Help with figuring out external storage options

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kat.hayes, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. kat.hayes macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2011
    I am going to switch from an older MacPro to a new iMac. I have searched for some sort of enclosure that will enable me to place 3-4 drives in it so they all mount on the desktop of the iMac and connect via Thunderbolt or USB3, though there just do not seem to be many options out there. I'd like to be able to access all of these files at any time from any of the available drives, and I will be doing some video editing and photo work in Lightroom. It seems almost all options are for RAID enclosures, though this means that if it has 4 drive bays, I think that 2 are used for storage and 2 for backing up?

    1. What advantages are there to getting a RAID enclosure for storing files vs. an enclosure that allows me to mount multiple drives? Is RAID faster besides being more redundant?

    2. Can anyone recommend some models?

  2. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    I've got a Promise Pegasus 2 R4, a 4-bay Thunderbolt array. As standard all 4 bays are used in same RAID 5 array, there's no separate volume for backup. You can reconfigure it as two separate volumes, but I wouldn't put my backup on the same device as my data - if it breaks you loose both your data and your backup. For backup is have a separate NAS and it is configured to be used with TimeMachine.

    The Pegasus 2 is pretty quick and will be good enough for most people, but I also understand that it's not cheap. You could get a couple of Western Digital thunderbolt drives (two drives mirrored in each array), use one for data and one for Time Machine. And if you need to go cheaper than this get some USB 3 drives. Whatever you get don't think that RAID is a backup, it's not it just helps you survive a disk failure but it won't get a file back if you delete it. Best get two drives.

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