Large Storage Solution (What do you think?)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mjones185, May 27, 2010.

  1. mjones185 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Warner Robins,GA
    #1
    Hello all,

    Here's what I have:

    2009 Mac Pro
    Internal HDs: One 750GB, three 1TB HDs
    External HDs: Two 750GB, two 500GB HDs

    HP Mediasmart Server: One 750GB, three 1TB HDs


    I have a lot of movies, videos, and my biggest hobby is photos (thousands, all RAW). I'm trying to come up with an economical way to expand my storage and have a theme that is easily expandable. I thought the server bit would be it but it's to slow for my liking, external hard drives are ok but to run them all requires them all to be on when daisy chained together. Now, my next idea is to forgo the externals and server altogether and get a Voyager Q hard driver reader and just buy hard drives and plug them in when needed. What do you think about this idea? Has anyone used this scenario, if so what do you think? Would it be a pain to always have to plug in the hard drive when wanting to add/pull data. I in vision having shelves of hard drives archived with my data stored on them.

    I like the external hard drives, especially like the 4TB versions in one case but it's still a lot of power supplies plugged into the wall and once again I have to turn on all of them before the one I want to use to supply power/readability.

    Mike
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Replace internal drives with 2TBs and buy a 4-bay enclosure for the old internal HDs
     
  3. mjones185 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Warner Robins,GA
    #3
    Thanks for the suggestion, do you have any suggestions on economical enclosures with FW800? Do you know anything about my scenario using what I'll call as using naked hard drives?

    BTW, not all are listed above, I have a total of 15TBs spread across three computers and all is full.
     
  4. Richard Flynn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney
    #4
    I was in a similar situation to you. I went for a Drobo Pro. In my case the Drobo is attached to a Mac Mini Server which controls various services for my network, including online backup. So I backup from my desk to the server (onto the Drobo Pro), and the server in turn trickles everything up to my online backup provider (in my case Backblaze).

    For you though I suspect you want something direct-attached for local storage. You should find that the Drobo Pro would do what you want. You can connect it with FW800 or with iSCSI, which is a local peripheral connection which runs over Ethernet hardware. What that means is that you can have the Drobo Pro plugged in to the same network as your computer, and then access it as if it were directly connected to your own machine. (Note that this setup takes a bit of jiggling initially to get going, and that iSCSI is not an alternative to network-attached storage as only one computer can access an iSCSI device at a time, etc.)

    The benefit of the Drobo Pro (and all the Drobo devices) is that you can throw any hard disks you've got in there and it will redundantly pool your storage the best way possible. They go on a bit about their 'Beyond RAID' stuff, which is their proprietary system for pooling hard-disk storage: with most RAID systems you have to have all the disks be of the same capacity, and in some cases also be from the same manufacturer.

    You'll find a lot of hype about Drobo about the place, and a few people who absolutely hate Drobo products. I have mixed feelings. Occasionally in the past I've had problems with the Drobo not coming back online after the Mac to which it's attached has been to sleep; in my case this is now not a problem as the server is always on. Certainly Drobo go out of their way to generate good buzz about the company and their products online: you'll frequently find highups from the company responding constructively to reports of negative reviews online, for example. I'm not going to say outright if this is a good or a bad thing, but I'm just reporting that I've seen this happen several times.
     
  5. Fotog macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canmore, AB
    #5
    Here's what I got:
    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E16816111051

    Comes with a cheap eSATA PCI card that actually works in the MP, so you don't even need to buy another one (although I did, as the bundled one is slow).

    As mentioned, replace your internal 1TB with 2TB, put the spares in the enclosure.

    Get more enclosures as needed..
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    That looks decent. I'm not really an expert of enclosures so.. OWC has a very good looking one and OWC makes very nice products

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEQX2KIT0GB/
     
  7. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #7
    OP... It sounds like you are trying to cheap out by using old hard drives.

    Adding it all together, it seems like you need about 8TB of space?

    Perhaps start by pruning your pr0n collection?! :p

    If I needed that much storage, I would invest in a bunch of 2TB drives.

