Multi Drive Non-Raid Enclosure? eSata/Firewire800/usb2.0

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rmpstudio, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. rmpstudio macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #1
    Is there such thing as a Multi-Drive Non-Raid Enclosure? I specifically need an enclosure to house my spare drives but would like to be able to access the data on them easily.

    Most of what i'm finding are Raid Enclosures and i don't want a Raid. I want to be able to have a 4 or 5 bay enclosure to house 4 to 5 drives with different data on each drive (no mirroring or redundancy).

    I found this - http://www.drobostore.com/store/drobo/en_US/pd/CategoryID.14395000/productID.169198600

    .. but it isn't exactly what i want since it shows up as one drive.

    Thanks for the help and advice.
     
  2. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #2
    What you want is a JBOD enclosure (Just A Bunch of Disks).

    Newegg carries a bunch...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...=BESTMATCH&Description=jbod+enclosure&x=0&y=0

    I'm partial to the Sans Digital products but all of their 4-5 bay enclosures also do RAID so you pay a bit more.

    The Mediasonic looks like a good basic 4 drive JBOD enclosure for $139. It's USB2 however. I believe they have an eSATA version as well... (yes here... http://mediasonicinc.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=150)
     
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #3
    Get an eSATA card (example, and it does work with Macs; drivers here) and a Port Multiplier Enclosure (example). They can allow you to use the drives in single disk mode, JBOD, or RAID (software based). The enclosure BTW, can be had in 4/5/8/10 drive versions (1 PM chip can handle up to 5x disks on a single eSATA port).

    It's inexpensive for what you get (configuration and easy expansion). :)
     
  4. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #4
    It does work with Macs, but not with the port-multiplier enclosure I have.

    I bought a very cheap dual HD enclosure that has both USB and eSATA. The port multiplier is supported through USB (both drives mount), but not through eSATA (only one of the drives mount).

    I'm pretty sure the cheap sil3132 cards don't support port multipliers.

    I'd be happy to be corrected, as I'm tired of using slow USB on my docking station!

    Loa
     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #5
    Yes they do. Take a look at the product brief (.pdf). I know they work with SIL PM chips (the trick is, whatever chip used, it has to support FIS based switching).

    My suspicion is the enclosure you're using is an older PM chip that only uses CMD based switching = one drive at a time (the older Oxford chips comes to mind).
     
  6. rmpstudio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #6
    thanks for the feedback..

    I think based on you guys pointing me in the right direction,.. i'm going to be getting this - http://www.sansdigital.com/towerraid/tr4xbha.html

    It best fits my needs. I can set up each drive individually or software RAID them if i want later.

    I'll be using Carbon Copy Cloner to update/duplicate the PHOTO drive on my MacPro to first drive; secondary photo storage (which will have a back up when PHOTO is full) on the second drive; Time machine for the third; and Archived data on the fourth.

    I think i prefer this JBOD (as i recently learned term) method to a RAID 5 but perhaps somebody has an opinion as to why a RAID 5 or 6 would work better. I suppose with a RAID 5 i could just set up partitions in the same way mentioned above but i won't be able to swap out hard drives on the fly if i want to throw some data on a drive.

    if RAID 5 is better, i could get this i suppose (cheaper than DroboS and has 6g esata pci card) http://store.sansdigital-shop.com/totr5baysato4.html -

    what do you think?
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #7
    Unless you're using a proper RAID card (processor and cache; such as Areca, Atto, or the Highpoint RR43xx series) and a good UPS, don't touch parity based arrays (5/6/50/60). Software based RAID can't handle the write hole issue, and you will get burnt.

    eSATA/SATA based software solutions are fine for JBOD, 0/1/10 though.
     
  8. rmpstudio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #8
    hmm.. well if i do RAID 5, it looks like Sans Digital has an answer for that too :)

    http://www.sansdigital.com/towerraid/tr5mha.html

    comes with this Highpoint RocketRaid controller http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA/rr2314.htm
     
  9. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #9
    Well after some research I found out it was even more simple than that. One of the unpublicized characteristics is that eSATA only works for the first bay.

