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MP 7,1 Received my Promise 2Ji today

bxs

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 20, 2007
1,138
514
Seattle, WA
Geeeesh, it came two days earlier than what Apple estimated.?

1) Nicely boxed
2) Solid construction
3) All black to match the MP7,1 innards
4) Comes stock with a Toshiba Surveillance grade 8 TB spinning disk
5) Has room for a 2nd spinning disk
6) Has black cables for connecting to the stock MP7,1's SATA III ports and to the two disks
7) Needs a Phillips screw driver (not supplied)
8) Includes mounting screws and Quick Start Guide
9) Adding a 2nd disk provides extra storage and can be RAIDed (using Disk Utility) to the 1st disk per included Promise's instructions
10) Can register 2Ji with Promise by launching the Product Registration App residing on the included stock 8 TB disk
11) Installation appears to be very straight forward

Now have to await my MP7,1 delivery Jan 30 - Feb 5, 2020, and find another 8 TB Toshiba. :)
 

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bxs

macrumors 65816
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Oct 20, 2007
1,138
514
Seattle, WA
Question is will it work with a 2.5SSD in a 3.5 bracket?
Well, the 2.5" SATA SSD formats are small enough (see my photo image with an OWC 240 GB Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G laying on the outside of the bracket along with the Promise included SATA connector attached), and can see that simply attaching one to the outside of the bracket would not interfere with things and that would allow the casing to be slid down smoothly. Laying the 2.5" SSD on the bracket also provides a nice 'heat sink' for the SSD (they do get warm at times).
 

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ZombiePhysicist

macrumors 65816
May 22, 2014
1,117
779
Geeeesh, it came two days earlier than what Apple estimated.?

1) Nicely boxed
2) Solid construction
3) All black to match the MP7,1 innards
4) Comes stock with a Toshiba Surveillance grade 8 TB spinning disk
5) Has room for a 2nd spinning disk
6) Has black cables for connecting to the stock MP7,1's SATA III ports and to the two disks
7) Needs a Phillips screw driver (not supplied)
8) Includes mounting screws and Quick Start Guide
9) Adding a 2nd disk provides extra storage and can be RAIDed (using Disk Utility) to the 1st disk per included Promise's instructions
10) Can register J2i with Promise by launching the Product Registration App residing on the included stock 8 TB disk
11) Installation appears to be very straight forward

Now have to await my MP7,1 delivery Jan 30 - Feb 5, 2020, and find another 8 TB Toshiba. :)

I got mine too. The manually finally clarified the port to the right of the two internal sata ports is for power. The included cable nicely feeds power to both sata drives from the one port. Picture of manual showing this in this thread here:

https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...r-2019-ncmp-7-1-mac-pro.2189591/post-28068090
 
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bxs

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 20, 2007
1,138
514
Seattle, WA
Well, the 2.5" SATA SSD formats are small enough (see my photo image with an OWC 240 GB Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G laying on the outside of the bracket along with the Promise included SATA connector attached), and can see that simply attaching one to the outside of the bracket would not interfere with things and that would allow the casing to be slid down smoothly. Laying the 2.5" SSD on the bracket also provides a nice 'heat sink' for the SSD (they do get warm at times).

https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Dual...J4M476RC47C&psc=1&refRID=D40PMRTFDJ4M476RC47C

This $7 one should work with the J2i. The Corsair Dual SSD Mounting Bracket can be aatached just as if it were a bare 3.5" disk. This bracket can accommodate two SATA SSD units.
 

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bxs

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 20, 2007
1,138
514
Seattle, WA
Geeeesh, it came two days earlier than what Apple estimated.?

