RAID for iMac Recommendations

Discussion in 'iMac' started by One Still Sheep, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. One Still Sheep macrumors member

    One Still Sheep

    Oct 16, 2012
    Does anyone here have any recommendations for a RAID/JBOD box, or some kind of multi-drive external enclosure?

    I suspect, as many here do, that when the new iMac is released (regardless of when that is), it will include USB 3.0 as well as Thunderbolt ports.

    Clearly, Thunderbolt is the fastest connection, but both the cables and the associated devices are too expensive to be considered reasonable purchases at this point. Moreover, to my knowledge there are no empty (enclosure only) multi-HDD boxes available for that connection (e.g. a four-bay, Thunderbolt RAID/JBOD box).

    There are Firewire and eSATA connections to consider as well, but I think Firewire may be too out-dated for a new purchase, and I doubt the iMac will feature an eSATA port (pity).

    From my perspective, this leaves USB 3.0 as the connection of choice at the moment. Are there any USB 3.0 RAID boxes that you would recommend for an iMac?
  2. dmax35 macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2012
  3. One Still Sheep thread starter macrumors member

    One Still Sheep

    Oct 16, 2012
    It appears that the VR2, like many of these boxes, cannot be purchased without hard drives (as empty enclosures).
  4. CASLondon, Oct 19, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012

    CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    here's one

    Firmtek, Sonnettech, Stardom, CalDigit, OWC, SansDigital, EnhanceTech/ProAvio and G-Tech are all companies I'd look to, I'm not sure which have got USB 3 stuff out yet but several of these sell naked enclosures. Stardom Soho Tanks I think have gone usb 3.
  5. redirector macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2012
    Drobo 5D

    Drobo has created a completely new architecture for their storage devices, they have a new 5D and a miniature version. I have my eye on the 5D. Both have Thunderbolt and USB3. You buy the drives and put them into the enclosure.

    The 5D uses 3.5 inch HDDs, up to 5 of them. It also has an "accelerator bay" for a tiny mSATA SSD to speed up the access and repetitive tasks. I am going to try it, using Seagate 3TB drives, 7200rpm, 5 of them. This will net out to about 9-11TB storage and drive failure protection for one or two of the HDDs. It also has battery backup for power failure.

    Alternatively it can also support an all-SSD setup for max speed, at the cost of size.

    I have never owned Drobo. The reviews of the first gen products said they were good for backup, not fast enough for a Media or Editing Storage device, there were also reports of reliability issues, and there was no battery backup.

    Hopefully the new architecture will improve reliability, this 5d is built for speed, storage, backup and drive failure redundancy. It is supposed to ship end of the month.
  6. turtle777 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2004
    Don't get a Drobo. I had much trouble with my DroboFS. Returned it after many months of downtime and barely recovering my data.

    Got a Synology now, they have a much better reputation for reliability and speed.

  7. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    First decide if you want a DAS or NAS. Choose DAS if your main goal is performance... and NAS if you main goal is sharing data.

    I have used both extensively. For any local content... (ex: an Aperture database)... I strongly prefer a DAS. A Thunderbolt DAS will greatly outperform an internal HDD.

    I also like having a NAS in the house... it makes it trivial to share data between our various computers. I have used many of them... and I would not recommend putting something like an Aperture, iPhoto, etc library on a NAS. Everything just becomes slow and unresponsive.

    I use both. If I had to choose only one... I would choose a Thunderbolt DAS. If I could not afford that... I would look for a FW800 DAS. I am not sure about USB 3 DAS performance. Do not get fooled by looking at wire-speed. DAS performance is much more complex than that... and wire speed is not necessarily a great indicator.

    After acquiring a good DAS... then I would recommend adding a NAS. The current favorite seems to be Synolgy.


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