Storage 5tb+ recommendation

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ScottDrummer, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. ScottDrummer macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2007
    Im looking for a 5Tb storage device, RAID configurable. I dont want a server I am just looking for a smart device such as the Drobo. Can anyone recommend anything similar without getting into silly money.

  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Well, since 1.5TB 3.5" drives are now out (crazy, no? I had no idea until three days ago!), you can get something with just four bays (What's wrong with a Drobo?) and go crazy.

    You know... this is a question that is very relevant to me.

    Does anyone know of a storage solution that has...

    1. A LOT of empty bays (on the order of an XServe RAID)
    2. Can be configured to NOT be a RAID. (can the XServe RAID not be a RAID? That'd be cool and would solve my problem immediately.)
    3. Can be purchased as just an enclosure (without any HDDs preinstalled to jack the price up)
    4. Looks kick-awesome... meaning, fits in with Apple design.

    These are all of equal importance. Thanks, anyone.
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Take a look at EnhanceBOX. They offer the units in silver as well as black, so they go well with a Mac Pro. ;) Well made, and well reviewed. :)
    (Example of Silver E8-MS, at a decent price. You can also try for pricing, as these two sites are usually decent).

    On the linked page, look at the left column. They offer 4,5,8,10 bay enclosures, and a few different interface types. :D

    Worth checking out. :cool:

  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Must. Buy. Drive. Now.
  5. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2008
    Sure, but watch out for the connectivity. These are for USB/FW, Ext. SATA, and Fibre, and none of thee have a standard Ethernet interface. Hence, they are great, fast, and probably very useful, if you either just want to connect to a single PC, or if you have it connect to a server. However, if you just want a NAS solution, for 24/7 data storage, there aren't many standard solutions with >4-bays.

    Take a look at:

    Unless of course you just build a storage server, and then there is no limit.
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Tallest Skil gave me the impression he was looking for DAS, not NAS. So I went from there. :p

    The EnhanceBOX line uses MultiLane, MiniSAS, Port Multiplier, eSATA interfaces typically. The CS (Combo Storage = FW400/800 + USB), I've only seen offered on the 10 bay unit.

    Personally, I like the fact it's a dumb box. RAID, or JBOD systems can be created, and it's OS independent. Obviously cabling/hardware must be taken into account. ;)
  7. rogersmj macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    A Drobo is undoubtedly the way to go. Stick four 1.5 TB drives in there and you get 4.1 TB of *redundant, protected* storage. As drives get bigger, pop a couple of those out and put the bigger ones in. So easy to upgrade and expand, you don't have to do a thing but slide new drives in. They don't even have to be the same size. It's a no-brainer.

    If you need more than 4.1TB right now, I'd just buy two Drobos.
  8. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2008

    I had a Drobo, and didn't like it! I originally had an Infrant, and eventually upgraded to an ReadyNAS NV+. Currently I have 4x1TB drives in it, and if I needed to I would simply change out the drives with 1.5/2TB ones - no problem. I like the NV+ because it is fast, it is stable, there is execellent support, it is simple to manage and easy to upgrade/update.

    One of my friends have a Synology DS408, and swears by it. It does look great, very a'like the NV+. The newest one, the DS508, looks even better.

  9. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    i cant seem to find them in australia.....???
  10. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
  11. GoaTrancer macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2008
    I am trying to decide on a multi-bay external storage solution myself.
    Anyone have any experience with this or any other Dat Optic products?
    or this one?

    Im looking for a good, multi-bay, non-network storage solution for multi-terabyte backups. Dat Optic products are the only affordable solutions I have found, and on paper look fine, I dont need the features of the more expensive solutions, just a bunch of drives in a box with a single cable to connect it to my computer.
    The AMUG reviews look great but I cant find any other reviews of products by this company, or get a sense of their reputation, so I am hesitant to invest in one of their products until I have more information.
  12. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    I can wholeheartedly reccomened the Synology DS508 - I have it and it is awesome (just updated from the 4-bay CS407e). 5 x 1.5TB Seagates gives me 6TB in RAID5 (7.5 if you want to go JBOD).

    The interface is second to none (has all the bits u need and of course there is always the ssh access (its a freescale CPU @ 800MHz with 512MB Ram, running Busybox (a lovely lightweight linux distro)).

    It mounts peftect under OSX and Windows (NFS FTW) and is quiet and quick. Oh and did I mention it looks good too?

    I wont need to link as its already been in this thread :)

    thats the Bunny's 5pence worth anyhows
  13. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2008
    Dlink DNS-343

    If you just want a NAS with a 10/100/1000 ethernet port, maybe you can get the Dlink DNS-343 with 4 ports for 4 SATA hard drives. With 4 1.5GB hard drives you get 6TB JBOD or a bit less with RAID 0 or 1.