1) Nicely boxed
2) Solid construction
3) All black to match the MP7,1 innards
4) Comes stock with a Toshiba Surveillance grade 8 TB spinning disk
5) Has room for a 2nd spinning disk
6) Has black cables for connecting to the stock MP7,1's SATA III ports and to the two disks
7) Needs a Phillips screw driver (not supplied)
8) Includes mounting screws and Quick Start Guide
9) Adding a 2nd disk provides extra storage and can be RAIDed (using Disk Utility) to the 1st disk per included Promise's instructions
10) Can register J2i with Promise by launching the Product Registration App residing on the included stock 8 TB disk
11) Installation appears to be very straight forward

Now have to await my MP7,1 delivery Jan 30 - Feb 5, 2020, and find another 8 TB Toshiba. :)

Hmmm, let me see - a decent Enterprise 8 TB disk is likely to cost me around $366 from http://macgurus.com/. The cost of the J2i using my Corp EPP program cost me $360 which includes a decent branded 8 TB disk along with its disk holder and SATA cables. So....

I might just buy another J2i for its integrated holder for the MP7,1 along with its stock 8 TB Toshiba Surveillance grade 8 TB spinning disk, and place this disk in my 1st J2i as a 2nd disk for a total of 16 TB, and by two of the Corsair brackets (see above posting for these brackets) for 2x$7. Using these Corsair brackets I can load them up with two 2.5" SATA 6G SSD units, RAID0 them and have some extra fast (2xSATA III or some ~1500 GB/sec that is likely to be around 4x that for the RAID0 disks) internal i/o when needed by simply swapping out the J2i with its spinning disks and replacing with the spare 2Ji with its 2xSATA III SSDs.

I have already have four (4) 2TB sized OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSDs sitting idle so now they can put to some use in this new MP7,1 for internal storage when needed.
 
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bxs

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 20, 2007
1,138
514
Seattle, WA
Hmmm, let me see - a decent Enterprise 8 TB disk is likely to cost me around $366 from http://macgurus.com/. The cost of the J2i using my Corp EPP program cost me $360 which includes a decent branded 8 TB disk along with its disk holder and SATA cables. So....

I might just buy another J2i for its integrated holder for the MP7,1 along with its stock 8 TB Toshiba Surveillance grade 8 TB spinning disk, and place this disk in my 1st J2i as a 2nd disk for a total of 16 TB, and by two of the Corsair brackets (see above posting for these brackets) for 2x$7. Using these Corsair brackets I can load them up with two 2.5" SATA 6G SSD units, RAID0 them and have some extra fast (2xSATA III or some ~1500 GB/sec that is likely to be around 4x that for the RAID0 disks) internal i/o when needed by simply swapping out the J2i with its spinning disks and replacing with the spare 2Ji with its 2xSATA III SSDs.

I have already have four (4) 2TB sized OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSDs sitting idle so now they can put to some use in this new MP7,1 for internal storage when needed.

My goals for the MP7,1's internal storage are...

  • Keep cost down.
  • Need various options for the type of internal data storage - That is, be able to use internal spinning disks or SSDs.
  • Need the means for accommodating large capacity bulk and long life internal data storage.
  • Need for quickly swapping the internal bulk storage for fast i/o SSDs.


My approach for meeting my goals is thus...

1) Buy two of the Promise 2Ji units that install seamlessly in the MP7,1 and each comes stock with an 8 TB Toshiba Surveillance-branded disk. This 2Ji can accommodate two 3.5" disks. The 2Ji cost me $360 from Apple using my Corp EPP program. The cost of a decent Enterprise level 8 TB disk runs in the range of around $350. Thus it makes sense for me to buy a 2nd 2Ji for $360 and get its included 8 TB disk, plus by removing the disk from the 2nd 2Ji it frees up the Promise made 2Ji holder for using SSDs in it. This to me is a no brainer and very cost effective.

2) Remove the 8TB Toshiba from the 2nd J2i holder and place it in the 1st J2i unit, for a total of 16 TB for bulk data storage.

3) I have four (4) 2TB OWC Mercury EXTREM Pro 6G SSDs sitting idle that can re-purposed for using with the MP7,1.

