How should I set up my external RAID?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by teiresias, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. teiresias macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2007
    So for Christmas I got one of the OWC Mercury Elite-Pro SATA RAID enclosures for use with my Alum iMac. I've bought two 500GB drives to put in it, but I'm torn on how to actually use the thing. I'll be getting into some heavier video editing later on in the year, but for now that kind of use is pretty light weight.

    I could just stripe it and have a fast 1TB hanging off the iMac firewire, but then I was debating whether to actually just mount both drives separately and use one of them as a TimeMachine backup of my internal 500GB drive.

    I don't really think I need to allot 500GB to backing up my internal drive, as the only things I really need to backup are my iTunes library and some documents, so I was thinking of just migrating my current USB external HDD to TimeMachine purposes (though would it have to be on constantly to use it with TimeMachine? I don't like to leave it on all the time), and not "wasting" 500GB on an unnecessary backup.

    I also have the same rationale when thinking of setting up a mirrored RAID. It seems like a waste of space to mirror a 500GB drive just for backup purposes since this isn't a work machine and doesn't hold anything mission critical to my life most of the time.

    I guess that does just leave striping the two into a single 1TB volume, though.

    Anyway, I just wondered how other people would set this up? Thanks.
  2. jboyd122 macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2007
    It really depends on how critical your Data is. If you were to lose the 1TB volume due to some hardware failure would it concern you? I've personally suffered total ******* data loss on a drive before and lost hundreds of MP3's and Movies I had stored on the drive. I now make everything redundant. My roommate also had a drive fail on him last year and caused him to lose all his pictures he had stored on it. I would go the Mirrored route personally.

    Now, if it is just work space for editing or stuff you can recover from another source then by all means stripe and let the good times roll. you just need to evaluate how important the data is.

  3. teiresias thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2007
    Yeah, part of the problem with me and my backing-up habits is that I've never had a drive fail on me. I still have an 20GB IBM drive from 1998 that's still going strong in a linux box with not even a peep, so my perception of drive reliability is a bit skewed. :)

    I'll just play with it I suppose and see how it works. If I assume my RAID discs are more reliable than my internal iMac drive, if I were to stripe the RAID can you still partition the whole striped RAID into multiple volumes (so I could make one specifically for Time Machine) or can a striped disc only be seen as one volume?
  4. jboyd122 macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2007
    Yeah I've seen my share of drives go a long time without fail. It's just when you do have it happen and you haven't backed it up it leaves a scar you don't forget.

    You can partition the drive once the raid set has been laid out. Your computer will see it as one large HD you can do with as you please. As far as the reliability of the drives, they are no different than the HD you have in your computer currently. All ATA/SATA drives are similar when it comes to reliability. The RAID doesn't make your hardware any more reliable, it just offers you the option to make it redundant. In servers people will typically use FC/SCSI/SAS drives which are far more reliable but also they cost almost 3 times as much.

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