    For 40$, a dual docking bay that mounts two drives through USB is good enough. Knowing that it can also serve as a very fast single drive eSATA dock is even better.

    Loa
     
  10. -SD- macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Location:
    Peterborough, UK
    #10
    I have an Icy Dock 4-bay enclosure hooked into the Mini server which holds all my media. Great bit of kit, well worth the money. Fits in nicely with the rest of my Mac stuff quite nicely too.

    :apple:
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #11
    The RR2314 is a Fake RAID controller, which is nothing more than an eSATA controller + software drivers (contains the RAID functions). No processor or cache.

    So it's NOT suited for parity based arrays (5/6/50/60; I know they don't rate it for all of these, but it's to let you know that there's a few types used).

    Yuck. What a worthless POS. :eek: :p
     
  12. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #12
    Yes, but for 40$, it was worth checking out.

    If, for that price, I can get a true USB2 + eSATA port multiplier dual bay docking station, I'll buy it immediately.

    I simply couldn't find any.

    Loa
     
  13. bulgariuv macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    #13
    help needed

    Hi guys.
    I have a similar but quite different problem with esata cards.
    I have these enclosures:
    http://www.rocstor.com/products/arcticroc-4t.html
    http://www.rocstor.com/products/arcticroc-2t.html
    And this docking station:
    http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1346&ID=1895
    I have this esata card:
    http://www.delock.de/produkte/grupp...ess_controller_card_2x_SATA_1x_IDE_89143.html
    And I also have a sata to esata bracket.
    The BIG problem is that I can't manage to get the computer to show me more than 1 drive at a time,not even on the bracket.With RAID on the enclosures it's all fine,but separately no.I got the drivers from silicon image,but absolutely nothing happens.This is disturbing,especially on the docking station which is dual hard drive but it sees only one of the drives.
    Another problem is if I turn on the enclosure after the computer start,Mac OS doesn't see the drives at all,even in RAID configuration so I have to restart the computer several times with the enclosure left on in order to mount in OS X.
    Any help will be much appreciated
     
  14. bulgariuv macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    #14
    help needed

    Hi guys.
    I have a similar but quite different problem with esata cards.
    I have these enclosures:
    http://www.rocstor.com/products/arcticroc-4t.html
    http://www.rocstor.com/products/arcticroc-2t.html
    And this docking station:
    http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1346&ID=1895
    I have this esata card:
    http://www.delock.de/produkte/grupp...ess_controller_card_2x_SATA_1x_IDE_89143.html
    And I also have a sata to esata bracket.
    The BIG problem is that I can't manage to get the computer to show me more than 1 drive at a time,not even on the bracket.With RAID on the enclosures it's all fine,but separately no.I got the drivers from silicon image,but absolutely nothing happens.This is disturbing,especially on the docking station which is dual hard drive but it sees only one of the drives.
    Another problem is if I turn on the enclosure after the computer start,Mac OS doesn't see the drives at all,even in RAID configuration so I have to restart the computer several times with the enclosure left on in order to mount in OS X.
    Any help will be much appreciated
     
  15. tomllama macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #15
    While not the cheapest, I've had a FirmTek eSATA card and a FirmTek/SeriTek 5 bay port multiplier enclosure for a few years. They work great for both OSX and Windows. I've even used it to support a software RAID in OSX.
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #16
    RAID only shows up as a single disk (your RAID enclosures have a RoC = RAID on a Chip - they didn't state it, but the little DIP switches on the back give it away).

    As per the Dock not showing 2x disks when attached, that would be the behavior of a SATA controller/eSATA card that does not support Port Multiplier chips.

    Fortunately, there are inexpensive eSATA cards that do support Port Multiplier chips (i.e. newertech 6.0Gb/s version can be had for ~$70 USD; here). 3.0Gb/s cards (based on the SIL3132 for example), can be had even cheaper (here; and the seller offers it internationally - even on other nation's eBay sites IIRC).
     

Share This Page