4) Buy two $7 Corsair 3.5" brackets for holding two of my OWC SSDs.
https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Dual...J4M476RC47C&psc=1&refRID=D40PMRTFDJ4M476RC47C

5) Install my four OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro SSDs into these two Corsair brackets (2 in each), and installing one of these brackets into the empty Promise 2Ji holder; ready for use when wanting to swap out the 16 TB bulk data storage 2Ji holder.

6) Total cost for doing this is; $720 for the two Promise 2Ji holders + $14 for the two Corsair brackets.

7) I would now have the Promise 2Ji holding 16 TB for internal bulk data storage that can be quickly swap out for a 2Ji holding two 2 TB OWC 6G SSDs. Each of these 8 TB disks will formatted with APFS as this structure provides many ways to share the disk space with Containers and their sharable Volumes.

8) The 2x 8 TB disks in the 2Ji can each be formatted with APFS and internally setup with Containers and Volumes of my choice. They will not be RAIDed.

9) The spare 2Ji with its Corsair bracket installed and holding two of the 2 TB OWC Mercury EXTREME 6G SSDs (setup as RAID-0 and HFS+) can quickly be swapped with 8) to provide around 4 TB and ~1500 GB/sec for extra spacious fast i/o when needed.

9) One of the APFS formatted 8 TB Toshiba disks in the 2Ji holding the bulk data storage can be configured for keeping a CCC clone of the MP7,1,'s internal SSD boot device image. I don't expect the internal boot image to be any more than around 350 GB. So all I need is an APFS Container with say a 400 GB Volume for holding the CCC clone.

In conclusion...

  • I will have internal 16 TB for bulk data storage on spinning disks each formatted with APFS.
  • I will have two sets of RAID-0 4 TB SSDs for fast i/o that can quickly be deployed internally.
  • Total cost for the 24 TB will be $734 (~$30 per TB)
  • Will have no need to carry extra storage units when going to clients off site; just have to carry the MP7,1 (and a display of course). Also simplifies logistics when renting out the MP7,1.

Gosh.... this brings back all the fun & games I had with MPs prior to the MP6,1. :) ?
 
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TTD

macrumors member
Dec 30, 2009
32
2
In conclusion...

  • I will have internal 16 TB for bulk data storage on spinning disks each formatted with APFS.
  • I will have two sets of RAID-0 4 TB SSDs for fast i/o that can quickly be deployed internally.
  • Total cost for the 24 TB will be $734 (~$30 per TB)
  • Will have no need to carry extra storage units when going to clients off site; just have to carry the MP7,1 (and a display of course). Also simplifies logistics when renting out the MP7,1.

Gosh.... this brings back all the fun & games I had with MPs prior to the MP6,1. :) ?

Thanks for sharing your plan.

Am I right in thinking that you can have one of the 2Ji installed with the 2 x 8TBs and one of the other 2Ji with 4 x SSDs both installed at the same time? (I know the 2Ji mentions you can install 2 units at once, just checking it will be possible with 4 x SSDs in one - as I'm hoping to do the same!)
 
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jasonmvp

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Jun 15, 2015
336
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Northern VA
Am I right in thinking that you can have one of the 2Ji installed with the 2 x 8TBs and one of the other 2Ji with 4 x SSDs both installed at the same time? (I know the 2Ji mentions you can install 2 units at once, just checking it will be possible with 4 x SSDs in one - as I'm hoping to do the same!)

No, the Mac Pro will only allow 2 internal SATA devices.
 
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ZombiePhysicist

macrumors 65816
May 22, 2014
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Thanks for sharing your plan.