    I have the smaller DNS-323 (2 hard drive slots) and it works great. I think it sells for $400 or so (hard drives sold separately). You can use it as an iTunes server, FTP server, and I think you can schedule it to download Bittorrent files.
  14. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    The ReadyNAS Pro looks very nice. I would rather have that instead of my FW800 Drobo.
  15. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
  16. robzr macrumors member

    May 4, 2006
    I would highly recommend that you reconsider creating something from scratch, if you have the capabilities. There are off the shelf NAS distros like freenas, naslite that make the software side of things easy. The $500 ish NAS devices on the market have some serious drawbacks -

    - they benchmark *SLOW*, thats what you get with 300 mhz & 256 mb cache, do some research, you can likely double your speeds with a homebrew setup, not kidding.
    - if you have a hardware issue in the future, like the backplane/motherboard on a proprietary box, you may lose all your data, depending on where the raid config is stored
    - even if the raid config is stored on the disks, in proprietary format, if the replacement part is not available in a couple years, goodbye data.
    - many of these small units do not have redundant fans, if a fan dies, your drives will start dropping like flies, with RAID-5 there is not much of a safety net
    - RAID-5 is just not good enough (for me), since I can't afford a backup solution, my new config with 1.5 TBs will be using RAID-6, an extra drive is cheap insurance when it comes to my data, SMART monitors email/SMS me (hopefully) in anticipation of drive failure
    - At least one brand (Intel) had a known bug that caused their NAS device to prompt to reinitialize the drives, which caused complete data loss (google it)

    For the same money, you can build a *FAR* nicer, faster and safer setup. I have a 10 bay case I got from newegg for $150 or so (CHENBRO SR10769-BK-H), has redundant fans (each bay of 4 has a 120 mm in back and a 80 mm in front, an additional 120mm in the back of the case, and I used 2x 5.25" adapters with triple fans in front for drives 9 & 10). In hindsight I wish I had spent the $$$ on 15 bay SUPERMICRO CSE-933T-R760B for future expandability. I found a mobo with 7 onboard SATA, got a couple 2x SATA PCI cards, and a nice beefy power supply. The mobo has dual gigabit I run bonded/redundant with 802.3ad into a netgear smart switch - another advantage over those prefab NAS's. A $10 IDE-CF adapter and a CF card would be a great root drive, or double it up and run it mirrored if you're paranoid - takes up no bays, power, SATA channels and it's highly reliable, solid state.

    I can't stress enough, proper cooling is critical, if the drives run hot their lifespan WILL be shorter, you want as much redundant cooling as you can get, fans die all the time, I tried to buy the highest quality fans I could, and I just replaced one recently. Look at enterprise equipment, theres lots of fans, when you walk into a data center the fan noise can be deafening (ok, well makes it hard to talk at normal levels anyways :) ).

    You will use all the free space you have, and then some, so plan way ahead for upgradability and expansion - thats why I wish I had gotten that 15 bay supermicro... I have 6x 500 gb drives I'm moving to raid-6 1.5 tb units now, and it requires 10 bays just to do the data migration. Thats another thing to keep in mind. When I got my 500s I couldn't believe the space I had, now it's peanuts... in a few years we'll be saying the same thing about 1.5 tb units. Another advantage of running homebrew, at least with Linux + RAID + LVM, you can easily add drives and dynamically grow your raid/filesystem as you need additional storage. Not sure if you can do that with these other devices, either way you'll run out of bays quickly.

    eSATA enclosures would be a very nice modular solution as well, add on a PCI card and enclosure as you need space, however all the quality eSATA enclosures with redundant cooling I saw were very expensive, that 15 bay supermicro would be far more cost effective than a couple of those.

  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    are you serious :eek:
    they are $373 for that model over here in australia, and they dont even have them in stock yet!
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    1.5TB Baracuda HD-7200RPM SATA 32MB Cache $196.04USD.
    They ship internationally. :D

    You could also try ;)
  19. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    oooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh :eek::eek::eek:

    even if it works out to be $300AU that would still be a steal!! thanks heeps.
    hope they are reliable shipping overseas!
  20. paduck macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2007
    robzr - the main objection I would note to someone looking at a robust, DIY NAS configuration is that they will, in almost all liklihood, absolutely suck down power. This is a hidden cost, but one that really can add up. A NAS like you describe could cost between $100 - $200 more in electricity bills each year. Not to mention all the time you have to spend assembling, configuring, etc. The ReadyNAS comes almost configured and has very limited power demands. Many other NAS systems are like that as well.