    If you really think you need another enclosure, then I also recommend Sans Digital... I'm very happy with mine and they fit with the Mac Pro look. They have a ton of different enclosures to suit pretty much any need...

    http://www.sansdigital.com/index.php

    Their products are available through OWC and Newegg.
     
  8. mjones185 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Warner Robins,GA
    #8
    Thanks everyone for your comments. All my hard drives are anywhere from a 1TB (6) to 750GB (7) to 500GB (2) and from 1 yr old to 3 yrs old. I thought I wanted a server and I got the HP mediasmart server, it's slow to transfer large files (movies) and a pain to deal with maintaining as I have to use a windows PC for up-keep. I can't even add a folder to the main directory without going through my pc, I can add sub folders but not main folders.

    As I stated before I like externals, having them nicely positioned on a shelf but its a pain to deal with the power supplies and having to turn all of them on to access the last drive in the bunch (I'm only dealing with 4, can't imagine if I had 24).

    I initially planed on getting a Voyager Q to use as an off-site backup plan but started thinking about using it as my main storage solution as well, have my hard drives on the shelf or in a case and use them when needed.

    I also have a concern with heat, I'll soon be moving to Robins AFB, Ga where it gets hot as hell and I'm already dealing with heat in my office from three computers and 4 monitors running 24/7 (computers are Mac Pro, server that produces a lot of heat and a PC tower.

    I like the JBOD solution but wonder about heat (making my room hot) as well with it. I also wonder about eSATA, is it really worth it with a Mac, I have a Mac Pro now and could get an eSATA card but wonder about the future if I get an iMac instead.

    I guess I could get the Voyager Q for my backup service (off site storage for the hard drives) and see if I like the idea of using hard drives for my primary storage as well.

    Anyways, thanks again for your suggestions and if you have more please let us know.

    Owe, anyone know of an 8 or 16 bay JBOD case that's also FW800?

    Mike
     
  9. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #9
    I think the only 8-bay enclosure with FW800 is a Drobo.

    I would either buy one of these with 2TB drives...

    TowerSTOR TS4CT - 4 Bay SATA to USB 2.0 / eSATA / 1394a / 1394b RAID Enclosure

    [​IMG]

    Or buy 2 and daisy-chain them together.

    If you go e-SATA, then the SohoTank ST8 is probably the ultimate...

    [​IMG]
     
  10. cutterman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #10
    With a large media collection, especially irreplaceable raw images, you should consider a back up strategy as a part of your storage system. That is a good role for a NAS, which are more economical to run 24/7 and can double as a network-based media server. You can then use your MP-attached storage for the original files.

    I use the Netgear ReadyNAS NV+. You can get them reasonable on ebay. Not very fast, but useful as backup, media server, torrent client, etc.
     
  11. mjones185 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Warner Robins,GA
    #11
    Thanks for the links. Has anyone used this one, or know how good it is?

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/RAID/Desktop/

    Mike
     
  12. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #12
    That's the same chassis as the Sans Digital box I linked to above, just with a different front panel. It should be a great solution.
     
  13. mjones185 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Warner Robins,GA
    #13
    I have to say, your one of the nicest posters here. You have helped me on several subjects from my questions on photography to hard drives. Keep up the great responses. I know your comments are valued by several folks.

    Mike
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #14
    It is from what those that have picked them up here on MR have posted. I'm not sure which company actually does the manufacturing, but there's a few using them. I think they also make the Enhance product lines.

    I've only seen one report of a failure recently, and it is here in MR somewhere (SansDigital branded; bent aluminium in the rear of the drive bays IIRC preventing drive from making a proper connection to the backplane).
     
  15. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #15
    Glad to help! Thanks for the positive comments. It's a great community here in general I think.
     
  16. youbetcharaid macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    #16
    STARDOM ST8-U5 you can't go wrong.

    you have my 2 cents.
     
  17. tomllama macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #17
    I started with an external enclosure and eSATA connector (SeriTech 5/PM) and recently added an HP MSS because the external enclosure does not really address backup unless you buy a second one.

    What MSS do you have? I bought an EX495 and after upgrading the CPU and RAM, it's much more reasonable for access. I dump all my video files and iTunes to the MSS now. I don't find any need to use a PC to manage the server, using the console via OSX works fine. File access from finder works well once the sharing with the MSS is setup.