Am I right in thinking that you can have one of the 2Ji installed with the 2 x 8TBs and one of the other 2Ji with 4 x SSDs both installed at the same time? (I know the 2Ji mentions you can install 2 units at once, just checking it will be possible with 4 x SSDs in one - as I'm hoping to do the same!)

im not sure where you will get power and data cables for 4 devices. There are only 2 SATA connectors and one power plug for the 2. The power connector might provide enough juice for 4 ssds assuming someone power and data splitters, but I’m not sure if the2 data ports can handle 2 devices per port.
[automerge]1576505638[/automerge]
No, the Mac Pro will only allow 2 internal SATA devices.

well Pegasus sells a raid cage allowing for 4 drives that Takes up up lower slots in the pc. It might come with its own pci card to accomplish this. I think some of this remains to be seen.
 
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TTD

macrumors member
Dec 30, 2009
32
2
Ok cool thanks guys, so you can install one of the 2Ji and you wouldn't be able to use 4 SSDs within it? Good to know :)
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
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Ok cool thanks guys, so you can install one of the 2Ji and you wouldn't be able to use 4 SSDs within it? Good to know :)

This is the only PCIe 4 x 2.5" SATA drive adapter that I am aware of:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SJSR4C1

And the RAID config (with different chip) that is not macOS compatible:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SGQLTQS

Important to point out - these are PCIe 2.0 x1. Have never personally tried them, but always have been curious about their actual speeds with standard SATA SSDs.

This USB 3.1 10Gbps drive bay gets ~500MB/s in non-RAID configs with standard 2.5" SATA SSDs (via 2.5">3.5" adapter) and would highly recommend as an alternate plan:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ND3JNZ6
 
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jasonmvp

macrumors demi-god
Jun 15, 2015
336
263
Northern VA
well Pegasus sells a raid cage allowing for 4 drives that Takes up up lower slots in the pc. It might come with its own pci card to accomplish this. I think some of this remains to be seen.

OK, for clarity's sake: the Mac Pro only has ports for 2 extra SATA drives on the motherboard. There's no "remains to be seen" about it. Further drives will require some sort of controller, such as the larger Promise device that takes up an MPX slot.
 
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bxs

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 20, 2007
1,138
514
Seattle, WA
Thanks for sharing your plan.

Am I right in thinking that you can have one of the 2Ji installed with the 2 x 8TBs and one of the other 2Ji with 4 x SSDs both installed at the same time? (I know the 2Ji mentions you can install 2 units at once, just checking it will be possible with 4 x SSDs in one - as I'm hoping to do the same!)

To be clear...

  1. Only one (1) 2Ji can be installed into the frame of the MP7,1.
  2. Only two (2) drives in the 2Ji can be operational/powered (either 2xdisks, 2xSSDs, or 1xdisk+1xSSD).
  3. The 2Ji can accommodate 2x 3.5 inch SATA disks.
  4. The 2Ji can accommodate, using brackets, four (4) 2.5 inch SATA SSDs, but only two (2) can be powered; brackets can hold two stacked SSDs each, and two (2) brackets can be installed.

  • If you have a second 2Ji it will act as a replacement for the one that is installed.
  • This second 2Ji can be outfitted with either 2x3.5" disks, 2x2.5" SSDs, or 1xdisk+1x2.5" SSD that can all be powered and made operational.
  • If you have four (4) 2.5 inch SATA SSDs installed in the 2Ji, only two of them can be powered and be operational.
  • A single 2Ji is easily installed and can be equally easily removed. It slides in at the top right corner and the disk cables connected to the three ports designed specifically for it.
  • As the 2Ji is easily removed then a second 2Ji already setup with its required disks (3.5" or 2.5") can be quickly deployed when needed.
  • At this time I'm figuring out how best to have backups for the data stored in the installed 2Ji. I plan to make backups once per week and use my Promise Pegasus R4 for this.
  • The Code42 CrashPlan service can be used for keeping important data secured offsite.
  • I will be using APFS format for the two 3.5" disks.
  • Apple fully supports APFS on spinners. ?
  • Each disk will have a single APFS Container with Volumes configured within it, and required over time; each one associated with a Client project.
  • Volumes can be created and deleted very easily using Disk Utility.
  • Volumes collectively can share the Container's space. This is a great feature. ?
  • If necessary, a Volume can be assigned a guaranteed amount of space to be reserved for itself.
  • A Volume can be setup to hold a clone of the boot device (I've already tested this using a 5TB 2.5" disk and CCC, and it works without issues).
  • There's a slight difference in the performance of APFS and HFS+ on spinners but for me this is inconsequential as the benefits of APFS trump the performance aspect.
 