    For most home users, looking at serving media to just a couple computers, performance isn't going to be a big impact. There are many people who should be on the high-end of the performance scale, but there are many more who just want the redundancy of RAID1 to give them a little more peace of mind with their Time Machine backup or iTunes Library. And they would prefer to do it with a relatively low entry cost and operating cost.
  21. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2008
    Also; With a NAS you get a level of support, which you will not have with an own-build solution.

    I have twice now had the pleasure of working with the Infrant guys, and they really helped me out. One time I had a power outage which caused havoc on my Raid, and another tme I updated a FW, and lost a share. In both instances I went onto the Infrant forum, and had a response to PM the moderator directly in 5-10 minutes. In one case they actually connected to my NAS and sorted it all out. This level of cupport you will only get buying a complete package.

    I have never felt performance to be a serious issue. With only a few users, certainly survivability and support are much much more important than performance!

    Finally, though it has been a long time since I built my own Raid storage server (back in '99), and I have been using NAS devices since then, I don't think you have the same hot-swap options in an own-built, and that is a really nice feature when you upgrade to bigger discs (which takes days).

  22. robzr macrumors member

    May 4, 2006
    paduck - The main difference in energy consumption between a DIY unit and a off the shelf unit would be the greater CPU heat generated - what does a Core 2 Duo consume? 30 more watts maybe? At $.1 / kwh that is $26.28 per year. The other difference would be additional fans, which if you ask me, is far worth the price, and I'm sure it wouldn't be large anyways. The real cost IMO is, how much is it worth to you to not lose your data if you lose the SINGLE fan on one of those nas-in-a-box devices and then drop a couple hard drives? Fans, power supplies & hard drives seem to be the most common computer hardware failures in my experience. But I see no reason why 4 hard drives in a ReadyNAS would consume less energy than 4 hard drives in a NasLite DIY setup.

    I agree, performance is not a major issue for most folks, but if I spent $1k+ on a NAS setup and was getting 30 MBps, I'd be irritated.... on my 24" core 2 duo imac, copying over gigabit to my nas is far quicker than copying to local disk, not the other way around.

    Killerbob - NASlite I'm sure has some support tho I doubt they would go as far as what your Infrant guys did. I've found the Linux community to be very helpful, almost all the time a few googles will turnup the answer to your question.

    It is definitely more work going the DIY route, IMO it's well worth it if ones tech skills are up to par - if not, it'd be a great learning project, but for sure not everyone has the time or inclination.

    But the main benefits IMO are greater reliability, redundancy, expandability, parts availability, ability to do RAID-6 or RAID-Z2 in the future (hopefully), and peace of mind knowing if my mobo goes out I didn't just lose my raid config. Huge performance gains are just icing on the cake. You can do hot swap SATA with linux, the supermicro chassis has 15 hot swap bays...

    Now if you are max'ed out on a RAID-5 with 4 (5?) disks in a ReadyNAS, and you want to upgrade to larger disks, is that possible w/o having to backup all your data (onto what? another readynas?), rebuild the RAID with new drives and restore? So how do you upgrade your ReadyNAS? Thats when 10 bays comes in handy...

    BTW - I see 1.5 TB ST31500341AS are not on the ReadyNAS compatibility list (, so if you use them, assuming they work, you may not get support...yet another non-issue w/ DIY.

  23. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    I'd build this yourself, you can easily get away with using software RAID 5 with 'nix/bsd and build a system that's vastly superior in terms of performance (dedicated cpu for processing, use of dual GBit, etc), with the ability to easily expand.

    With a low wattage processor you won't have any major overhead over a dedicated "NAS" unit.

    Motherboard $107

    CPU - $90

    (This CPU might be overkill, but we want to guarantee fast performance when we demand it, and you can use the computer for other purposes as well)

    RAM - $30.50

    5 * - $190

    (Do note that serious RAID freaks will not like the idea of buying drives from one source, you should be using different manufacturers if you have the chance, from different lots, etc)

    Gives you a total of $1177.5 + ~$150-$200 for Good Case + PSU

    Let's say $1400 in total for 6 TB Usable Space

    A drobo...

    $500 + (4 * 190) = $1260 for 4.5 TB Usable Space

    Homemade is 4.28 GB per Dollar, Drobo is 3.57 GB per Dollar, of course the latter is much simpler to setup and build.

    Advantage here is that if you ever need to expand you can (buying a PCI-E RAID Card) and adding another couple drives for a fraction of the cost, even if you go with a full RAID card then a Drobo :) If you're looking for expandability I would seriously consider getting a good case. If you need any more buying tips and if you want to go this route, don't hesitate to get in touch :)

    Another thing you might want to consider is RAID 6, this will require a real RAID controller from a reliable company, but it can tolerate two drive failures vs RAID 5's one, just comes down to how hard you will plan on hammering your drives and how valuable the data is :)

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