they do cost more).

    That said, there's a couple of brands/types to avoid:
    1. Green models don't do well in RAID environments due to the power management in the drive's firmware.
    2. Seagate's have gone to crap since ~2008 (seeing over a 30% failure rate OTB, and early failures <under 3 years> in the enterprise models, so it's not just one particular line; it's happening across all of their SATA models). :mad:
    3. I've also seen too many failures with Hitachi's since they moved their manufacturing to China (DeskStar's are better known as DeathStars).
    So long as it's a SATA model, it will work. :)
     
  6. iangude, Dec 14, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011

    iangude thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #6
    Thanks for the very helpful & comprehensive reply(s). Just checking - will the early 2008 Pro deal with 4x2tb ok ? I seem to recall reading somewhere that it won't.....?
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #7
    It will be fine.

    Once you create the array, it will be ~8TB (actually comes out a bit less, due to the way disk makers calculate capacity; 1TB = 1000MB rather than 1024MB). :)
     
  8. iangude thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #8
    Excellent - many thanks for your advise - very helpful.

    Ian
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #9
    :cool: NP. :)
     
  10. dknightd macrumors 6502

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    Mar 7, 2004
    #10
    put the 4x2 in your new mac - put 4x2 in your old mac for backup - then find a way to make a third backup just in case.
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #11
    Ideally, off-site, as that can keep data safe for things like fires and floods (where all on-site storage is toast).
     
  12. dknightd macrumors 6502

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    Mar 7, 2004
    #12
    Agreed :)
     
  13. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #13
    Do you guys have a preference for off-site backup? I'm insulated pretty well from flood danger, but anything can burn. I just have two small drives to grab in case of fire, but some kind of online backup service could be nice, if the price is right.

    Hmm... I *do* have my own website that's hosted by FatCow. Perhaps I should backup to their server space nightly?
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #14
    It varies widely, depending on things like capacity, and whether or not the service provider handles the management or not. Bandwith can be an issue as well, but that's not usually a concern for an independent operator to SMB, stressing small (assuming you don't run T1/T3/SONET for an ISP connection :p).

    If you've already access to a server, and it's not going to cost more (i.e. charged additionally than you currently pay, or it's affordable if you do), then that would be the best place to start. Another thing you could look into, is whether or not your ISP includes online backup (and what the limits are if they do).

    You could take a look at SafeBackup if you're after more than a basic service (managed).
     
  15. iangude thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #15
    Didn't you know I'd have another question.......

    Ok, so I put the 4x2tb in the mac, and i have my OSX Lion disc in hand. Now what !? Will Lion know on the install that I want to set up as a raid0 rather than 4 separate drives ? Or do I have to install to something else (external drive ?) then copy over ?

    So many questions........
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #16
    The easiest way IMO, is the following:
    1. Create the stripe set
    2. Clone the existing boot volume to the stripe set (after it's finished initializing)
    3. Then set the boot location to the new stripe set
    Once this is done, the original boot volume can be re-purposed to something else (presume the existing boot disk is not one of the 2TB disks you plan on using in the stripe set, going by previous posts).
     
  17. iangude thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #17
    Hi

    At present I have no boot volume - the mac is empty as so far as I will be doing a clean install. I was planning on the machine just having the 4x2tb drives in it - so it will need to boot from these.
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #18
    The stripe set will have to be created before you can install the OS on it, and IIRC, you won't be able to create the stripe set during the installation process as you can with other OS's.

    So you'll want to stuff another drive in it temporarily (i.e. in the empty optical bay), install OS X, then follow the previously posted procedure.
     
  19. iangude thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #19
    Hi

    At present I have no boot volume - the mac is empty as so far as I will be doing a clean install. I was planning on the machine just having the 4x2tb drives in it - so it will need to boot from these.
     
  20. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #20
    You can't = you will need another disk to use temporarily as a boot volume.

    BTW, what happened to the OEM drive that came with the system?
     
  21. iangude thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #21
    Sorry for the double post.

    I still have the original drive in the machine but was planning on removing it and replacing.

    Could I stick lion on it, copy to an external usb HD, remove from the machine and replace with the 4x2tb, boot from the external drive, create the raid and then copy across lion and remove the external drive ?
     
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #22
    Which you can easily do.

    Just use it first as a means of transferring the OS to the array before doing whatever else you've planned for it (assuming you mean to use all 4x HDD bays for the stripe set, then temporarily relocate the OEM disk to the empty optical bay).

    I would think so, but I've not tried this (you may need to set the USB disk as the boot location prior to booting from the USB drive).

    Hence I see the suggestion of relocating it to the empty optical bay as a temporary location in order to clone the OS over to the array once it's built as a better way to go (will get the job done).
     
  23. iangude thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #23
    Ok great I'll try that first. Anything I need to know if I go the HD-in-optical bay route ? Won't I need an adaptor ?
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #24
    In a 2008, you'll need a Molex to SATA power cable, and a SATA data cable (use one of the ODD_SATA ports on the logic board; IIRC, you be better off getting a data cable with one RT. angle connector for the logic board connector).
     
  25. iangude thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2011
    #25
    Apologies this is turning into a marathon.

    Struggling to find hard drives that aren't green or seagate ! Best I've seen is WD SataIII 64mb cache. Will my 2008 cope with these ?
     

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