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TTD

macrumors member
Dec 30, 2009
32
2
Thanks for the detailed explanation @bxs - really appreciate it.

I thought the was just space for the 1 x 2Ji but I think I misread your post and got hopeful that wasn't the case.

Looks like it might be easiest for me to go for the Pegasus R4 MPX module to get that 4 SSD Raid :)
 
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bxs

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 20, 2007
1,138
514
Seattle, WA
Thanks for the detailed explanation @bxs - really appreciate it.

I thought the was just space for the 1 x 2Ji but I think I misread your post and got hopeful that wasn't the case.

Looks like it might be easiest for me to go for the Pegasus R4 MPX module to get that 4 SSD Raid :)
You're welcomed.
My initial current approach was to minimize the cost for having as much bulk storage 'on board' at a reasonable price and not necessarily to provide fast i/o. With two 16 TB disks in the 2Ji this will result in having 32 TB inside the MP7,1.

Having to balance several Client projects at once its important for our business.

I like the Apple APFS structure/feature....

  • HFS+ using folders for Projects can be done easily, and does allow for folder space sharing in a HFS+ partition.
  • Backing up HFS+ Project folders is not as convenient as backing up APFS Volumes.
  • APFS Volumes can be mounted whereas HFS+ folders cannot be mounted.
  • I'm wondering if APFS Container Volumes can be configured as read-only. Does anyone know if this can be done?
  • APFS file duplication provides a very useful space saving attribute that is not supported by HFS+.
  • APFS allows for Volumes to have reserved space (Quotas) whereas HFS+ folders do not offer this.
  • Question: Can a multiple Volume APFS Container allow for specific Volumes to be encrypted and mixed with Volumes not encrypted? This aspect is becoming a requirement for Clients that wish for their data to be secured from other Clients use of the system when the system is rented out.
  • At this time I'm OK with using DU and/or Finder for monitoring APFS Volume space use. I believe I can create a shell script for this monitoring.
  • Employing APFS will future proof me for taking advantage of any new APFS features that Apple might develop and release, whereas any further feature additions for HFS+ are likely to be non-existent or it maybe that Apple abandons HFS+ altogether.... horrors!
If you have the budget, then sure, go for the Promise Pegasus R4i MPX module. That will provide a significant storage space and with RAID can offer decent i/o performance and allow for a mix of having full operational spinners and SSDs. The more storage space you have increases the need for more backup storage if the on board storage needs to be protected beyond say, RAID-5. The Promise Pegasus R4i MPX module cost around $2,100 or $4,200 for two of them. My current cost using the 2Ji comes to ~$734, and optionally using 16 TB disks can provide as much as a future 32 TB for low speed bulk storage.

Keep in mind... If you have a decent amount of RAM then hauling in large chunks of data off the 2Ji or the R4i MPX will mean the hauled in data will be placed into the Kernel buffer cache (i.e., into RAM). Then using data from this buffer will be extremely fast, and much faster than from external SSDs and any Apple internal SSD. Yes, the R4i is likely to be faster for hauling in the data to begin with than for the 2Ji, but this time is really inconsequential given the amount of time the data will likely be used once it's in the Kernel buffer cache. So, for me, the dollars being spent is a balance between spending on the disk hardware and RAM, and I opt for more RAM.

Waiting for i/o to complete is one of the age-old bugaboos for Applications, and a roadblock to getting work done quickly. If you can minimize i/o wait times, then improved productivity will result. ?
 
