I need a DAS solution

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by knuckledust, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. knuckledust macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2012
    Hello fellows!

    I am looking for a DAS solution to connect to an iMac (as soon as Apple release them). I have already looked at Drobo — too pricey — and have already looked at Synology — too many options, I got confused.

    What I have at the moment is 4 external drives (2x 1TB + 500GB + 250GB) which means 4 cases and 8 cables (power + data) on my desk and 4 power adapters plugged into the wall. I'm not really at the professional level, I'm just a consumer guy a bit obsessed with performance.

    What I want is something I can put all my drives in (4 or 5 bay) with only one cable, preferably Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 (assuming the next iMacs will have it) for data transfers.

    It would be good if it had some sort of protection against power failures, but it's not a must have feature.

    I would like something under 400€ but I just don't know where to look and what to look for.

    I can see myself upgrading all my drives to 2TB or 3TB drives in the future, so it should support at least 8TB.

    I'm not really interested on a network solution, I need it connected directly to the computer.

    Hope this is enough for you guys to suggest some good products.
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    LaCie 2big running raid 0 running 6tb or, running raid 1 3tb. Backup to 3tb time capsule.
  3. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    I don't think you get to say you're obsessed with performance unless you're willing to look at all angles, and by the sound if it your bias makes this a bit more neurotic. If you want speed, you get SSD. If you want capacity, you use NAS. If you want both you either take the risk with large fast RAID DAS, or go much safer with large fast 10GigE NAS like video professionals do. Half assing it is not exactly being obsessed with performance.

    What does this mean? This is utterly useless unless the computer its connected to has the same thing. For DAS, you must have the computer and the DAS connected to a UPS. If you don't, and it's a large DAS, you have a high risk of corruption in case of power failure. You already have a high risk of file system corruption if there's a kernel panic. And on an iMac, which does not have ECC memory, it's inevitable you'll have a panic or other memory related data corruption which will find its way into the file system - just a matter of time. Could be minor, could be major.

  4. knuckledust thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2012
    Interesting product, but it has only 2 bays and costs over 500€...

    I get what you're saying and I would love the speed of SSD but as you may know SSD is not cheap, and that's one of my concerns.

    That's a good point! I am already looking at some UPS to connect the iMac so it might be good to take the leap and support the drives as well.

    Because of low speeds over my network and the fact that I don't need to share my data with anyone else.

    Let me just clarify a few topics I forgot about on the original post:

    I don't need raid features, I'm not planning on backup everything I have, the sensitive information is already backed up. Most of the space will be daily videos coming out of a GoPro that I wish I could save. But if it all fails and I cannot have them anymore it's not the end of the world for me, that is not my work, it's a hobby. Again, I already have copies of my work.

    Because of what I just said the most important thing for me is probably capacity and then speed. Protecting this specific data is not important.

    So a 'bring your own drives' solution with JBOD feature would be the perfect thing. I already have a bunch of 3.5'' drives so I'm not willing to pay an extra money for 2TB drives at the moment.

    Is there any solution that covers most of this things?
  5. smellalot macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2011
    Sound like a Synology 4- or 5-bay to me honestly.

    Have a look at these charts:
    Looks pretty fast to me.

    Why do you care so much about how it's connected to your Mac? You can put it next to your Mac if you want to :p
  6. knuckledust thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2012
    Because of speeds. A network solution would be too slow.

    Is there any 4/5 bay Synology with USB3.0 under 400€?
  7. smellalot macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2011

    I think they only make NAS.

    But 100 MB/s is still too slow? Doesn't a single 3,5" HDD max out at around 120 MB/s ?

    Sorry, I have no idea about USB3 SAN solutions. Maybe you can build your own server that holds your HDDs and connect it through Thunderbolt. Don't know if that's possible.
  8. torana355 macrumors 68030

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    If the NEED usb3 or thunderbolt speed perhaps a Sohoraid would suit your needs. If you can handle gigabit Ethernet speeds (still faster then Firewire 800) a Synology 4 or 5 bay NAS is by far your best bet imo.
  9. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
  10. knuckledust thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2012
    Thanks for the responses everyone!

    Some of you are suggesting NAS but doesn't it need to be connected to the network or can I just plug it in a computer?
  11. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    It uses ethernet (wired or wireless).

    If you use wireless for internet, you can use an unused wired ethernet port with a regular ethernet cable and no hub/switch to connect to a NAS. It's still a network, it just appears to be direct attached. You in effect have two networks on a single computer, and this has been supported on Mac OS X for some time.

    FWIW, 802.11/Airport is wireless ethernet.
  12. knuckledust thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2012
    Sounds good!
    Does that mean I am the only one accessing the drives? Since it's not even connected to the wireless network it's not reachable, right?
  13. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    Correct, so long as you don't have Internet Sharing (System Preferences > Sharing) enabled to bridge the two networks.


    Also, GigE is about as fast as FW800. However, there are faster solutions such as eSATA or Thunderbolt.

    With an eSATA enclosure with a bunch of equal sized disks (say four of them), you can use Disk Utility RAID to create nested RAID such as 1+0 (a.k.a. RAID 10) to get speed plus mirroring. It's somewhat rudimentary but straightforward.

    eSATA is faster than GigE, but you wouldn't have the features of a NAS. So it's useful to be really clear about what's important to your workflow.
  14. knuckledust thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2012
    I haven't yet got a point clear:
    Why are there USB/FW/eSATA ports on some NAS?
    Isn't it supposed to be connected with the Ethernet port? Or can I connect a NAS directly to a computer with USB? Will this work?

    That would be more than enough for me.

    I must confess I wasn't really aware of the different RAID modes when I started this thread, the only mode I knew was RAID 1 and I would never want to use that. I got to know RAID 5 and seems pretty useful instead of JBOD.

    Connecting it with eSATA would be better, yes, but that brings another problem I haven't even searched for. Are there any Thunderbolt <-> eSATA adapters?
  15. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    Technically that would be DAS. Internally it's using the same aggregating logical volume management or RAID that a NAS does, but it offers an interface that provides block level access to storage.

    NAS provides file level access using a file sharing protocol, not block level access (typically). A few NAS products offer block level access via iSCSI.

    Block level access means no other computers can use a particular volume, i.e. not sharable, just like two computers can't share a single disk with eSATA. And you format such disks JHFS+/X on a Mac.

    File level access means other computers can share, use a protocol like AFP, NFS or SMB. The underlying volume format is not JHFS+/X, it's usually a Linux file system like ext4, or XFS; or ZFS if it's FreeBSD or Solaris based.

    Depends on the product. Usually DAS will not have ethernet ports, only USB or eSATA or FW or Thunderbolt. Usually NAS only only have an ethernet port, although it MIGHT have a USB port for the purpose of connecting a drive to the NAS for additional storage, NOT to connect it directly to a computer.

    DAS+NAS products are typically more expensive, needing more sophisticated software to manage the different usages of storage.

    Not sure. Usually this is integrated in Thunderbolt enclosures themselves.

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