    The MSS I think is ideal for a shared environment while an external eSATA box works if everything only happens on one computer.
     
  18. youbetcharaid macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    #18
  19. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #19
    I'm not sure what epic fail you're referring to... It's fairly highly rated.

    BTW, I believe Stardom and Sans Digital share the same manufacturer for some of their products (eg. MobileSTOR and SOHOTANK) . :)

    SansDigital...
    [​IMG]

    Stardom...
    [​IMG]
     
  20. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #20
    You're not making a proper comparison though. The unit linked from newegg is a Port Multiplier based enclosure (2x eSATA ports on the back), vs. a unit that uses MiniSAS connectors (2x SFF-8088 connectors).

    The difference being, the PM chip has to use a single drive channel per 4x disks (switches that SATA connection between disks), while the MiniSAS method, has a SAS channel per disk, as each cable carries 4x disk signals simultaneously (SAS will run SATA of course). That's why MiniSAS is faster.

    And VirtualRain is right. Most products are actually only made by a few ODM companies (design + manufacturing). Those that are actually different, are either what the actual manufacturer produces under their own label, or is made as an OEM product (vendor does the design work).

    Stardom/Raidon, Sans Digital, Enhance Technologies, and Rosewill (newegg's house brand), tend to share the same manufacturer for this type of enclosure/s. If you look close enough, you'll see the similarities (some are more obvious than others). Most of it's in the sheet metal, but there are others (i.e. tray system used).

    Unfortunately, this is the way of the world, as most vendors don't want to have overhead such as design engineers (lots of full time, highly paid professional staff) and manufacturing facilities of their own (or the people needed to run that either). It's all based on the business strategy that they won't lose money on unutilized overhead (idle or less than 100% capacity factories), can broaden their product range (obtain a larger selection from multiple ODM's), and move within a market faster (drop/change products quicker, as there's no tooling,... to bother with). But there is a compromise, and it's in the form of both Design (lack of total control = overall functional quality suffers) and Quality Control (lack there of during the assembly process).
     
  21. Tronic macrumors 6502

    Tronic

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #21
    UNRAID is your new best friend.

    I currently have a 12TB Unraid server containing thousands of Nikon NEFs and a few thousand DVD rips. Its so economically priced and the best part is you can use any number of drives in any size of any brand, the major downfall of RAID IMO. Its so simple and so reliable.

    http://lime-technology.com/
     
  22. jkeigs macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #22
    I use unraid as well but only for my movies/music collection. Pictures stay on the local computer and are backed up via time machine. I'm running out of space though so am thinking of creating an archive aperture library on the unraid box and keeping prior 3 months on the mac pro.
    I agree unraid is great, I just wish they'd roll the new version supporting afp so I can have seamless integration (had to setup automount scripts which works 90% of the time). IMO, it's the best way to get affordable hdd redundancy.
     
  23. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #23
    Regardless of solution, with that size, I'd recommend going with some solution that has RAID 6, so three drives have to go kablooey before your data bids you adieu.

    I know some of the more advanced Drobos have an analog of RAID 6, but I'm sure more advanced RAID cards can handle it, if fed a bunch of drives from a JBOD, especially eSATA ones.

    If it were up to me, I'd go with a better Drobo model because it handled all the hardware stuff, but as posted above, I don't know how fast or slow the thing would be.
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #24
    When you get into hardware RAID cards, most use Mini SAS connectors (a few older designs use SATA, not eSATA).

    This means different cables and enclosures (cabling is easier though, as each can operate 4x drives directly; no SAS expander needed, which is the SAS equivalent to a Port Multiplier chip).

    A Drobo is generally slow. Partially due to the hardware used (low cost), and the fact data is transmitted as Ethernet packets (protocol conversion as well as array management handled by the processor). 10G would improve matters if it were supported, but is too expensive for most (enterprise customers might be willing to do this, but at that point, setup their own).

    Some of their models use iSCSI, which would be a bit faster. Unfortunately, it's also used on the most expensive models (8 bay units).
     
  25. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #25
    I have heard MANY good things about Drobo. They have a lot of different options and seem to have good support too, at least that's what I've heard.
     

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