RAID - software or hardware?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by marctwo, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. marctwo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    #1
    I'd like to setup a shared RAID 1 drive on my network. There seem to be 2 options:

    1. Buy an external drive enclosure with 2 disks and hardware RAID support.

    2. Buy 2 external drives and set them up as RAID 1 in OSX.

    Number 2 seems to be cheaper (especially if it works with USB2 drives) but is there any big advantage going with number 1?

    This setup would probably be conneced to a Mac Mini serving as a general media store.
     
  2. marctwo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 21, 2007
  3. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #3
    Always hardware. Although I don't know how truly hardware RAID budget external enclosures are, they're still better than using an OS based software RAID I'd say.
     
  4. Chillijam macrumors member

    Chillijam

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    Oct 26, 2007
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    UK, but maybe not for much longer
    #4
    +1 to hardware. Implementing RAID is a fairly intensive process, whichever way you do it. By trying to implement it in software, system designers are robbing you of CPU cycles that you could put to much better use. Hardware solutions tend to be designed specifically for the job in hand, and will work in harmony with your OS, rather than competing with it for use of the processor.
     
  5. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    Jun 3, 2006
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    #5
    I imaging you mean something like this http://www.cooldrives.com/dusahddfiusb.html for the RAID.

    With RAID 1, certainly there's an operational benefit in offloading the RAID, and it is more idiot-proof as far as how the drive appears to OS X is concerned. It's up to you whether the cost savings are worth the potential additional hassle.
     
  6. marctwo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
  7. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #7
    Ah, no. The TS-209 is a NAS, not a DAS. i.e. it's network only - and cheap NAS's generally suck for throughput, although QNAP's are decent enough devices as far as the competitors are concerned. While you can stick this directly on the LAN, it would be a lot slower than a HDD attached to a Mini.

    You'll need something along the lines of what I linked to.
     
  8. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #8
    He says he just wants the drive on his network ;)
     
  9. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    Jun 3, 2006
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    #9
    "While you can stick this directly on the LAN, it would be a lot slower than a HDD attached to a Mini. " In terms of serving information onto the network.

    The TS-209 would have significantly slower performance than a Firewire HDD connected to a Mini acting as a server. It's not unacceptable in reading from, but it can be pretty painful to write the information on there in the first place, especially if we're talking large media files with RAID1 enabled.
     

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