Hi guys. After have reading tons of old messages on this forum, plus more external resources, I'm even more confused when I try to figure out a good hardware solution that solves my requirements. So I decided to write a new post hoping you might point me to the right direction. I currently have the following system: - Mac Pro 2008 (MacPro 3,1) 8-core 2,8 Ghz - 6 GB RAM - 1 Seagate ST3160827AS (160 GB) as the boot drive with OS X + Windows (via Bootcamp), connected to one extra SATA port of the MacPro and mounted under the optical drive. - 2 Western Digital WD20EADS (2 TB each one) to store my home, projects, etc, mounted in RAID-1 (mirror) by software - 2 Seagate ST31000340AS (1 TB each one) to store some more personal data, mounted in RAID-1 (mirror) by software I have around 2.5 TB of data already in use counting both RAIDs, so only around 500 GB separates me from be out of space. I work mainly with big RAW files and HD (1080p) video, so I expect that my requirements grow quickly with the time. So I want to move to a RAID solution that (1) gives me more disk space by adding external enclosures, (2) improves the performance of my system, (3) enables me to move from RAID-1 to RAID-5 or RAID-6 for the data volumes , plus have a separated volume for Time Machine. The idea is to have all my data on a same virtual volume, protected for 1 disk failure (RAID-5) or 2 disk failures (RAID-6). At the same time, have a second virtual volume to be used by Time Machine, just in case I end up with corrupted files or made a mistake and delete important files. At the beginning I was thinking to just mount a RAID-0 by software with 4x2TB units and acquire a Drobo or DroboPro, but it's an expensive solution, and it seems that the Drobo is really slow. Plus, I would like to have the backup option (via Carbon Copy Cloner or Time Machine) aditionally to the disk failure protection. I would prefer to add a RAID card to the system, use the internal SATA ports to mount the RAID-5/6 for my data, and use an external enclosure connected to the RAID card for Time Machine. Both for the data and Time Machine I would mount 4x2TB disks in RAID-5/6. How does that sound? However, I have some questions: - I can't decide which card is the most appropiate for me. I guess a RAID card with at least 1 internal Mini-SAS port + 1 Mini-SAS cable is required to mount the RAID-5/6 for my data. Will that connect the 6 internal SATA ports to the RAID card? I need to support at least 5 disks, 1 to boot OS X and Windows (it doesn't need to be part of the RAID, but I think it must be connected to one of the 4 bays in order to be used with Bootcamp; I will probably change the Seagate by one Velociraptor). Which card do you recommend me so I can build a RAID-5/6 with 4 drives, connected at bays 2, 3, 4 and the extra bay under the optical drive? Is possible to use the 5th disk under the optical drive as part of the RAID? I was looking at CalDigit, but the HD elements are really expensive, plus it seems that the data is saved across the disks in a strange format so in case the card was broken I would need to replace it for another one that was exactly the same (the same occurs with the Drobo). Also, it seems that it doesn't support the usage of the extra SATA ports on my Mac Pro 2008. Any other recommendation? - Are the Western Digital WD20EADS disks appropiate for the RAID-5/6? I've heard that it's better to use RAID class drives, but I really like the WD20EADS beacuse of the capacity, silence & price. Also, I already have 2 of them, so it would be easier for me to just buy two more to build the data volume. - Which enclosure would you recommend me to build my Time Machine volume which has low noise level, at least 4 bays, and (preferable) a similar look to the Mac Pro? I guess that the RAID card will need to have another external Mini-SAS port to connect to the enclosure. Is that right, or there are other connectors that could work / are better? Are the external Mini-SAS to Mini-SAS cables similar to the one that I need to connect the RAID card to the motherboard, or it's different? I've seen some towers at CineRAID. Maybe I'm wrong but it seems that they provide their own internal hardware to build the RAID, so I don't understand if that would work connected to the RAID card in any way, or if I would be paying more for something that can be made by the RAID card and should be looking for more basic enclosures. As you can see, I'm not habituated to hardware RAID solutions I hope that any of you could help me to see the light. Thanks in advance!