Mac Pro RAID

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by zoomfinder, May 3, 2016.

  1. zoomfinder macrumors member

    zoomfinder

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    #1
    Hi, I've been using MacPro3,1 with Mac Pro RAID (first model) installed by CTO and this has been a very reliable setup for the last 8 years. I have 4 Barracudas with 3 of them in RAID 0 and the system has been running well with the exception of the annoying battery reconditioning process which occurs every three months. The life of the battery itself seems rather short and my battery have died twice in the last 8 years having to replace it both times.

    Now I'm planning to move up to MacPro5,1 (2010) and I want to install yet another Mac Pro RAID (newer model) and build a RAID system using four SSDs. The question is: Is there anything I should be aware of in setting up a RAID system based on SSDs? What about the speed of the SSDs, 3G or 6G? Is there any other RAID hardware which would work well in a Mac Pro? Needless to say, speed is the key.

    I assume the subject has been covered in the past but not many people seem to talk about RAID inside classic Mac Pro these days. I want to know the basic issues before proceeding with buying these components and I would appreciate any input from anyone. Thanks.
     
  2. ScottishCaptain, May 3, 2016
    Last edited: May 3, 2016

    ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #2
    The official Apple RAID card does not support SSDs.

    I tried this a while ago with a spare 2010 (using the latest revision of the Mac Pro RAID card running the most recent firmware version). It was absolute hell just finding a matching set of SSDs that the card would even recognize, never mind something that it would actually attempt to use. Even after I got the drives showing up and managed to start the initialization of a new RAID5 volume, it would crap out after about 15 minutes with a 50/50% chance that the entire machine would panic and crash (otherwise the RAID initialization would just fail with no real error message). Likewise, I was never able to successfully mount the volume (during initialization) and write data to it without the entire machine simply hanging up.

    There might be a Highpoint or Areca controller out there with Mac support that can use SSDs, but I wouldn't waste your time trying to get the Apple card to run like that. Even if you did, it would be 100% unsupported by Apple (as they only ever sold that card with mechanical disk drives) and I wouldn't trust it to maintain any kind of reliable integrity.

    -SC
     
  3. zoomfinder thread starter macrumors member

    zoomfinder

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    #3
    Thanks for your very detailed information. You saved my time and money.

    Still, an internal RAID setup is a must for me and I will have to settle with using hard disks again but here is another question. I wonder if I can migrate the RAID 0 setup in MacPro3,1 to 5,1. I will put all drives in four bays in the same order as in 3,1 but the new RAID card in 5,1 will have to be configured to RAID 0 and, if I'm correct, this will destroy the old RAID 0 volume. I'm running 6TB with this and backing up and restoring all data, mostly Photoshop images I have taken, might take days.

    Oh well, I'm starting a new life here with a faster machine and I might as well get a fresh start. If I will have to re-format the hard drives, maybe it's wiser to put them in an external RAID enclosure and run them on a faster USB 3.0 (5G) or eSATA (6G) off a PCIe port. As I read elsewhere in this forum, classic Mac Pro users seem to have many good ideas about utilising all four bays without a RAID card and I may start thinking in that direction.
     
  4. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #4
    If your MacPro3,1 also has a hardware RAID controller, then you should be able to move the disk drives over to the new system and it should just work. AFAIK, the configurations for RAID volumes are stored on the actual disk drives themselves, so long as you move all the drives that belong to a given set then the other controller should pick up the existing volumes and mount them all without reinitialization.

    -SC
     
  5. zoomfinder thread starter macrumors member

    zoomfinder

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    #5
    That is a good news as I never thought such a migration would be possible. I will back up the entire volume and try the procedure when I will get to it in a few days. Thanks again.
     

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