Mac Pro File Server

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by DSchwartz88, May 10, 2010.

  1. DSchwartz88 macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2006
    Hey MR,

    So im planning on getting the new 2010 MP's whenever they come out, its been a long time coming, and I need a monster desktop for my work so I decided what the hell.

    Here is the setup I would like to have.

    Bay 1: SSD -System Disk (super fast application opening etc.)
    Bay 2: Normal 2TB
    Bay 3: Normal 2TB
    Bay 4: Normal 2TB

    Giving me 6TB of file space to share. My question is two fold:

    1. I want most of my space on the drives so its either RAID 0 or 5 for me, is it possible to do a RAID 5 without paying $750 for a RAID controller?

    2. Is it possible to move your home folder to the 6TB RAID? I know you can move it to other drives, never seen a RAID discussed though. Not only would this give me access to all my files on the go, but it gives it pretty limitless space versus the SSD.

    Let me know what you all think
  2. AngelDesign macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2009
    Mac Pro Fonts

    Hi Peeps.

    This is going to be a very stupid question which I already know I"ll get slack for it. I hope I am in the right place as well.

    I just got a brand new spanking Mac Pro with the works!! I need to know what kind of Font software does the mac pro have? Do I need to buy software? Like Fussion or anything else. Anyone recommend a really GREAT font software for Snow LEP Mac Pro G5?

    Anyone, Anyone, bueller, Bueller
  3. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    You will need to buy a RAID controller for RAID 5, but there are far more affordable options then $750.

    On the other hand, you can buy a sled for a 2.5" drive to put in one of the empty optical drive bays and use the four drive bays for a RAID 10. Just an idea.

    You should back up all those terabytes though, if you aren't already.

    I would assume the OS sees the RAID as a single drive, so it should be a non-issue.

    Well, I'm not a font expert, but you might want to try your own thread in "Mac Applications" about this.
  4. DSchwartz88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2006
    I do backup onto an external server I just want some more redundancy :)

    I am absolutely willing to do the 4 drive option. Does OSX support software RAID 10? or will this take a controller? only reason im attracted to RAID 5 is the 33% space i give up vs 50%.

    If it takes a controller would you be able to point me in the correct direction just to see what kind of figures im looking at.

    thanks! :)
  5. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2009
    You can build a RAID 10 using Disk Utility without an additional dedicated controller.
  6. DSchwartz88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2006
    Since RAID 10 still only gives me 50% drive space, I think im gonna go with the 4 drive option running a RAID 5. Anyone wanna point me in the right direction for a cheapish controller? Im willing to throw down some cash just not a huge amount.
  7. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I'd suggest the Apple RAID controller, since if you have problems with it, Apple's not going to help with a 3rd party controller. But anyway, here's another thread about 3rd party RAID controllers for the Mac.
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    RAID 0 is possible to be done via OS X (Disk Utility, which is capable of 0/1/10 only). RAID 5 will require a hardware RAID controller.

    Since you're interested in the parity array (post further down), I'd recommend avoiding:
    • Apple RAID Pro = overpriced POS (slow, only works with one OS, and there's still issues with the battery)
    • CalDigit (unreliable when I last dealt with them, slow, and support is lousy on a good day)
    • Highpoint RR43xx series only (unless you know what you're doing, and won't need to rely on support)

    What I would recommend, would be either Areca or ATTO (both actually manufacture their products, and the support depts. know what they're doing). They've excellent reputations (deservedly), as their products are the fastest out there, and most reliable I've ever worked with. BTW, they also boot OS X if needed.

    To go further, I'd need to know what your future expansion is, but at a bare minimum (can operate 4x disks), would be the ARC-1212, and the needed adapter from MaxUpgrades in order to use the HDD bays with the card ($165USD). The SSD can be mounted in the empty optical bay (allows for another drive to be added to the card internally), or to the card itself (just set it as a Pass-Through = single disk operation).

    As per upgrades, I'd recommend 3rd party (card, drives, RAM).

    Now keep in mind, that when using a RAID card, you need to look at the HDD Compatibility List (Areca's list; .pdf). SAS cards in particular, are picky about SATA, and when using a card, you need to run enterprise disks (has to do with the different recovery timings between consumer and enterprise models, which are specifically designed for RAID use).

    For a 2TB enterprise disk, the WD2002FYPS (RE4-GP). They're still testing the WD2003FYYS (which is a faster disk; RE4 = 7200rpm)

    The enterprise disks are also more reliable, and able to handle the additional stress they'll be under when set up as a parity array (not only the stripes are written, but also the parity data to each disk).

    Yes. It's seen by the OS/applications as a single disk.

    See above, but please note, that a hardware RAID controller is expensive, as it's more than just the card. You've enterprise disks to deal with, an adapter with Mac Pro, and a decent UPS (online is best, line interactive will work; nothing lower though).

    There are much better cards that will work in the MP's, and some are cheaper. But they all offer a better value (more expensive cards offer more ports and much higher throughputs).

    The card maker is better suited for support anyway (stick with one that actually manufactures their gear, unlike CalDigit, Highpoint,... which unfortunately, is most of them). Unfortunately, Apple is one of those that have their product ODM'ed, and other members have posted that Apple's support with their own card sucks. :eek: :(

    Also, the linked thread is rather old. Newer models are available, as are units that weren't listed.
  9. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    The worst experience ever, High Point RAID Card

    I really wish high point is going out of business ASAP.
    No support at all. I had client using their card with Stardom 8 bay and ran into problems.
    I contact High Point and without dig out any info from me, they simply said the problem is the enclosure.
    I then hooked up to a silicon image card without any problem.
    I then email High Point and address the issue, and guess what!! They replied maybe our card is not ideal for you. WHAT THE FXXK!!!!
    There is no support, no communication and the WORST!!!! company to deal with.
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    They're definitely not the best company to deal with. :(

    I think of Highpoint only for instances where the user or IT staff really know what they're doing with RAID and are on a really tight budget. Even then, situations like what you found yourself in will still happen (product incompatibilities where the various Compatibility Lists can't help you).

    If you're dealing with clients that don't have their own IT personnel and you're not able to put forth the time (i.e. support contract), then it's probably best to go with ATTO Technologies IMO, as they do have a fantastic support group. Areca's not bad, but it's not the same, particularly as English isn't thier primary language (phone calls are international but it's quick, and email responses, though free, take time, which is a bad thing when things have gone really wrong).

    Unfortunately, I've noticed the "Pass The Buck" routine in general far too often lately (multitude of products from board makers to PSU's, and anything in between). :( Not to mention the unwillingness to help when they hit a difficult problem (anything not on the cue cards/beyond the scope of any training the support person's had). :mad:

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