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Parzival

macrumors regular
May 12, 2013
114
52
This is the only PCIe 4 x 2.5" SATA drive adapter that I am aware of:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SJSR4C1

And the RAID config (with different chip) that is not macOS compatible:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SGQLTQS

Important to point out - these are PCIe 2.0 x1. Have never personally tried them, but always have been curious about their actual speeds with standard SATA SSDs.

This USB 3.1 10Gbps drive bay gets ~500MB/s in non-RAID configs with standard 2.5" SATA SSDs (via 2.5">3.5" adapter) and would highly recommend as an alternate plan:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ND3JNZ6

Something like this would seem like a possibility too?

https://www.owcdigital.com/products/accelsior-s

But only PCIe 2.0
 
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bxs

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 20, 2007
1,138
514
Seattle, WA
OK... thanks... I did search that thread but for some weird reason when I searched for "OWC" this OWC product didn't show up.... but I returned to it based on your post and found it (not tested though - so would want someone who has this, can confirm it works as data storage and/or alternative boot device). ?
[automerge]1576529654[/automerge]
OK... thanks... I did search that thread but for some weird reason when I searched for "OWC" this OWC product didn't show up.... but I returned to it based on your post and found it (not tested though - so would want someone who has this, can confirm it works as data storage and/or alternative boot device). ?
This (see image) kind of confirms it should work for the MP7,1. ? Also, the 4TB model is almost 1/2 the price as the Apple's internal 4TB SSD option, and possible faster per its claimed speed of 6GB/sec.
 

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bxs

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 20, 2007
1,138
514
Seattle, WA
OK... thanks... I did search that thread but for some weird reason when I searched for "OWC" this OWC product didn't show up.... but I returned to it based on your post and found it (not tested though - so would want someone who has this, can confirm it works as data storage and/or alternative boot device). ?
[automerge]1576529654[/automerge]

This (see image) kind of confirms it should work for the MP7,1. ? Also, the 4TB model is almost 1/2 the price as the Apple's internal 4TB SSD option, and possible faster per its claimed speed of 6GB/sec.
I've just got off the phone with OWC's tech team person and this was what I was told about the Accelsior 4M2 device.

  • It's compatible with the MP7,1
  • I comes stock with four (4) internal blades in a RAID-0 format using SoftRAID
  • If one wishes to use this device as an alternative boot device only one of the four blades can/should be used as Apple does not support APFS on RAID-0.
  • The four (4) blades can be split apart using the included SoftRAID software and this then makes the blades unformatted.
  • Now to make one of the blades bootable use either the included SoftRAID or Apple's Disk Utility to format the blade as APFS. Now a boot image can be installed on this one APFS formatted blade.
  • The remaining three (3) blades can be setup as required; individual storage blades, or RAID-0 using SoftRAID or Disk Utility, or RAID-5 using SoftRAID.
  • No software drivers needed (not sure if SoftRAID requires drivers though)
  • Comes with a 5 yr limited warranty
  • Uses half height x8/x16 PCIe slot
  • Info on SoftRAID here -> https://www.owcdigital.com/products/softraid
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,908
2,058
Just some caution about SoftRAID. New version may be different, but transferring from one machine to another by physically moving the RAID'd device(s) has, on numerous times, "broken" the RAID resulted in data loss.

I've never seen a device that relies on SoftRAID be described in a way to make it seem like it's a hardware RAID by default. In my experience, SoftRAID need to be used to setup that way.

SoftRAID is wonky with Mojave at times and the last time I've used it stably was with High Sierra. Have completely stopped using at this point. SoftRAID 6 was supposed to be released nearly a year ago and has been delayed for months. It's in BETA and not exactly public either.

This is the SoftRAID software site. Can be used with almost any devices, not just this OWC one. At least that used to be the case. OWC has since purchased them...

https://www.softraid.com
https://software.owcdigital.com

See some of the forum posts:
https://www.softraid.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=1051
https://www.softraid.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=871
 
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